Tired of coding forms? Try this new reactive form builder library for Vue.js & Laravel
As a young and enthusiastic developer with decent startup, freelancing, and agency experience, I have worked on many custom applications. I have witnessed first-hand the amount of time, energy, effort and countless, not to mention, wasted and boring man hours it takes to create something every project needs: forms.
Forms are an essential part of every application, come in many shapes: login, registration, search, filters, checkouts, admins, etc. and are fairly complicated to create.
Here’s how it looks from a developer perspective:
A developer needs to follow every single step each time they implement a form in a project. It usually involves a ton of files, classes, and methods that need to be created. The entire process is time-consuming and can introduce quite a few bugs.
Time and again, I felt pushed into a corner, helpless and resourceless, knowing there was a better, easier and more structured way of doing this. It was like being between a rock and a hard place — working on countless projects that involved building tons of forms with the same functionality to tight deadlines however inefficiently only to avoid facing the wrath of clients and investors.
Yet no open source library was out there to help me out.
In 2017, I finally decided I had enough. I wanted to put an end to all the inconsistency and inefficiency and decided to dedicate a major part of my time to come up with a solution. With Laravel already part of the stack and finding my niche in Vue.js, I steadily started putting together an advanced form builder which I hoped would be my version of Developer Utopia. After about a year of researching, learning, coding, and writing, the first version of Laraform was born. Now it’s available for everyone.
What is Laraform?
Laraform is a full-stack library for web developers that supercharges and standardizes the entire form building process. It’s currently available for Vue.js with Laravel support, but plans are in place to go beyond that.
Laraform solves all the 8 steps of creating forms in a convenient and developer-friendly way. It offers a solution where you can create a single class that contains all details of a form, including its elements, validation rules, custom processing logic, database model, etc.
Once you create a form in a few lines of code, you will have a fully functional entity that you can easily use or even reuse on other projects:
What differentiates Laraform from existing libraries is that it offers a complete solution for both the frontend and the backend along with advanced features like nested elements, conditionals, wizards, etc. and also gives you free rein in terms of customization and extensibility.
As a developer with 13 years of experience, I believe that Laraform has a very strong value proposition. It not only saves time but also standardizes one very important and fairly complex problem of developing custom web applications.
It also means that when it comes to forms, developers now speak a common language, which translates into much more efficient collaboration and bug-free products. For companies relying on remote workforce, a large part of their projects now become outsourceable and they can always expect high-quality deliverables.
How much time does Laraform save?
To give you an idea of how much time Laraform can save you, let’s check our Shopify example here: https://laraform.io/examples#shopify.
I was able to create a multistep checkout form with numerous fields, conditionals, and custom elements like Shopify with the exact functionality solely relying on Laraform’s features in only ~400 lines of code. Based on my experience, this could’ve easily taken 10x amount of code and probably days of work, but I got it done in just a matter of hours.
Saving 90% of time easily translates into a massive competitive advantage for freelancers and agencies. It is also a huge source of increasing margins. One of the latest projects we were working on at my agency, a sort of CRM system used about 80 forms. We were able to outsource the creation of all the forms and saved 200+ hours of work using Laraform while delivering the project in almost half the time compared to our competitors. The number of form-related bugs was still the lowest compared to any other part of the project.
I was thinking a lot during the development of Laraform — whether I should make it open source or try to find a way to market it. In fact, I wasn’t really concerned about it till the point it became distribution-ready.
I have a long list of features and improvements that could make Laraform better and greater, yet one man and a sword is not enough to fight an army. It needs a proper setup with a dedicated team, bean bags, an office, coffee machine, etc.
With the recent announcement of “GitHub Sponsors,” it has become clear to me that I’m not Dr. Evil for thinking about making a living from something I enjoy doing and the world needs. Even though it’s a different setup, in order to continue dedicating time to it, I need to make it economically sustainable. I’ve found the best is to charge those who will earn probably multiple times of their investment by saving some serious work on future projects. Prices
Laraform is currently in beta and we’re looking to build a community of early adopters. We know we have a long way to go to become the world’s best form builder library and given it is the first major release not every little inch of the experience will be flawless. We are really looking forward hearing all the feedbacks and ideas developers might have so we can align them our development roadmap. As for the beta we’ve significantly decreased our prices so that more people can give it a try.
Laraform is a product of passion and dedication to create a more efficient developer world. It’s not a disruptive innovation but a milder improvement where better-organized processes and technologies lead to much greater output.
In a world where developers are scarce resources, enabling and empowering them to utilize their time and skills efficiently, effectively and smartly is the need of the hour. This is precisely what I hope to achieve with Laraform.
If all the above appeals to you, do yourself a favor and give Laraform a shot. I promise you one thing — once you start using it you’ll never want to create forms the old way again.
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