IBM adds Web 2.0 features to forms technology

IBM on Monday released the next version of its electronic forms technology, adding support for new Web programming methods and established forms standards.

With Workplace Forms 2.6, IBM is introducing a new roles-based design tool built on the Eclipse framework that can be configured for designing forms, developing business rules or linking to back-end systems. Users can plug in reusable components as a way to snap together form templates and back-end services.

The highlight of the release is support for Asynchronous JavaScript + XML (AJAX), which improves the look and performance of forms delivered via a Web browser.

"The market is in demand of having to do more and more through the browser and we are adding more and more functionality there," says Dirk Nicol, program director for IBM Workplace Forms.

IBM has upgraded its Forms Server with support for AJAX and the W3C standard XForms.

The Forms Server, which is part of the Workplace Forms platform that includes a viewer and the Eclipse design tools, includes both the Web Form and form deployment capabilities along with a set of APIs.

The XForms technology creates standards around data models, business rules and presentation of forms. IBM also has added integration with VoiceXML, which allows users to fill out forms using natural speech from devices such as mobile phones. The Forms Viewer has been upgraded to support 26 languages.

The Viewer is priced at US$188 per user, the WorkPlace Forms Server is US$25,000 per CPU and the Designer is US$649.

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