Today we have made live the Perch 1.7 release which contains, in addition to a few bug fixes and tweaks, two huge new features – Perch Forms and search.

Forms are implemented into Perch core, upgrade to 1.7 (a free upgrade for any license) and you can create templated forms and include them as content. These can be forms which submit to Perch such as a contact form or booking request or forms that submit to third party software such as a Campaign Monitor sign up.

If you are submitting forms to Perch you need a way to handle that data – so here we introduce the Forms App, a free official add-on for Perch. The Forms App enables you to set how forms are processed – they can be sent by email or have their data stored within Perch ready to be downloaded as a CSV to import into Excel or another application.

Forms allow you to work in HTML5 and fully implement all of the HTML5 new input types and attributes. Furthermore – Perch implements serverside validation of form fields to match these HTML5 input types. Use HTML5 input types or your own JavaScript validation on the front-end and Perch will also validate that data after the form has been submitted.

Watch a quick intro to forms, or the full tutorial video.

Along with forms we have a Perch Search, which is again integrated into the Perch core with 1.7. This is a simple keyword search of the data you have entered into Perch. We will be releasing updated versions of the other Apps (most importantly the Blog App) in the next few days which will enable their content to be picked up in search too. See search in action in this tutorial video for search.

We are really excited about our new features and we hope that you like them. Forms are exposed through the Perch API and so will be available for us and any other developers to include in Perch Apps. So this raises all kinds of interesting potential for future developments.