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Form and List 6.0 approaching

The module Form and List will have a new release very soon. Currently a Release Candidate is available for you for final testing. 

What is Form and List?

The last release of Form and List happened more than 2 years ago, and, as the former core modules are no longer part of the distribution, it is time to introduce the module again. 

Form and List evolved from a simple list module, called User Defined Table. A list is basically a table, where all columns share the same data type: simple strings, numbers, html, or complex types for calculations and file treatments. Each type has its own capabilities and settings. Usually a list is small and consists only out of a smaller set of items. It is designed for few hundreds, but certainly not for millions of items in mind.

A list can be rendered as a simple table, or it can be mapped to totally different kinds of layouts with the help of XSL-transformations. Don't be afraid of XSL, a token based editor helps you for the first steps.

The item editor can be set as the primary view which allows simple forms. Notifications can be send for insert, update and delete actions. In short, Form and List allows you to create simple apps, and I have seen amazing implementations in the past.

Certainly it is not a tool for everything. There are other nice modules available for free in the extension forge, e.g. the very handy helferlein form, and there are plenty of powerful modules available in the dotnetnuke store though.

Whats new in 6.0?

Form and List 6.0 should feel comfortable in DotNetNuke 6, most changes happened with the new capabilities in mind:

  • The module source has been converted to C#, credits to Ernst Peter Tamminga for helping here. Also the project uses now build scripts to create new packages.
  • The module design follows now the DotNetNuke 6 form patterns and ux guidelines for edit form and basic table rendering. This does not only ensure a familiar user experience, it also helped to address former issues with WAI compliance. It uses Telerik controls for date and time entries and it uses the DotNetNuke Icon API whenever possible.
  • All (new and edited) time values supports now DST (Daylight Saving Time)
  • The database scripts are now compatible to SQL Azure
  • The settings, especially the Form and List configuration received a major overhaul. Tabs and sections and some JQuery-tweaks should facilitate all administration jobs.
    For example, you can now change the order of fields by drag'n'drop:
  • Fixed some bugs and added some requested enhancements from the issue tracker.


Test the Release Candidate

As said before, a Release Candidate is available for testing. I am expecting it feature complete and stable, as 3 CTP release already occurred. However, any serious issue will be fixed before a final release.

There are a few changes which might break existing current layouts. All old attempts of form layouts have been removed, only the new DotNetNuke 6 form patterns remains. A future release might introduce a form editor, but I will certainly not support the old approach anymore.

That said, I am sure most of you will appreciate the new version. Please report any issue directly to the issue tracker.

If you have any questions, please ask them in forum or use the community exchange and tag your questions with "FnL6".

I would like to thank everybody who participated in the past CTPs and helped to make the module solid.


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