Thoughts on FormAssembly

FormAssembly is a go-to tool for many Salesforce partners. It allows people to make forms, both pulling data from Salesforce and also updating Salesforce. I want to quickly review what I think is good about this tool and what can be improved upon.

The Good

  • I love how customizable it is – it’s so easy to adjust the look and feel of the form with either a theme or CSS.
  • Functionality-wise you can do more with Javascript. As compared to Formstack, the ability to use Javascript is a huge plus here. They even give users example snippets of code.
  • Their support is AWESOME – super responsive by email and chat. They have gone above and beyond for me on multiple occasions and the reps are more like partners.
  • The prefill connector pulls data from Salesforce in a seamless manner by passing variables such as record IDs into the URL. In Formstack, you have to pass every field you want into the URL; FormAssembly just queries the database and “prefills” fields instead. This also allows for scalability; you can use one form for multiple purposes by conditionally showing or hiding information.
  • The repeater option – which allows you to a) pull in data from multiple records and b) create or update multiple records is very clever. We have used this to pull info from child objects on a one-to-many relationship – for instance, dates and times for modules (child) of a virtual event (parent). Or create many records at once (for instance, for guest lists for a benefit). You can even remove the submit button and use it to display information from your database using the pre-fill connector.
  • E-checks in FormAssembly/Authorize give us more payment options and flexibility for our donors. We created a form that allows us to collect money from a pledge, passing in the donation ID. Then the form updates fields on the record when the person pays.
    • Sub-point: You can save and pass transaction IDs into Salesforce records!! This is something Formstack cannot do.
  • The CSV import of picklist items that populates other fields. We used this to load the entire US school database into a form and populate fields like name, district, and address.

The Meh

  • The fact that this is based in Javascript can cause problems.
    • Learning curve or requirement to hire implementation team. Javascript is not normally in the skillset of a Salesforce admin, but it is a good skill to have.
    • The user’s browser must have Javascript enabled in order for the form to work properly. FormAssembly recommends adding a snippet of code that shows up when Javascript is not enabled, but this snippet should come with the platform in my opinion. There is inherent risk here otherwise.
  • On forms where you accept payment there is no native plugin for discount codes.
    • It’s also hard to discount to $0 and hide the credit card fields – you need Javascript for this.
  • The post submission connector is clunky at times. If I’m making an update, I’d love to be able to reference an existing value in Salesforce and then decide what to do – for instance, if it’s filled out already, don’t overwrite it with the new value. Also, there are some cases when the update/insert option doesn’t work for my use case and I have to do an update/insert in multiple steps instead.
  • I wish that FormAssembly had a Google Drive integration; any time I want to save files in a Google Drive I have to use Formstack.
  • The e-signature function is very sleek but there’s not a great way to report on signatures that have been “verified” through email; you have to go into each record to do that.
  • The WordPress plugin does not allow you to add fields into the URL, so we have had to use iFrames.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve done on FormAssembly? Tweet @ me at @ melanietolomeo!