AEM forms is an application deployed into AEM as a set of packages, supported by a JEE-based Forms Workflows add-on that provides advanced functionality,
such as correspondence handling and process-management. AEM packages contain services (API providers) and servlets or JSPs (providing front-end and REST API functionality). While services are deployed into the AEM OSGI container, servlets/JSPs are managed by the AEM Sling framework.
The following explains the architecture of AEM forms.
The architecture for AEM forms includes the following components:
Core AEM services: Basic services provided by AEM to a deployed application. These include a JCR-compliant content repository, an OSGI service container, a workflow engine, and so on. These services are available to AEM forms application but they are not provided by AEM forms packages
Digital Asset Management (DAM): An AEM application that serves as a foundation for AEM forms because forms and other related resources are modeled as DAM assets.
Forms common services: Provide common functionalities to various AEM forms components. Except for Document Manager, these services are for internal use by Adobe components and are not intended for use or customization.
Forms services: Provide forms-related functionality, such as form rendition, combining PDF documents generated from forms, and so on. Many of these services are publicly available for consumption by custom code co-deployed in AEM.
Web layer: JSPs or servlets, built over common and forms services, which provide the following functionalities:
Authoring frontend: A forms authoring and forms management user interface for authoring and managing forms.
Form publishing frontend: An end user facing interface for use by the end users of the AEM forms (for example, citizens accessing a government website). This provides form rendition and submission functionalities.
REST APIs: JSPs and servlets export a subset of forms services for remote consumption by HTTP-based clients, such as the forms mobile SDK.
Apart from the AEM-based components, AEM forms includes a (JEE-based) Forms Workflows add-on which provides specific supporting services to the AEM-based components:
Integrated user management: Allows users of the Forms Workflows add-on to be recognized as AEM users as well. This is required for scenarios where single sign-on between AEM and the add-on is required (For example, HTML workspace).
Asset hosting: The Forms Workflows add-on can serve certain assets (For example, HTML5 forms) rendered on AEM.
Correspondence handling: For Correspondence Management, the Forms Workflows add-on provides services for letter rendering, and workflows hosted by its workflow engine for handling letter submission. In addition to the supporting services, the Forms Workflows add-on can also be used by AEM forms customers for their advanced use-cases, such as complex form-related workflows, workspaces and task management, and so on.
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