[June 16, 1999] The W3C has acknowledged receipt of a two-part submission from JetForm Corporation on the topic of XML Forms Architecture. Both documents are edited by Gavin McKenzie. XML Forms Architecture (XFA) "provides for the specific requirements of electronic forms and the applications that use them. XFA addresses the needs of organizations to securely capture, present, move, process, output and print information associated with electronic forms." The submission "describes an XML tagset for electronic forms with support for graphics, templates, calculations, validation, scripting, picture clauses, sequencing, and digital signatures. Some aspects of the submission duplicate existing work by W3C: the box model (W3C's style sheet activity), graphics (W3C's work on scalable vector graphics), linking (W3C's work on XML Linking). The details for signed forms relate to new work at W3C on signed XML. Work on data types for XML Schemas may be relevant to the canonical representation of form values such as dates." XFA "clearly distinguishes between the two stages via the following terminology, as detailed in [the submissions]: (1) Form -- what the form consumer works with (2) Template -- what the form designer creates." The document "XFA-Template" [XFA-Template Version 1.0] describes the open and extensible modeling of secure forms with high fidelity composition, automated calculation and validation, pluggable user-interface components, and flexible data handling. The second document "XFA-FormCalc" [XFA-FormCalc Version 1.0] describes a simple scripting language optimized for creating electronic-form centric logic and calculations. See further information in the W3C Team Comment on the submission.
[May 1999] A specification for an XML Forms Architecture (XFA) is presented by JetForm as "the Internet's first open standards-based forms architecture that embraces all aspects of process automation - the capture, presentation, movement, processing and output of information. XFA extends the value of XML by providing specific functionality for form users and the applications that use and produce electronic forms. JetForm's XFA specification provides a standard and common communication method for many different applications, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP), and customer relationship management (CRM) systems."
JetForm's XML Forms Architecture (XFA) is an application of XML for electronic forms that describes: "(1) Multiple views of the document and the data [on-screen, print, Web, publish, etc.] (2) Support for both merging of form and data, and separation of form and data. (3) Absolute and relative positioning of form objects and data. (4) Support for multiple scripting and calculation engines. (5) Support for digital signatures, regardless of how form and data are used. (6) The use of XML data definitions for interoperability."
An XFA Technical Summary white paper provides a in-depth look at this new forms architecture. A specification entitled "XFA-FormCalc" describes "a simple scripting language optimized for creating e-form centric logic and calculations . . . as part of a family of specifications referred to as the XML Forms Architecture, [it] describes an XML based language, XFA-Template, for modelling electronic form templates. XFA provides for the specific needs of electronic forms and the applications that use them. A separate specification "XFA-Template" describes the open and extensible construction of secure forms with high fidelity composition, automated calculation and validation, pluggable user-interface components, and flexible data handling."
See: "XML and Forms."
XFA-Template Version 1.0. Edited by Gavin F. McKenzie (JetForm). "...describes the open and extensible construction of secure forms with high fidelity composition, automated calculation and validation, pluggable user-interface components, and flexible data handling." [local archive copy]
[June 28, 1999] "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 Corporation, a global leader in e-forms and e-process solutions, has announced 'XML Forms Architecture' (XFA). Summary: (1) JetForm today announced the "XML Forms Architecture" (XFA), a comprehensive and open specification that builds on the XML standard. (2) 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. (3) 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. (4) Leading Internet security solutions vendors such as Entrust, PenOp, Silanis and VeriSign have all announced their support for XFA. (5) 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." [local archive copy]
XFA-FormCalcVersion 1.0 Edited by Gavin F. McKenzie (JetForm). "This document specifically describes a simple scripting language optimized for creating e-form centric logic and calculations." [local archive copy]
Also on XML forms: (1) Extensible Forms Description Language (XFDL), and (2) "Perl Module CGI::XMLForm for XML Forms."