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ALA Web site content contributors may, from time to time, find the need to add interactive forms and applications to the ALA Web site. These can range from a form collecting information to be emailed to a given recipient, to a larger application collecting survey data and storing it in a database. ALA's staff ITTS department can help content contributors with these tasks.

For more complicated applications, including ones that integrate with a database, you will need to request the assistance of the web services group on staff at ALA headquarters in Chicago. Someone from this group will contact you to set up a time to talk by phone or in person about the best way to collect your specifications and develop the application you need. To request application development, please email webgroup@ala.org

To create a form that simply emails submissions to a given email address, you can use ALA's formmail.cfm script. ALA's formmail.cfm script is a simple program that will take the fields of a form and send them to an email address or addresses. The simplest version with the minimum number of fields is:

<!-- Tells the form to use formmail to process input -->

<form action="/cfapps/formmail/formmail.cfm" method="post">

 

<!-- REQUIRED: You must have a "recipient" field that contains an email address or

a set of addresses separated by commas -->

<input type="hidden" value="address1@ala.org,address2@ala.org" name="recipient">

<!-- Place your form fields here -->

<!-- End of your form fields -->

<!-- Standard form "Submit" and "Reset" buttons -->

<input type="submit" value="Submit" name="Submit">

<input type="reset" value="Reset" name="Submit2">

</form>

Following is the skeleton of a form that contains all the fields that can be used to affect how your form is processed. Beside the "recipient" field none of the extra fields are required.

 

<!-- Tells the form to use formmail to process input -->

<form action="/cfapps/formmail/formmail.cfm" method="post">

 

<!-- REQUIRED: You must have a "recipient" field that contains an email address

or a set of addresses separated by commas -->

<input type="hidden" value="address1@ala.org,address2@ala.org" name="recipient">

<!-- Additional formmail fields -->

<input type="hidden" value="field_one,field_two" name="required">

<!-- Including a field named "required" will make all the fields listed in the

value portion required. People will not be able to submit the form until they have filled in

all the fields listed in value. -->

<input type="hidden" value="New Info From My Online Form" name="Subject">

<!-- The "subject" field, if it exists, will be the subject of the email sent to

the addresses specified in the recipient field -->

<input type="hidden" value="field_one,field_two,field_three,field_four" name="sort">

<!-- The "sort" field can be used to specify in what order the fields from your

form will appear in the email sent to recipients. If this field doesn't exist the email will

sort the fields alphabetically. If you include this field <b>YOU MUST LIST ALL FORM

FIELDS</b>. Any field that appears in your form that isn't listed in the value of a sort

field will not be included in the email to recipients--that information will be irrevocably lost. -->

<input type="hidden" value="http://www.ala.org/mythankyoupage.html" name="redirect">

<!-- The "redirect" field should have a url in its value portion. The page listed

in that url is where someone will go to once they have completed the form. If there is no

"redirect" field people will get a somewhat bland page just listing what they entered.

-->

<input type="hidden" value="Return to the ALA Unit Web Page" name="Return_link_title">

<input type="hidden" value="http://www.ala.org/myhomepage.html" name="return_link_url">

<!-- "return_link_title" and "return_link_url" must be used together.

They will act as an alternative to the "redirect" field. If the "redirect"

field does not exist then the title and url of these fields will be used to create a link that

will appear on the default, bland out put page.

-->

<!-- Place your form fields here -->

<!-- End of your form fields -->

<!-- Standard form "Submit" and "Reset" buttons -->

<input type="submit" value="Submit" name="Submit">

<input type="reset" value="Reset" name="Submit2">

</form>

For the most part, most forms should include the recipient, subject, and redirect fields.

When you add your own form fields, be sure to use only the letters of the alphabet and the underscore characters when naming your fields. Using any other characters including spaces, the minus sign or dash, numbers, question marks, or other punctuation will cause your form not to work.

  


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