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From Duncan McLean <duncan_mcl...@blueyonder.co.uk>
Subject Design help/questions for cforms application
Date Tue, 17 Jan 2006 21:24:53 GMT
Hi

We are currently trying to develop a forms based application which 
integrates into an existing cocoon-hosted site.

The application consists of 7 or so forms which collect information from 
the user, which is eventually packaged up and used to invoke a business 
service which
will call an application to  perform some complex financial 
calculations, before returning the result. We then capture the result, 
and deliver this in the form of a
"quotation" page.

Also. there are occasions between some of the forms that necessitate the 
need to call out to another business service to supply information that 
affects fields displayed on the next form in the
process. For instance, there is a need to bring back a set of funds 
(which changes depending on what the user has chosen in the previous form).
Also, some of the data may also influence the validation of subsequent 
forms.

Currently I have built a proof of concept page (actually the first of 
the actual pages in the application). that actually proves that I can 
incorporate the cforms framework into the existing site.

However, I have some questions about overall design and implementation:

1) Can someone explain how we could call out to the business service, 
retrieve the data and supply to the next form in the sequence (there may 
be quite a large amount
of data returned at some points) - I assume call a java servlet that 
handles the business service interaction.

2) We allow the user to return to any point in the form filling process, 
therefore the form will have to repopulate the fields that they have 
already filled. How easy is this to achieve.
Is this where we would introduce data binding (beit to java beans or xml 
for instance)? I am a bit fuzzy on the concept of data binding in this 
instance. Could someone please explain the rationale
behind data binding please and why it should be used if I it isn't used 
like this?

3) Are there any other issues/problems that we may come across using 
this approach to the application?

Forgive me if this seems a bit wooly, but we are still very much feeling 
our way about cocoon forms, and want to have a clear understanding 
before we make too many stupid mistakes!

Thanks in advance

Duncan


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