DBs and online forms

Subject: DBs and online forms
From: Kelley Greenman <writinglists -at- inkworkswell -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 04 Oct 2005 22:54:51 -0400


Earlier today, we had a meeting with a guy who runs a mortgage company. We went there to talk about Web design and getting his T1 running so we can admin the server and some Web sites for him, possibly set up some user documentation and other niceties.

As we got talking, he said one of his biggest headaches was the time involved in data processing.

1. users enter information in an online app.
2. info is e-mailed to his staff
3. she has to fill out loan apps by hand.

He's interested in developing a way to have that information entered directly onto an official app in PDF format, and it must look just like the official app from BigLoanCo (which is why the PDF), without human intervention.

Acrobat's latest lets you create interactive forms that you can fill out online. However, as near as I can tell (and I could be wrong, so please correct me), the user would have to save the PDF to her hard drive, fill it out, and print it, mailing via land mail or scan it so she can e-mail it.

An alternative would be to have them fill it out, re-save it with new information, and then use an upload file link (which is open to all the attendant abuses, some of which can be addressed).

As you can guess, though, this is simply too many steps for most people. It's a temporary workaround, for now, but ideally he's looking for something else. Even more ideally, he's looking for something else that he can then turn around and sell to others in the same biz.

So, the next step is to see if anyone's created such an app, translating either raw data right into a predefined form or creating a database backend to do live processing of the input to the Acrobat PDF file.

I figure someone has already got to be doing this. As far as this guy knows, though, he hasn't seen it in the mortgage lending biz.

Anyone have any leads?

Thanks VERY much in advance,


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