IUBio

Beta Testers Required - Electronic Forms for the Mac

Tim Barlow tim.barlow at lib.utas.edu.au
Wed Feb 7 02:43:45 EST 1996


Abstract
--------
Form is a suite of applications that implements electronic forms for the
Macintosh; it has three components.
 
The first application, the 'Generator' has a dual purpose. Firstly, it
provides facilities for the  creation, storage and testing of electronic
forms. Secondly, when one or more forms have been created and tested the
application may then be used to generate a 'Sender' application. This
application may be configured with one or more of the stored forms and is
essentially a cut-down version of the Generator without any of the form
creation or editing capabilities. 

The second program of the suite is the 'Sender' application, created in
the manner described above. The application is intended to be an easy to
use tool for office staff, that enables the  direct filling in, and
immediate transmission of forms. The application may be configured with
any number of forms and provides facilities for the  completion, 
validation and submission of the forms.  The manner in which a form is
dispatched to its intended recipient is by embedding the form data within
an eMail message. The Sender application does not send the eMail message
itself but hands over responsibility to a separate eMail application,
referred to as its eMail 'helper'. 

The third application, the 'Receiver' provides facilities for processing
received forms, ie. forms that have arrived at their destination embedded
in eMail messages.  It does not receive eMail messages itself, it instead
relies upon a separate eMail application, its eMail helper. It scans the
mailboxes of its helper recognising and reading only those messages that
contain embedded form data about which it knows, ie. for which it has been
configured. The extracted messages are then processed.  A message is
firstly scanned and the form data is extracted. The extracted data may
then, optionally be written to a database. This is achieved by handing the
data over to a separate database application, referred to as the database
'helper'. The data may also be written to a text file.  An automatic reply
may be sent and the message transferred to another mailbox.

Requirements
------------
a) System 7.5 or later. 
b) AppleScript 1.1 or later.
c) Geneva and Monaco 9 point fonts.
d) Courier 12 point

Application Helpers
-------------------
All eForm applications require the specification of an eMail Œhelper¹
application. An eMail helper is an application that is used by the host to
perform all of its eMail operations, such as sending and receiving mail.
An initialisation process involves the specification of the eMail helper
application to be used. This is done by selecting the appropriate eMail
helper library from the folder of libraries supplied with the package.
Each library contains the necessary AppleScripts to enable the host to
communicate with its eMail helper.  The Receiver application may also
optionally require the services of a database application. This too, is
provided via means of a helper library of AppleScripts. In this initial
release of the product only Eudora and FileMaker Pro are supported as
eMail and database helper applications. It is hoped to add support for
further applications as demand requires.

Eudora Light may be downloaded from the following url -
    ftp://ftp.qualcomm.com/quest/mac/eudora/1.5/eudora154.hqx

Beta Testers
------------
The package may be downloaded from the following url -
    ftp://ftp.utas.edu.au/mac/eform/eForm_1.0b4_Installer.hqx

If, after looking at the package, you would like to become a beta tester
then contact me for a free 5 form license.
    Tim Barlow      -   tim.barlow at its.utas.edu.au

-- 
Tim Barlow        tim.barlow at lib.utas.edu.au
  GPO Box 607    
  Sandy Bay
  Tasmania 7005
  Australia




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