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What's the point of using Webform Node instead of directly using a Webform's form?

I have tried both. I see that submissions on a node are not exactly the same as submissions on the direct form, so there's a potential for submissions to get split. If I want people to use the node, but someone finds the direct form, then that can be confusing for people needing to review all submissions.

Is it ok to just use the direct form? Is there any advantage to using a node instead?

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This is a high-level answer. The default is to use the form itself. Only use the node if doing so makes it easier for your site's needs.

Why use a node?

Sometimes you want access to node features-- node fields in addition to webform fields (such as media reference fields to insert images), revisioning for the "content" part of the node on the webform page, metatags that follow the node rules on your site (although metatag webform module now addresses this for pure webforms as well), and so on.

But if you don't know that you need nodes for some reason, just keep using the webforms directly.

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  • That makes sense! Thank you!
    – Prizem
    Commented Feb 25, 2023 at 0:45
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Under the hood, when you place a webform field under a Node (or any entity really) and make a submission through that entity, the entity is recorded in the submission. If you look at the webform_submission table, two columns are used to track this: entity_type and entity_id. These two columns are available as relationship points in Views, tying Webform <- Webform Submission -> Node. The webform field is also a special extension of the entity reference field, allowing an entity to reference a webform - also available as a relationship in Views.

With this setup, you can make complex relationship chains in Views that allow you to list and filter down forms/submissions in various ways:

  • Filter submissions by Node.
    • A-B test which page made the form more effective.
  • Filter Forms by Node.
    • If a user has "preferred topics", and Form Nodes have said topics, you can create a list of Forms based on those topics.
    • Webform <- Submission -> Node -> Taxonomy Terms <- User
  • Filter Forms/Submissions by another entity related to a Node.
    • Only allow access to forms that are assigned to a Group.
    • Webform <- Submission -> Node <- Group Content -> Group

If I want people to use the node, but someone finds the direct form, then that can be confusing for people needing to review all submissions.

You can disable direct form access in the webform config. I typically disable direct form access if I place forms on entities.

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