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A method and system for the generation of a webform application

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000020574D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Nov-27
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Nov-27
Document File: 2 page(s) / 63K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is a method and system for the generation of a webform application. Web applications containing forms have many components that need to be synchronized in order for the application to work properly: The definition of the form (HTML), a program (CGI-bin or a servlet) to process the form, a table in a database to store the contents of the form. This disclosure provides a method and a system to generate all these components based on one file (e.g. in XML format). As a result, less work in building the solution is required and the components are always synchronized.

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A method and system for the generation of a webform application

Many, if not most, web applications contain forms. Typically the steps involved in these kind of applications are as follows:

The user is requested to fill in a form.

The form is transmitted to the webserver for processing (e.g. by a servlet)

The program stores the contents of the form in a database.


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This implies that all the components involved in this process (the form, the program to process the form and the table in the database) have to be synchronized. Most commonly, all these parts are "manually coded". As a consequence, when a change in the form has to be made (like adding a new field), the program to process the form and the table in the database also have to be changed.

    This disclosure is a method and a system to automate this by generating the components involved. Based on a description in e.g. XML format, these components are generated by the disclosed system.

Partial solutions to this problem exist:

Based on a description file, a webform in html format can be generated

Based on the definition of a table, a webform and program might be generated to

  add the contents of the webform to the table. Drawback of the first solution: Both the table in the database to contain the contents of the forms submitted as well as the program to process the form still have to be created manually. Drawback of the second solution: The options presented in the webform are based on the definition of the table and not on the fields to be put in the form. Controls like radiobuttons, selection lists, etc. that are very common and usefull can not be used in this alternative.

The disclosed method and system generates all the components involved in the total solution based on one file (typically in XML format):

The HTML form that contains the input fields The DDL (database descriptive language) file that contains the name and definition of the table The program in the webserver (typically a servlet) that processes the form and stores the contents in the database.

The main advantages are the following:

The components involved are synchronized: The base for all of them is one...