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"Form" tab

Input components

Editorial content is entered in the FirstSpirit editing environment using input components such as a text form field or an image selection component. FirstSpirit supports a range of input components for various types of editorial content. The input components are used to make entering content for editors as convenient as possible.

Templates: "Form" tab

The page template, section template, table template, etc. determine which input components are made available to an editor on a page, in a section, or in a dataset, etc. The required input components are incorporated in the template's “Form” tab by the template developer.

All input components must be defined within the <CMS_MODULE> tags. On each page, in each section, in each dataset, etc. an editor can fill the defined input components with content based on the corresponding template. The form area of a template is therefore like a type of framework that can be filled with individual content for any individual page or any section in the Page Store or for any dataset in the Data Store or Page Store.

The form area of a template contains a simple XML. DTD validation is carried out when saving GUI.XML. If incorrect formatting is identified during this process, the file cannot be saved. Other errors are simply displayed.

Since a page template is only used to hold the static content of a page, only those inputs are defined that:

  • are needed only once on each page, such as a page title.
  • are always to look the same way on all pages (such as navigation elements and image elements).

Other input components, such as those for entering text or images, are defined in the section templates.

All input components can be used as often as required.

Important Input components set to the “deprecated” state are marked separately within the form (GOM definition). The opening and closing tag of the input component is crossed out in the form.

Special case: Input components used that are not available on the server (any more)

Throughout the life cycle of a project, input components used in templates may not be available on the server (any more), perhaps because they have not been installed on the server or because they are obsolete and no longer supported by FirstSpirit. The unknown component is identified in the form by the following text:

Display errors in the editor (...). There is no component registered as (...)!

The following principles apply to unknown input components within a form:

From FirstSpirit 2021-03:

  • Only the unknown input component is marked in the form by the error message.
  • It is still possible to edit and save the form.
  • On saving the form, it is ensured that the content of the unknown input components is not changed.
  • It is not possible to output the content of an unknown input component in the preview or the generation. The configuration must first be corrected and a new input component, which can read this content, must be configured.
  • If an unsupported input component (e.g., FS_LIST) in a dataset is used to reference another dataset via a foreign key relationship, the corresponding dataset cannot be saved. In this case, a corresponding error message is displayed to the editor. Background: A save operation in this instance would lead to data loss, since information is not available on the referenced datasets.

Before FirstSpirit 2021-03:

  • The entire form is marked by the error message.
  • It is not possible to edit and save the form until the configuration has been corrected.


This section of the documentation contains a list of all input components that are supported by FirstSpirit. The technical tag identifiers are used. An explanatory identifier is however displayed for each input component via a tooltip.

Table of contents

Under “Contents” and for each input component, you will obtain a brief overview of possible parameters that are directly linked, as well as a detailed explanation of the parameter in question. Mandatory parameters are displayed here by an asterisk (*).


One or more examples of the syntax of a valid configuration for the respective input component type are listed at the end of the page. The “for example” link takes you directly to them. These examples show how the corresponding input component is used and as many parameters as can reasonably be combined with them are illustrated. When using the Online Help system in SiteArchitect (“Help / Index” menu) or F1, the example that is linked via the “for example” link can be moved directly to the template using drag-and-drop and edited further there.

To the methods

“to the methods:” takes you to documentation for the data type of the respective input component type. Whereas the documentation under “Forms” primarily lists the options for configuring the associated input component for use by the editor (“backend”), the data type documentation is relevant with respect to outputting the values entered by the editor (“frontend”).


Following an example figure of the input component and a general description, an exact explanation of the individual parameters of the input component is provided as well as the structure in which the tags and parameters are to be used.

It is also possible to determine which tags and parameters are available for an input component as the template is being created. To do this, simply use the “Form” tab and the code completion functionality.

Structure of the "form" area

The form area in the documentation is divided into the following sections:

  1. Input components: All input components are listed here. Input components start with CMS_INPUT_ or FS_ and end with the input component type (e.g., NUMBER).
  2. Data elements: Are used to fill input components with data (e.g., from the Data Store). Data elements start with CMS_INCLUDE_ and end with the data element type (currently only OPTIONS).
  3. Design elements: Are used to comment on and group input components. Design elements start with CMS_ and end with the design element type (e.g., LABEL).
  4. Default values: Input components in FirstSpirit can be prepopulated with values, if necessary. These can be applied or modified by the editor. If no value is assigned by the editor, the default value can also be used in the preview and on the generated page (“fallback value”).
  5. Drag-and-drop: Drag-and-drop for easily exchanging data is one of the central operating concepts of ContentCreator and SiteArchitect. Data exchange is only possible for objects of a specific type (“transfer type”). These transfer types are determined for the default FirstSpirit input components.

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