Why Product Teams Are Thinking Differently About Digital Web Form Solutions In 2024

Dynamic Webforms

Are Your Digital Web Forms Just An Afterthought?

Until recently, forms were never treated as warranting their own discrete technology solution.

If you already have forms within your business process applications, I don’t need to convince you they’re a problem. They’re difficult to build, hard to maintain, and compromise your CX with stodgy, inflexible UIs.

To make matters worse, customers are now expecting to receive an up-to-date, sophisticated, logical experience when they come to your doorstep. We all know you only have one chance to make a first impression and digital web forms ARE that first impression.

And the behind-the-scenes bottom line is that all the data that forms process needs to be sent and received to and from various systems.

However, whenever you leverage various platforms and technologies, think Salesforce, WordPress, Mailchimp, SAP, React, Vue, etc. that each solve different problems, each might come with their own set of default forms, a commonly used 3rd-party plugin for them, or an expectation that you need to build your own forms.

All of this drives home the point that forms have been an afterthought, but they need to be treated with more R-E-S-P-E-C-T, more than “just a little bit.”

What’s Missing?

Think about this: you’ve already recognized the importance of getting the correct solution to other aspects of your technology, am I right?

You’re going to choose a database—one with standard protocols and data strategies. You’d never build your own. Just like:

  • You’re going to leverage an email provider—you’d never build one
  • You’re going to leverage a front-end framework—you’d never build one (probably)
  • You’re going to leverage an authentication schema—you’d never build one
  • You’re going to leverage a cloud environment—you’d never build one

You would never relegate these other crucial elements of your platform to being an afterthought or to a one-off internal make-solution.

But here we are with forms and you might be thinking of building your own. I get it. Because there’s never been a 3rd-party forms solution that gives you the flexibility and control you want.

If you build your own forms solution, at least you’d know what you’d be getting, but do you really know what you’d be getting into?

Even if we set aside the significant cost and dev hours it would take to build your own forms solution (which can be 4 to 10 times more time and money), all its benefits can be an illusion.

The Illusion Of Control With A Make Solution

Unless you are a large enterprise organization with extensive software development and QA resources and processes, internal make solutions don’t provide the control you may expect from your effort because your internal forms solution wouldn’t adhere to an established, repeatable standard.

Unlike how databases, frameworks, email, authentication, or any number of technologies are held to standards. Your roll-your-own forms would inevitably mutate into an internal black box solution.

And once you build it, you have to maintain it. And to stay relevant, you need to implement new features and innovations.

There are entire product teams devoted to databases, infrastructure, frameworks, etc. who are constantly keeping those technologies up to date, secure, and relevant. If you get into the form building business, that means splintering your dev team to support a solution that merits its own product team.

The Illusion Of Control With A Make Forms Solution
Every “Make” solution has hidden, recurring costs in time and money.

The Burden Of Buy

Now, as the software industry has matured, this realization has become more evident as forms have become less of an afterthought. Which is why we see a rise to no-code form builders. On the surface, forms have a consistent set of tasks they solve, and so it made sense that new, discrete solutions for forms started popping up.

But anyone who has ever worked with forms knows that once you start going beyond collecting survey data that dumps into a spreadsheet, or sending a transactional email notification upon submission of a form, things get complicated.

And as it turns out, these new, discrete drag and drop solutions aren’t quite as robust as they need to be. They are useful for the business units who need a one-off form to send a survey or deploy a contact form on a website, but they don’t consider the developers who are building and supporting the applications that large organizations depend on.

Still, even with those simpler use-cases, if one group collects data through an online form builder, a second another collects data through a different online form builder, and a 3rd group has data in a 3rd-party SaaS, all the data that’s collected begins to spider into disparate locations. That data may or not be related or insightful to other groups—but you can’t know without spending the time to do a formal audit.

And when it comes to extending these tools, routing the data that’s collected and manipulated, or integrating these tools with other software staples in the organization, additional developer effort is required to build it.

Too often, the form builders get in the way more than they help. Integrating them into a mission-critical, business application is often too cumbersome to be worthwhile, or not even possible.

And so we started to see the rise of new tools to deal with these intermediary connections—the connections that are in the margins, so to speak. Lots of people want to connect X with Y or A with D, and so we saw the rise of tools like Zapier.

And that’s all well and good, but what if you’re not using X, Y, A, or D? What if X is not actually a known product, but something you built internally, something unique, something special? And that tool doesn’t just need to connect to Y, but it has to connect to a number of different systems, and some of those systems are old. Then what?

API endpoints need to be built too.

Once again, you’re knocking on the developers’ doors to build out these more complex connections.

And where does the data live with 3rd-party solutions? Often, it’s in their databases. That’s a no-go for anything highly sensitive.

The Seemingly Inevitable Dilemma

Existing 3rd-party form solutions just aren’t robust enough to merit being a standard for an application environment let alone across an entire enterprise. Besides, how many of these solutions have the advantages of being based on open source, which helps drive innovation and adoption?

Choosing a forms solution needs to be like choosing a long term technology strategy, just like choosing a database, a framework, an authentication schema, and so on, but none of the current solutions seem like long term strategies.

And so the make-vs-buy dilemma for forms seems inevitable because every organization is unique, with their own workflows, their own requirements, and their own goals.

The Future Is What You Want If You Only Knew You Could Have It

But what if there was a way to make complex connections simple? A way to build forms with the complex connections in mind, so that no matter what you’re connecting to or from, the form interface is primed for those connections, because their API endpoints are auto-generated?

I’m talking about a way to standardize the customizable—the forms themselves, the UI/UX, the data resources, the administrative tools, the API connections, everything in and around forms in your applications?

In a way that would deliver total flexibility and control for developers while empowering business users to build and update without code.

However, for this type of solution to be truly discrete, strategic, and standard for large scale use, it needs to be deployable like a library that a developer would install using Node Package Manager (NPM) or a Docker container—in your environment.

And not just the forms, but also the tools that build the forms and the APIs. And it needs to have an open source core to drive adoption and innovation. Then and only then can it operate in a truly native sense.

Actually, there’s one more thing.

If a solution’s pricing punishes you for higher usage, then is it really worth it? It’s frustrating to find the perfect solution only to discover later that you’re billed for the number of forms you create, the number of users you have, the number of submissions sent, the number of API calls executed, and so forth.

Would you believe it even existed? If you did, how would you find it? Maybe you’d begin by hunting down an open source library.

And that’s exactly how many of our customers discovered us.

From Make To Buy With Forms Solutions
You no longer need to build your own forms to achieve a native solution for application development is the one true enterprise solution that achieves native integration into the app you’re building without punishing you on price.

That’s why In 2024, enterprise organizations are adopting as their technology standard for forms and data management so they can go to market 2x, 3x, or 4x faster, reduce the amount of code they have to build and maintain, and adopt a unified strategy for forms across their organization.

Organizations like, UHG, Pepsico, US Federal Government GSA, Northwestern University, Accenture, Deloitte, LexisNexis, and Nationwide Insurance. is the only scalable, performant, open-architected, unopinionated, and configurable platform that embeds natively in your environment that doesn’t punish you with scaled pricing.

Because until recently, they could never do these things within application development.

Published by Wizard is a zero-trust, data governance strategy platform, embedded in your environment, that enables you to build business process workflow applications or anything that uses forms with lightning bolt speed. is unique in its reach to the application layer regarding governance because we acknowledge forms are the primary entry point into everything data related. Forms are the UI, forms are the data model, and forms are the API model.

LighthouseHQ Case Study: Digital Transformation
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