[FoRK] DBs and online forms

Aaron Burt aaron
Tue Oct 4 20:40:40 PDT 2005


On Tue, Oct 04, 2005 at 10:17:01PM -0400, Culture Lab wrote:
> 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.

This is a badly underserved and potentially lucrative market (think
insurance/medicare billing).  Last time I was involved in an effort to
fill out official forms from a database, we were looking at using
PDF::Reuse: http://search.cpan.org/~larslund/PDF-Reuse-0.32/Reuse.pm

Advantages: Produces a print-, FAX-, email- and archive-able version
of the form; many official forms are available as PDFs (re-creating an
official form yourself can lead to bureaucratic nitpicking); can work
with scanned forms; easy handling of multipage forms.

Disadvantages: Possibly large files; PDFs aren't directly printable
(though printing can be automated with Ghostscript).

Weird idear: how 'bout a fee-based website that lets folks fill out
forms online, then produces a PDF and/or FAXes/mails 'em for a fee?  
"Why retype when you can cut'n'paste?  Why buy stamps?  Fill it out
before 8:30PM PST and we'll guarantee it gets postmarked that day!"

Just send me some shares,
  Aaron



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