Gravity Forms v1.8 Beta 1 Released

We are extremely pleased to announce the availability of Gravity Forms v1.8 Beta 1. This release introduces a major new enhancements such as drag-n-drop Multi-File Uploads.

You will also notice UI refinements, WordPress heartbeat integration, form trash, and other enhancements.

This release will really be a treat for developers as it introduces the latest version of our Add-On Framework for developing Gravity Forms Add-Ons as well as the introduction of a complete API that allows developers to interact with a specific Gravity Forms install to add, update, delete and return Gravity Forms data. And yes, there is already developer documentation available for both!

Like Gravity Forms v1.7, we have refined and enhanced a lot of the core code within Gravity Forms in order to set things up for some very big things going forward. We'll be introducing very exciting new features, enhancements, Add-Ons and let's just say some products that are even bigger than Add-Ons but all tie into Gravity Forms. It's exciting times here at Rocketgenius and for Gravity Forms users! We've only just begun.

We will be releasing v1.8 via automatic upgrade once it has undergone beta testing to our satisfaction. Own Gravity Forms and want to take it for a spin and help us test out the new features? Grab a copy on the downloads page!

Please report any bugs or issues you may encounter to our support team and make it clear it is in reference to the Gravity Forms v1.8 Beta 1 release when doing so.

Please Note: This is a beta release and as such you should use at your own risk. We are still actively working on UI enhancements and refinements for the final public release. Gravity Forms 1.8 requires WordPress 3.7+.

Documentation for the features and functionality in Gravity Forms v1.8 is still in progress. The Gravity Forms documentation as a whole is being completely overhauled and will launch with the final release of Gravity Forms v1.8. Please be patient as we completely overhaul our documentation from the ground up. However, documentation does exist for the new Add-On Framework as well as the new API.

Here is a rundown of what you'll find in Gravity Forms v1.8...

UI Refinements

Gravity Forms v1.8 UI Refinements

We have made the decision to standardize the iconography used within Gravity Forms and all of our Add-Ons to utilize web fonts.

With Gravity Forms v1.8 we have begun this transition. You'll notice that some of the icons are extremely similar to the previous icons, others may be a little different. We will continue to refine the UI in subsequent beta releases.

We also have additional changes that we will roll out once WordPress v3.8 is released publicly and incorporates planned WordPress admin UI enhancements being introduced at that time.

Multi-File Upload

Gravity Forms Multi-File Upload

Finally, multi-file upload functionality has come to Gravity Forms!

But you didn't think we'd stop there did you? We have incorporated the same file upload functionality that WordPress utilizes. You can allow users to drag-n-drop files directly on to the field in order to upload them.

Along with being able to upload multiple files, you can set limits such as: how many files can be uploaded as well as set a file upload limit on individual files.

Please Note: The maximum upload size will default to the max file upload size setting in your PHP configuration and it's placeholder within the Field Editor will reflect this value.

WordPress Heartbeat Integration

WordPress v1.8 Heartbeat Integration

WordPress v3.6 introduced the Heartbeat API. This allows WordPress to know when multiple users are viewing or editing the same thing. It is used to prevent multiple people from trying to make changes to the same thing at the same time. We have hooked into this API and brought this functionality to Gravity Forms.

Gravity Forms will now utilize the Heartbeat API to prevent multiple users from editing: Forms, Entries, Form Settings or Gravity Forms Settings. Entries can still be viewed even if someone is editing it; however, it will let you know on the Entry Detail page that a user is editing the entry. Only the Entry Editor will not be enabled if someone else is editing the entry.

One slide difference we've made compared to WordPress is that in order to take control of editing a form, entry or settings, you must request control from the user who is already editing it. They can then approve or deny the transfer of control to you. This is very important because once control is passed, any unsaved changes will not be saved.

Form Trash

Gravity Forms v1.8 Form Trash

Entries have trash to prevent you from accidentally deleting entries, so why not Forms? Now they do!

Forms now incorporate Trash functionality so that the first step to deleting a form is to send it to Trash. It can then be restored or deleted permanently.

When a Form has been added to the Trash it will no longer appear as an available Form on the site, in form selections, etc. and it's entries will be hidden until it is either restored or deleted permanently.

Other Enhancements

Enhanced Entry Search
You can now search entries for the value of specific fields as well as use operators such as "is", "is not", "contains", etc. The operators available will depend on the field type selected.
Enhanced Entry Export
The Entry Export now allows you to apply Conditional Logic so that only the entries that meet certain criteria will be exported.
Page Confirmation Query String
When opting to redirect to a WordPress Page for the Confirmation you can now pass custom query string parameters as you can with the Redirect Confirmation.
Notification Enhancements
Notifications can now be set as active/inactive as well as duplicated.
Confirmation Enhancements
Confirmations can now be set as active/inactive as well as duplicated.
Port Category Field Hierarchy
The Post Category Field when configured to only show selected categories will now maintain the category hierarchy automatically.
Form Scheduling
Form Scheduling now allows you to display a custom message when the form cannot be displayed because the Start Date has not yet begun.
Form Sorting
The Form List page that lists all of your Forms now supports sorting on the columns so you can sort by id, name, etc.
WordPress Multi-Site
Gravity Forms now supports being installed within the MU-PLUGINS folder on WordPress Multi-Site installations.

Add-On Framework

The Add-On Framework provides basic functionality for developers when creating new add-ons for Gravity Forms. Here is some of the things it can do for Add-On developers:

  • Initialization
  • Enforcing Gravity Forms minimum version requirement
  • Creating settings pages (both add-on and form settings)
  • Creating form feeds
  • Creating results pages for Add-Ons that display results like Surveys, etc.
  • And much more...

Find out more about the Gravity Forms Add-On Framework and view it's documentation to find out more!

API

The Gravity Forms API provides developers with a future-proof way to access some of the common core functionality in Gravity Forms. There are two ways to leverage the API: API Functions in the GFAPI class or Via HTTP using the Web API. The API can be used to add, update, delete and return Gravity Forms data such as forms and entries.

As with the Add-On Framework, you can find out more about the brand new Gravity Forms API and view it's documentation to find out more!

These are the major features and enhancements made in this release. There are other enhancements, new hooks etc. but they are simply too numerous to cover in this post. For a complete rundown of all of the updates, enhancements, bug fixes, etc. you can check out the complete changelog file within the beta release zip file. Enjoy!

Don't own Gravity Forms yet? What are you waiting for?! Purchase a copy today!
24 Responses to "Gravity Forms v1.8 Beta 1 Released"
  1. LakeForest says:

    Is there any time-frame for when Custom Post Type support is going to be added to Gravity Forms? I know you guys don't think it's important for some reason, but every project I'm working on nowdays is using custom post types.

    I would rather stay with Gravity Forms than have to switch to using another forms plugin. But I need an approximate time-frame. I don't want to use a third party plugin either.

    Thanks

  2. jr00ck says:

    The Heartbeat API was introduced in WP 3.6! So the minimum requirements for GF 1.8 might actually be 3.6, not 3.7. Might want to double-check that ;)

    Real excited about this upcoming release and what the future holds for Gravity Forms. Great work guys!

  3. Carl Hancock says:

    Just because a feature is not currently in Gravity Forms does not mean it's something that we don't feel is important. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Adding features is easy. We could quickly throw in a drop down to select the custom post type on the Post Title or Post Body fields, but then that impacts things such as what taxonomies that Custom Post Type may utilize which means it needs to dynamically impact the other Post Fields and what they can and can't do, etc. So on the surface it sounds simple, and we could do it quick and dirty... but that isn't what we're about. We create solutions, not features. We manage Gravity Forms like a true software product, which it is, rather than simply a "plugin".

    Custom Post Type support has not been added because we won't simply be added support to select the post type when using the Post Fields. It will be implemented as part of a complete overhaul of the WordPress content creation capabilities of Gravity Forms itself. The overhaul we have planned will go beyond just custom post type creation. In fact, the Post Fields themselves will be deprecated and no longer be used (although existing forms that utilize them will not be effected).

    This major feature enhancement is scheduled to be included in the Gravity Forms v1.9 release. Any timeframe I give you at this point would be pure guess work. I'd say the first quarter of next year. Gravity Forms v1.8 is just now hitting beta, once it has been publicly released and comes out of beta then we'll begin work on Gravity Forms v1.9.

  4. Carl Hancock says:

    Thanks for pointing that out, I have updated the blog post. The minimum requirement change to v3.7 wasn't just for the Heartbeat API, although it was noted as such. But the minimum requirement will be WordPress v3.7 as it stands now. That may change by the time the final release is pushed out via automatic update.

  5. chrismccoy says:

    does this mean we can create a front end post submission with multiple images so it uses the gallery, instead of 1 image at a time?

  6. Carl Hancock says:

    If you are referring to the Multi-File Upload Field enhancements, those are strictly for the File Upload field. They don't apply to the Post Image field. However, the comment where I mentioned about the complete post creation overhaul that we will be doing... that will incorporate what you have described.

  7. LakeForest says:

    Thanks for the reply Carl. However I disagree that Custom Post Type support is a "feature". They are integral aspects of WordPress and have been for several years. Being able to submit to a Custom Post Type from a form in many cases is a necessity for a project, not something nice to have like a feature. If my data is stored in a Custom Post Type then Gravity Forms provides me with no solution at all. I can't use it, even if it has a nice feature like supporting the Heartbeat API.

    IMO the Heartbeat API is a feature. Not that it's not important to have in some projects, but not having it won't prevent me from using Gravity Forms for the project.

    Anyhow, I will just use Formidable until you guys get it implemented.

  8. Carl Hancock says:

    I appreciate your stance and understand where you are coming from. I can respect that and understand you have to what you have to do.

    Technically Custom Post Types are a "feature" and a developer centric feature at that. Out of the box WordPress has Posts and it has Pages. It doesn't have a UI for managing or creating custom post types, taxonomies, etc. Custom Post Types are a feature that grew out of how the post data was architected. They are something that the majority of our users don't actually use. Or if they do use them, they don't even realize they are using them. For example WooCommerce uses them, but it's not necessarily apparent because they aren't referred to as posts anywhere within the WooCommerce UI.

    Because they are a more developer centric feature of WordPress, in so much they have to be implemented using hooks/filters or another WordPress plugin, Gravity Forms can already create custom post types via similar methods. Hooks, filters and there was a 3rd party Add-On that provided this functionality but I've since heard its developer isn't updating it. But either way the hooks and filters are there to do it, it's completely possible and simple to do. Typically users who are savvy enough to know what custom post types are are savvy enough to implement a few lines of code, which is all it takes, to create the post as a custom post type. Our support team will gladly provide you with the code snippet to do so.

    If all we wanted to provide was the ability to create a custom post type, we'd just slap in a drop down to select it. But we don't just slap things in. Nor are we concerned what competitor X or Y is doing. We know where we're going and what we're doing and we focus on our product and what is going to make it the very best right now and long into the future. We're developing a software product and our goal is to provide solutions NOT features.

    You have to keep in mind we have an extremely large user base, so what may be important to you is not necessarily important to another. That doesn't mean Custom Post Types aren't important, as I already mentioned they are most certainly going to be added, however it does mean there are things from a user base and business stand point that are more important.

    The fact that there isn't an actively supported 3rd party add-on to provide custom post type support out there for Gravity Forms should tell you what kind of user demand there is out there because there are a TON of 3rd party Add-On's for Gravity Forms that are actively being supported and developed by WordPress developers. Search WordPress.org's plugin repository for Gravity Forms and you'll see. Yes that existing Add-On was fairly popular with users that needed the functionality, but also keep in mind that "downloads != installs" on the WordPress.org repo where it shows downloads. So overall the demand hasn't been nearly as large as it has been for other features we have focused on.

    Does that mean we don't care about Custom Post Types? Absolutely not. Nothing could be further from the truth. It simply means we aren't going to just slap together a quick option to pick the post type because we have much bigger plans than that for WordPress content creation. We will be implementing a solution that provides WordPress content creation which will be a complete overhaul to how Posts are created and it is going to be an extremely powerful tool to create all kinds of WordPress content from a form submission.

    And while you may not think something like the Heartbeat API is important, the many businesses that rely on our product as a core part of their web site and have multiple users operating within their administrative tool certainly will when it prevents form changes from being overwritten, entry data from being overwritten, etc. Heartbeat functionality was something we had planned on implementing a long time ago and held off once we heard WordPress would be implementing it so that we could leverage the core functionality. Our core market is business users so security features such as this are very important.

    What we've done with the Add-On Framework and the API is going to have a much bigger impact on Gravity Forms going forward and those are actually the key changes being introduced that are setting Gravity Forms up for some incredible things we have planned. Gravity Forms v1.9 will have much more user facing features. Including far more advanced WordPress content creation.

    The Add-On Framework and API also mean 3rd party developers will now have an incredible toolset at their disposal to help them create amazing Gravity Forms creations.

    Custom post type creation is on its way. But what we'll be implementing is going to do more than just custom post type creation.

  9. harryward says:

    Sorry if this was mentioned in the above string but wanted to let you know it's currently possible (not sure if offers all the capablities you are looking for but it works for me)

    To have custom post types created via gravity form submissions, and also the opportunity to pre-populate and set taxonomies via the custom post types plugin

    a. download and install this plugin http://wordpress.org/plugins/custom-post-type-ui/screenshots/

    b. set up custom post types within the plugin

    c. create a gravity form with title and post fields

    d. in either the body or title 'advanced' settings it will say 'save as custom post type?' then when you hit 'yes' it will allow you to select from the post types you've created

    PS - Carl the API is a gamechanger, Thank You
    Harry

  10. Idealien says:

    Thank you SO much for outlining your plans for the 1.9 roadmap and content creation! Between what 1.8 offers, that plan, and the amazing things that ACF have been doing the process of site development continues to get easier every day!

    Regarding the "downloads != installs" on the WordPress.org repo where it shows downloads" works both ways. I've downloaded it once and used it on almost every website I develop.

  11. tomierna says:

    Is it normal for my dev key to not validate in 1.8b1?

  12. Majko says:

    will be added and some better interface repeater?

  13. Miramedia says:

    Is there a reason why your support request form doesn't pre-populate with details from the logged in account?

  14. gaylon says:

    Hi Carl,

    Does Gravity Forms allow for similar layout & styling options? (see link) http://youtu.be/I_gDnXW1eSc

    If not, is there a plugin on WordPress.org's plugin repository for Gravity Forms that can do something similar?

    Thank you,
    Gaylon

  15. Carl Hancock says:

    Currently there is not. We prefer that your WordPress theme drive the styling of the form and Gravity Forms is designed in such a way that it looks nice out of the box with most themes that are created using well formatted and well thought out CSS. We don't think the form should look drastically different from the rest of your site. There are also a lot of theme developers that actually include Gravity Forms styles within their theme CSS to style the forms.

    However, it is something we have considered doing and I know i've been approached by at least two different 3rd party developers who are interested in creating 3rd party Add-Ons to do this. It's entirely possible to create an Add-On that does this. The Gravity Forms markup is documented, and a similar layout editor could certainly be created that then enqueues it's custom CSS to override base styles. After Gravity Forms v1.8 is released publicly and with the introduction of the Add-On Framework and the API it's going to make it much easier for 3rd party developers to create things like this.

  16. Carl Hancock says:

    We do pre-populate and include some information such as the license key, and the license key owner information. However, we have some companies where multiple people access the support site and interact with us. So we leave the contact fields unpopulated so that in those situations we interact with the correct person within the organization that is requesting support. That is currently why we do it this way. Although we may revise this in the future.

  17. Carl Hancock says:

    A repeater, or the ability to group fields and have them repeat is a feature that is on our roadmap. It's a pretty complicated feature with how Gravity Forms works right now. But it is something that we plan on tackling. But it won't be in the v1.8 release. The v1.8 release is basically feature complete. All we are working on now is testing, bug fixing and UI refinements.

  18. Carl Hancock says:

    No, it is not normal for your Developer Key to not validate within the beta release. It should behave as it usually does. Do me a favor and send me an email directly at my carl at rocketgenius dot com email address and provide me with additional details and we can see what is going on as this isn't something that has been reported. The 1.8 release does implement changes to how Gravity Forms interacts with our licensing system, so we would want to investigate this.

  19. Carl Hancock says:

    No problem. We are very excited about 1.8, 1.9 and even 2.0 and beyond which we have an internal roadmap for. And that's just with the core Gravity Forms plugin. We have plans for even more exciting things on the Add-On side of things. The future for Gravity Forms is extremely bright! And yes, the downloads does work both ways. It's a flawed metric as far as WordPress.org plugins go.

  20. Carl Hancock says:

    Currently Gravity Forms only creates standard Posts out of the box. HOWEVER it's extremely simple to tell it to create a custom post type using available hooks, it's a very small code snippet you'd place in either your themes functions.php file or by creating your own little custom plugin. It's not difficult to do. It's not currently a built in feature for reasons I won't get to here, suffice to say it's on our roadmap for the 1.9 release and it's going to do far more than just custom post types. We have big things planned as far as WordPress content creation goes.

  21. gaylon says:

    Hi Carl,

    I understand your position and I am excited for the future of Gravity Forms. My most needed layout is to be able to have 4 columns on the same row. Is there any documentation (maybe a link) on how to do this? If not, I do understand.

    Thank you again!
    Gaylon

  22. Carl Hancock says:

    We have built in CSS classes for doing 2 and 3 column layouts and the same CSS can easily be repurposed to do 4 columns. It's all CSS. Here's a link to the existing CSS Ready Classes: http://www.gravityhelp.com/documentation/page/CSS_Ready_Classes

    Email me directly at carl at rocketgenius dot com and i'll be glad to assist you in how to accomplish 4 columns by repurposing the CSS associated with the 2 and 3 column layout classes we provide. It's real simple.

  23. gaylon says:

    Thank you very much Carl! The link above is what I was looking for. I will email you if I have any additional questions regarding working with columns.

  24. Carl Hancock says:

    No problem, just email me as I mentioned and we'll be glad to assist you in expanding upon what that does to do additional columns.