The <form> tag is probably one of the oldest tags in the HTML specification. It was introduced with HTML 2.0 in the mid-90s. Although it is widely used, it has always lacked a certain glamour whilst being a purveyor of a handsome amount of headaches, so <form> did not change much over time.
We can add to it CSS, reactive apps, and many other toolsets but in the end, it is still developers’ job to make it look pretty. In the same time, those same developers spend hours thinking about ways to prevent users from putting random creative things in fields. Talk about paradoxes!
However, let’s admit it, checking if a string object is a valid email address is not the most exciting thing in the world. Doesn’t matter how much you like regular expressions, I doubt you wake up in the morning just for that.
That is probably why companies like Typeform have become more popular: taking out the not-fun time-consuming form-building tasks out of developers hands. With those tools, the people who will use the results are building the forms and give free time back to developers to take care of more relevant matters to solve their needs.
But what goes around comes around! Fortunately for developers, forms are boomeranging in a more developer-enticing way. Forms created in platforms like Typeform are now actionable thanks to APIs. No more forms handcrafting, and definitively no more CSV dump once in a while! Now it’s possible to create them on the go using tools like Typeform’s Create API, or embed them seamlessly on a site/app using the Embed SDK, or send the submissions anywhere via webhooks or the Responses API.
Finally forms are fun, even for developers!
In fact, using mechanisms like webhooks you can get notified instantly when a new response comes on your form.
As a developer, a webhook gives you freedom to imagine complex workflows. It’s a whole new world of possibilities for developers! Let me open your eyes and take you wonder by wonder.
Here are some examples that showcase exciting integrations powered by Typeform’s webhooks:
People love metrics, right? The charts, the insights, the cool look and feel, the sensation of being about to make a discovery…You have screens all over your office space, so why not put shiny meaningful dashboards there?
Also, wouldn’t it be awesome if those dashboards were reflecting in real-time what’s going on your forms?
That is entirely doable now thanks to Formboard, an integration between Typeform and Geckoboard built by Nikola Aitken (github.com/aitkenster).
Read More here https://medium.com/typeforms-engineering-blog/formboard-combining-typeform-and-geckoboard-ac5df9b6230c
At many companies, Slack is the main communication channel. We use it to communicate with colleagues and exchange silly GIFs, but it is also the place where we gather many data and news about our business (Github issues, Server status, …).
So it felt natural to build a Slack integration, to receive instant notification in your favorite channel when a new response it submitted to your form.
If you want to play with it, it will be available soon on a screen next to you.
If you are using Typeform to build a contact page or a booking system for your business, it could be convenient to be able to create an event on your calendar automatically.
This is totally possible using the webhook event from Typeform and connect it to a calendar API like Cronofy.
Automatic Image Tagging
Imagine that in your data collection flow you let users upload pictures. Unfortunately, Typeform does not offer natively any way to check if the photo is valid for your requirements besides file type. People could be foolish, and when you ask for a face picture, they will likely send a picture of their dog. How do you prevent that?
By connecting it to an Image Recognition API like Clarifai or Kairos. Once the response is submitted, you can trigger those APIs to check if the image contains a human face or do auto-tagging.
As you can see possibilities are endless, the list of exciting ideas could go on forever just like end-user requests surprise developers sometimes.
Thanks to APIs, forms and surveys could now be part of a more complex workflow involving much other third-party services. For sure some developers will be excited about this new playground to build smarter things. I am, and want to hear what crazy idea people have in mind.
If you want to talk about potential integrations while you are at WeAreDevelopers 2018, let us know.
Developer Advocate at Typeform