Rapid iOS app development with FormEntry

Brett Terpstra
B. Terpstra|09.19.10

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Rapid iOS app development with FormEntry

FormEntry Touch, a recent release from WidgetPress (makers of ModelBaker), makes setting up form-based systems on iPads and iPhones easier than ever. The universal app is static, in that it requires no coding; it reads forms from the application you build with FormEntry for Mac and runs on the FormEntry Server. Put it all together, and it looks like a pretty great setup for rapidly creating form-based applications that interact with a central database.

There are a lot of possibilities for something like this, across a variety of applications. You could build a menu and ordering system for a restaurant [or a wine list –Ed.], and let iDevice-toting customers place their orders at any time (or provide every table with an iPad, if you could justify the cost).

Teachers and professors could easily build quizzes and tests with the available array of form field types (we're looking at you, ACU). It has a signature field form type which allows people to use the touch screen to sign submissions, so it has legal applications as well. It even handles photo uploads, which adds myriad possibilities for inventory, real estate, and insurance applications.

FormEntry for Mac starts (for a single developer) at US$39, FormEntry Server at $79, and FormEntry Touch is a free download from the App Store. For a base price of $118, you could start rapidly developing applications and remote databases. Academic pricing drops it to $19 and $39 for FormEntry and FormEntry Server. For larger business applications, you can also get a Private Label version for $4,999 and white-label the whole setup. I'm curious to know if anyone has tried FormEntry out, and what they think. If you have, share your experience in the comments!

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