RE: XForms Usefulness

> Or Workflow vendors?

I am employed by Sterling Commerce (SBC) and have been working on a Workflow
management system called Sterling Integrator. We have been developing a
server side XForms implementation over the past 18 months. The first
official version of the product was made available in March and is
commercially available right now. 

The product is quite a bit more than workflow management. It provides B2B
communications components that can be tied to enterprise management
components via a graphical workflow modeling tool. The product is meant to
deal with tying B2B communications with external trading partners into
enterprise level applications (supply chain, vendor management, etc..) -
B2Bi in short. 

The brunt of the system is meant to run in an automated fashion, but a
subset of the product is geared toward allowing actual real humans to
interact with data moving through the Workflow. This is where XForms fits so
nicely. The system is already XML heavy. There was a need to provide a
framework for authoring web based forms that could easily be tied to the
data moving through the workflow. We actually started off in a different
direction but found that we were duplicating too much of the specification
not to simply adopt XForms.

The XForms Processor in Sterling Integrator works in any servlet container
and has been implemented as a series of SAX Filters (no XSLT) that provide
the transition from HTML+XForms to HTML on the server. The XForms Processor
can be hosted standalone in any servlet container although Sterling Commerce
has no plans of distributing the XForms Processor unbundled.

I hope this has been a decent example of a community (electronic business
document people) where XForms has already proven useful.

- Ryan Tomayko

All statements made in this message are the opinions of Ryan Tomayko and do
not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sterling Commerce / SBC. 

-----Original Message-----
From: Tan, Pow Hwee [] 
Sent: Friday, August 23, 2002 4:13 AM
To: 'Bob Foster';
Subject: RE: XForms Usefulness


I also have similar doubts sometimes.  Any interest from Adobe to have their
eForms adopting XForms for a pure-client-side implementation?  Or Workflow


-----Original Message-----
From: []On
Behalf Of Bob Foster
Sent: Friday, August 23, 2002 3:55 PM
Subject: XForms Usefulness

Recently, someone on this list asked another why they would want to use XSLT
to translate xforms to xhtml. I found the question astonishing (how else
could you use xforms?) but have just gotten around to commenting.

It seems obvious that xforms is not very useful (and won't be) until it is
supported by the major browsers - the place where real users fill out forms.

I haven't seen any obvious participation on this list by major browser
suppliers. Makes me wonder if xforms will be the next xlink.

(Sorry to be negative, but serious question.)


Received on Friday, 23 August 2002 10:59:44 UTC