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format of response from distributed form

Aug 7, 2012 4:29 PM

Tags: #acrobat

Hi guys,


I have been working with a trial of Acrobat X Pro and Livecycle ES II, to determine if we can use it effectively to replace paper forms in our workplace. We have also recently deployed Alfresco, an open source CMS, which is very tightly integrated with what we would like to do with Adobe forms. I am a little confused though, at trying to figure out what controls the format of the response.


With the forms I create in liveCycle, when distributed, the response seems to be either a pdf or an xml file. The first few forms I designed arrived on the server as pdf's when I tested them (which is exactly what I wanted). The last couple I have created (using liveCycle) however, seem to always arrive as xml. I have gone through every page of the Distribute... wizard with what I feel is rather a fine toothed comb but cannot find anywhere to control this.


Today I have discovered that Alfresco is unable to parse the form fields in the liveCycle PDF's (this is to do with the Tika parser and PDFBox, but isn't really related to this disccussion directly), so I have switched to Acrobat which, in my testing so far, does create forms parsable by Tika. When I distribute the form from Acrobat though, the responses always seem to be in xfdf format (which seems to boil down to xml anyway).


I am sure that actual PDF's were created at some point. I still have test distribution folders full of pdf responses. Does anyone know what I am missing which controls the response??

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 7, 2012 11:26 PM   in reply to chrisokelly

    Almost all third party products for working with PDF forms are designed for Acroforms, made by Acrobat, rather than XFA forms, made by LiveCycle Designer. You may need to get other Adobe LiveCycle server products to process responses if they are PDF. XML responses are much easier to work with. No, I don't know why they are changing, sorry.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 8, 2012 1:34 AM   in reply to chrisokelly

    A lot depends on what you are wanting to do with the data. In general, the data format (XML or FDF (or XFDF)) allow you to process the data and put in data bases and such without even opening Acrobat. If you want to see the data in PDF, then open Acrobat and import the data into the form under the FORMS>Manage data option. I have not dealt with XFDF data and do not know if it works like FDF. For FDF, there is a full FDF toolkit from Adobe that allows you to manipulate the data files and process them. That might be useful to you as long as you have some programming experience.


    You did not indicate if you are collecting data by e-mail (that may be a bit risky if personal or confidential data is included) or by web script. The FDF toolkit also has some web stuff available, though you will probably have to modify it to meet your needs.


    The major advantage of Designer forms is the dynamic option that is not part of AcroForms. Other than that, I don't know of big advantage either way. There are other folks in the forms sub-forum that know a lot about both form methods.

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