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Friday, December 14, 2007

The ROI of XForms

This article examines several methods of calculating the Return on
Investment (ROI) of adopting enterprise-wide XForms standards. It
explores ROI analysis from several different viewpoints, including
the standards perspective and issues around vendor lock-in avoidance
strategies. It discusses three ROI models for an enterprise XForms
migration: The use of vendor knowledge to convert standard forms to
a rich Web-client-based XForms application; an investment and savings
calculation over a three-year period; and how XForms can form a
synergistic relationship with XML-centric technologies such as Service
Oriented Architecture (SOA) Business Process Management (BPM). The
article concludes with a discussion on how to overcome common objections
to an XForms initiative. HTML was never designed as an application
development language. XForms is a powerful and deep-reaching technology
that could have a large impact on an organization's overall IT strategy.
On the surface, there are around twenty data elements that are added
to XHTML pages to enhance usability. However, underlying XForms is a
change in the contract between the browser and all Web-based
applications. It changes the Web browser from a "dumb" device that
allows you to navigate between Web pages to a "smart" device with a
clean and elegant architecture that can load intelligent Web
applications and execute as-you-type business rules. When coupled with
other XML-centric technologies such as SOA/ESB and BPM, XForms can give
an organization a large return on investment.

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