Friday, December 30, 2016

Orbeon Forms 2016.3

We just made it: today we released Orbeon Forms 2016.3, the third and last major release of Orbeon Forms for 2016! This release introduces several important features and enhancements.

Major features and enhancement

Support for organizations

This release introduces support for the notion of organizations. An organization can be a company location, a group within a company, or any other group of users. What makes organizations interesting is that they follow a hierarchy: both Acme USA and Acme France could be children organizations of Acme World, Inc., for example.

Organizations in Orbeon Forms are used to define permissions: the organization owner for Acme France might be given the permission to access all the invoice data for that organization. However, other members of the organization would not have that much visibility and might only be able to see invoices which they created. And an organization owner for Acme World, Inc., in turn, would have permission to access all the invoices for the children organizations. This kind of logic is not possible simply with the notion of groups, which Orbeon Forms already supports.

When using Liferay, the Form Runner portlet directly provides to Orbeon Forms with Liferay organizations information. When not using Liferay, it is possible to provide organizations information via an HTTP header. For more details, see the documentation as it pertains to the integration with Liferay.

Wizard enhancements

When using the validated mode, the wizard now adds a strict mode, which always prevents from navigating forward if there is an error in the current or previous section, even if following sections have already been visited. (doc)

Support for embedding Form Builder

The Form Runner Java Embedding API now supports embedding Form Builder. (doc)

Other features and enhancements

Form Builder

  • You can now reorder roles in the permissions dialog.
  • The itemset editor makes it easy to clear all items to start a new itemset.

Form Runner

  • Nested sections produce proper HTML headings: H2, H3, etc. This is useful for accessibility and styling.
  • You can control which controls can receive initial focus when showing a form, a new wizard section or a new repeat iteration with two new properties: and (doc)
  • The following new functions are added:
    • xxf:json-to-xml() and xxf:xml-to-json() (doc)
    • xxf:user-organizations() and xxf:user-ancestor-organizations() (doc)
    • fr:is-wizard-first-page() and fr:is-wizard-last-page() (doc)
    • fr:created-dateTime() and fr:modified-dateTime() (doc, doc)
  • The image annotation control now properly scale large images.

XForms engine

  • The following new function is added:
    • xxf:is-control-relevant() (doc)

Other platform enhancements

The process of building a release of Orbeon Forms has been improved, by migrating largely to sbt as a build tool. In addition, there are now more automated integration tests for database operations.

While these enhancements are not directly visible to users, we hope they will help make Orbeon Forms even more robust and reliable.

Other new features and bug-fixes

Including the major features and enhancements above, we closed over 80 issues since Orbeon Forms 2016.2.


See Localizing Orbeon Forms for the latest localization support. Localization depends on volunteers, so please let us know if you want to help!

Browser support

  • Form Builder (creating forms)
    • Chrome 55 (latest stable version)
    • Firefox 50 (latest stable version) and the current Firefox ESR
    • IE 11 or Edge
    • Safari 8, 9 or 10
  • Form Runner (accessing form)
    • All browsers supported by Form Builder (see above)
    • IE8, IE9 and IE10
    • Safari Mobile on iOS 7, iOS 8, iOS 9 and iOS 10
    • Chrome for Android (stable channel)

Compatibility notes

API changes

  • Class ExternalContext and related moved from the Java package org.orbeon.oxf.pipeline.api to org.orbeon.oxf.externalcontext.  If you are using custom Java code making use of this API you will have to update your Java code.


  • The "noscript" mode is now officially deprecated.

Deprecations and removals

The following components are deprecated and will be removed in a subsequent release:
  • fr:fusion-charts component
  • oxf:chart processor

Download and feedback

You can download the latest version of Orbeon Forms from the downloads page.

Don't forget to grab a trial license for the PE version.

Please send feedback:
We hope you enjoy this release!

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