World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Extensible Forms Description Language


Extensible Forms Description Language

Extensible Forms Description Language
Filename extension .xfdl
Internet media type application/xml, text/xml (deprecated)
Uniform Type Identifier (UTI) public.xml
Developed by World Wide Web Consortium
Type of format Markup language
Standard 4.0

Extensible Forms Description Language (XFDL) is a class of the Extensible Markup Language (XML) originally specified in World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Note.[1] See Specifications below for links to the current versions of XFDL. XFDL is a high-level computer language that facilitates defining a form as a single, stand-alone object using XML elements and attributes. It offers precise control over form layout, permitting replacement of existing business/government forms with electronic documents in a human-readable, open standard.

In addition to precision layout control, XFDL provides multiple page capabilities, step-by-step guided user experiences, and digital signatures. XFDL also provides a syntax for in-line mathematical and conditional expressions and data validation constraints as well as custom items, options, and external code functions. Current versions of XFDL (see Specifications below) are capable of providing these interactive features via open standard markup languages including XForms,[2] XPath,[3] XML Schema[4] and XML Signatures.[5]

XFDL not only supports multiple digital signatures, but the signatures can apply to specific sections of a form and prevent changes to signed content.

These advantages to XFDL have led large organizations such as the United States Army and Air Force to migrate to XFDL from forms in other formats. Recently, though, the lack of portable software capable of creating XFDL has as of 2012 led them to investigate moving away from it, with the Army expecting to complete a migration to Adobe Fillable Forms in 2014.[6]


  • References 1
  • External links 2
    • Specifications 2.1
    • Editors 2.2


  1. ^ Extensible Forms Description Language (XFDL) 4.0, W3C Note, 2 SEP 1998.
  2. ^ XForms 1.1, W3C Recommendation, 20 OCT 2009.
  3. ^ XML Path Language (XPath) Version 1.0, W3C Recommendation, 16 NOV 1999.
  4. ^ XML Schema Part 1: Structures Second Edition, W3C Recommendation, 28 OCT 2004; XML Schema Part 2: Datatypes Second Edition, W3C Recommendation, 28 OCT 2004.
  5. ^ XML Signature Syntax and Processing (Second Edition), W3C Recommendation, 10 JUN 2008.
  6. ^

External links

  • Extensible Markup Language (XML) 1.0 (Fifth Edition), W3C Recommendation, 26 NOV 2008.
  • XML Coverpages
  • Boyer, John: "XFDL: The Extensible Forms Description Language - An XML-based forms language for e-commerce." July 22, 2001.
  • United States Army Publishing Directorate
  • USAF webpage with public downloadable XFDL reader: see "items of interest" link on right side of page for viewer download.
  • See also XML Paper Specification (XPS)


  • Extensible Forms Description Language (XFDL) 8.0
  • Extensible Forms Description Language (XFDL) 7.7
  • Extensible Forms Description Language (XFDL) 4.0


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.