Paperless office on the horizon
by Rick Smith (April 2, 2001)
Computer systems have promised less paperwork for years now and the results have been less than spectacular. Now, there appears to be a standards-based solution arriving very soon -- LiquidForms, from Cardiff Software, a leader in XML-based e-business automation solutions. Adobe has recently announced an alliance with Cardiff and that LiquidForms supports Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF) standard.
LiquidForms is an XML-based eForm Management System that runs on Windows PCs and Sun Solaris servers. When fully deployed, it helps enable the paperless workplace by allowing routing, approval, submission and signature approval. Workers browse the organization's centralized eForm repository and fill out the form, according to their workflow process. They can then route the data on their completed forms directly into their ERP, HR, database or other back office application, using only a standard browser and Adobe Acrobat 5.0. No specialized plug-ins or Java filler applets are required.
Cardiff LiquidForms also:
- is based upon Cardiff's work within W3C XForms Working Group (Cardiff is technical editor for the XForms Specification)
- coincides with our government's recent e-initiative of the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act
- requires no proprietary form design format
The LiquidForms eForm Management System is composed of three basic parts:
- LiquidForms Designer (to create and publish on-line forms)
- LiquidForms Web Server (to route, process and administer forms)
- LiquidForms Web Desktop (distributes automated forms to worker community)
This product is clearly destined for larger corporations and government agencies, but may have some application for smaller businesses. The trial edition of the Designer is downloadable from Cardiff and is also bundled with Adobe Acrobat 5.0.
In May 2001, LiquidForms Designer for Windows will ship, with a list price starting at $1,000 per seat with volume discounts. The other system components will also be available then and can be delivered in two distinct configurations. The Workgroup version that supports a 100 log-in maximum is $15,000, while the scalable Enterprise version starts at $30,000.
LiquidForm Designer screen
© 2006 Rick Smith All rights reserved.