Online e-Forms



An Online eForm is a collection of blank forms that are put online for people to use. The Online eForm supports online completion of forms, with data automatically processed through a data collection server, where it is processed through business rules and error checks. The data can then be routed to database, back office and XML applications, while a copy of the completed form is sent to an archive or knowledge management system for later reference. In some implementations the Online eForm can support workflow, moving the form through the organization and to its final destination.

Organizations can implement an Online eForm on PC LAN systems, on Internet Web Servers, and within popular IDM and Knowledge Management applications.

Example applications of an Online eForm include putting common corporate forms, such as those required in human resources, purchase orders, and expense reports online. Other examples include engineering forms, such as engineering change orders, bug reports, and quality control forms, or supplier forms, including reseller applications and purchase orders.

Any form used inside or outside your organization can be put into an Online eForm.

Why implement an Online eForm Solution?

Many large corporate organizations and governments are looking to eliminate paper forms and to put their corporate forms online. The tremendous cost savings in implementing an Online eForm has convinced thousands of organizations to use the Online eForm to save time and money.

Consider the costs associated with publishing and using paper forms vs. electronic forms:

Paper Forms Electronic Forms
Printing and Storing $15 per form <$1 per form
Filling, Processing & Keying    $145 per form*    $5 per form**
Cost Per Completed Form $160.00 $5.00

*Includes: Employee time filling by hand, time routing completed form for approval, time routing form to target (HR), Manual Keying of data into application, cost of lost forms and data associated with errors in keying.
**Includes: Completing form; submitting form; processing form data into database or Back Office application.

Implementing an
Online eForm

The most cost effective way to implement an Online eForm is to take advantage of investments that you already have in place, and then add the components that deliver eForm to your organization.

The Online eForm consists of the following components:

Platform - What does your organization use today to share files between your workers? Many organizations have networked systems that have “public folders” where people can go to get documents. Sample platforms that can host the Online eForm include:

  • Lotus Notes/Domino and Microsoft Outlook/Exchange
  • Open Text Livelink and MosaicSoft Docsmart and other KM systems
  • FileNET, IMR and other IDM systems
  • Standard Web Servers
  • PC LAN network with public disk/folders

  • Recognition and Capture Server - An important component if you want to process paper and digital forms through your eForm. Many users want to be able to print-on-demand and sign a form, or complete the form by hand offline. The Recognition and Capture Server converts handprint, machine-print, barcode and check-marks into digital data, just as if the user hit the “Submit” button online.

    Data Collection Server - At the heart of an eForm is the data collection server. While simple HTML forms process data directly to the Web server, the Data Collection Server validates the data, compares the data against business rules, does calculations and database lookups. This makes sure that data is valid before it is placed into database, back office or XML applications.

    Form Archive and Taxonomy - An often overlooked requirement for eForm processing is archiving completed forms into systems that allow them to be viewed at a later time. This is valuable for management activities as well as customer service functions. The completed forms are stored automatically into the correct location in the system, and index/search keywords populated into the retrieval system. Stored versions of completed forms can then be found through search engines or folder locations - over the LAN or the Internet/Intranet.

    Connections to Data and Archive Systems - Connect Agents are the best way to connect your forms to data and form archive targets. Just point and click and Connect Agents take care of the rest.

    Using eForm - Once your Online eForm is in place, you will want people to be able to use the blank forms. By supporting HTML and/or PDF versions of forms you have complete control of the Online eForm. If you need to publish corporate forms, then PDF forms is the standard corporate solution. If you need “zero client” support, then HTML forms are ideal. Or segment your Online eForm to offer both versions.

    Digital Signatures - Where digital signing of forms is desired, Adobe Acrobat provides the best solution. Acrobat supports built-in private keys as well as those from Entrust, Verisign and other signing authorities.


    Implementing an Online eForm is easy with HTML+Forms and PDF+Forms. These integrated solutions include everything you need: Point & click form design, support for paper, HTML and PDF formats, recognition & capture, data collection, and robust Connect Agents for data, image and XML integration

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