Integration with Toolset Custom Fields

By: Seeb El | Asked: 02/16/2023
ForumsCategory: How-toIntegration with Toolset Custom Fields
Seeb El asked 1 year ago
Hi community, I just bought Formidable Form plugins today because it has the views and dynamic features. I have been looking for a while for a form builder that can solve my issue that I\'m facing with the limitation of the Toolset form plugin.  My question is and hope someone from community can help me out or give me a piece of advice:  Is there in Formidable a way to map/integrate with the custom fields that I have already created using Toolset? I have already a built-in system in place and was wondering if the dynamic block can provide a one-to-one mapping with the custom fields that I have created using Toolset plugins. Is there a workaround or any non-coding solution that can solve this issue? Any feedback or piece of advice from community is highly appreciated. Best regards,    
James Reader replied 1 year ago

I am also quite new to FF, and have built a lot of things with Toolset. While FF does a lot of things very well, it has some gaps and flaws. It can edit custom fields on custom post types, but IMO the setup is pretty difficult. I think the FF team could learn a lot from the way toolset does a lot of things.

Check out this page for more info:

Seeb El replied 1 year ago

Thanks for your reply James.

(Please James submit a ticket and ask for a feature to integrate with Toolset in Formidable's upcoming updates.)

Although I'm not sure yet if I will continue using the Formidable forms after the trial period, I have submitted a ticket and asked specifically about whether Formidable can natively map/populate or integrate with the custom fields from Toolset. The answer from support was unfortunately negative. But I got from support the same link as the one you shared and they have passed my request to development for future consideration to add this feature

They also sent me the same link that you shared with me. I became more confused. In this article, it mentions the type plugin from the early days of Toolset.

Does this mean that Formidable still has some (rudimentary) sort of integration with Toolset under the hood? And for some reason this integration didn't carry on?! Toolset developed really fast in the last few years until the team has decided to stop adding features until it is clear where WordPress is headed in the future with its Block Editor development.

In any case, from my first day research and investigation, I agree with you that I feel that the learning curve is going to be steep since I'm not looking for just an ordinary form builder but I'm developing a quite specific one with repeatable fields and conditional logic and so on. I have already a working built-in system in place and I don't want throw away years of work and to start all over.

Unfortunately, Toolset From plugin is uncomplete. The Toolset plugins (Form) shows you the whole city and brings you to the outskirt of the city and drop you at highway junction. I'm sure that with Formidable you can build a stunning product that makes our work complete and worthy of presenting but before we need to get from where we are now at the highway junction to our next destination. There is the gap and flaws that you mention. The missing link.

I feel from my first research that the Toolset and Formidable have both individually the best of two worlds. Integration of Formidable with the Toolset would be IMO like combining the best of both worlds.

I have to continue my research and build something the coming the days and find out how far I can get and where to hit the limit with this.

What is your experience James? What are you trying to build? Would you mind we share our experience relating to this topic?

James Reader replied 1 year ago

---Does this mean that Formidable still has some (rudimentary) sort of integration with Toolset under the hood?

Not integration with toolset specifically, just with wordpress standard custom fields, which toolset creates and manages.

I also have a few existing systems built with wordpress, with nested views and multiple forms in single templates that each do different things to the post. I came to FF in hopes of being able to rebuild those tools or at least use FF to upgrade the forms, but have found the post creation/editing aspect of FF to be rather cumbersome. The views system of FF also needs a lot of work IMO.

---I feel from my first research that the Toolset and Formidable have both individually the best of two worlds. Integration of Formidable with the Toolset would be IMO like combining the best of both worlds.

The big hurdle I see is that toolset works with WordPress Posts/Custom Post Types, while FF has its own Entries system. Getting the two to work together could be a real pain, and might cause sprawl like what led the toolset devs to abandon their shortcode based legacy system (which was far superior to blocks IMO).

---What is your experience James? What are you trying to build? Would you mind we share our experience relating to this topic?

I am building tools for internal use at my employer. We have lots of data of various sorts that has been managed on spreadsheets and in paper files, but we are growing too big now for that to continue to be feasible, so I am using toolset to build what systems that make it easier to manage.

2 Answers
Victor Font answered 1 year ago

If toolset creates standard custom fields like ACF does or you can do manually, then you should be able to use Formidable's ACF add-on, even for Toolset fields. Custom fields in WordPress are custom fields regardless of what tool you use to create them. I suggest you try it before you decide not to use Formidable. You're not going to find a more capable product for WordPress application building than Formidable anywhere.

James Reader replied 1 year ago

Toolset is also quite capable. There are some aspect of forms that it doesn't do as well as formidable on, but toolset's views are far more robust and powerful than those in formidable. Toolset also does things like search form+view setups a lot better and easier than formidable.

Toolset also creates standard wordpress custom post types and custom fields that Formidable can work with, but I find the process of setting formidable up to create/edit posts and custom fields to be quite cumbersome.

Toolset is unfortunately on a development pause of an undetermined timeframe, which has caused its userbase to doubt that it will ever resume, and even if it does resume, nobody knows what that will look like. This is the actual reason that led me to formidable. Toolset and Formidable both have their strengths and weaknesses. For instance, I have not found a way to accept signatures in toolset forms, and doing calculations in toolset forms is also a big pain point as it requires custom php and workarounds with shortcodes. Formidable handles both of those with ease out of the box.

Seeb El answered 1 year ago
Hey Victor, Thanks for your reply and wise piece of advice Victor. I feel from your reply that there is a spot on the horizon to aim for and I have to find out how and what are the possibilities. I don't have the ACF installed and I'm setting a baby step in the world of Formidable possibilities. The reason I came to Formidable after doing a research on many Form Builders is that I run into a limitation with Toolset form building plugin. Mainly Repeatable Groups. There is no easy way to show them on the front-end. I finally managed with some customized coding to show the Repeatable Groups on the front-end but then hit the wall again. Adding multiple options (records) at once, deleting records, updating and saving the form is a pain. This makes filling the form time consuming, hard from customer experience and workflow POV and would ultimately make customer abort the process. I thought there must be a form builder that can close the gap. Searching for a suitable form builder, I ran into Formidable from a score of others. From my first experimental application that I'm trying to build here on Formidable, I can see all my custom types that I have created with Toolset even the Repeatable Groups which are the hidden Toolset post type. Now I need to find out how to be able to show those Repeatable Groups (including SELECT custom fields) on the front-end. Do you have few workable tips where to head from here? which plugins and/or tutorials or articles that advance me a mile further where I am now? Thanks in advance and much appreciated     

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