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Luke Hudson

What is it?

A forms library designed to scaffold HTML forms from your Sequelize models.


npm install formao # --save # Use --save to add to your package.json


By default, Formao uses its own templates. To see what templates are used for each data type, look at the node_modules/formao/views/formao directory.

fieldholder.jade is used to wrap each input field form.jade is the overall form template The rest are templates for each input type.

You may copy node_modules/formao/views/formao/ to your views directory and modify these templates as desired. You will need to change where the views are searched for using the templateDir option (see Constructor Options). For example (assuming you have copied these templates to your views/forms directory):

// Look in your app views/forms directory 
var form = new Formao(Model, { templateDir: 'forms'})

Usage example

   var Project = sequelize.define('Project', {
    // Model fields 
    var Formao = require('formao');
    // create a form from the model defined above. 
    var form = new Formao(Project)
    // then simply 
    form.render(app, req).then(function(html) {
        res.render('mypage', { form: html });
    // Or, pulling out all the stops. 
        .method('POST')         // set the Method 
        .action('/project/add') // Set the Action 
        .addAttribute('data-generator', 'formao') // add any custom HTML attribute 
        .addClass('test') // Add CSS classes 
        .addClass('form bootstrap-form') // optionally add several, space-separated 
        .fill(req.body) // Set the input values from this objects keys&values 
        .render(app) // finally render the HTML (returns a bluebird promise) 
        .then(function(html) {
            // Finally, pass the form HTML to your template 
            // If using JADE you'll need to avoid escaping,  
            // e.g.: 
            //    .myform 
            //      | !{form} 
            // See: 
            res.render('projects/add', { form: html }); 


This is a brand new module, so there are lots of things to do. Here's a quick list.

  • Support more data types (missing some still)
  • Test different dialects
    • sqlite
    • postgres
  • Handle associations?
  • Allow for adding custom data into the HTML without editing the templates~
    • Appending in custom association fields to the form?
      • Can be done via formao.appendTemplate or formao.appendHTML
    • For instance, per-input html (bootstrap input-group-addon?)
    • Appending submit etc to the form (this is rather vital!)
      • Currently a default submit is included in form template, but there should be better methods


new Formao(Model, options, data)

Create a new form object, scaffolding the given sequelize model. Note that you'll need to pass in the Model schema definition as the first argument, not an instance.

Model sequelize schema of your model (returned from sequelize.define) options optional Object with options as listed below data optional Object with data to fill the form (see fill)


This is an object which may contain the following keys.

templateDir Path where Formao will look for templates. This defaults to formao and is relative to your application views directory.

Instance Methods

All these methods are chainable, except for render, and other methods when they are used as getters (no arguments provided) instead of setters, e.g. formao.method(), formao.action().


Set the form's HTML method attribute. If this is called without an argument, then retrieve the method attribute.


Set the form's HTML action attribute. If this is called without an argument, then retrieve the action attribute.

formao.label(fieldName, label)

Override the default (ugly) <label> text by specifying a fieldname and the label to use.


Override several default labels by specifying an Object whose keys are field names and values are the labels to use. This will be merged with any previously defined labels.


Use the previous function as a getter to retrieve the map of field names to labels.


Use the data Object to set the input fields values. This may be a sequelize instance.

formao.addAttribute(key, value)

Add an HTML attribute to the rendered <form> tag.


Append this raw html to the end of the form (before submit)

formao.appendTemplate(template, data)

Render the given template, using the provided data and append it to the form before the submit


Add a CSS class (or several, space-separated) to the <form> tag's class attribute.


Calculates all the viewmodels for the fields, but renders nothing. You can access these viewmodels via formao.fields() req is an optional request to use for filling the from (as with formao.render)


Return the viewmodel. This can be used to customize your own forms completely.


// Model 
var MyModel   = sequelize.define('MyModel', {
    name:        { type: Sequelize.STRING,   allowNull: false },
    description: { type: Sequelize.TEXT,     allowNull: true },
    startDate:   { type: Sequelize.DATE,     allowNull: false, defaultValue: Sequelize.NOW },
    endDate:     { type: Sequelize.DATE,     allowNull: false, defaultValue: Sequelize.NOW },
    stage:       { type: Sequelize.ENUM('pending','processed','cancelled'),  allowNull: false, defaultValue: 'pending'},
    completed:   { type: Sequelize.BOOLEAN,  allowNull: false, defaultValue: false }
// Returns the following 
// These values are set from model defaultValues 
// Otherwise, values are set from formao.fill() 
{ name: 
   { label: 'Name',
     name: 'name',
     attr: { id: 'MyModel_Form_name' },
     value: '',
     template: 'text' },
   { label: 'Description',
     name: 'description',
     attr: { id: 'MyModel_Form_description' },
     value: '',
     template: 'textarea' },
   { label: 'Start Date',
     name: 'startDate',
     attr: { id: 'MyModel_Form_startDate' },
     value: Date('Sat Aug 02 2014 13:09:48 GMT+0200 (CEST)'),
     template: 'date' },
   { label: 'End Date',
     name: 'endDate',
     attr: { id: 'MyModel_Form_endDate' },
     value: Date('Sat Aug 02 2014 13:09:48 GMT+0200 (CEST)'),
     template: 'date' },
   { label: 'Stage',
     name: 'stage',
     attr: { id: 'MyModel_Form_stage' },
     value: 'pending',
      { pending: 'pending',
        processed: 'processed',
        cancelled: 'cancelled' },
     template: 'select' },
   { label: 'Completed',
     name: 'completed',
     attr: { id: 'MyModel_Form_completed' },
     value: '',
     template: 'checkbox' } }

formao.render(app /*, req */) -> Promise

Render the HTML finally.

app This is your Express app. It is needed to provide the render method. req Optionally provide the request to fill the form. If fill and action haven't been called, then the action defaults to req.url and fill is called using req.body

A Bluebird promise is returned.

The name

Formao is the colloquial pronounciation in many dialects of spanish of Formado which means formed or trained or educated. The english phonetic spelling of this would be something like form-ow, but hopefully using this package doesn't cause any exclamations of Ow!)