Forms getting corrupted

By: Shawn Pery | Asked: 03/08/2023
ForumsCategory: General questionsForms getting corrupted
Shawn Pery asked 1 year ago

I have a really strange issue I have never seen before. Per FF support, "When I exported your form into XML, I discovered the form is corrupt (The parent IDs assigned to the repeating fields when exported is not the ID of the main form). I was able to fix (Choose Entree and Add a Beverage?) but Total and Customer Details still appear inside a repeater in the form, but with no repeater attached in XML. I am not sure how this happened, maybe (during a database update or while re-importing an existing form)."   This is now happening on other forms as well. We have not updated the database or reimported any existing form. The only thing that was updated was the plugin on March 4. This is a huge problem with forms that have complex views/actions associated with them. Has anyone experienced this before? Form XML file attached. Thank you in advance. Shawn

Victor Font replied 1 year ago

Hey Shawn, take it easy a second. We're a community volunteer support forum. We are not connected to Strategy 11 support in any way. I feel like we're jumping into the middle of the conversation and have no idea what the conversation is about. Let me see if I can summarize what I think you're saying.

By "Per FF support", I assume this is the response you received from Strategy 11 support for a help desk request of some sort. I have no idea how you're system is designed, so have no clue what "Entree and Add a Beverage" or "Total and Customer Details" are, but can assume they relate to the hospitality industry. The root cause of the problem seems to center on the import and export of entries in XML, specifically as they pertain to repeaters.

If all this is true, I'm not sure how we can help you if no one else has experienced it or have written about it in this forum. There are so many factors that need to go into troubleshooting this for a problem only you have brought up so far suggests environment rather than bug in Formidable, but then again. I don't know how many of us use the import/export tools, either.

Whatever the case, it's a lot of troubleshooting. Would you answer some diagnostic questions that could possibly point a volunteer in the right direction of research?

How long has this problem been going on?
When did you notice it first to start?
Are you on the latest versions of Formidable and all plugins?
What PHP version are you on?
Are all of your WordPress and plugins up to date?
Have you cleared each and every cache, op-cache, and any other cache you can find, including the browser?

You should probably check if the database is corrupt or even too old maybe? By too old, I mean if you have a mix of storage engines or character set and collation mismatches, it can create havoc with how the database sorts its data. We just ran into this with a client that was on their original WordPress database built in 2008. We needed to rebuild the database from scratch. The original wp_posts table had the original post_password field with a length of 20. The current length, for a very long time, is 255. Let us know how you make out.

Shawn Pery replied 1 year ago

Hi Victor, thank you for your response. I understand this is a community forum, so I don't expect any volunteer to get too deep into troubleshooting. The issue I am having is the form shows a repeater in the backend (builder), but doesn't display the repeater in the front end. Nothing has been imported or exported, except the form XML after it broke. That's what was attached, along with the response from FF support, telling me that the form is corrupt. My question was more to try and see if anyone has experienced a corrupt form, to see if this is caused by the plugin or by the environment.

1 Answers
Shawn Pery answered 1 year ago
Can't tell if the XML is attached...
Victor Font replied 1 year ago

The XML files are not attached. I've seen issues with XML/JSON files because of hidden characters stored with the data, which were resolved by adjusting the character set and collations in the database then rebuilding the indexes using Analyze Tables. Have to run your file through a lint to see if it can determine the source of corruption? Visual Studio Code does a good job with XML/JSON formatting. It's our go to development tool for XML/JSON because of its accuracy flagging errors in real time.

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