JetForm® Announces First Comprehensive XML Forms Definition to Speed E-Commerce Adoption
Leading Internet Security Vendors Entrust, PenOp, Silanis and VeriSign Align with New "XML Forms Architecture" for Secure Compliant Documents of Record
- JetForm® today announced the "XML Forms Architecture" (XFA), a comprehensive and open specification that builds on the XML standard.
- XFA is a device-independent use of XML for creating multiple views of documents and their data, using underlying XML for data definitions. XFA addresses both presentation and archive issues.
- XFA is the first specification to accommodate multimedia output such as on-screen, print, and Web publishing, supporting companies' transition from paper-based processes to e-processes.
- Leading Internet security solutions vendors such as Entrust, PenOp, Silanis and VeriSign have all announced their support for XFA.
- JetForm has submitted XFA to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and it has been acknowledged as a submission. The specification and additional information are publicly available at www.xfa.com.
OTTAWA - June 28, 1999 -- JetForm® Corporation (Nasdaq: FORM, TSE: JFM), the global leader in e-forms and e-process solutions, today announced "XML Forms Architecture" (XFA), a new, comprehensive specification that adds enterprise-caliber forms-processing features to the popular XML standard.
Unlike other electronic-only solutions and XML-based Internet forms specifications, XFA was designed from the ground up as XML conformant and provides two unique advantages: flexible packaging of form and/or data and output awareness.
XFA is an open specification that acts as a bridge between the underlying XML data structure and high-level presentation formats. Since it is "data schema neutral," XFA works equally well with a variety of XML data formats including those specified in the BizTalk Framework from Microsoft. XFA takes XML data schemas and adds graphic presentation and secure electronic signatures to create legally-binding, compliant documents of record.
"We're pleased that XFA leverages the BizTalk Framework initiatives-making e-commerce possible for companies of all sizes," said James Utzschneider, director of industry and BizTalk Frameworks at Microsoft Corporation. "With XFA, JetForm is a leader in marrying the interchange of business data with Internet forms as the transaction layer."
Industry Voices Strong Support for XFA
With its comprehensive provision of signed forms, XFA has the support of leading Internet security vendors. Compelling statements of support from Entrust, PenOp, Silanis and VeriSign can be viewed at www.xfa.com/endorsements.
The proposed XFA specification has attracted strong support from enterprise IT professionals, as well as other industry stakeholders. According to Joyce Endres, coordinator of state data, forms, and records for the State of Wisconsin (and president of the Business Forms Management Association), XFA's provision for archiving persistent, legal documents is a tremendous advantage. "One of the major benefits of XFA is that it provides a standard for documents of record," she said. "An XFA file can be read easily by machines and by humans, ensuring that archives can be accessible for years to come."
"XML is critical to the continued expansion of e-commerce and e-commerce relies heavily on Internet forms for data capture and processing," said Andrew Warzecha, senior program director, META Group. "Building on the XML standard to improve the user experience with Internet forms makes sense and leading e-forms vendors like JetForm are the most appropriate to lead the way."
Support for Paper and Electronic Forms
XFA is based upon the XML standard and addresses the specific and unique requirements of forms-based applications - such as capturing, presenting, moving, processing, storing, displaying, and publishing information - from a single underlying XML-based "meta-model." This XFA meta-model separates the form definition from the implementation or interpretation of the form. As a result, XFA offers two unique advantages:
- Packaging flexibility - XFA securely accommodates separated as well as merged forms and data. A single XFA definition can address the entire range of processing requirements. For example, archival processes may require merged forms and data, whereas separated forms and data provide the benefit of allowing the data to be re-used in other applications, securely and still within context.
- Output Aware - XFA respects and understands the requirement for paper-based forms and documents that organizations will continue to use during a lengthy, prudent transition from paper to electronic documents. XFA is "output aware" and, from a single definition, can present a form via printers as well as electronic means (HTML, dynamic HTML, ActiveX controls, applications and workflow).
Persistent, Legal, Compliant Documents of Record
In the past, forms and data have been bound together in proprietary formats. XFA eliminates the need to change file format because of new versions and upgrades of commercial software products. With XFA, forms-based information can become persistent, legal documents of record based on an open industry standard that is independent of any commercial software platform or package.
"XML is an extremely important and powerful standard that will play a central role in next-generation Web-centric applications," said Andrew Jackson, senior vice president of marketing for JetForm. "However, today's organizations need more. The transition from paper-based processes to completely automated e-processes takes time. And during that transition period, they need to support both traditional paper and next-generation e-processes. XFA builds upon XML to make this possible."
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has acknowledged the XFA submission. Comments can be viewed at http://www.w3.org/submission. In collaboration with other W3C member organizations, JetForm is working enthusiastically to evolve the standards for forms processing on behalf of its more than 7,000 customers.
XFA will be incorporated into this fall's release of FormFlow, JetForm's industry-leading, XML-based electronic forms software.
JetForm Corporation (Nasdaq: FORM, TSE: JFM) makes Web-based software solutions that automate business processes and transform them into "e-processes." JetForm helps companies and government operate efficiently and effectively, to grow revenues, lower operating costs and reduce cycle times. The company's strength is in intelligent XML forms, process automation, and customer-focused document creation. With operations in 11 countries and a global network of partners, JetForm is uniquely positioned to address the needs of international business. For more information, check out www.jetform.com.
JetForm is a registered trademark of JetForm Corporation. Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.
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