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Create an adaptive form

Follow these steps to create an adaptive form.

  1. Access AEM Forms Author instance at http://[server]:[port]/<custom-context-if-any>.

  2. Enter your credentials on the AEM login page.

    After you are logged in, in the top-left corner, tap Adobe Experience Manager > Forms > Forms & Documents.


    For a default installation, the login is admin and the password is admin.

  3. Tap Create and select Adaptive Form.

  4. An option to select a template appears. For more information about templates, see Adaptive form templates. Click a template to select it and click Next.

  5. An option to 'Add Properties' appears. Specify the values for following property fields. The Title and Name fields are mandatory:

    • Title: Specifies the display name of the form. The title helps you identify the form in the AEM Forms user interface.
    • Name: Specifies the name of the form. A node with the specified name is created in the repository. As you start typing a title, value for the name field is automatically generated. You can change the suggested value. The name field can include only alphanumeric characters, hyphens, and underscores. All the invalid inputs are replaced with a hyphen.
    • Description: Specifies the detailed information about the form. 
    • Tags: Specifies tags to uniquely identify the adaptive form. Tags help in searching the form. To create tags, type new tag names in the Tags box.
  6. You can create an adaptive form based on following form model :

    You can configure these from the 'Form Model' tab present on the 'Add Properties' page. By default, the form model selected is 'None'.
  7. Click Create. An adaptive form is created and a dialog to open the form for editing appears.

    Once you have finished specifying all the properties, click Create. An adaptive form is created and a dialog to open the form for editing appears.  
    Once you have finished specifying all the properties, click Create. An adaptive form is created and a dialog to open the form for editing appears.  
  8. Click Open to open the newly created form in a new tab. The form opens for editing and displays the contents available in the template. It also displays the sidebar to customize the newly created form according to the needs.

    Based on the type of adaptive form, the form elements present in the associated XFA Form template or XML Schema are displayed in the Data Model Objects tab of the Content Browser in the sidebar. Along with sidebar components, you can also drag-and-drop these elements to an adaptive form.


    Allow pop up windows in your browser to open the newly created form in a new tab.

Create an adaptive form based on an XFA Form template

You can repurpose your XFA form templates to create adaptive forms. To repurpose, upload and associate an XFA form template with an adaptive form. The elements of the Form Template (XFA form) are made available for use in the content finder at the time of adaptive form authoring. From the Content Finder, you can drag-and-drop the form template elements on the form.


Upload the XFA Form Template to AEM Forms before you start creating an adaptive form based on the form template.

Steps to associate an XFA Form with your adaptive form :

  1. On the Add Properties page, open the Form Model tab.

  2. In the Form Model tab, from the drop-down list, select Form Templates. All the form templates that  uploaded to the repository via AEM Forms UI are listed for selection. Search and select the a template.

    Associate XFA Form Template with an Adaptive Form
    Selecting a form template


    You can associate a different form template to an adaptive form at the later stage. For detailed steps, see Edit Form Model properties of an adaptive form.

Create an adaptive form based on an XML schema

XML schema represents the structure in which data is produced or consumed by the back-end system in your organization. You can associate an XML schema to an adaptive form and use its elements to add dynamic content to the adaptive form. The elements of the schema will be available for use in the content finder at the time of adaptive form authoring. From the Content Finder, you can drag-and-drop the schema elements on the form.

Steps to associate an XML schema with your adaptive form :

  1. On the 'Add Properties' step of adaptive form creation page, click on 'Form Model' tab.

  2. In the Form Model tab, select 'XML Schema' from the drop down. The following two options appear :

    • Select XML Schema
    • Document of Record Template Configuration
    Here, we will be concerned with the option to 'Select XML Schema' while Document of Record (DOR) configuration is used to maintain a Form Template (XDP) asset with the adaptive form to provide ESign, Verify, and DOR Capabilities.
    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 (DoR). For more details refer to 'Generate Document of Record for non-XFA adaptive forms'.
  3. On clicking 'Select XML Schema', the following two options appear :

    • Upload from disk - This option is to upload an XSD file directly from your system disk. This file once uploaded, will reside with the form and will not be accessible externally as a separate entity.
    • Search in repository - This option lists all the XSDs that have been uploaded to the repository through AEM Forms UI. Search for the desired XSD and select any one from the list. The selected XSD will be associated with the form by reference and will be accessible for association to other forms as well.


    If you wish to choose 'Search in repository' option, upload the XSD file as a resource to AEM Forms before you start creating an adaptive form based on XML schema.

    Selecting an XML Schema
    Selecting an XML Schema

  4. After you select/upload an XML Schema, a modal dialog lets you select the root element of the XSD that you map to the Adaptive Form. Select the required root element, and click Proceed. If the XSD contains a single root element, it is selected by default and a modal dialog is not displayed.

    Selecting XSD root element
    Selecting XSD root element

It is recommended to read through the following content in order to understand how to design an XML schema and use its elements at the time of form authoring.

Adaptive form templates

A template provides a basic structure and defines appearance (layouts and styles) of an adaptive form. It has pre-formatted components containing certain properties and content structure. Out of the box, AEM Forms provides some adaptive form templates. To get the complete template package including advanced templates, you need to install the AEM Forms add-on package. For more information, see Installing AEM Forms add-on package.

In addition, you can use the template editor to create your own templates. For more information about working with templates, see Adaptive form templates.

Edit Form Model properties of an adaptive form

You can have adaptive forms based on XFA form templates or XML schema. You can replace the already applied XFA form template with a different form template and similarly an already applied XML schema with a different XML schema.

Perform the following steps to apply a different form template or XML schema:

  1. Select the adaptive form and click the 'View Properties' icon.

  2. On the properties page, click the Edit icon.

  3. Open the FORM MODEL tab. Based on the form model of the adaptive form, you will either see a list of form templates to select from or option to upload/select an XSD.

  4. Select a form template or schema to associate it to the adaptive form and click the Done icon.


    You cannot change the form model for the adaptive forms that have a form model associated with them (i.e. for XFA Form template based or XML schema based adaptive forms). But, If you did not specify any Form Model while creating the form, you can choose a Form Model from the Select From drop-down box.

Auto save an adaptive form

By default, the contents of an adaptive form are saved on a user action, such as on pressing the save button. You can also configure an adaptive form to automatically start saving the content based on an event or time-interval. The auto save option is helpful in:

  • Automatically saving the content for anonymous and logged-in users
  • Saving the content of a form without or minimal user intervention
  • Start saving content of a form based on a user event
  • Saving the content of a form repeatedly after a specified time interval

Enable Auto Save for an adaptive form

By default, the auto save option is not enabled. You can enable the auto save option from the Auto Save tab of an adaptive form. The Auto Save tab also provides several other configuration options. Perform the following steps to enable and configure the auto save option for an adaptive form: