[FoRK] DBs and online forms

Culture Lab info
Tue Oct 4 19:17:21 PDT 2005


Earlier today, we had a meeting with a guy who runs a mortgage company. We 
went there to talk about Web design and getting his T1 running so we can 
admin the server and some Web sites for him.

As we got talking, he said one of his biggest headaches was the time 
involved in data processing.

1. users enter information in an online app.
2. info is e-mailed to his staff
3. she has to fill out loan apps by hand.

He's interested in developing a way to have that information entered 
directly onto an official app, and it must look just like the offical app 
from BigLoanCo, via PDF.

Acrobat's latest lets you create interactive forms but, as near as I can 
tell, the user would have to save the PDF to her hard drive, fill it out, 
and print it, mailing via landmail or e-mail. An alternative would be to 
have them fill it out, re-save it with new information, and then use an 
upload file link (which is open to all the attendant abuses, some of which 
can be addressed).

AS you can guess, though, this is simply too many steps for most people. 
It's a temporary workaround, for now, but ideally he's looking for 
something else. Even more ideally, he's looking for something else that he 
can then turn around and sell to others in the same biz.

So, the next step is to see if anyone's created such an app, translating 
either raw data right into a predefined form or created a database backend 
to do live processing of the input to the Acrobat PDF file on line. Am I 
making any sense? (This isn't my field, which is why I'm asking around here.)

Anyway, I figure someone has already got to be doing this. As far as this 
guy knows, though, he hasn't seen it in the mortgage lending biz.

Thanks,

Kelley



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