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very basic question about what is possible with ROR
3 Posts
very basic question about what is possible with ROR

I am looking for a technology to create a Form that I can email to a user, the user will enter data into the Form, data is validated, and the Form is emailed back to me with the collected data, then the data is exported to XML.

Limitations: If the user interface is browser based, the users are all corporate clients and they only use Internet Explorer, they cannot install plug-ins for IE and they can't user Firefox. They users will not work on-line, the forms are filled out while offline and then emailed back. Also, the users don't have install privileges to install software on their PCs.

Can a stand-alone data-gathering Form like this be created with Ruby on Rails?

Well, Rails is a web framework. As such it is geared at delivering browser based solutions rather than any other format. That doesn't mean you can't just have an intranet running on an internal server to do just what you're describing however.

I would take a very simple approach and just create my form with XHTML/CSS in the view, save the submissions to the database and use ActionMailer to email it to me as well, then use the to_xml method to dump the entries in the database to XML format as needed and do whatever is desired with the results (save to a file, feed to a web service, email again, whatever).

So in short, you could do this with Rails!

The quick answer is "yes you can, but it's probably overkill".

IMO you'd be better off writing a single quick page of PHP to just send you the results of the form. Solutions of this sort are available to cut'n'paste all over the web.

That being said - you may have other reasons for implementing a rails-based solution - eg if you intend to add more functionality to the site at a later date, or just wnat an excuse to play with it ;)

Still - I agree with the others. If being offline is really required - just provide a .doc to copy, or a list of "required fields" or even an email-template that they can download onto their hardrive and use to fill in the blanks each time.

3 Posts
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