Whenever we discuss the wonders of *forms, we are usually focused on the back-end — the hundreds of Tasks available to deliver your *form data to a plethora of target destinations. But equally impressive is the number of different ways you can get your data into a *form so that you can send it on its way. Here’s a quick recap for those of you who are unfamiliar with the various ways in which you can populate a *form with your own data:
- Manual Entry – The simplest way to get data into a *form is to pull up the *form entry screen in a browser and fill it out using your mouse and keyboard. Filling out a *form the good, old-fashioned way might be the most straightforward way to get to all of those waiting back-end Tasks, but it’s certainly not the only way to get the job done.
- *form Loader: ST – The simplest of the bookmarklet *form Loaders, the *form Loader: ST uses the text that you have selected on any web page to populate a Text *form. Once you have installed the *form Loader: ST on your browser (by dragging it up to your browser’s bookmarklet tool bar), you simply select the text that you want, click on the bookmarklet and you are taken to a Text *form that has been filled out using your selected text.
- *form Loader: BM – The bookmarking *form Loader is another bookmarklet *form Loader, but this one grabs the title, URL, description, and keywords of the current web page loaded into your browser and uses that data to populate a Link *form.
- *form Loader: MF – The most sophisticated of the bookmarklet *form Loaders, the *form Loader: MF searches for Microformats on the current page, and then uses the data defined in those Microformats to populate a *form of the appropriate type based on the Microformat.
- *form Loader: BB – The “Splat This” button allows publishers to provide visitors to their site an easy method to populate a Link *form with details about the site or content that they are viewing. When a user clicks on the Splat This button, they are taken to their splatforms.com account to a Link *form that is prepopulated with the data about the content as specified by the publisher.
- *form Loader: WP – The WordPress plugin of *form Loaders allows blog owners to automatically submit a *form of their chosen type every time they publish a blog entry. Once they have the plugin installed and activated on their blog, the submission of the *form is an automated process that occurs every time they publish a new entry. (more)
- *form Loader: API – And if all of the above is not enough ways to fill out your *forms, there is an extensible API that allows anyone to develop any kind of *form Loader that they can think of, pulling data from any source that they can imagine. The *form Loader: API supports two distinctly different modes: Unattended and Interactive. In unattended mode, the *form is populated and then silently submitted without user intervention. In interactive mode, the user is taken to their splatforms.com account with a *form of the specified type filled out using the data provided. The user can then review, and optionally modify the data, as well as modify the list of Tasks to be executed before submitting the *form themselves.
That’s a quick overview of the *form Loaders that are currently available at today’s splatforms.com. To learn more, log on to splatforms.com and check things out for yourself. If you do not already have a free splatforms.com account, it’s fast and easy to sign up. Then you can really see what you can do with a *form!