about processes and engines

xforms envy

Why am I using this “envy” word ? Because I wanted to do xforms on top of OpenWFE since a long time.

Mark and his team are doing it. Lucky ones !
That’s anyway a big reward, to enable others to build even greater things on top of your work. OpenWFE + xforms are a powerful and natural combination.

Mark also maintain a nice tutorial on xforms. Classy stuff.

Written by John Mettraux

July 19, 2006 at 8:40 am

Posted in openwfe, xforms

6 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Hi John,

    Maybe they should do a TV programme called “Hack Swap” or something, where you could come to my office and do the things you are envious of, and I could spend a day at your office…because I really love OpenWFE, and am just as envious as you are!

    We fully intend to release the XForms modules that we’ve created for our application, since they are generic and could be used to drive any XForms/OpenWFE application, and we’ll try to make a demo available soon, too.

    The modules use your REST interface, as you’d expect, but what’s nice about XForms is that it’s the client doing all the work to get the session, headers, workitems, etc. We store a URL within the workitem to tell the XForms client where to get its data from for a particular sub-section of the workitem, and since in our case we’re using the REST interface on eXist there’s not a lot more we have to do! Changing the application is pretty much as straightforward as changing the workflow definition (which could also come from eXist).

    The form is also quite generic, and its job is simply to allow the user to interact with a workitem, and then when they are done, to give the workitem back to OpenWFE. We periodically poll for workitems for the user, so OpenWFE just decides what to do with the workitem and the next time a user polls they get their updated list.

    One thing I really like is the fact that the filters come down to the XForm, so we can know in the form what is read-only and what is read-write, and stlye the display appropriately.

    Programming was never this easy…XForms+OpenWFE+eXist is a stunning combination. :)

    Keep up the impressive work, John.



    Mark Birbeck
    CEO Ltd.

    e: Mark dot Birbeck at x-port dot net
    t: +44 (0) 20 7689 9232

    Download our XForms processor from

    Mark Birbeck

    July 19, 2006 at 9:40 am

  2. I also have to look at eXist, I’ve the impression it might make my life easier as well.

    Thanks for the great comment, best regards,



    July 19, 2006 at 9:54 am

  3. Have a look at Open Presentation Framework (OPS) It does XForms very well and seems like a natural fit (besides formsPlayer) for OpenWFE. It doesn’t come with a WFE, but an Java extension API, so it could be fitted together. I’m sure Eric will be delighted to work with you.
    :-) stw

    Stephan H. Wissel

    July 22, 2006 at 4:14 am

  4. Hi Stephan,

    nice hint, saw that Orbeon is based partially in Switzerland, as I am (though I’ll be leaving soon). But they are already partnering with Intalio ( (aka “the [leading] open source bpm company”) since the beginning of the year.

    I don’t know the relation between X-Port and Orbeon, but they don’t seem like rivals. Interesting.

    Thanks and best regards,



    July 22, 2006 at 4:31 am

  5. […] He’s using OpenWFE and eXist behind his XForms to quickly build applications for his customers. As I’ve already said, I’d like to have more time to explore xforms. Maybe very soon. […]

  6. […] and OpenWFE I had not noticed this fine piece of documentation at, though I knew about this team’s […]

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: