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Sunday, April 23, 2017​​

By Sergio Lopez ​,

I have been asked many times about the differences between SPARK forms builder for SharePoint and SPForm, and my answer was always is that they are different in many aspects especially by the way you can work on each one of them, its like telling the difference between an apple and a watermelon, but finally I had successfully managed to gather some major points and factors that differentiate these two products.

  • SPARK is a free hand designer, which means you can design your forms exactly the way you like, it is like the same as you drawing on Photoshop, you can move and change controls sizes, shapes and styles by mouse or keyboard as per pixel, while in SPForm you need to select a template to add controls in its placeholders, the creativity is very limited in this method.
  • SPARK integrates with external LoB (line of business) through external data pickers and dialogs using Business connectivity services (BCS), while SPForm doesn’t do that, you need to code everything in JS and your code will not be secures as well.
  • SPARK integrates with your list's or library's workflow, you can approve/reject tasks from within the form, or even delegate these tasks as well. You could view all responses and actions of the form workflow tasks within the form by a click. in SPFrom you can't do that.
  • SPARK forms Builder has a repeater control which lets you add a group of controls inside it and add rows as many as you need by only using your mouse, and publishing this form by a click. The result will be having a sophisticated control using your mouse only in less than a minute. You don't need to write any code just drag and drop controls and your are done. SPForm doesn’t has this at all.
  • There are many available controls in SPARK that SPForm doesn’t has and you need to code them in JS or design a separate solution for that. SPForm doesn't has (Barcode, Lines, rich text editor, Images, attachments..etc).
  • There are several ready templates in SPARK that you can depend on to build your forms within minutes, while SPForm doesn’t.
  • SPARK has [Form Variables] feature, in which you can bind these variables to controls or SharePoint columns to get data from or set data to, you don’t need to map every control in the form to SP column as in SPForm, you can just save them to these variables and they will be saved within the form itself (like InfoPath).
  • SPARK philosophy is to work as MS InfoPath does, while SPForm has different unfriendly method.
  • You can retrieve your old published versions of forms anytime you need so by this way your work (designs) are always saved and safe, while SPForm doesn’t do that.
  • You can build rules and events triggers using a visual designer in SPARK, while in SPForm you need to this by complex coding.
  • SPARK has more than 100 built-in functions which you can use to build a complex forms in a matter of minutes.
  • SPARK integrates easily with User profile services while you need to write complex JS code in SPForm to achieve that.
  • SPARK has a special features to align controls positions, copy their styles, and help you design your forms easily, such as (alignment tools, formatting tools, Ruler, design grid) while SPForm doesn’t has such things.

Finally, with SPARK you can have a huge discount, or financing your license the way you want, which I don't think you could get that with any other product!