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Intelligent document is a general term to describe electronic documents with more functionality than a page designed to emulate paper. Formats include PDF from Adobe, InfoPath from Microsoft, Cardiff Software and XForms from W3C, and the non-programming solutions DocFire, Exari and Intelledox. Each is based on using XML as a format for data.
Intelligent documents are essentially interactive electronic documents. Intelligent documents include forms that change on request, personalized web pages, and personalised presentations. They usually require web access and server software.
Intelligent documents are used to help automate business processes, improve customer service, and reduce costs. Intelligent documents are also being used by marketing firms to target consumers more precisely. Programming marketing documents with customer data helps to improve customer loyalty, increase response rates, reduce marketing costs, and build brand recognition.
Some examples would be the online shopping site Amazon.com and the free email service Gmail from Google which uses AJAX technology to add "intelligence" to its documents. Other more document-centric examples include commercial lending or leasing documents where, by the transactional nature, they can be automated using an assembly line approach with the logic and data embedded directly into the document.
The future of the intelligent document includes tight integration with "meaning-based computing", allowing intelligent completion of forms with recommendations on subject-matter experts and related documents as well as dynamic regeneration based on rules or logic.
Today's more advanced document automation systems allow users to create their own data and rules (logic) without the need for programming.