IBM Supports System i with E-Forms Offerings
October 2, 2007 Alex Woodie
IBM last week started shipping new versions of Lotus Forms and Lotus Forms Express (formerly Workplace Forms and (formerly Workplace Forms Express), software products designed to allow companies to create Web-based electronic forms applications, without coding. With the new version 3.0 releases, IBM has added support for System i (via the PASE runtime) and streamlined the creation of forms for use in Web 2.0 environments.
Lotus Forms and Lotus Forms Express help mid size organizations create and manage electronic forms. The products, which are based on the open source XForms standard, provide everything needed to create the user-facing form on the front-end, connect it to databases and applications on the back-end, and handle all the connections in between.
With version 3.0 of the products, IBM has strived to expand the Forms Server and Forms Designer components to run on operating systems besides Windows. By targeting the System i’s AIX runtime environment, called Portable Application Space Environment (PASE), System i shops–which have historically constituted the second-largest Lotus Domino-using contingent, behind Windows–can now run the Forms Server and Forms Designer components, as long as they have i5/OS V5R3 or V5R4. Other operating systems supported by these components include AIX, Solaris, and Red Hat and Novell SuSE Linux. The Forms Viewer component only runs on PCs running Windows 2000, XP, or Vista (new with version 3.0).
Lotus Forms differs from Lotus Forms Express in that Lotus Forms includes the WebForm Server, which offers pre-integration with more than 40 other enterprise applications, including several from IBM, like Lotus Notes and Domino, DB2 Content Manager, WebSphere Process Server, WebSphere Portal, WebSphere Integration Developer, the IBM FileNet P8 platform, WebSphere Transformation Extender, and Lotus Expeditor. The WebForm Server also brings support for PKI-based digital signatures (in the IE Web browser only) and HMAC authenticated “click-wrap.”
Lotus Forms 3.0 and Lotus Forms Express 3.0 became available for download last Friday. Lotus Forms starts at $96,600 for a 25-page license and 12 months of maintenance. Forms Express starts at $25,800 for a 25-page license.