Adobe releases FormsCentral

This post is more than 2 years old.

Interesting news out of Adobe today with the announcement of FormsCentral, an online form processing service. Adobe has been making a few moves in the SaaS space the last year or so and this seems like a natural fit. I spent a little bit of time looking at the service and its... interesting. What follows are some thoughts based on my quick look.

  1. The pricing seems decent. Their free plan gives you one form and 50 responses. Wufoo gives you more forms (3), 100 responses, but limits your questions. In both cases I think it's a bit silly. Restrict a hobbyist to one form at a time, but let them have unlimited resposes. 50 responses is just not enough unless you really just want to test. I think both services could offer a stripped down version with a very limited "live" survey (I should be able to have any number of old surveys I can't use again) to get me properly hooked enough to upgrade. Of course, the real winner here is Google Docs. No limits exist there at all.

  2. Of course, where FormsCentral and Wufoo beat the pants off of Google is in design. I'm not surprised FormsCentral looks sexy as hell since it comes from a company with a bit of design experience. I found the form editing UI to be slick and easy enough to quickly build a simple form. It's worth signing up for to check it out. Very well done. Adobe also built quite a few templates for those of us who are - um - design challenged.

  3. Probably the biggest deal breaker, and where Wufoo and Google both win, is that I don't think you can embed FormsCentral forms inside your own pages. Apparently you can design the heck out of the forms (I didn't push that part of the editor far), but you can't actually run it inside an iframe on your own domain. That by itself may make people go to Wufoo instead.

  4. Export options include PDF, Excel, and CSV. Both worked quickly and easily (although my test form had just 2 responses). Surprisingly you can't get email notifications of survey responses. That's something both Wufoo and Google offer (actually not 100% sure about Google) and would be useful for folks. The FormsCentral site itself will automatically update with new responses, but I'd rather get something in email. I also asked about an API but I don't know the answer to that yet.

Finally - if anyone wants to try the simple form I created - follow this link: Unfortunately it's going to close pretty quickly so you better hurry. Note - one of the questions has escaped HTML. That's not a bug. It was me seeing what would happen if I included HTML on purpose.

Raymond Camden's Picture

About Raymond Camden

Raymond is a senior developer evangelist for Adobe. He focuses on document services, JavaScript, and enterprise cat demos. If you like this article, please consider visiting my Amazon Wishlist or donating via PayPal to show your support. You can even buy me a coffee!

Lafayette, LA

Archived Comments

Comment 1 by todd sharp posted on 2/15/2011 at 12:03 AM

It's not idea, but technically you can do this:

<iframe src="https://adobeformscentral.c..." style="width: 720px; height: 600px;"></iframe>

I'm sure they'll expose a way to embed them soon enough.

Comment 2 by Raymond Camden posted on 2/15/2011 at 12:05 AM

I bet they will too - just surprised they didn't launch with it.

Comment 3 by Phil posted on 2/15/2011 at 12:32 AM

I'm actually surprised they launched with cost. I'm guessing the extra steps and styling is what is driving that. I'll have to run through a test to see how much better this is than Google Forms.

Comment 4 by manithan posted on 2/19/2011 at 9:30 AM

looks like they are using .NET.

here is one of the URL. https://formscentral.acroba...
which doesn't mean anything. just curious why do they have that link

Comment 5 by manithan posted on 2/19/2011 at 9:31 AM

i meant .NET url on the page. if you view source you would see that link

Comment 6 by Brad Sevening posted on 7/12/2011 at 4:22 PM

I looked at this and like most form builders it looked like a one column layout. Of course I didn't take a real close look because I have my own Form Manager which can do multiple column layouts if you use divs. But the default template uses tables.
Built using ColdFusion, Coldbox and jQuery of course.