RackForms v6.0.2
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Latest Release: Build 916 - June 26, 2017
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Frequently Asked Questions For RackForms Users

Have a question not listed here? No problem, please send us an email and we'll be in touch shortly.

 
1. What do I get when I purchase RackForms?
2. How many Forms can it handle?
3. Does RackForms Support Multiple Users?
4. Does it support all major Form Field types?
5. Does it support file uploads?
6. How do I manage form submissions?
7. I have limited technical knowledge, is it easy to Install and use?
8. Is it possible for me to add additional features or customize the application?
9. What Database vendors are supported?
10. What are the minimum application requirements?
11. Is the source code available?
12. When I purchase RackForms is it a one time fee or are there recurring charges?
13. How many sites can I install with one license?
14. Is there any future upgrade fee?
15. Where can I learn more?
16. How does RackForms deliver form submissions?
17. Where is the instruction manual?
18. How do I place RackForms forms on my site?
19. Is RackForms compatible with WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal?
20. Do common auto-fill utilities like Roboform and Google Toolbar work with RackForms forms?
21. Where Are The Installation Instructions?
22. What is Your Refund Policy?
23. Could you explain the license a bit more?
24. In what ways can I integrate RackForms forms with Paypal/2CheckOut Etc?
25. Where And How Is A Database Used With RackForms Forms?
26. I would like to install RackForms on a test server, do you have any suggestions?
27. Are RackForms forms XHTML Standards Compliant?
28. Can I use RackForms As Shopping Cart Solution?
29. How do I move a RackForms installation from one server to another?
30. Do RackForms Forms Work With SSL/HTTPS?
31. Why do we get so many licenses with other products and only 1 with RackForms?
32. What's the difference between Drupal Web Form's / Gravity Forms / WordPress Forms / and RackForms?
33. What's the difference between the Cloud and Self-Hosted versions?

1. What do I get when I purchase RackForms?

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When you purchase RackForms you’ll receive a zip file that contains all application code and support files.

2. How many forms can it handle?

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RackForms uses a database to store all Form ‘Jobs’, and thus, the number of Forms is only limited by the capabilities and storage capacity of your computer.

3. Does RackForms Support Multiple Users?

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RackForms supports multiple users at several distinct privilege levels — The various access levels ensure users are only granted access to the parts of the application you choose.

4. Does it support all major form field types?

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All major form field types are supported in RackForms, and all can be customized with the major attributes available to each field. We also support all major HTML 5 input types, including number, time, and calendar types.

5. Does it support file uploads?

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Absolutely. In fact, we can specify what type of upload: images only, files only, PDF only, or any file type. We can also specify file size limits, image resize properties, and where to save the files.

RackForms also automates the export of file data to Email and SQL clients. For example, if you create a file upload item and create a Simple SQL module to store the form submissions, the file upload is automatically managed and routed by RackForms, no extra coding is required.

RackForms also support drag and drop HTML 5 uploads with no coding or extra setup required.

6. How do I manage form submissions?

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Form submissions are sent to one of four places:

1. The internal RackForms entry table, where you can use the built in Entry Viewer to manage submissions.
2. To email recipients of your choosing. The email result is preformatted in HTML.
3. Via an HTTP Request to a web service of your choice.
4. Using your own form field data capture code, for example, to create a text file on your web server.

Of these methods, basic entry viewer and email submissions are totally automated, and require no user configuration.

7. I have limited technical knowledge, is it easy to Install and use?

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RackForms utilizes a 1-step installer that allows us to fill in basic user and database information. All of these items and more are outlined in the RackForms installation help page.

Installation help is also always available at no extra charge, if you run into installations issues, just contact us at: support[at]rackforms.com. We'll be happy to get you up and running!

8. Is it possible for me to add additional features or customize the application?

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RackForms leaves all form code untouched and in the case of process files, fully formatted. The editor application’s JavaScript and PHP processing code however, is encrypted.

If you have a feature request or suggestion, please drop us a line!

9. What Database vendors are supported?

RackForms supports MySQL from version 5.0 and up and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and up. We also support writing to MongoDB, Access, PostgreSQL, and generic ODBC.

10. What are the minimum application requirements?

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The RackForms Editor requires:
PHP 5.1.4+

Database Layer of Either:
*MySQL 5+ or
**Microsoft SQL Server 2008+

*IMPORTANT MySQL INFORMATION*

MySQL connectivity requires either the PHP_PDO Extension and relevant PDO driver (php_pdo_mysql), or the MySQLi Driver. Almost all PHP 5 installations will have one of these extensions; to check run <?php phpinfo(); ?> in a test file and look for pdo or mysqli.

In very rare instances, some advanced MySQL servers configured with replication/binary logs may require additional setup.

max_allowed_packet
You may also want to look into your MySQL servers max_allowed_packet system variable, as in some instances uploading files over 1Mb may cause an error on un-tuned MySQL installations. (please see here for the fix).

Proper MySQL support is important, we want to make sure RackForms is right for your server configuration. Please contact us with any questions you might have. We'll be happy to help!

**MSSQL connectivity requires the Microsoft SQL Server 2005/2008 Driver for PHP (download link), and for the SQL Server 2005*** Native Client (x86 or 64bit) to be installed on the Machine PHP runs on. More on SQL Server 2005 Driver for PHP requirements here.

The GD 2 Library with FreeType for Captcha Support (FreeType is bundled with Windows versions of PHP 5+)

Read/Write access to your Web Server

A Javascript enabled, A-Grade Web Browser**** such as Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Safari.

Adobe Flash for Image Uploads.

A monitor that supports a horizontal resolution of at least 1280px. 1280x1024px (17inch) or greater recommended.

Questions about any of these requirements, please contact us.

***There is a SQL Server 2008 version of the SQL Native Client, but as of PHP 5.2.6 it is not yet supported. Please check back here or visit the forum for news on this front.

****Editor only, the forms RackForms produces are compatible with IE6+ Firefox 2, Opera, Safari, Etc.

11. Is the source code available?

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Full Source code may be released at some time in the future as an ‘Enterprise’ level package. Details to come.

12. When I purchase RackForms is it a one time fee or are there recurring charges?

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All RackForms "self-hosted" plans are a one-time purchase; there are no fees, support costs (to within reason), and no recurring fees. Also, all minor version updates are included at no extra cost. Thus, an update from 5.0 to 5.5 or similar is always free.

In addition, minor updates are released on a regular basis that add new features, enhance security; these updates are optional and always free.

We also offer cloud hosting packages. These plans are billed on monthly basis, though you are never under contract, and can cancel at any time with no advanced notice needed.

13. How many web sites can I install with one license?

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Each "self-hosted" copy of RackForms contains a set number of license keys, with each key being tied to a specific domain. You can purchase multiple licenses however, and in fact every RackForms package ships with a minimum of two (2) license keys for maximum flexibility and value. Every domain license is set in a download account where you can generate a new license key for any domain at any time.

14. Is there any future upgrade fee?

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All software updates are always free. This includes all minor and major version updates.

15. Where can I learn more about RackForms?

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We always welcome your comments and questions. You can contact us using the automated form, create a support ticket, or visit the forum to chat with others.

16. How does RackForms deliver form submissions?

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RackForms provides considerable latitude with how you manage your form submissions. You can use the Simple SQL/Email modules, the powerful SQL+ and Email+ modules, the HTTP Request module for Web Service calls, or even provide your own custom logic to write text files.

The most simple delivery method is to use the Entry Viewer or Simple Email modules. These components are added with a single click, and will handle all the complex logic associated with your form submission—including file uploads, digital signatures, and all form field elements.

The next step up would be to use the 'plus' modules, SQL+ and Email+. These modules allow you to create custom SQL insert calls and professionally formatted email messages interspersed with your form variables, respectively.

Along the same lines we can use the HTTP Request module to perform REST web service calls or execute file_get_contents() calls. Such calls could be used to communicate with external payment processors, search engines, and so on.

Finally, you can create custom submission logic, creating text files from form submissions, or any other logic you might need.

In every case every effort has been made to make the workflow as intuitive and easy as possible. For example, all the above modules can be freely intermingled, for example, you can use the Simple SQL module to send results to the automated result system, and also create a Email+ module to send professionally formatted email messages to the recipients of your choice.

17. Where is the instruction manual?

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The documentation is found on this site at: https://www.rackforms.com/documentation/rackforms/

The help/documentation area is a great place to pick up on hints and tricks, as well as watch instructional videos.

18. How do I place RackForms forms on my site?

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Generally speaking, when you build a form a folder with the same name as the job is created in the /rackForms/output/forms/ directory. This 'job folder' contains all code needed to run your form, and can be thought of as a self-reliant entity. Thus, placement of your form on a site can be accomplished in two main ways:

First, you can use the RackForms editor button on top of each form page named 'Embed Page'. Clicking this button will generate an iFrame embed code snippet, this snippet can then be copy/pasted into a 'host' web page of your choosing. When you navigate to the host page you will load the form page you previously saved via the iFrame include, and the form appears to be part of the host page. A classic example of this method is the contact page of this web site.

The second method is to copy the job folder to another destination on your web server. You would navigate to your form by calling the named folder the form is in plus the name of the first form page.

19. Is RackForms compatible with WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal?

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Of course! WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal all support HTML in posts, the 1-Click Embed Page button in RackForms produces just that.

Placing your RackForms forms on these sites is a very simple process. We simply click the HTML button in the WordPress editor and paste in the Embed Code RackForms automatically generates for you (see the image below).

You can try it yourself: simply copy and paste this code into the HTML section of a WordPress post:

<iframe src="https://www.rackforms.com/fb2/formboss2/output/forms/contact/page0.php" height="651" width="502" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe>

Better yet, using this same technique you can integrate your RackForms forms into any site that accepts iFrame includes in its content editor. Popular examples include DrupalJoomla, and the powerful e-commerce solution Magento.

20. Do common auto-fill utilities like Roboform and Google Toolbar work with RackForms forms?

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Absolutely! With RackForms you have the same level of control as if you were hand coding the forms. This means you can name your fields in a manner that the Auto-fill engines on the market can complete your forms.

21. Where Are The Installation Instructions?

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The complete written documentation for the RackForms installation process can be found here. On this page you will find a complete series of instructions for the most common server and database types. You will also find helpful videos which guide you through the process of installation on popular web hosting platforms such as GoDaddy.

Of course personalized help is always available, both on the forms and via email.

22. Where is Your Refund Policy?

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We are supremely confident that you'll find RackForms a fantastic investment. However, if you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, we offer a full refund up to 30 days after your purchase date. This covers RackForms Self-Hosted and RackForms Express.

Most importantly, If you have any installation or configuration issues, we offer 7 day a week no charge premium installation help. Just contact us and we'll be happy to perform the installation for you.

While our return policy also covers hardware and software incompatibilities, to help prevent such issues after a purchase we have a free zip file you can download which will test your current configuration. Simply extract the zip folder and place it on your server. The script will test your loaded PHP extensions, PHP Version, and several configuration options to make sure you have everything you need to run RackForms perfectly.

It only takes a few moments to run, and doing so will give you a piece of mind knowing the full version of RackForms will work perfectly fine.

23. Could you explain the license a bit more?

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With regard to the RackForms license, what it really comes down to is this, per the license agreement:

B. Distribution.
You may not distribute copies of the SOFTWARE PRODUCT to third parties.

In short, when you buy a RackForms license you can use it for any site you own, but after you generate and receive a license key it is tied to that domain and will not work on any others. Also, as a general rule, you cannot ‘give/transfer/loan’ the software (the editor) to a third party. The terminology of site content provider and domain name owner exists as my way of helping to clarify what constitutes a valid ‘owner’ of a site.

The publisher of RackForms, nicSoft, needs to avoid the situation where someone gets the software for free, be it by accident or intentionally. The most common way for that to happen would be to install instances of RackForms on a third-parties domain, which is why the license prohibits that.

That said, RackForms is a big program, it does many things in many ways. We want your business, so over the past several months we have worked with many content developers to make the process of form distribution much easier.

Allow me to dish out a few bullet points; perhaps one will strike a chord with your particular situation/project:

The license prohibits the transfer/installation of the software editor, NOT the forms it creates or the separate RackForms Entry Viewer.

In English – This actually covers three types of forms. Let’s take each in turn:

1.  EMAIL
Let’s say you have a client that needs a form that sends an email. As far as RackForms is concerned, every form you create, (with the exception of ones that write to the RackForms database using the Simple SQL module) are completely independent entities. They have no dependencies outside of their own job folder.

Thus, let's say I create a sample form called email_sample. When I created the form RackForms places all file in a folder called /email_sample, this job folder, as you could test, can be placed anywhere, including your client’s web site directory. It sends an email no matter where it is placed.

2. SQL
RackForms has two main SQL modules, Simple SQL and SQL+.

Simple SQL jobs are ones that, with a single click, write to the default RackForms database, created when you install the software. We have many clients who wanted to use Simple SQL but, same as you might, do not want to buy a separate license for each client. Thus, we created an application called the RackForms Entry Viewer.

Basically, it is a free add-on that lets users login and use the full-blown entry viewer application for Simple SQL jobs. Thus, you create and give the forms to whoever you want, totally within the scope of the license.

The SQL+ module is an advanced delivery module that lets you create custom INSERT statements. It, like the Email modules, has no dependencies. You can create all the forms you wish using this delivery type and place them on your client’s servers.

3. PDF
The built-in RackForms PDF system require a full RackForms installation to work, simply because the PDF libraries being used are too large to copy to every job we create. Of course we can always create our own PDF logic, or if needed, update the form's source code to use a different include path for the actual PDF library.

24. In what ways can I integrate RackForms forms with Paypal / 2CheckOut, Stripe, Etc?

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RackForms supports basic Buy Now style buttons, and more advanced, credit card enabled checkout forms.

At the most basic level, Paypal and other such merchant service providers have the simple one click method, where you build and populate a button with the correct payment vars.

RackForms fully supports this method using the new E-Commerce module. You can learn more about this module here and here.

We also support a powerful, invoice driven credit card form for PayPal and Stripe payments. To use this method we simply create a selection of E-Commerce items, and select "Shopping Cart" as our payment type. RackForms automatically creates a beautiful checkout form for us.

As always though, we encourage you to contact us if you have any questions. Custom support is always free!

25. Where And How Is A Database Used With RackForms Forms?

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The best way to answer this question is to consider the RackForms output system. Put simply, every form you create has a folder created with the same name as your job (referred to as the 'job folder'). This folder contains all code and content to run your form, which means in theory you can place that job folder anywhere and the form will still run.

There are a few caveats to this rule however, most of which have to do with your confirmation page modules. In case you're not already familiar with confirmation page modules, these are the items that you place on the last page of your form to tell RackForms what you want done with your forms data. The key points are*:

1. When we use the Simple SQL Module - The Simple SQL module needs the RackForms database tables to run. This is the database and all related tables we create when we install RackForms, which means unless RackForms is installed on that server, the database will not exist**.

2. When we use the Simple Email module with file attachments - Email attachments when using the Simple Email module use the RackForms database to store the file uploads until delivery, without the RackForms database tables this process will not work**.

3. When we use Form Persistence (Save and Resume Later) - In RackForms Form Persistence refers to a very specific feature that lets a user leave a form without completely finishing it and come back at a later time -- when the user returns all fields they have previously filled out are pre populated with the values from the last session. To be clear please note that by Form Persistence we thus mean this very specific feature that most forms will not need. We do not, and this is key, mean the simple ability of saving form entries to a database via SQL+ or any other module.

The Bottom Line
The important point is that all other confirmation modules and features except those listed above are dependency free. Of course as noted in the footnote below (**), we can always simply backup and restore the full RackForms database from our server to the clients and all caveats listed above simply vanish. The only reason we do not recommend this for all jobs is it's simply not needed. We work hard to make the 'footprint' of RackForms as small as possible, which helps with maintenance and management down the road.

* The good news is that all users of RackForms receive a handy utility app called the RackForms Viewer, which is a simple program you can install on a client's server which will allow them to use Simple SQL and Simple Email + attachment jobs. In fact, we have a handy video you can watch which shows how to use this app. The end result is the limitation goes away when using the Entry Viewer app.

** Of course the RackForms database and its table will not exist on servers RackForms has not been installed on, but user's can also simply backup and restore this database on the clients server and all restrictions listed above simply vanish. To put it another way, this is the ultimate work-around if we want to make all RackForms features available to a client.

26. I would like to install RackForms on a test server, do you have any suggestions?

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If you're on a Mac, MAMP is a great choice.

For Windows and Mac Users, Zend Server CE is a great option, and for IIS / PHP installs the Web Platforms Tools Installer.

27. Are RackForms forms XHTML Standards Compliant?

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Absolutely. The only potential catch is due to the rapid development cycle of RackForms we may at times encounter a slight delay between a new features release and the full implementation of web standards testing.

That said, RackForms forms are always well tested and compliant with all modern web browsers, the actual XHTML standards testing may be a bit behind.

28. Can I use RackForms as Shopping Cart Solution?

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Absolutely! When it comes to E-Commerce transactions it’s helpful to divide the task into two main groupings:

  1. One off transactions (Buy Now buttons)
  2. Shopping carts with multiple items and checkout pages (Amazon, Newegg Checkout Forms)

RackForms handles both of these transaction types with ease. We support simple buy now style buttons, and for more complex transactions, automatically create invoices for shopping carts, and accept credit cards on your site.

29. How do I move a RackForms installation from one server to another?

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We’ll make complete backups of our database and flat-files, specifically, the entire:

rackforms/ folder

We’ll then restore the database on the new server, and move all files to the new server as well.

Then, we run the installer on the new server, that is, make sure the install.php file is on the new server.

Running the installer will simply make sure all file permission issues have been taken care of.

So long as you use the same domain (for licensing), and the same database details (login, user name, password, etc), all existing jobs will still be present, and will still work!

30. Do RackForms Forms Work With SSL/HTTPS?

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Absolutely! The simple answer is any content we create that can be served using no encryption (http), also works with SSL. This is because SSL is simply a layer on top of HTTP.

31. Why do we get so many licenses with other products and only 2 with RackForms?

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As you may have noticed MachForm (an excellent tool made by some great guys!) advertises itself as including 10 sites for its medium-range package. With RackForms we get 2 domain licenses. Why so few for RackForms? The difference -- and this is very important -- is MachForm must be installed on any server we wish to run its forms on.

With RackForms each form we create is totally independent, which means 1 domain license works on unlimited sites, but even then we still ship with 2 licenses so you can install to a production and development environment at the same time.

32. What's the difference between Drupal Web Form's / Gravity Forms / WordPress Forms / and RackForms?

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The 2 biggest differences are:

Portability: While fine for some types of work, form managers for specific packages are just that: specific to that CMS. This means if you ever need to change CMS systems all your forms must change as well. Using RackForms means your form work across all CMS systems, and never needs to change if the CMS does.

Features: RackForms simply has more features than CMS specific form packages, which means we can create far more complex forms and applications when needed.

33. What's the difference between the Cloud and Self-Hosted versions?

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Functionally: None. The cloud and self-hosted versions of RackForms share the same code-base and feature set.

As a RackForms Cloud hosting subscriber you'll enjoy your own web hosting server, not a slice of a master server residing on our end. You'll even have direct access to phpMyAdmin for direct database access, and cPanel / Plesk to manage your server!

Our core goal with the cloud platform is to create as little difference between the two hosting types as possible. For most users the only difference then is one version is hosted for you, the other you manage yourself.

So many features, So little time