Forms As Outputs

Imagine the following use case: Make a table to track your department’s accounting audit issues. It contains a number of things like severity and current status. You are asked to provide an update of an issue to your boss or to Internal Audit.

What would be ideal in this situation is a “form” that acts as a reporting output template for one record. A page that could save/print to PDF that looks like it was create by a report writer. One that was limited to the frame of the form. But one that didn’t look like an input form. I realize there are “cards” but they don’t seem very fit for purpose. Forms are very close to what we need but they are not quite suitable in their current configuration.

My ideal future state idea:

  • You can right-click on a record to bring up a form.
  • The form is opened and automatically populated, you click on a button that transforms the form into something that looks like a nice output report instead (using the form as the template).
  • Then there would be a download or print button that is specific to the form frame, so that you receive a nicely formatted PDF (or you can print to PDF) so that you have a nicely formatted page(s) that looks like it was generated by a report writer. It shoudn’t look like an input form.

Applying this for my original use case you would easily generate a nice PDF page summarizing the current audit issue status for you to send to stakeholders.

Hello @deet, thank you for sharing your idea and providing context about your use case. It is always helpful to understand the use case behind a request.

I believe you will be able to build a custom solution like this one once we release our app builder.

Due to the large number of requests, we decided to investigate options for generating PDF based on table data. We will provide an update once we have more details about this feature.

Hi Olga,

I don’t see app builder on the summary roadmap. I’m really interested in being able to dress up a row as a nicely framed item. Can you share a bit more about the timing of app builder?

Re PDF I don’t really need Baserow to create the PDF (although that would be nice). I just need a window pop-up that I can print to PDF using built-in browser functionality.


Hello David :wave:

We plan to release the beta version of the app builder by the end of 2023, so more details will be coming soon. :slightly_smiling_face:

Thanks for clarifying that. I’ll discuss this solution with the team.

Hello @deet, we have discussed your idea and have an update for you. We are going to build a feature similar to Airtable’s page designer extension that will address your use case. Here’s an issue to track the progress: Page designer for a row (#2071) · Issues · Baserow / baserow · GitLab.

We cannot provide an exact timeline for when we will start working on it. Even creating a simplified solution for generating PDFs, as you described, requires a significant amount of development resources. We appreciate your understanding. :raised_hands:

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