Technical Overview

  • Formbird is built on the latest cloud-native technologies.

  • Built for non developers, appreciated by developers.

  • Taking full advantage of the modern component based model.

  • Highly scalable, and flexible document based databases.

  • Easy integration via RESTful API’s.

Delivering the future today.

Technical features that make Formbird fly

 

Rapid Development

Forms are easily created using Formbird “Templates”. On each template you place components. A range of standard component come with the platform. You can develop your own components, enhance standard components or buy advanced components from the App Store.

 

 

 

Responsive & Progressive Design

Formbird takes full advantage of progressive and response design. Delivering a beautiful and modern material design UI. You build your form once and it instantly works on your phone, tablet and desktop. Adding to the speed of development.

 

 

 

Offline Capable

A Formbird App can operate offline. By configuring Formbird keys to be assigned to the  data required by an individual user, a subset of data will be cached offline. The platform will auto synchronize when you come back online. Add replication to the mix and you can distribute the entire server.

 

 

Add JavaScript

Add JavaScript to 3 client events – On Load, Field Change, Pre-Save Client side. Add 3 server events, Pre-Save, Post Save and timed events. You can fully leverage 3rd party libraries, html and css without restriction. Fully customising your very own Formbird environment.

 

 

 

Reporting

Leverage components or 3rd party reporting tools. 3rd Party Reporting tools can be fully integrated into your Formbird application. Development of components that present data the way you want. Formbird provides the freedom for you to do it your way.

 

 

 

Keys

Formbird provides unprecedented capacity to “share” data and applications with your customers, suppliers and employees. Apply “keys” against any single record. A Formbird user has one or more “keys” attached to their account, this cross match determines access to data and functionality. Providing a powerful and easy way to share data and applications with anyone.

 

IoT and M2M

The ability to consume large amounts of data, analyse it and incorporate it into every day operations is unprecedented leveraging the power of Formbird and it’s underline technologies. AI analysis of the data can lead to business transformational solutions. The ability to support a distributed and offline solution, makes Formbird the ideal platform for all your IoT and M2M requirements.

 

Data Lake  / Big Data / Data Warehouse

The core capabilities of the databases Elasticsearch, MongoDB and Couchbase, combined with the many 3rd party reporting and AI tools, provides the ideal environment to support an integrated big data environment. Big data without a front end is just a database, place Formbird over the top of your big data and you’re now interacting with it.

 

 

Geospatial Data

Incorporate geospatial and graphical data into your applications. Whether it’s simply looking up an address, or presenting assets on a map, points of interest or a moving vehicle. Leveraging geospatial data and integrating into everyday applications is made easy. Combined with BIG Data, IoT and Analytics. Formbird is the ideal platform for that next big project.

 

 

Version Control

An inherent capability of Formbird is that NO data is ever lost. The complete history of all updates are maintained, you can then leverage this history for audit, recovery and integrations. Maintaining that critical history, required for security, audit, and integrations. 

 

 

Genius 

A developer can leverage the internal Rete engine or a 3rd party constraint or machine learning AI engines. Combined with Big Data and IoT, Formbird delivers a powerful package that can turn volumes of data into good decision making and automated business processes.

 

 

Provision and Scale

The fundamental architecture of Formbird provides you with the ideal base to take full advantage of the evolution of horizontal scalability and the server-less world. Combined with Formbird’s own replication services, real time data distribution delivers salability, security and performance, anywhere.

SaaS Application

Formbird provides all the essentials for you to build, host and sell your own online SaaS application. Additionally, with the agility of Formbird, you can customize your app to meet the specific customer’s need. The lack of flexibility with traditional “SaaS” applications has lead to massively bloated “Fat” applications that end up not meeting anyone’s needs. Formbird offers any combination of fixed design multi-tenanted, to off-the-shelf with rapid customization

Today Formbird has a number of customers leveraging this unique capability with 100’s of users on each application. 

You could leverage Formbird as your backend and still provide a unique mobile frontend, leveraging IOS and Android native development tools in conjunction with Formbird’s RESTful API’s.

Once you have built your application, we invite you to sell it on the Formbird Store.

 

Enterprise Applications

Every business is unique, the requirements for data and processing is unique to your business. In order to truly digitally enable a business, the applications that support the key functions of your business need be equally unique. It is therefore impossible for an off the shelf SaaS solution to meet those specific needs. 

How can an application developed for one industry support that of another? Formbird bridges that gap, with the ability to purchase an off the shelf solution that provides a significant framework to incorporate the elements that make your business unique. 

The ability to integrate is quick and easy. The complete version history, integration services and RESTful web services make it a breeze to integrate data in and out of Formbird.

Formbird’s unique ability to start small, and rapid development by your very own staff makes it the perfect tool for building Enterprise grade applications at NO RISK.

Learn how Formbird is saving enterprises $m of dollars, by avoiding bloated, over budgeted projects from those marketing centric technology companies.

Filling the gaps, start small

Formbird is great at filling the gap. Maybe your organisation requires some additional functionality, maybe it’s around sharing your enterprise data with customers, or suppliers interacting directly with you. The architecture and function allows you to start small, evolve and grow. It could be a small application that fills a very small need today, add an App from the Store and let YOUR solution grow.

So many businesses still operate on Excel, Word and Email. This leads to poor access, sharing and retention of corporate knowledge. By moving it into Formbird instantly provides access, security and retention to this valuable data.

Combining the core capabilities, of rapid development, data sharing, and mobile Formbird is the ideal platform to “fill the gaps”.

Going Mobile and Remote

The core capability of being a responsive and progressive designed platform. Enables the single form to work across all devices instantly. As the application is all stored within the database, any updates to the forms are instantly represented on the user’s mobile application. 

To further support the mobile user, Formbird offers full offline capabilities. An application can be built to distribute subsets of data ready for offline access.

In addition to the offline capability Formbird supports data distribution in a multiserver environment. Enabling a local and cloud hybrid solutions, geo-location of data, and support of low bandwidth or occasionally connected applications.

Whether it’s a cell phone out of range, data off the back of a tractor, or a remote location with very bad or slow internet connection. Formbird can make it easy.

Internet of Things (IoT) / Machine to Machine (M2M)

IoT (Internet of Things) and M2M (Machine to Machine) are key to many businesses’ future. Not only do we need data created by humans, we can now source data from machines that can provide critical information to improve our decision making. Augmenting both human and machine data into an integrated process is the key to Formbird’s power with IoT. 

IoT data can be received, processed into “business data” and presented or used to trigger business events. For example, the simple knowledge that a vehicle has commenced moving, may trigger all sorts of business decisions. Or if a vehicle enters a location at the wrong time, to trigger an alarm or business process.

You might be running a farm, and require weather data to be combined with productivity data, to make better decisions of the productivity of your paddocks. 

More and more we will see machines providing valuable data that can help humans make more informed and faster decisions without the need for manual data entry.

AI, Machine Learning and Data Warehousing

The structure of the Key Value databases used with Formbird, and their inherent nature of scalling combined with the ability to consume IoT data, makes Formbird the ideal platform to consume enormous volume of data of different structures to then be analyzed in various ways. Be it simple reporting, constraint based problem solving or real-time statistical trend analysis by AI engines. Or feeding a deep learning engine. Formbird provides the ideal UI to present and manage that information.

With the front end’s ability to connect to multiple backend data sources, each dimensioned and managed differently. Be it transient data, or critical data to be maintained forever.

The natural capability of the NoSQL / Document Database and emerging tools that leverage the very power of mixing many sources of data to be then cross analyzed and correlated is simply not achievable with existing SQL tools.

Formbird makes the perfect front end and backend to bring the variety of data sources together under the one environment, to slice, dice and workflow decisions throughout the business. Combined with Formbirds flexibility delivers truly transformational solutions.

High Productivity with Full Control

Historically “Rapid Application Development” has meant controlling the developer and “dumbing down” the capacity of the developer to fully leverage an environment. 

With careful design and consideration, Formbird ensures that even though anyone can develop a basic forms app, that a developer is then NOT restricted to the “formbird” context. Quite the opposite, a Formbird developer can fully leverage the browser, 3rd party libraries, construct their own components.

Formbird has been developed on Formbird and you have the same access to the technology, truly providing unlimited options. This principle of everything being an “application” is at the heart of Formbird. The Formbird tools used to build applications is a Formbird application and components in themselves. Therefore a developer can even develop their own development tools to help or enhance the development environmet. ie. Formbird was developed on Formbird, and you to can extend and enhance the tools.

Simplicity is at the heart of all good design

Great technology is based on simplicity. A key to simplicity is to minimize the number of and types of technologies used. Leveraging the power and success of JavaScript, NodeJS and JSON is at the heart. 

By knowing the stucture of JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) and JavaScript (the worlds most popular language today), a developer has full control of Formbird. Therefore finding skilled resources that can make Formbird fly is easy.

 

Data can flow externally via RESTful web services which are JSON based, into databases that maintain their data in JSON. A developer can extend the capabilities of a Formbird application that is based on JavaScript. 

Browsers and 3rd Party Libraries are all based on JavaScript, therefore it all “just works”. 

With the added advantage that if for some reason you wish to leverage your development outside of Formbird the same code is transportable into other JavaScript based frameworks. 

A fundamental premise at Formbird is that, it must be easy and it must provide freedom at all levels.

Apps are contained 100% within the database; separation of framework and app

When developing an App on Formbird, your entire App (and the development environment) are stored within the underlying database. 

The power of this is numerous. Firstly, stability of an application and environment. A complex environment with code from many developers can lead to unstable, slow and buggy software. With Formbirds architecture this is avoided. Providing the perfect atomic or object oriented nature. 

Another key aspect is portability, an application is portable and easily moved. By simply “exporting” the data to a file the entire app, plus any data your application depends on, can be easily moved and infact integrated into another Formbird environment. 

The separation of “core” and “application” provides the unique capability that as Formbird upgrades and moves with the evolution of the underlying technologies your applications continues to operate with little or no change. Yet your Formbird components can still take advantage of 3rd party libraries uploaded to the server with other files.

A further advantage we have been able to implement is what we at Formbird term “hot upgrades”. As Formbird applications are totally stored within the database, upgrades can be staged in a very unique way limiting outages to minutes not hours, and with a very powerful capability to roll back without data loss and again within minutes.

Generic RESTful Webservices

Without a single line of code, anyone can create a RESTful web service, in fact as soon as you create a form and put data into Formbird. That data is accessible via RESTful webservices.

The data access is limited based on the Formbird “keys”, therefore within minutes the same data can be shared to external organisations or integration services.

The Formbird webservices provide CRUD (Create, Read, Update and Delete) services, allowing you to create, read, update and delete data. As well as create and read uploaded files – like photo’s, attachments etc.

These same webservices can then be used to integrate with an ESB (Enterprise Service Bus) to provide “on premise” integration to insecure data sources such as SQL based databases.

Leverage either on premise ESB data services or cloud based services. To further, collect, authenticate or distribute data. Today we not only need data from may sources, we also need to distribute and integrate that data. 

The Formbird server side rules that are defined against a Formbird form are triggered with any data changes via the Webservices, further simplifying development. Business logic for the frontend is automatically applied to the integration layer.

Formbird’s integration is not only powerful, we again make it easy, yet powerful. Simplifying the development of complex, integrated solutions.

Let everyone be part of the design

The heart of the power of Formbird is to fully leverage the skills of the individual. Provide freedom to the Business Person to design their own application and the developer to make it sing.

With a couple of hours of hours of playing anyone who can use a spreadsheet can be building Formbird forms.

The difference is that even though the basic form may only take a few minutes to build. That, this same form, can then grow into an enterprise solution, with advanced logic and data presentation, evolving and growing over time.

This capability is further extended with Formbird’s unique capability to be able to then combine the other building blocks of components and modules. 

A component may be developed or purchased from the Formbird store, a Module which is a small application integrated into your own application or a purchased application.

This ability to extend and easily customize let’s you build a solution that is a true representation of the way you and your organization operates. Without this capability, you will continue to live in a world defined by others that simply do not meet your needs, or spending large amounts on “customization”.  

To improve productivity, the quality of your products and services demands that you meet these digital challenges. Formbird is a technology that can transform your operations and then continue to grow and evolve as your organization evolves.