News Release: World Wide Web Consortium Issues First Public Working Draft of XForms Data Model

World Wide Web Consortium Issues First Public 
Working Draft of XForms Data Model

Next Generation Web Forms Separate Purpose from Presentation

Web Resources:

Press Release


XForms Home page

XForms Data Model Working Draft 

Contact America --
Janet Daly, <>, 
+1.617.253.5884 or +1.617.253.2613

Contact Europe --
Carine Rigaud <>, +
Christelle Moraga <>, +

Contact Asia --
Yuko Watanabe <>, +81.466.49.1170 -- 18 April 2000 -- The World Wide Web 
Consortium (W3C) announced the release of the first Public
Working Draft of the XForms DataModel. The XForms Data 
Model Working Draft, along with the XForms Requirements 
document, provide the first cross-industry efforts in 
seven years to produce the next generation of Web-based 

W3C Is Building a Better Web Form

When HTML Forms were introduced to the Web in 1993, they
provided a means to gather information and perform
transactions. The structure of forms served the needs 
of many users at that time, as well as the devices used 
to access the Web.

Seven years later, the Web is a space where hundreds of
millions of users expect to use many different devices to 
perform increasingly complex transactions, many of which
exceed the limitations of the original forms technology.

The W3C HTML Working Group has a charter to develop a form 
archictecture that provides a better match to workflow and database
applications, to the proliferation of new Web-enabled
devices, and to the XML-driven Web.

The XForms Subgroup has accepted the challenge and produced
a forms architecture that separates data modeling, logic, and
presentation. The XForms Data Model has emerged as the first
in a series of XForms specifications.

XForms Data Model Separates Purpose from Presentation

XForms aims to ease the transition of the Web from HTML to
XML. As XHTML 1.0 allows HTML content authors to make a
smooth entry into the XML world, XForms allow Web application
authors to combine the modularity of XML with the simplicity
of HTML to gain key advantages in the areas of device 
independence, accessibility, business-to-business and 
consumer e-commerce,  and embedded devices.

The XForms Data Model deliberately separates the purpose of
a form from its presentation. This allows the application
author to rigorously define the form data, independent of how
end-users interact with the application. The separation facilitates
the development of Web applications with user interaction
components, and provides advantages to Web application developers.

XForms Deliver Structured Data, Device Independence

In the XForms suite of specifications, the rules for
describing, validating, and submitting application data 
are expressed in XML, as well as the submitted data. By 
providing the rules and data in XML, XForms lays the
foundation for combinations with other XML applications,
supporting the extensible Web.

Separating purpose and presentation also makes device
independence easier to achieve by allowing Web application 
authors to write the data model once for all devices. 
Because the data model is not tied to presentation, developers
may customize the presentation in a way that best suits each
device's user interface. Support for device independence 
paves the way for a Web that is accessible to all users.

XForms Implementations, Drafts, in Progress

The XForms subgroup is producing early implementations of
XForms, to determine requirements and test ideas for the 
specification. Examples are available from the XForms page. 
Other members of the subgroup have committed to implementing 
XForms in their products.

The XForms Data Model is the first in a series of XForms 
specifications. Other XForms work focuses on the logic layer 
- identifying relationships and dependencies between data
model fields - and on the presentation aspects.


About the World Wide Web Consortium [W3C]

The W3C was created to lead the Web to its full potential by
developing common protocols that promote its evolution and
ensure its interoperability. It is an international industry
consortium jointly run by the MIT Laboratory for Computer
Science (MIT LCS) in the USA, the National Institute for
Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA) in France
and Keio University in Japan. Services provided by the
Consortium include: a repository of information about the
World Wide Web for developers and users, reference code
implementations to embody and promote standards, and various
prototype and sample applications to demonstrate use of new
technology. To date, over 410 organizations are Members of
the Consortium. For more information see


Testimonials for W3C XForms Data Model Working Draft

Cardiff Software | JetForm | PureEdge | Stack Overflow | Xerox

Cardiff is very pleased to offer editorial resources in the
XML Forms standardization work. The publication of XForms as
a W3C Recommendation will mark an important milestone in the
history of the Web--a legacy-free and non-proprietary
standard for form data interchange and presentation.
Industry support will greatly increase the customer value of
eForms, including XHTML, Adobe PDF, and even paper forms. We
see XForms as a key component of our broader XML strategy.
-- Micah Dubinko, Chief XML Architect, Cardiff Software Inc.

By keeping the data separate from the form, XForms
significantly facilitates B2B e-commerce. As one of the
founding contributors to this specification, JetForm shares
the same design philosophy and with very minor adjustments,
our XML-based e-forms products are in full alignment with
the XForms specification.
-- Gavin McKenzie, Chief Architect of XML Forms
Architecture, JetForm

As the first vendor to deliver an open protocol and product
suite for legally-binding XML forms on the Internet, we are
proud to be part of the W3c and the XForms iniative. We are
excited about XForms, and believe that it validates our
vision of XML as the most powerful format for interactive
documents on the Internet. The digitally-signed XFDL
documents provided by our InternetForms Commerce System,
used in combination with standardized XForms data, will
provide a powerful combination for next-generation
e-commerce applications.
-- David Manning, CTO, PureEdge Solutions

XForms is the missing link to Web interactivity. The purpose
of XForms is to merge XML-based
back-end solutions with the simplicity of HTML. We will
strive to enable the immediate use of XForms with Stack
Overflow's Mozquito Technology in today's browsers and in
Web-enabled devices.
-- -- Sebastian Schnitzenbaumer, CEO, Stack Overflow AG and
co-editor of XForms:
Data Model

For the Web to become a truly ubiquitous computing
interface, it must move beyond the desktop. XForms and other
W3C open standards will make it easy to create and to use
rich, interactive Web documents and services on a wide
variety of user interfaces -- graphical, voice, and paper.
Our Xerox Document Centre, FlowPort, and DocuShare products
will continue to leverage the power of these standards to
deliver valuable document services to customers in whatever
form they choose. 
-- Leigh Klotz, Jr., Director of Technology, Document
Messaging, Xerox Corporation

Received on Tuesday, 18 April 2000 10:07:45 UTC