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When you need a form, what you’re really looking for is data. Liferay Portal has two applications for building forms to collect precisely the data you need:

  1. Liferay Forms: Liferay Portal’s primary form building application is for the simplest one or two question survey to the most complex, multi-page, homeowners insurance application containing rules and lists populated by a REST data provider.

  2. Dynamic Data Lists (DDL): Provides a user interface tool for building reusable form- and list-based applications intended for display on pages, using templates.

Which Form Builder Should I Use?

Liferay Forms (also referred to as Forms) is a relatively new application, first appearing in Liferay Portal version 7.0. It’s the default form builder in Liferay Portal. If you can use Liferay Forms for your use case, you should.

So the question “Which form builder should I use?” can be restated to “When should I use Dynamic Data Lists?”

  • Use Dynamic Data Lists (DDL) if you need a way for users to enter data, and you need to display the data in the user interface.

  • Use DDL if you need to style your lists and forms with templates.

  • Use DDL if there’s a field type you need that’s not included (yet) in Liferay Forms. These are the field types included in DDL that are not in Liferay Forms at the time of this writing: - Geolocation - Web Content - Documents and Media - Link to Page

It’s important to note that these (and more!) form field types will be included in future versions of the Liferay Forms application.

Liferay Forms gives you a lot of form design flexibility, whether you need a simple form or a complex form with advanced features. Form pages and form field layout tools make form layouts flexible. While these elements are enough for most forms, more features are planned for Liferay Forms, and the key features of DDL will be merged into Liferay Forms as well. Once that happens, you’ll have a single form building application, Liferay Forms. If you’re a heavy DDL user, don’t worry. Liferay is committed to preserving the core DDL features by integrating them into Liferay Forms.

When all form building features are fully merged into Liferay Forms, the best features of DDL, all the new features of Liferay Forms, and all future improvements will be in one application. Now is the time to familiarize yourself with Liferay Forms and begin using it for all your form building needs, except for the narrow use cases described above.

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