Forms in all their infinite variety

Subject: Forms in all their infinite variety
From: Tothscribe -at- aol -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2001 08:12:28 EST

At the risk of pissing off Andrew... Please read all
the way through; I have done research, but it hasn't
given me the answers I need.

I'm starting a massive redesign of my section's
Intranet site, which includes a large number of forms.
The Powers That Be want these online forms to be in a
format that allows the user to:
- Fill them out online without special plug ins
- Send them via email *as a form* (not just the data)
- Print them out for records/faxing, etc.

But at the same time, the user must not be able to
change the form itself, just enter data.

Connecting these forms to a central database is not
necessarily considered desirable because these are the
sort of forms that get passed between two or three
sub-sections.

I have researched several ways of putting these forms
online, but they all fail one or more of those criteria.

Currently, the forms are Word tables, which the
user is to download, fill out, and email back as an
attachment. But those can't be filled out "online,"
and Word tables can be rearranged by the user.

Acrobat files can't be edited online and emailed back.

Omniform requires plug ins to work and it doesn't look
like you can email a completed omniform; just print it.
Plus, I've seen warnings about browser problems with
some versions of Omniform.

I'm leaning towards FileMaker Pro right now, but it
doesn't seem to do everything they want it to do either.

Has anyone else faced this problem? How do you handle
online forms?

Nea Dodson


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