Once again Adobe has issued an update which breaks existing business systems. After the fiasco of Reader 9.3.4 failing to open external files such as SWF or XLS, the new Reader X is not opening the requested PDF when called via DDE.
The Reader X always opens with a "What do you want to do?" panel, offering various manually selected actions. What is required is for the Reader to open the PDF file specified in the DDE call, as it has done in all previous versions.
Is there a fix for this, or an alternative calling mechanism?
We have an external application which allows students to navigate around the various modules and lessons within their course. When they select a lesson, a DDE call is raised to request the appropriate lesson PDF to open in Reader. The external program uses a small floating, semi-transparent form, which allows easy lesson selection, automatic bookmarking and other functions. This functionality could not be achieved with simple PDF full of hyperlinks to the lessons.
The further problem is that many hundreds of these various courses are already in use by students around the world. We cannot easily prevent them from accepting upgrades to Reader X, nor supply them all with an alternative control method. All we can do is suggest anyone experiencing this problem to dump the new version and download version 9.4
Has anyone any ideas to fix the broken functionality in Reader X, or a satisfactory way to work around this failure ?
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The major obstacle is Adobe's failure to admit whether this is an
intentional withdrawal of functionality, or an oversight.
If it is a bug, we can hope they will fix it, but if they have deliberately
removed DDE compatability, then anyone with a system dependent upon it can
start looking for an alternative.
My guess is that Adobe do not think about the serious problems which they
cause with such changes. They focus on cramming more new "techie" features
into products and have no time for "old" and proven technologies on which
thousands of people depend.
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Please change your application to use following servername for Acrobat/Reader instead of "acroview" try the following:
For Reader X Use DDE_SERVERNAME = acroviewR10
For Acrobat X Use DDE_SERVERNAME = acroviewA10
Thank you very much for your response, you saved my day.
but I want to ask Adobe a question: from 1800 BC you are using the server DDE as AcroView now you change it to AcroViewR10, did you take into account your customers and migration cost? I received millions of requests from our clients that our software gives error, after long investigations we figured out that our clients are using Reader X.
The acroviewR10 setting is working in my tests.
Do you have association with Adobe to know this new value, or where was the information available please?
This information is of vital assistance, but of course it has not solved the whole problem. It is now necessary to update all the courses which have been using this technology for the past six years, and start to create new CDs for distribution. Plus patches to e-mail to existing students reporting the problem.
The remaining problem is that not all students will have updated to Reader X. Any who have not, would still find the products broken, so we have to give a mechanism to select either Reader X or alternatively any previous version (except 9.3.4 which was losing path to files anyway).
Does anyone know a reliable test for Reader version please?
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You shouldn't need to change anything or burn new CDs. The names "AcroviewA10" and "AcroviewR10" are supposed to be IN ADDITION to the old "Acroview" service. I do see that there is also a name change to the old DDE app name to "AcroView" (2 capitals). Is DDE case sensitive? Was this a typo? I'm guessing yes to both. This should be fixed in 10.0.1.
Thanks for your contribution Dave.
The DDE call should not be case sensitive. Various writings on this page quote Acroview and AcroView, but I have tried various combinations and results are the same whatever case is used. It is acroviewR10 which I have used with success in my updated calls.
ManishPali has not responded to my question of where he found these R10 and A10 settings, but if these were intended to be the only access, they can give rise to even more scope for program failure. The majority of users will have only the free Reader, but some may have the full Acrobat program, and not Reader. So when we use 'acroviewR10' in our call, anyone with only Acrobat will again find the program failing.
Also of note is that using 'acroview' works in a call to open Reader X, but will not work to close Reader X or to open a PDF within Reader X. Why is one service still recognising the plain acroview, but the other services require the R10 suffix?
Dave says that this should be fixed in version 10.0.1, but is this just a hope, or a statement of intent from someone involved with Reader development? If this is fixed, how long will it take for that next release to be in common circulation?
In the meantime, we are preparing patches to send to any students who experience this problem, and also upgrading the master CD for each Course to add an option to the Config menu, allowing the user to select Reader X or not.
I think the developers at Adobe believe every user is within a corporation with centralised IT control, so everyone has the same, known version of any software and can be given new versions or advised of issues at will. In the real world, there are millions of independent users scattered across the globe who have no IT support and often have limited knowledge. For example, it is not uncommon to ask a user which version of Windows they are running and be quoted their MS Office version instead. Any extra complication in setting up or using their new software is a significant problem likely to result in lengthy support calls, and a loss of confidence in the product.
The decision to change the name of the DDE name (for both Acrobat and Reader X) was made for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was due to the new Protected Mode (Sandbox) security model that was introduced. We knew that the change would impact users with existing DDE-based workflows, but the security and functionality improvements that it offers were considered more important to the wider user base. The information about the change was provided to developers as part of our pre-release program and also on various blogs following the release.
So the change is permanent, we will NOT be going back to the old model. In fact, we will be changing the 10 (to 11, 12, etc.) as the product continues to evolve over time based on the major version of the product. You should use the registry to find out who owns the .pdf extension to determine what message to send.
Thank you for your reply, I agree with you about reading the DDE Messages application and topics from the registry, but there is a bug in your Acrobat X reader installer, because I installed Acrobat X from scratch on clean machine XP SP3 then I opened the path:
Voila! it is Acroview, not AcroviewR10!
So what Am I supposed to do? reading the AcroRd32.exe version if contains 10 so Changed to AcroviewR10, and how about the next version? do you will change it to AcroviewR11 ?
Are you going to fix this?
Even I am facing the same problem.I installed Acrobat X reader and the registry key value still the same "Acroview" instead of "AcroviewR10".
Is there any other way to know the DDE server name ?
Any chance you can point us to those blog posts?
I found this: http://blogs.adobe.com/pdfdevjunkie/2010/10/what-developers-need-to-kn ow-about-acrobat-x.html - there's a cryptic reference to DDE in the comments, but no resource links.
Is there an updated version of IACReference anywhere that discusses these changes?
I assure you that it was a big oversight to make this DDE name, which has resulted in poppoing up of the "What do you want to do?" pane.
This has caused a lot of trouble to the people using your products, and I would very strongly recommend that Adobe corrects this oversight.
The other day I bought an HP desktop with the PDF Complete Special Edition 4.0.9 preinstalled on it.
I am now struggling with this problem, and I have found that neither acroviewA10 nor acroviewR10 is of help.
Could you kindly advise me what to do?
Great many thanks for your help!
As already stated, we knew exactly what we were doing when we made the decision and we have no plans to reverse those plans. All Adobe partners (members of our developer's program) were notified as part of their participation in the beta program. There was nothing secret here.
As for the "PDF Complete Special Edition 4.0.9" - I have NO CLUE what that is. Don't even know if it comes from Adobe...Certainly doesn't sound like one of ours...
The info provided above about the DDE names is correct for Adobe Acrobat and Reader X.
You say that we should use the registry. I can confirm that HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\acrobat\shell\open\ddeexec\application is NOT updated by your Adobe Reader 10 installer. So we could use the version of Reader to know which dde server name to use. So ... is there any entry in the registry that you place the VERSION of the current installation of Adobe Reader? I can only see this as part of the path to AcroRd32.exe (eg. C:\Program Files\Adobe\Reader 10.0\Reader\AcroRd32.exe) Having to parse this to extract a version is daft. What should we do (that works!!)?
After changing the DDE servername to acroviewR10 or acroviewA10, if the problem is still there, try the following.
In Adobe Reader X, go to Edit>Preferences>General and uncheck "Enable Protected Mode at startup".
AcroViewR10 works for me, but for some reason, AcroViewA10 doesn't give me anything for Adobe Pro X. Are there any security settings I need to disable in Adobe Pro, or is there some command I'm missing? I'm trying to use the [FilePrintSilentEx()] command, but nothing happens.
Kachal-khan2 Do your directions also apply to Acrobat X Pro running on Windows 7? I'm not a developer so some of the other solutions are over my head.
Now Acrobat X Pro (AXP) won't open: error message states Acrobat failed to send DDE command. Is there another workaround for non-developers? Thanks!
Things I have tried today: reverting to pre-update status, uninstalled/reinstalled AXP. Thinking Office and AXP weren't working well together, I uninstalled/reinstalled that too. Still no joy. Help!
this is proven to work (if the servername update alone doesn't)!
however in order not to defeat the purpose of all the security mechanisms,
I would propose assigning trust to specific files / folders, via (menu)>
edit>preferences>security(enhanced)>privileged locations>add file/folder path.
it would also do the trick (plus safer)!