A CMS for building web applications, not websites: an introduction to Formulize

Room Location: 
Thu, 2009-10-29 09:00

Building complex web applications is usually a job for developers. But the people who know what needs to get built, are usually not the developers. What if there was an easy way for the "power users" and "subject matter experts" inside an organization to describe everything they know about how the application should be built....and then out pops the application, based on the options and requirements they've described? And then pigs fly?

There is a way, and it's called Formulize, an open source web form and data management toolkit. It works similarly to a content management system (ie: Drupal, Wordpress, Joomla, etc.) but instead of managing website content, it manages data structures and database systems. Formulize gives webmasters and other advanced users a broad range of configuration options to describe what data should go into their application, how all the data is related, who can do what with the data, and how the data should be presented on the screen.

In this workshop, we will walk through the process of creating a Formulize application, and looking at how users interact with it natively, and inside another PHP-based system (Drupal). No web programming knowledge or SQL/database knowledge is required.

This approach can be useful for developers that have programming and SQL knowledge too, since it can be faster than custom building systems, and it enforces standardization at the implementation level, so it has the same benefits for database applications that using a CMS has for website content and structures.