In the world of e-forms, IBM® Lotus® Forms and PDF forms are the most two popular products. A Lotus Forms project can be categorized as two distinct tasks: migrating from existing e-forms and creating e-forms from scratch. We have found in our experience with IBM Software Services for Lotus that most forms projects involve migrating from PDF forms to Lotus Forms.
The PDF form is a type of e-form that is different from Lotus Forms. It can be a static binary file with no interactive fields or a dynamic XML-embedded XML Forms Architecture (XFA) form. Lotus Forms Conversion Tool 3.0 is a plug-in for Lotus Forms Designer that can convert PDF forms to Lotus Forms 3.0 automatically. It supports both static PDF files and dynamic XFA forms. It also includes a number of customized rules and optimizers that can be applied to the conversion process. After the automatic conversion, the plug-in is needed to manually update the converted forms for the presentation layer, XForms instances, and business logic.
This article gives a brief introduction to the PDF migration project, with a detailed description of the Lotus Forms 3.0 conversion tool. It also includes a detailed list of manual effort and requirements, which is an important list for project sizing and estimation. You should be familiar with the IBM Lotus Forms product. Users of IBM Lotus Forms are all welcome to learn and share the project experience with the forms service project.