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Summary of new features and enhancements in AEM 6.3 Forms.

AEM Forms includes several new features and enhancements that further streamline creation, management, and user experiences with forms, documents, and correspondences. Read on for quick introduction to new features and enhancements. Visit documentation for resources offering details.

Also, see AEM 6.3 Forms release notes. For complete AEM 6.3 Forms documentation, visit AEM 6.3 Forms User Guide.

Simplified authoring experience

Simplification of authoring forms and documents_hero image_2

There are several new features and enhancements in this release to simplify the authoring experience of adaptive forms and documents. The enhancements help reduce your time to market and enable business users to work with forms and documents.

Adaptive form editor

Support for JSON schema for creating adaptive forms

AEM Forms now also supports creation of an adaptive form by using an existing JSON schema as the form model, in addition to XDP form templates and XML schemas. The schema represents the structure in which data is produced or consumed by the back-end system in your organization. 

See how to use JSON schema as the form model to create adaptive forms.

CAPTCHA in adaptive forms

Adaptive forms components browser now includes CAPTCHA component. It helps form authors implement CAPTCHA service in adaptive forms. It allows them to use the default AEM CAPTCHA service or Google reCAPTCHA API.

For more information, see Using CAPTCHA in adaptive forms.

Enhanced Adobe Sign integration

Adobe Sign enables e-signature workflows for adaptive forms. E-signatures improve workflows to process documents for legal, sales, payroll, human resource management, and more areas. Adobe Sign integration with AEM Forms has added support for:

  • Multiuser signing workflows
  • Sequential and simultaneous signing workflows  
  • Signing forms as logged-in user
  • Dynamic signing processes (integration with Form-centric workflows on OSGi)

For more information, see Using Adobe Sign in an adaptive form.

Asynchronous submission of adaptive forms

Traditionally, web forms are configured to submit synchronously. When users submit a form, they are redirected to an acknowledgement page, or in case of submission failure, an error page. However, modern web experiences like single page applications are gaining popularity where the web page remains static while client-server interaction happens in the background.

You can now provide this experience with adaptive forms by configuring asynchronous submission. In this case, an adaptive form behaves like a single page application as the form does not reload or its URL does not change when the submitted form data is validated on the server.

For more information, see Asynchronous submission of adaptive forms

Keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts help you quickly invoke actions and become more productive while working with AEM Forms. New keyboard shortcuts are available for the following components:

Inline editing of component title

You can modify the Title property of an adaptive form component inline in the form editor without opening the Properties browser as long as the title is visible on the form. 

For more information, see the best practices section in Introduction to authoring adaptive forms.

Default validations in components

Most forms include fields to provide email address and phone number for user identification. However, to validate and standardize user inputs, form authors are required to put validation checks for these fields.

Adaptive forms provide Email and Telephone with in-built validation checks to simplify and accelerate form authoring. For more information about default validations, see Introduction to authoring adaptive forms.

You can use the default validation or provide your own validation by updating the Validation Pattern under the Patterns accordion in the component properties.

Improved end-user experience

Autofill form fields

Most modern browsers support autofill, which when enabled, populates common form fields in a web form. It saves significant time and effort for end user filling a form.

You can enable Text Box, Email, and Telephone components of adaptive forms to autofill values for fields like name, address, credit card, telephone, and email from the information stored in browser's autofill settings.

For more information, see best practices in Introduction to authoring adaptive forms.

Rich Text for a text box component

By default, the Text Box component accepts only plain text. You can enable a Text Box component to accept Rich Text. A Rich Text enabled text component provide options to add headers, change character styles (bold, italicize, underline the characters), create ordered and unordered lists, change text background and text color, and add hyperlinks.  

For more information, see adaptive form component descriptions and best practices in Introduction to authoring adaptive forms.

Specialized HTML5 input types for form fields

Adaptive forms fields, such as Numeric Box and Email can be configured to include specialized HTML5 input types. When these fields are in focus on mobile devices and tablets, the keypad displays specific alphabet, numbers, and characters upfront that are commonly used to input information in the fields. It helps users enter information quickly without having to toggle between characters sets on the keypad.

For example, the keypad for a numeric box prominently shows numbers in the top row. Similarly, for Email fields, characters that are commonly used in email IDs like the at sign (@), underscore (_), and period (.) are shown upfront.

Keypad for numeric box on iPad
Keypad for Numeric Box on iPad

Keypad for Email field on iPad
Keypad for Email field on iPad


To allow specialized input for a component, enable the Use HTML Type Number check box in its component properties. 

For more information, see adaptive form component descriptions and best practices in Introduction to authoring adaptive forms.

Testing frameworks

Debug adaptive forms using Google Chrome plug-in

AEM Chrome Plug-in is a browser extension for Google Chrome that provides tools for debugging adaptive forms. Form authors and developers can use these tools to:

  • Identify bottlenecks and optimize performance of form rendering
  • Debug keywords and bindRef errors in the form
  • Enable and configure logs
  • Debug rules and scripts in the form
  • Explore and learn about guideBridge APIs

For more information, see AEM Chrome Plug-in - Adaptive Form.

Automating tests for adaptive forms

AEM provides a test framework for running automated tests on AEM applications in a web browser. The framework uses Hobbes.js Javascript library. With this release, a new class hobs.utils.af is introduced to the framework that provides APIs for testing of adaptive forms. 

For more information, see Testing Your UI Using Automated Tests.  

Rule Editor

The rule editor feature in Adobe Experience Manager Forms empowers forms business users and developers to write rules on adaptive form objects. These rules define actions to trigger on form objects based on preset conditions, user inputs, and user actions on the form. It helps further streamline the form filling experience ensuring accuracy and speed. The rule editor provides an intuitive and simplified user interface to write rules.

For more information, see Adaptive forms rule editor

AEM 6.3 Forms release has the following enhancements for rule editor:

Enhanced security in rule editor

You may have different types of users with varied skills that work with Adaptive Forms. While expert users may have the right knowledge to work with scripts and complex rules, there may be basic-level users who need to work only with the layout and basic properties of adaptive forms.  

  • While all users are allowed to view rules, AEM Forms allows you to limit rule editor access to users based on their role or function. In the Adaptive Forms Configuration Service settings, you can specify the user groups that can access rule editor. When a user who is not part of a specified user group taps a form field, the Edit Rule icon () is not available for her in the components toolbar.
  • For enhanced security, any scripts in rule editor can now be written or edited by users in the power users group. This restriction applies to the existing scripts as well. Also, the Code Editor tab in rule editor is now available to power users only. Users in Forms Users group can access only Visual Editor to edit the rules.

For more information and instructions on limited rule editor access to specific user groups, see Grant rule editor access to select user groups.

For instructions on adding users to groups, see User Administration and Security.

Multi-value form components display the component options automatically

When you have a multi‐value component, such as radio buttons or list, while creating a rule for that component the options are automatically retrieved and made available to the rule creator. The user need not type the option values again.

For example, a list has four options: Red, Blue, Green, and Yellow. While creating the rule, the options (radio buttons) are automatically retrieved and made available to the rule creator as following:

MultiValueFCDisplaysOptions

Specify a WSDL in the Set Value Of component

The Set Value Of component fully supports WSDLs. Using the Set Value Of component, you can also use complex conditions. 

SetValueOfWSDL

Disable a rule

You may need to suspend usage of a rule temporarily. You can select one or more rules and tap Disable in the Actions toolbar to disable them. Users are no longer able to use the rule until it is enabled again (using the Actions toolbar). The status column of the rule displays whether the rule is enabled or disabled.

DisableRule

Visual cues in code editor

Writing JavaScript code in the rule editor is now easier with:

  • Syntax highlights
  • JSHint
  • Auto Indentation
  • Hints and suggestions for Form objects, functions, and their properties
  • Auto completion of form component names and common JavaScript functions
JavaScriptRuleEditor

Placeholder automatically takes the value type on dropping a Form Object/Function

While creating or editing a rule when you drag-and-drop an object or function into a placeholder, the placeholder automatically takes the appropriate value type. 

Clear Value Of action

In a When rule, you can now trigger a Clear Value Of action. It clears the value of the specified object.

ClearValueOf

Theme editor

With Adobe Experience Manager Forms, you can create themes and apply them to your forms. A theme contains styling details for components and panels, and you can reuse a theme on different forms. When you apply the theme to your form, the specified style reflects on corresponding components of your form. For detailed information about theme editor, see themes in AEM Forms.

AEM 6.3 Forms release has the following enhancements for theme editor:

Using web fonts in a theme

You can now use fonts available as a service in an adaptive form. Out-of-the-box, Typekit, Adobe's web font service, is available as a configuration. You can use fonts added in your kit with the theme editor. For more information, see Themes in AEM Forms.

Customize list of fonts in theme editor

To use fonts in theme editor that are not listed in the font family, use the Adaptive Form Theme Configuration Service in the AEM Web Console Configuration. For more information, see Listing and selecting fonts in theme editor.

Recently-used styles in Theme Editor

Theme Editor caches the styles you apply to a component so that you can reuse them to apply to another component.

  • Theme Editor caches up to ten styles. 
  • Beyond ten styles, the older cached styles are removed.

For detailed information, see Themes in AEM Forms.

Mask styles applied in a theme

You can mask styles applied in a theme. In the theme editor side panel, use the icon to disable an applied style. For example, if you change dimensions of a component in a form, then you can use the mask button on the left of a property to disable it. For more information, see Themes in AEM Forms.

Change theme of a form at runtime

A theme styles different components of a form. You can use the themeOverride property to change theme of a form at runtime. For details, see Themes in AEM Forms.

Document of Record

After submitting a form, your customers generally want to keep a record, in print or in document format, of the information they have filled in the form for their future reference. This is referred to as a Document of Record. For more information, see Generate Document of Record for adaptive forms.

Following are the improvements in Document of Record functionality.

Simplified management of Document of Record branding

The form editor sidebar now has a new tab for managing branding information of document of record. Before generating a document of record PDF, you can customize information and settings such as logo, appearance, layout, header and footer, disclaimer, and whether or not you want to include deselected check box and radio button options.

The branding information is not automatically localized even if you use machine translation to localize the adaptive form and document of record. To localize the branding information that you enter in the Document of Record tab, you need to ensure the locale of the browser is set appropriately.

For more information, see Customize the branding information in document of record.

Table and column layouts for panels in Document of Record

Your adaptive form may be lengthy with several panels and form fields. You may not want to save a document of record as an exact copy of the adaptive form. From within the Adaptive Form Editor you can choose a layout for one or more adaptive form panels in the Document of Record. You no longer need an XDP-based Designer workflow to make simple layout changes to a Document of Record.

Before generating a document of record, in a panel's settings, select either Table or Column from the Layout For The Document Of Record list. The fields in the panel get organized accordingly in the document of record.

Fields in a panel rendered in a table layout in the document of record
Fields in a panel rendered in a table layout in the document of record

Using AEM translation workflow to localize document of record

Localized adaptive forms help you serve a wide audience across geographies. Now you can also localize the auto-generated document of record using the AEM translation workflow. AEM translation workflow allows you to use either machine translation or human translation to localize the auto-generated document of record. AEM Forms is pre-configured to use a trial version of Microsoft Translator for machine translation. You can also develop your own connectors.

Translation gets enabled for the auto-generated document of record using the same steps used to translate the relevant Adaptive Form. For instructions using localization of document of record and Adaptive Forms, see Using AEM translation workflow to localize adaptive forms and document of record

AEM Forms data integration

data-integeration

AEM Forms applications like adaptive forms and correspondence management require integration with data sources to fetch data and render forms and documents. There are use cases when selected data is fetched from disparate data sources on user interactions in a form. On form submission, the captured data is written back to the data sources.

While a distributed, modular system has its own benefits, the challenge lies in integrating and creating data associations across data sources. Data integration is the key to a functional and efficient enterprise infrastructure with disparate data sources connected to applications for exchange of business data.

AEM Forms Data Integration allows you to configure and connect to disparate data sources. It provides an intuitive user interface to create a unified data representation of business entities across connected data sources. The unified representation is known as a form data model, which is an extension of JSON schema.

For more information about data integration and its usage, see AEM Forms Data Integration.

Forms-centric AEM Workflows for AEM Forms on OSGi

AEM Forms Workflow on OSGi

This release of AEM Forms adds forms-centric capability to AEM Workflows. With this capability, you can rapidly build and deploy workflows for various tasks on the OSGi stack, without having to install the full-fledged Process Management capability on JEE stack. The development and management of workflows uses the familiar AEM Workflow and AEM Inbox capabilities. Workflows form the basis of automating real-world business processes that span multiple software systems, networks, departments, and even organizations. Along with managing human-centric workflows (Approval, Review, and so on), you can also use AEM workflows to automate document services related operations (for example, Generate PDF) and electronically sign (using Adobe Sign) documents.

Once set up, these workflows can be triggered manually to complete a defined process or run programmatically when users submit a form.

With this enhanced AEM Workflow capabilities, AEM Forms offers two distinct, yet similar, capabilities. As part of your deployment strategy you need to decide which one works for you. See a comparison of the AEM Workflows on OSGi and Process Management on JEE.

For more information, see Forms-centric workflows on OSGi.

Enhanced integration with Adobe Sign

Adobe Sign – Integration with AEM Forms_hero image_2

Adobe Sign enables e-signature workflows for adaptive forms. E-Signatures improve workflows to process documents for legal, sales, payroll, human resource management, and more areas. In a typical Adobe Sign and adaptive forms scenario, a user fills an adaptive form to apply for a service. For example, a credit card application and a citizen benefits form. When a user fills, submits, and signs the application form, the form is sent to the service provider for further action. Service provider reviews the application and uses Adobe Sign to mark the application approved. To enable similar electronic-signature workflows, you can integrate Adobe Sign with AEM Forms. A few more examples are, you can use Adobe Sign to:

  • Close deals from any device with fully automated proposal, quote, and contract processes.
  • Finish Human Resource processes faster and give your employees the digital experiences.
  • Cut contract cycle times and onboard your vendors faster. 
  • Create digital workflows that automate common processes.

In AEM 6.3 Forms release, Adobe Sign integration with AEM Forms has added support for:

  • Multiuser signing workflows
  • Sequential and simultaneous signing workflows  
  • Signing forms as logged-in user
  • Dynamic signing processes (integration with Form-centric workflows on OSGi)

For more information, see Using Adobe Sign in an adaptive form

Enhanced forms management

Enhanced-Forms-Management

XFA upload restricted to Forms Power Users

Only Forms Power Users group has the rights to upload XFAs to AEM Forms. Forms Users cannot upload XFAs to AEM Forms. 

Enhanced AEM Forms App

AEM-forms-app

AEM Forms app allows field workers to synchronize their mobile devices with an AEM Forms server and work on their forms. The application works seamlessly when the device is offline by saving data locally on the device. Using annotation features, such as scribble and photographs, field workers can provide accurate information to integrate into the business processes and simplify decision making.

For more information, see AEM Forms app

Following are the improvements in AEM Forms app:

Mobile devices support

AEM Forms App is now available on smartphones on iOS and Android. Following are all the devices that AEM Forms App supports:

  • Apple iPhone
  • Popular Android smartphones

Support for Apache Cordova 6.4.0

AEM Forms App now supports Apache Cordova 6.4.0. Following are the platform-specific versions of Cordova that are supported: 

  • Cordova iOS 4.3.0
  • Cordova Android 6.0.0
  • Cordova Windows 4.4.3

Enhanced Correspondence Management

Correspondence-management

Correspondence Management centralizes and manages the creation, assembly and delivery of secure, personalized, and interactive correspondences. It enables you to quickly assemble correspondence from both pre-approved and custom-authored content in a streamlined process from creation to archival. As a result, your customers get the right communication at the right time in the right way: timely, accurate, convenient, secure, and relevant. Your business maximizes the value of customer interactions and minimizes cost and risk with a process that is streamlined for ease, speed, and productivity.

For more information, see:

Following are the improvements in Correspondence Management:

Out-of-the-box layout templates for creating letters

Correspondence Management now includes layout templates that you can use instead of having to create layouts from scratch. You can use designer to quickly modify the branding and data fields of the templates to suit your organization's needs.  

 

TemplatesCorrespondence

Quickly create assets and letters similar to existing ones

To quickly create one or more assets or letters similar to existing ones, you can copy and paste existing assets or letters. You can further make the appropriate changes in the copied assets as required.

For instructions, see:

Embed formatted text in letters and text modules

To quickly embed formatted text, you can copy and paste HTML or formatted text from other applications, such as Microsoft Word and Microsoft PowerPoint, to:

  • The text editor
  • An editable, inline module in a correspondence
CorrespondenceManagement

The pasted text retains its formatting. For more information, see:

Insert special characters in letters and text editor

You can now insert special characters in letters. Correspondence Management has built in support for 210 special characters. Administrators can add support for additional special characters by customization.

For example, you can use the Special Characters palette to insert:

  • Currency symbols such as €,¥, and £
  • Mathematical symbols such as ∑, √, ∂, and ^
  • Punctuation symbols such as ‟ and ”
SpecialCharacters

You can use special characters in:

  • The text editor
  • An editable, inline module in a correspondence

For more instructions and more information on adding support for your own special characters, see Custom special characters in Correspondence Management.

Highlight text with color

Correspondence Management allows you to use color to highlight\emphasize text in:

  • The text editor
  • An editable, inline module in a correspondence

You can either directly tap a basic color [A] present in the Basic Colors palette or tap Select after using the slider [B] to choose the appropriate shade of the color.

Optionally, you can also go to the Advanced tab to select the appropriate Hue, Lightness, and Saturation [C] to create the precise color and then tap Select [D] to apply the color to highlight the text.

TextBackgroundColor
TextBackgroundColorApplied

Integrating Correspondence Management as a third-party application in AEM Forms workspace

The support in AEM Forms workspace for management of task assignment and completion activities for forms and documents is enhanced. You can now support Correspondence Management as a third-party application in AEM Forms Workspace. Correspondence Management has the concept of a 'Letter', which can be rendered and allows actions.  

For more information and steps, see Integrating third-party applications in AEM Forms workspace.

Folder support

AEM Forms user interface uses folders to organize assets. Using folders and subfolders, you can group assets together and maintain different copies of the same assets for easy management. You can select a folder and choose to download or delete it.

For more information, see Folders and organizing assets.

Search and filter

AEM Forms UI allows you to search your content. Using the top bar, you can tap Search [A] to search your content for resources such as assets and documents.

When you search for assets, AEM Forms displays the side panel. You can also tap  > Filter [B] to invoke the side panel. Using the various filters in the side panel, you can narrow down your search. The side panel also allows you to save your searches.

Search_TopBar
A. Search B. Filter 

For more information, see Search.

Enhanced Document Security

Document Security

Support for Microsoft Office 2016

Adobe Experience Manager Document Security Extension for Microsoft Office has added support for Microsoft Office 2016. For information about other improvements in document security, see release notes.

Enable native AEM search to find document security protected Microsoft Office documents

Adobe Experience Manager provides a user interface to search and locate various assets stored in AEM. The native search is capable of searching and locating AEM assets and performing text search on various commonly used document formats such as plain-text files, Microsoft Office documents, and PDF documents. You can also extend and enable the native search to perform full-text search on DRM protected PDF and Microsoft Office documents.  

For detailed steps see, enable AEM to search document security protected PDF and Microsoft Office documents.

New APIs to protect documents

Document Security Java SDK introduces a new set of APIs to allow a user account to protect a document without attaining the permissions to edit the document. You can use these APIs in a Workbench process or programmatically as a document service. The new APIs are:

  • protectDocument
    Use the ProtectDocument API to apply a policy to a document on behalf of another user account. Permissions of the user account used to apply the policy remain limited to protecting the document. It does not attain rights to open and view the document.
    RMSecureDocumentResult protectDocument(Document inDoc, String documentName, String policySetName, String policyName, RMLocale locale, boolean bExactMatchForNames)
  • createLicense
    Use the CreateLicense API to create a license for a policy on behalf of another user account.
    PublishLicenseDTO createLicense(String policyId, String documentName, boolean logSecureDocEvent)
  • protectDocumentWithCoverPage
    Use the ProtectDocumentWithCoverPage API to apply a policy and add a cover page to a document on behalf of another user. Permissions of the user account used to apply the policy remain limited to protecting the document. It does not attain the rights to open and view the document.
    RMSecureDocumentResult protectDocumentWithCoverPage(Document inDoc, String documentName, String policySetName, String policyName, Document coverDoc, boolean bExactMatchForNames)

Support for third-party authentication in AEM Document Security Extension for Microsoft Office

You can use third-party authentication providers with AEM Forms Document Security. These authentication providers help you add an additional access layer to the protected documents. AEM Forms Document Security supports following extended authentication workflows:

  • Extended authentication using default AEM Forms URL
  • Extended authentication using a custom URL
  • Default extended authentication workflow with third-party identity providers configured on AEM Forms on JEE server
  • Custom extended authentication workflow with third-party identity providers configured on AEM Forms on JEE server
  • Extended authentication using customized page for listing SAML Authentications

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