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When writing a Substance D application, you are free to use any library you would like for forms and schemas. This applies both for your retail views and for the management views that you plug into the SDI.

For the built-in content types and management views, you will see that Substance D has standardized on Colander and Deform for schemas and forms. Additionally, Substance D defines a substanced.form.FormView class, discussed below.


Form handling is ground that is frequently covered, usually in different ways. Substance D provides a class to help implement common patterns in form handling.

Imagine this example:

    tab_title='Add Document',
class AddDocumentView(FormView):
    title = 'Add Document'
    schema = DocumentSchema()
    buttons = ('add',)

    def add_success(self, appstruct):
        registry = self.request.registry
        name = appstruct.pop('name')
        document = registry.content.create('Document', **appstruct)
        self.context[name] = document
        return HTTPFound(
            self.request.mgmt_path(self.context, '@@contents'))

This mgmt_view adds a view add_document to resources with the IFolder interface. The form gets a title, a Colander schema, and asks for just one button.

Since the mgmt_view is associated with a renderer, we have an SDI template form.pt which does the basics of laying out the rendering before handing the work over to Deform.

The @action of the form is the mgmt_view itself, making it a self-posting form. The button that was clicked causes the FormView to, upon validation success, route processing to a handler for that button. By convention, FormView looks for a method starting with the name of the button (e.g. add) and finishing with _success (e.g. add_success.) The class also supports a similar protocol for _failure.

FormView also supports the following methods that can be overridden:

  • before(self, form) is called before validation and processing of any _success or _failure methods
  • failure(self, e) is called with the exception, if the there is no button-specific _failure method
  • show(self, form) returns {'form':form.render()} and thus can be a place to affect form rendering