Owning Backwards Incompatibility with THREE

Many of you may have already heard some of the buzz being generated around our future release of Ninja Forms THREE. Ninja forms 3.0 represents a completely new form building experience; we’ve overhauled the user interface, updated and improved form processing, and made it easier to create more complex integrations for developers.

Since this change is such a monumental one for Ninja Forms we had a decision to make. We could either try to completely support backwards compatibility and attempt to migrate everything a user may have set up and risk failing to do so fully, or we could migrate the things we are certain we can and inform users of what we can’t.

Seth Godin has a great little post on the idea of how to deal with seams. Basically, you can make them invisible, or you can own them. The danger is claiming they’re invisible when they really are not. We’ve decided to own our seams.

To put this in perspective with Ninja Forms, we could try to migrate everything over, but if it fails it would be impossible to know and many users might not discover the failure at first because they don’t sit around filling out the forms they’ve built all day. We decided it’s better to not attempt to  migrate the things we know we can’t anticipate and thus give our users the necessary information to manually migrate their forms.

With all that being said, here is exactly what you can expect when updating to Ninja Forms THREE in the near future.

What will happen when I update Ninja Forms?

When you update Ninja Forms to version 3.0 you won’t automatically get the new user experience. Instead, you’ll be presented with the option to begin using 3.0 or to continue using 2.9.x. If you decide to use 3.0, your simple forms will be converted, and you’ll be prompted to recreate any forms that were too complex to convert automatically. Don’t worry if all of your forms don’t convert, you can revert to 2.9.x anytime you’d like.

Why aren’t all of my forms being converted?

Version 3.0 is a vastly superior form building and processing experience. Unfortunately, these improvements make automated conversions of more complex forms difficult. Your experience with Ninja Forms is of the utmost importance, and we don’t want to automatically convert your forms if there is any margin for error. If we can’t guarantee that 100% of forms convert properly, we don’t want to run those conversions. In order to provide a more consistent experience for you and your clients and site visitors, you’ll be able to continue using 2.9.x until you have all of your forms converted

Which of my forms won’t be automatically converted?

If your form uses any of these, you’ll need to recreate it:

  • Calculations
  • Multi-Part Forms
  • Layouts & Styles
  • Conditional Logic

EDIT: As we move closer to having these extensions ready for launch, we’ve been able to work out conversion compatibility with MultiPart Forms, Layout and Styles, and Conditional Logic. Forms using these plugins should convert just fine with all functionality fully intact. Calculations alone will have to be reconfigured.

How long will I have to recreate my forms in 3.0?

You’ll be able to revert to version of 2.9.x for one year after 3.0 is released. After that year, we’ll be sunsetting support for version 2.9.x, meaning that it will no longer receive updates, even those related to security.

Ninja Forms THREE is a groundbreaking experience, and we can’t wait for you to get your hands on it; it makes form building fun again. If you’d like to try out a beta, you can visit three.ninjaforms.com.