Ninja Forms Three Feature Spotlight: Save Action

Ninja Forms Three is steadily rolling out to more and more of our users, and we are really excited about the feedback we’re getting so far! If you haven’t gotten your hands on it yet, you will soon. Three is packed with new features that will make your form building experience easier, more intuitive, and just plain fun. You can follow along here from week to week with our Three Feature Spotlight series to stay up on what’s changing. This week we’re looking at our new save action feature. What is it and what does it mean for you? Read on!

Save Action in Ninja Forms Three

In Ninja Forms 2.9.x and earlier, saving form submissions to your WordPress database was enabled by default with no way to toggle on and off from the admin. In order to disable form submissions saving to the database, you would have to add a filter to the Ninja Forms codebase to turn it off. That’s inconvenient for users that are comfortable working with code, and out of reach as an option for the average user without enlisting aid or investing time to learn how to add filters.

With Three’s focus on functional simplicity, we don’t feel like this status quo is adequate any longer. Reasons for not wanting submissions to automatically save are fairly common: HIPPA compliance, general privacy, database bloat, etc. That’s why we’ve introduced this little guy:

Save Action toggle "Save Submission" location under Email & Actions

The Save Submission toggle. With the flip of a switch you can turn submissions saving to the database on and off. This means a few different thing for you. For one, saving is now a part of our action system. This means better integration with other extensions. For example, when Conditional Logic users upgrade to Three, you could choose whether or not a form submission is saved to the database based conditionally on other field data.

The save submission toggle also means more freedom of choice and extra control over your forms. It’s also just a better experience for you all around: you have explicit control of your form’s behavior from the WordPress admin, as should be the case whenever possible.

Bonus Advantages for Developers

The upgraded experience isn’t limited to our users. For developers, life has gotten a little easier. The save action now happens with late priority towards the end of processing. That means data can be modified before it hits the database instead of repeatedly having to call the database to update or modify. This reduces the number of database calls required and lends a performance advantage to boot.

Developers will also be able to modify the save action as it is now explicitly an action. For example, you can now add settings, piggyback, extend the save action, and more.

More Room for Upgrading Down the Road

We don’t want to put the cart before the horse so to speak, but the move to submission saving as an action sets the stage for future enhancements as well. When we finally have Three out the door to everyone and the dust has settled, we’ll take a closer look into implementing a few more features tied to the save action that will give you even more form building flexibility.

With submission saving as an action, we’re setting up the ability to modify how a form submission is saved. That opens the door to a number of intriguing possibilities. Want to specify what fields get saved to the database while tossing the others out? Set up conditional statements to control that functionality? Save to separate database tables or even external ones? It’s all on the <ahem> table.

peeking-ninja-300x138Keep checking back with us from week to week for more feature spotlights for Ninja Forms Three. I’ll be at it for a while! If you haven’t gotten the prompt to upgrade yet and are wondering when your turn will be, we now have a master list of extensions that have been completed, are being actively developed, and which are queued up next. When the extensions you use are converted, the upgrade prompt will appear in your WordPress admin. Check back for more soon and happy blogging!