Lately when I talk to customers about forms, i get the odd question about what Adobe is doing with XForms. W3C’s definition of XForms is “XForms” is W3C’s name for a specification of Web forms that can be used with a wide variety of platforms including desktop computers, hand helds, information appliances, and even paper. XForms started life as a subgroup of the HTML Working Group, but has now been spun off as an independent Activity.”
The trouble for most of our customers is that XForms doesn’t hold the presentation description of how the form should appear, which is why many use Adobe’s XFA format inconjuntion with Adobe LiveCycle and LiveCycle Designer. When rendered as PDF, you get a form that you can confidently distribute knowing that the form will appear as intended, will print well, and have accessibility and legal layout parameters maintained. This is quite important for both Financial industries and government alike (go have a look at your mortgage application form or ABN registration)
The good news is that today Adobe released an alpha version of its new XForms to XFA conversion tool that will in future become part of the LiveCycle Designer tool for forms (also sold as part of Adobe Acrobat)
The nice thing about this is that now you can live in an XForms world if you choose (ColdFusion users have been doing this for some time), then move across to XFA where you truly need that combination of data, business logic and presentation in the one document.