Stanford Web Forms Service Frequently Asked Questions

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This page contains answers to frequently asked questions about the Stanford Web Forms Service.


How can I get help?

If your question is not answered here, feel free to:

How many forms am I allowed to create and/or manage?

By default, you get 25 forms. But that's a limit we put into place just to prevent abuse (say, if someone gets hold of your SUNetID and password and automatically tries to create hundreds of forms). We want you to use the service, so if you need your limit raised, let us know and we'll do it.

How do I protect a form using Webauth?

You can protect a form using Webauth in the same way you'd protect a regular file; by creating an .htaccess file. Here's an example .htaccess file that protects just one form called "myform.fb" and allows only Stanford users to see it:

<Files "myform.fb">
AuthType WebAuth
require privgroup stanford:stanford

Who can use the service?

Anyone with a full service SUNetID should be able to use the Web Forms Service to create forms. If you believe you should be able to use the service but can't, please let us know by submitting a HelpSU ticket.

Can I edit a form I didn't create? I'm the admin for that group/department and I should have access.

When you publish a form at a particular URL, even though the Web Forms Service doesn't actually create a file in the corresponding AFS directory, it still checks the permissions in that directory to see if you are allowed to publish files there. That's to prevent unauthorized publishing in your web space.

Conversely, if you know a form has been published at a particular URL which corresponds to an AFS directory for which you are an admin, you can use the Form Builder interface to add that form to the list of forms you manage. Look at the bottom of the Form Management interface for the place where you can enter the URL of the form you want to manage.

For example, suppose you are one of the admins of /afs/ir/dept/foo and one of your colleagues has created a form published at: If you have admin rights to /afs/ir/dept/foo/WWW/forms you'll be able to enter the URL of the form in the Form Management screen, click "Add" and the form will be added to your forms as well.

Can I allow others to edit forms I've created?

Yes. Make sure they are admins in the AFS space that corresponds to the URL for your form, and then have them follow the directions in the answer above.

How can I embed my form into another page?

The best way we've found to do this is to use inline frames.

<iframe src ="" width="100%" height="300"></iframe>

You can adjust the height to make sure the form fits, or use javascript [sample code coming] to size the iframe dynamically.

To provide for a more seamless integration into your web site's design, you can choose the "iframe" style under the Publishing Tab. This will strip the background color, the red bar at the top and use a more standard font.

Why are the database IDs of all entries odd (1,3,5,7...)?

It's because the two database servers used by the server are being replicated. The first creates new records and interacts with the forms and gives new submissions odd-numbered IDs. The second replicates the data from the first and is ready to take over should the first server fail. If the second server takes over, it'll start creating new records with IDs consisting of even numbers so as not to overwrite the records created by the first server. More technical information is available from the MySQL manual.

How do I use the forms service with a vanity URL?

You run a site at and want to provide the form at, but the Publishing portion of the form builder specifies you need to enter a URL starting with

The trick here is to know where the vanity URL points to. After that it's quite easy.

Suppose your website is reachable at, but the files for it really reside under /dept/foo/. Instead of entering as the URL for your form, use the address. In this case,

Your visitors will still be able to reach the form using and you'll be able to use that URL in links.

How do I download my submissions in Excel?

From the Form Management screen, find the form whose submissions you want by looking in the "Name" column. Once you find the form, look to the right under the "Entries" column. If there have been entries into the database, there should be a link with text such as "23 entries". Click that link and you'll be brought to the Data Viewer. From there you'll be able to download your data in CSV or Excel format.

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