Chapter 2. Features and functionality 23
transmission speeds and use of disk space dramatically, the API is able to automatically
decode Base 64 data and uncompresses forms as it reads them. With an XML parser, you
must force it to decode and uncompress the forms to run them.
The API also provides methods for verifying and handling digital signatures. Most applications
need to verify signatures on the server side, and occasionally even apply signatures on the
server. These tasks are virtually impossible to perform without the Workplace Forms API.
The API can also encode and decode data items stored such as images, enclosures, and
digital signatures. In the case of images and enclosures, this means that using the API it is
possible to extract attachments or images from the form and store them separately on the
server., or insert attached files into forms as they are sent out to the user.
2.5.2 Workplace Forms Webform Server
IBM Workplace Forms Webform Server is a zero footprint solution that allows users to open,
complete, and submit forms using only a Web browser. Webform Server is generally the best
solution if your forms contain little logic and you need to distribute them to a large user base,
such as the general public.
Webform Server uses a collection of server components to intercept requests for XFDL
the user. Webform Server can then receive completed HTML forms, translate them back into
the original XFDL, and pass the completed XFDL forms to a processing application.
This allows end-users to view and fill the forms without installing any client software —
instead, the user works with an enhanced HTML form in their regular Web browser. However,
because there is no client software, Webform Server does not offer all of the functionality that
is available with the Viewer.
Webform Server relies on three central components: a portlet or servlet, a Translator, and a
Log Server. The Translator also contains two sub-components: an Access Control Server
(ACS) and a File Cache.
Figure 2-3 shows how these components are set up in a typical installation.
Figure 2-3 Workplace Forms Webforms Server Architecture