IBM Adds E-Forms to Workplace

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2005-11-22 Print this article Print

Big Blue vies with Adobe PDF in seeking to tie back-end data to front-end forms, particularly for the vertical industries with the most need: government, health care, insurance and financial services. (

IBM has packaged up its July purchase of e-forms player PureEdge Solutions Inc. announcing on Tuesday its in-house branding of PureEdges technology as IBM Workplace Forms. The e-forms give access to back-end data such as inventory figures, customer data and pricing information and present it in a consistent interface. Thats critical to industries such as insurance, government, banking and health care.
Its also an area on which IBM competitor and partner Adobe Systems Inc. has a solid lock—and where it has plenty of ambition.
Click here to read more about how IBMs move into e-forms challenges Adobe. Adobe traditionally hasnt been thought of as an enterprise software company. That has changed, however, with the rollout of the companys LiveCycle technology. Adobe has positioned itself nicely, analysts say, in that the API hooks were already within the PDF format. Thus, Adobe workflows are already positioned to become more programmatic—a nice place to be, since government organizations including the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Defense are mandating PDFs as a display mechanism. To play in this market, IBM already has the back end tied up. What it plans for the front end, to make Workplace Forms a player alongside PDF, is support for XForms, an emerging industry standard for electronic form documents. Read the full story on IBM Adds E-Forms to Workplace Check out eWEEK.coms for more on IM and other collaboration technologies.
Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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