First Look: Adobe Form Solutions
Design and deploy intelligent forms to automate data capture on computers and handheld devices
21 October 2002
Intelligent form solutions from Adobe enable employees, partners, and customers to effectively initiate and participate in an organization's business processes anytime, using a wide variety of desktop and wireless devices. By supporting a wide variety of data capture models, Adobe form solutions protect technology investments and enable organizations to start with basic forms automation and move to more intelligent, integrated solutions as their needs evolve.
Adobe Form Designer enables organizations to easily design intelligent Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) and XML forms. Adobe Form Server delivers forms on the Web to a wide variety of browsers and devices. Client software includes Adobe Form Client, for rendering forms to network-connected internal and external users, and Capture Handheld, for rendering feature-rich forms on wireless devices.
Develop High-Quality Forms with Adobe Form Designer
With Adobe Form Designer, organizations can easily develop and maintain electronic form templates and create intelligent Adobe PDF and XML forms simply and intuitively, without having to rely on third-party tools. Improve form quality-Use a wide array of formatting features such as font style, size, position, color, list boxes, command buttons, and check boxes to design forms. Take advantage of masked text fields to standardize the appearance of specified fields and ensure that users enter the appropriate type of data. Leverage active scripting to incorporate database lookups to improve accuracy and accelerate form processing.
- Leverage existing Adobe PDF Forms: Help to improve the appearance and usability of existing Adobe PDF forms with the advanced form design capabilities of Adobe Form Designer.
- Update forms quickly and easily: Reduce the cost and time associated with updating forms to comply with regulatory requirements.
- Enhance form security: Password-protect form templates to ensure that they cannot be opened or modified by an unauthorized person. For more stringent security requirements, Form Designer also supports digital signature technology from Entrust, VeriSign, Baltimore, RSA, and other vendors.
Deploy Web Forms with Adobe Form Server
Adobe Form Server is an intelligent data capture solution that enables organizations to provide internal and external users with self-service access to customized forms. Using Adobe Form Server, organizations can create and publish Web-based forms for delivery to any browser running on a desktop, the Web, or a mobile device-without downloads or plug-ins.
To eliminate delays associated with manual data processing and routing, Adobe Form Server supports automatic information capture; it also reduces the high cost of paper-based information gathering and improves data consistency, accuracy, and completeness.
- Automatic data verification -- As end users enter data into forms, Adobe Form Server can verify the data accuracy, perform calculations, send confirmations, and submit the data to core business systems.
- Enterprise integration: Adobe Form Server tightly integrates with existing e-mail, enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), and legacy systems helping to ensure that electronic forms capture mission-critical data quickly and accurately.
- Security integration: Adobe Form Server provides digital signature capabilities through secure Web forms. Form Server integrates with the leading Web-based security solutions that provide digital signatures, helping to eliminate the need to access or manage certificates on the desktop.
Automate Data Capture Using Adobe Form Client
Using Adobe Form Client, organizations can deploy XML-based electronic forms to users for advanced intelligent data capture. Adobe Form Client can run inside a browser or standalone. It easily integrates with and maximizes the use of existing e-mail and core business systems.
Featuring zero administration as well as routing, security, and rich application functionality, Adobe Form Client ensures effective and accurate data capture.
- Simple deployment and administration: End users can automatically download Adobe Form Client software components directly onto their desktops and enjoy "browser-like" ease of use when downloading forms and components in a local area network environment.
- Multiple hosting environments: Adobe Form Client is a component-based product that provides rich client data capture in Web (intranet or extranet), client-server, or groupware environments.
- Increased productivity in form-intensive environments: Adobe Form Client is particularly useful in e-mail and groupware environments supporting processes with highly repetitive data capture. Environments that require extensive local saving and printing of forms and advanced data calculations and validations can also benefit from Adobe Form Client deployments.
Full-spectrum security-Adobe Form Client offers extensive support for digital signatures. A Form Client interface communicates with all the major public key infrastructure (PKI) vendor certificates, including Entrust, VeriSign, Silanis, RSA Security, and Smart Trust. Form Client supports forms covering simple to complex security needs, from safeguarding the original template from tampering to digitally signing captured information.
- Accessibility support: Adobe Form Client offers enhanced accessibility features that enable blind and visually impaired users to complete electronic forms. Form Client leverages Verbal-Eyes to set a form to speak when a screen reader is detected, and supports other assistive technologies including screen magnifiers, voice input software, and on-screen keyboards.
- Enterprise integration: Adobe Form Client integrates seamlessly with existing e-mail, ERP, CRM, and back-office systems to enable quick, accurate pre-population of forms.
Reach Mobile Users with Capture Handheld
Using Capture Handheld, organizations can extend their business processes beyond their immediate LAN or WAN environments, improving mobile workers' productivity.
- Efficient, rich data capture: Capture Handheld captures text and numeric information, biometric signatures, digital images, and bar code readings and can integrate data from any peripheral device properly attached to the handheld device.
- Automatic data verification: As mobile users enter data into forms, Capture Handheld can verify the data accuracy, perform calculations, send confirmations, and submit the data to core business systems.
- Local printing: Capture Handheld assists mobile professionals in completing business transactions remotely by supporting local printing to portable, desktop, or network printers.
- Sophisticated data synchronization: With Capture Handheld, users can easily move data between a handheld device and their desktop. Native support for SQL Server CE also provides advanced, secure two-way data synchronization.
- Easy information sharing: Using Capture Handheld, mobile workers with an established wireless connection can post captured data to a Web server or e-mail data files directly from their handheld device.
SOURCE: Adobe Systems Incorporated