Streamlined government services.

Marin County increases citizen engagement and operational efficiency and improves experiences for the public with Adobe Experience Manager Forms.

Marin County



Population: 260,000
San Rafael, California

Marin County

Increased public engagement with easier form submissions


Providing mobile-friendly, self-service workflows for services

Scale electronic forms across new devices and channels

Reduce time lag and cost associated with paper processes


Improved mobile access to forms from any device or location

Increased public engagement with easier form submissions

Streamlined workflows for faster responses

Surpassed yearly goals set for the IT Strategic Plan

Working together to be a more responsive government

Nestled between San Francisco and the Napa Valley in California, Marin County is known for both natural beauty—from beautiful beaches to the Muir Woods redwood forest—and its year-round schedule of cultural festivals and events. According to the County’s IT Strategic Plan, one of the greatest aims is to deliver responsive and effective services to the community of 260,000 residents. Also, in 2015, the County adopted a 5-Year Business Plan with a mission to become a more adaptive organisation that encourages engagement, learning and leadership at all levels.

In addition to developing and maintaining large customised solutions and business processes like property tax and criminal justice case management, the Marin County Information Services and Technology (IST) department contributes to the 5-Year Business Plan through innovation and change. “Some of the big focuses for our department over the next five years include developing impactful mobile apps, automating internal processes to improve effectiveness and efficiency and expanding our ability to provide online services,” says Rwena Holaday, Assistant Director of IT, Marin County. “One of the biggest parts of online services involves automated and adaptive electronic forms that allow the public to do their business online with 24/7 availability.”

Marin County still uses paper forms for many workflows. Not only are these costly to process, as County staff often needed to enter information manually into electronic databases, but it can be time-consuming for citizens, who need to download and print PDF files or even travel to a County office to pick up a paper form.

Marin County IST migrated to Adobe LiveCycle for online forms initially to support the automated forms project. While LiveCycle offered a huge improvement in usability, Marin County still had difficulty delivering forms that were responsive across a wide range of mobile devices available to the public.

“We saw a demo for Adobe Experience Manager Forms and we were immediately intrigued by its strong mobile support across devices,” says Linda Jamieson, Applications Integration Manager, Marin County. “But what really sold us on Adobe Experience Manager Forms is the ability to tie forms into the work processes. The back-end support allows us to make forms that are easier for the public to access while streamlining workflows so that we can respond much faster.”

“Adobe Experience Manager Forms was the first step in helping us offer convenient self-serve, online services for the public.”


Rwena Holaday
Assistant Director of IT, Marin County. 

Reaching business goals

By integrating Adobe Experience Manager Forms with existing SQL Server databases, Marin County IST can create smart, automated forms. Forms can pull information from SQL databases to prepopulate or validate data. Data from completed forms is automatically entered into the databases. Completed forms are then archived through an integration with the existing document management system, OnBase.

The Marin County team working with Adobe Experience Manager had no experience with CSS or other technical elements of form authoring. They quickly learnt to create adaptive forms that are suitable for viewing and filling in even on small screens, such as smartphones.

“We use templates to build XDP files, which we then develop into adaptive electronic forms with Adobe Experience Manager Forms,” says Jamieson. “Initially there was a learning curve, but it’s so much easier to develop a form than it was a year ago.”

The Employee Steering Committee for the 5-Year Business Plan challenged the IST department to create seven adaptive forms in the first year after adopting the new electronic forms solution. Marin County has exceeded that goal, having created forms for consumer complaint reports, vote by mail applications, vendor forms for cultural services, inspection reports and annual park pass applications. The small team was able to create these forms by taking advantage of reusable components in Adobe Experience Manager Forms, enabling a scalable model for forms creation across business and IT users.

Improving citizen engagement

Marin County increases operational efficiency with responsive forms on mobile devices that enable greater accessibility and self-servicing for the public. The consumer complaint form, previously available only on paper, now exists as an easily accessible online form. Marin County didn’t even have to promote the form, as the form started getting used as soon as it was uploaded to the website.

The park incident report form takes particular advantage of mobile technology to make it easier than ever for the public to report problems in parks, such as rubbish or fallen trees. People can fill in mobile responsive forms that adapt to any browser or device. They can attach a picture to the form to give park rangers a clearer view of the issue involved. The Parks Incident report submissions have increased each month since implementation earlier this year.  In the future, Marin County even plans to integrate location services that will allow citizens to provide the exact location of any issue.

“The volume of reports has increased dramatically because people can easily fill in forms from their mobile devices,” says Jamieson. “This helps park staff respond to incidents faster and keep our parks in top condition.”

“Adobe Experience Manager Forms was the first step in helping us offer convenient self-serve, online services for the public.”


Rwena Holaday
Assistant Director of IT, Marin County. 

Speeding up workflows

One of the greatest advantages of Adobe Experience Manager Forms is that the adaptive forms can be linked into workflows for greater efficiency gains. Submitted consumer complaint and park incident forms are automatically logged in their respective databases, allowing department staff to start resolving the issues faster.

The building inspection workflow was one of the first to integrate automated forms into the process. Upon completion of an inspection, building inspectors would fill in a form, which would take a day or more to process. The utility company, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) needed to wait until the form was received before its staff could go to a building and turn on services. Now, inspections are completed much more quickly, with PG&E often able to complete their portion of the work on the same day.

Now that Marin County IST is more comfortable with creating adaptive forms with Adobe Experience Manager Forms, the team plans to continue expanding the number of forms that it offers to the public.

“My long-term vision for Marin County is for us to become a paperless county,” says Holaday. “Adobe Experience Manager Forms was the first step in helping us offer convenient self-serve, online services for the public.”

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