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A Publication Featuring The Information Services Technology of Maine State Government

Volume V, Issue 11 November 2002

Happy Thanksgiving

AutoForms: InforME’s Web Form Processor

By Mary K. Silva

InforME has created a user-friendly, flexible form program called AutoForms for State of Maine webmasters whose sites are hosted on the www.state.me.us server. The tool provides functionality for web forms and allows a webmaster to customize the way the form works without having programming knowledge. AutoForms can be used to do something as simple as e-mail form results to a specific e-mail address, or the form can be set up for more sophisticated handling of form data.

Many forms available on-line as HTML pages or PDF documents can only be printed by the user to be filled in by hand or on a typewriter and mailed in. Fillable forms created with AutoForms can be completed right on the computer by typing in, or selecting information on the web page, and are sent instantly to a recipient or data file. Fillable forms do not require special software or a printer and if created properly, they are accessible to disabled users with screen readers. The form information is received immediately by the agency, and allows users to receive instant feedback that the form has been submitted and received.

Anybody who can create a regular web page and has access to a web server for publishing HTML documents can create forms, since the form definition tags are just regular HTML tags. Forms are a simple way to add interactivity to your website and handle frequent requests. Common uses of on-line forms are surveys, order/request forms, feedback, or other services requiring collection of information for the user.

What can you do with AutoForms?

Examples of fillable forms in Maine state government:

Maine.gov website survey
http://www.maine.gov/portal/survey.html

Bureau of Motor Vehicles change of address form

http://www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/address.htm

Do Not Call list

http://www.maine.gov/ag/donotcall.html

File a complaint on a licensed professional
http://www.maine.gov/pfr/olr/olrcomplain.htm

Report a malfunctioning traffic signal
http://www.maine.gov/mdot/traffic/alert.htm

Ask a reference librarian
http://msl1.ursus.maine.edu/mslref/mslrq/mslrqref_entry.cfm

For more information and to request an AutoForms account, please visit: http://www.maine.gov/webmasters/technical/index.html and click on "On-line Form Processing." You will also find step-by-step instructions on setting up your fillable forms. For questions regarding your AutoForms account, please contact Dan Ehlers,

621-2600 x24 or send an email to dan@informe.org.

For more complex form applications, please contact InforME’s project team: Renee Loring, 621-2600 x34, renee@informe.org or Tiffany Glidden, 621-2600 x31, tiffany@informe.org to discuss your project.

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