AFORMs Library

The Automated Forms Library is an object oriented library of web tools that automate the bulk of the functionality required in web-based B2B or B2C solutions. It was designed and implemented by Sam Azer in 2001. Over the years it was expanded and improved through two major revisions and is used in several large and small projects.

AFORMs is a library of objects representing the functionality required in a web-based E-Commerce solution. Each object is designed to mimick the look and feel of an equivalent Windows object. This allows the programmers to create a web-based application that has the look and feel of a Windows client-server application. This has been shown to dramatically reduce end-user training costs by helping the end-user feel comfortable with the resulting application.

One of the more striking design goals for the AFORMs library was to have the library generate pages based on end-user requirements specified in the code. Although programmers are still needed to write the specifications, the library does much of the work that's needed to generate the resulting web-based forms. Also, because the library is able to scan the definition of the entire form prior to generating the page, it is able to automatically integrate form-level information into the javascript that it generates - resulting in fast, efficient and light-weight client-side javascript being generated without programmer intervention.

As a result, the most important design goals for the library are easily met: The AFORMs library is intended to reduce programmer work-load while producing highly reliable output.

The objects are event driven so that programmers can change their behavior extensively at every stage of their operation. However, each object offers default event handlers that behave in a manner that makes sense in the vast majority of cases - reducing the work-load on programmers who need to implement a system quickly.

Most of the objects in the library generate light-weight DHTML output with limited javascript where necessary. The resulting pages are able to load quickly and perform smoothly.

Traditional Web forms can be made using the AFORMs components. Large pages with arrays of components have been produced that were able to operate with a comfortable feel to them - even on older, slower PC's.

As of this writing, the AFORMs library recognizes Firefox 2+ and Microsoft Internet Explorer 6+. The library is designed to be able to detect the browser that it is generating for and can therefore be upgraded to support any browser with relative ease.