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The Best Alternative to Formik

The collection of user data via forms and surveys plays a critical role in creating interactive web applications. With so many form-building platforms in the market, it can be quite challenging to select the one that truly meets your requirements.

SurveyJS and Formik, the two leading form and survey creation platforms for React, offer such features as dynamic questions, field-level error handling, and React integration. Using these features, developers can create and manage forms effectively.

Prior to choosing either SurveyJS or Formik, developers must consider exploring their features, advantages, disadvantages, and how they differ from each other.

SurveyJS: An Overview

SurveyJS is one of the most popular JavaScript, open-source React form libraries, designed to create rich and interactive forms and surveys while reducing boilerplate code and development time. It supports a wide variety of question types, from simple to multiple-choice questions, offers a GUI for conditional logic and form branching, and includes a CSS Theme Editor with a panel of UI controls for form styling.

Developers can integrate SurveyJS libraries with any server-side framework and database to retain full control over the collected data so that privacy and security remain intact. SurveyJS has native support for different popular frameworks, such as React, Angular, Vue.js, and Knockout, so you can create forms with the framework of your choice.

Formik: An Overview

It is a form management library specifically built for React and React Native. Using Formik, developers can create and handle forms within React apps. It provides basic form programming and validation and is based on controlled components. While it primarily focuses on forms, developers can also use it for basic surveys that have limited branching logic.

Jump to Table of Comparison

Key Features of SurveyJS

A Performant Platform with Variety of Input Fields

SurveyJS can facilitate hundreds of questions while providing several input fields. Developers have the option to choose from basic single- and multiple-line input fields, checkboxes, drop-down lists, Boolean questions, radio groups, and single-, multi-, and dynamic matrices. Other features of SurveyJS include a Likert scale, file upload, e-signature field, and custom HTML markup. All fields support static and asynchronous input validation and expression evaluation. You as a developer can use the latter feature to, for example, evaluate a respondent's age based on their date of birth.

Dynamic and Data-Driven Approach

SurveyJS uses industry-standard JSON format for dynamic data-driven development of forms and surveys. Your entire form is a data model (schema) written in JSON, and the form UI is automatically built from templates based on the model. So, whenever a certain form or survey needs to be changed, all you have to do is access the form and modify it in the drag-and-drop UI—its JSON file will update automatically.

Full Visual Customization

Developers can use custom CSS alongside built-in themes for increasing the aesthetic appeal of the surveys while ensuring that they are in line with the desired branding preferences. The SurveyJS platform also comes with a wide array of animations, so you don't have to spend time writing your own CSS to create responsive and professionally looking forms and surveys.

Conditional Logic and Branching

Branching in your surveys can be implemented using the conditional logic feature of SurveyJS. This functionality allows developers to structure the surveys in a way where one or more questions can be hidden or shown. In addition, it facilitates the implementation of control jump to a different question directly. This means your respondents will always receive the most important questions and will be able to complete your surveys faster.

Multi-Language Surveys

SurveyJS supports auto-localization and multilingual surveys through the Language property in the Survey Creator GUI and the locale property in SurveyJS Form Library. The locale property can be overridden at runtime depending on the user's system. The platform currently supports over 30 languages, with an option to add more custom-translated strings or overwrite existing strings.

Webhooks

SurveyJS supports webhooks as a callback function in the onComplete event. A webhook is an automated message with a data payload sent every time a specific action is taken. For example, a webhook will be your go-to tool if you want to save form data to your company's database immediately after it's sent. Similarly, webhooks enable you to send an email/Slack notification to your team every time a unique respondent completed your survey.

Key Features of Formik

Declarative Form Handling

Formik offers declarative form handling that allows developers to control the behavior and state of forms in React components. This allows you to define particular form fields, submit logic, and validation rules using only a few lines of code, helping you build and handle more complex forms.

Intuitive Form Validation

Form validation is incredibly simple with Formik. You may easily validate each form field, including required fields and pattern matching. Formik automatically examines your forms when they are submitted, ensuring data consistency and prompt delivery of user feedback via error messages.

Field-Level Error Handling

Formik has a core strength in field-level error handling, which enhances user satisfaction. The user interaction mechanism with a form makes it possible for developers to give robust feedback to a user in accordance with the interaction.

The error messages in Formik forms are easily linked to a specific field in the form and have the constant ability to be dynamically modified by the user as the form is being filled. This functionality not only simplifies the form filling by providing feedback but also increases the users' confidence in the data that they input in the form.

Form Submission Handling

Another feature of Formik is how simple form submission and reset are. The developer can make it easier for a user to interact with the data management function, as it is possible to define submission handlers after the data is submitted. It ensures that forms created with this library are easily integrated with backend services and API endpoints. Formik also offers utilities to reset form fields to their original state, enabling efficient form reuse and improved user workflows.

Form Initialization and Defaults

Formik offers excellent form initialization and default field support to ensure a consistent user experience. It allows developers to set the initial values of form fields and allows them to load default data into these fields during the component rendering. This is mainly beneficial when developers build forms with dynamic options based on user preference, enhancing usability.

Form State Management

Form state management is effortless with Formik's simple and adaptable tools. The library automatically tracks form inputs, values, and errors and synchronizes them to the state of the React components. Therefore, it improves encapsulation and useful reusability of components across the application and helps build healthy forms in a scalable context.

Integration with React Ecosystem

Formik is a React-specific form library. As such, it integrates well with the other tools and libraries in the React ecosystem. With the help of Formik, you can use React components, hooks, and context API to create feature-rich forms in line with the principles and patterns of React. This makes it easy to integrate the form library into your React applications. Formik allows you to leverage the full power of the React ecosystem and build powerful forms.

Customization and Extensibility

Formik provides extensibility and customization as per the developer's requirements. You can create your own validation functions, submit handlers, and configure the form. Formik has a flexible API and a plugin architecture that can support many use cases.

This allows you to customize the library and create custom solutions that meet your exact requirements.

Let's now see how SurveyJS and Formik compare in terms of pricing and plans.

Pricing Comparison

The following section gives a detailed comparison of different pricing plans that SurveyJS and Formik have to offer. The price of the plans vary because of such factors as priority technical support and customizable and branded PDF form generator, most or all of which are available only in advanced plans.

SurveyJS Pricing

  • Essential License
    This license is free and designed for individuals or entities who need basic functionality without any extra cost. It provides access to the open-source Form Library (available on GitHub), APIs, and training materials. With the Essential License, you have the freedom to create unlimited forms with unlimited submissions and host all data on your own servers.

  • Basic License
    The next pricing category on the list includes core libraries to create and render forms. This license is available for $499 per developer and has all the features of the Essential License plus the ability to integrate the Survey Creator with a drag-and-drop interface and an unlimited number of form creators into your app. The Basic License offers an initial 12 months of complimentary updates and support that can be renewed for 12 to 24 months by buying a renewal subscription.

  • PRO License
    The PRO License, which starts at $899, is an add-on to the Basic License. This license includes the Dashboard feature, which allows you to create interactive reports with real-time updates. It also includes a PDF Generator, which allows the creation of customizable and branded PDF forms that include your company logo.

  • Enterprise License
    The Enterprise license starts at $1998 and includes everything you get in the PRO License. In addition, it offers priority support from your technical account manager and priority bug fixes. It also includes best practices sessions and integration sessions as well as code review sessions. On-demand releases are also available for large enterprises.

Formik Pricing Plans

  • Free Plan
    The free plan is Formik's entry point. It offers basic features without any extra cost, making it perfect for small projects or individuals just starting out with Formik. This plan includes 100 monthly submissions and 100 MB of free file storage. You'll also benefit from features like AJAX redirects on submit, CSV export, Webhooks, and more.

  • Startup Plan
    If you're a growing startup, you'll want to upgrade to the Startup Plan. This plan costs $20 per month and increases your capacity to 1000 monthly submissions and 1 GB of free file uploads. You'll also get access to your own mail server and Auto Responses. This plan is robust enough for small businesses.

  • Pro Plan
    The Pro Plan is $50/month and is designed for more mature businesses that need higher submission volumes. This plan supports 10,000+ monthly submissions, 100+ forms, and 5 GB of file storage. It also includes everything in the Startup Plan, so you have the tools you need for more complex form requirements.

  • Enterprise Plan
    The last and top-of-the-line pricing plan offered by Formik is the Enterprise Plan. It's designed for enterprise-level organizations that need enterprise-level solutions. It includes everything in the Pro Plan, as well as unlimited submissions, unlimited files, and unlimited forms. Enterprise customers get Formik Enterprise Analytics with 100% uptime, 99.99% service level agreement (SLA), 24/7 / 365 chat support, dedicated success manager, concierge onboarding, payment by invoice, improved deletion recovery, early access to new features, and more.

SurveyJS vs Formik: Use Case Comparison

Both SurveyJS and Formik have their own set of use cases. But, of the two frameworks, SurveyJS is a more comprehensive tool designed for dynamic data entry forms and form-heavy applications. It can effortlessly create market research surveys, feedback evaluation forms, and other data collection forms. The following are some of the use cases in which SurveyJS really shines.

Handle Customer Support Tickets

SurveyJS supports webhooks (via the onComplete event) and stores survey results in industry-standard JSON format. Most companies use a customer support platform, such as ZenDesk, which typically has an API. All of this adds up to a perfect use case for SurveyJS. For example, you can use SurveyJS's onComplete event to route the customer's support request through the survey's API to ZenDesk. JSON is exactly the format that ZenDesk's API requires new requests to be sent in and then saved as tickets within your company's account.

But what if you're not using ZenDesk? Since both form models and form data are in JSON, you can use your internal backend logic to form JSON output. You can save and analyze forms to create meaningful insights that allow you to serve your customers more efficiently and effectively in the future. Each ticket/survey submission would only take up one row in a modern database solution capable of supporting JSON, text, and BLOB data types.

Use SurveyJS to Handle Recruitment

SurveyJS supports a wide range of form field types, including signatures for contracts and file uploads for resumes. It offers powerful client-side input verification, making it an ideal tool for candidates applying to your roles and uploading their resumes.

With webhook support, you can integrate submitted roles with Workable and LinkedIn to streamline hiring and tracking for both parties. As an example, you could design a survey that asks respondents to select an open role they'd like to apply for, personalizes their name, and provides a brief job description, along with a short profile of a candidate who'd be perfect for the role.

Next, it would ask respondents for their LinkedIn profile, email address, and resume—all while using SurveyJS's built-in verification to make sure everything looks like a real LinkedIn profile page. It also requires a valid email address and restricts uploads to PDF only.

Use SurveyJS to Help Onboard New Employees

When it comes to new recruits, the first day can be intimidating. We've all been there! On the other hand, onboarding is a long and often tiresome process. Here's a great way to make it less stressful: send out conversational surveys with SurveyJS!

It's important that these surveys are personalized, with a focus on making your new colleagues feel comfortable. First, get their names. Then, design the survey in a way that allows the new employee to take it at their own pace.

The surveys should be repeatable as often as needed and help coach new employees about company culture. These surveys should include things like how your newest teammate's first day will go, who they should talk to, what will be expected from them, when they should show up, and most importantly, what they won't have to worry about.

Because the surveys created using SurveyJS are conversational in nature, they will not only help new recruits feel comfortable but also give them the confidence they need to succeed in their new role.

Use SurveyJS to Make Pop Quizzes for Students

SurveyJS gives you the ability to set the correctAnswer property when defining your surveys and store the answers in a specific JSON field. You can use surveys, such as quizzes, for calculating scores by comparing the choices to the correctAnswer and then making use of the onComplete event to display the scores immediately afterward or saving the results to a database.

For example, you could use a qualitative pop quiz built with SurveyJS at the start and end of the class to test students' comprehension of the material, reinforce key points, and increase student engagement. SurveyJS makes it easy, inexpensive, and fast to design and distribute, so you can see exactly which students need help and where.

We have had a detailed look at the features, pricing plans, and use cases of the two platforms being discussed in this article. So, a question now arises: what factors should be kept in mind while choosing between SurveyJS and Formik. Let's find out!

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between SurveyJS and Formik

Knowing which libraries are available is one thing, but knowing which one is right for your project is another. We will now look at the factors to keep in mind while choosing a form library.

Implementation

The first factor to consider is to look at the APIs of both these platforms and see how easy they are to integrate into your app, manage form validation, submit, and overall developer experience.

SurveyJS has a visual designer for creating surveys, which makes it easy for non-coders to use. The form builder features a GUI for conditional logic and form branching as well as a fully integrated Theme Editor with a panel of UI controls, making even complex logic setup and customizations easy and straightforward. Formik is based on the idea of defining forms by writing React code. This approach provides more flexibility, but it can lead to a steeper learning curve for beginners.

Usage with Custom Components

Another thing to consider is the ease of integration with inputs from other UI libraries, such as Material UI. SurveyJS can be extended with third-party components (SortableJS, React Color, and React Tag Box, etc.). These components improve the overall look of the forms and surveys because they help developers add features exclusive to their brand. Formik uses Material UI's Text Field component and injects onChange, onBlur, name, and value props into it.

Dependent Fields

You might want to create a field B in the form that is dependent on a field A's value. So, you should also consider how these libraries can be used in such a situation. SurveyJS is very good at dealing with complicated branching and dependent fields in surveys. It lets you define conditional question visibility according to previous answers. As for Formik, it supports simple dependent fields, but it may need additional libraries or built-in logic for complex branching scenarios that are common in surveys.

Learning Curve

Another factor to keep in mind while choosing a form library is the number of learning resources available online to help you access the library. More resources will mean you will be able to start using the platform quickly. The visual designer of SurveyJS makes it easier to get started, especially if you are not a programmer. However, some of the more complex features may require you to learn JavaScript for scripting. On the other hand, Formik's React-centric methodology has a steeper learning curve, particularly for those who aren't familiar with the React language or form management.

Bundle Size

Bundle size makes an application performant or less performant and therefore should be one of the key factors to be considered while choosing form and survey creation platforms. Since SurveyJS is a stand-alone library, it may add a larger footprint to your application. Whereas, Formik's compatibility with React makes it lightweight, making it perfect for projects where you don't want to worry about bundle size.

SurveyJS vs. Formik: Feature Comparison

SurveyJS offers all the important features, such as conditional logic, which a developer might need while creating forms and surveys. Whereas these features are unavailable in Formik, placing it behind SurveyJS. The following comparison chart shows features that are available or missing in SurveyJS and Formik.

Feature SurveyJS Formik
Conditional Logic
Survey Creation
Dynamic Question Types
Field-Level Error Handling
React Integration
Validation
Form Management
Lightweight Bundle
Community Support
Customization Options

Conclusion

When it comes to creating interactive forms and surveys, both SurveyJS and Formik offer valuable features. However, in light of the comprehensive comparison done in this article, SurveyJS stands out as the better option, especially when it comes to building feature-packed surveys.

Formik excels in form management within React apps, but SurveyJS goes further, catering to the complexities of survey creation. With its easy-to-use interface, extensive feature set, and robust security, it's the preferred choice for building robust and insightful surveys.

Change the way you gather and analyze user data with SurveyJS. Click here for further details!

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