I am near to or involved in a number of projects that sent me to the web searching for a better solution. We are most often using SharePoints out of the box capabilities, along with InfoPath for forms; now that InfoPath has been sent to the chopping block, I feel we really do need a better answer.
1. HR has a complex form, currently in a Word document, which is destined for online distribution and completion. Keeping it as a PDF is important to avoid tampering. In it are some sections that really only apply if someone selects a specific option, and they'd like for those to be hidden until the person picks that option; then they'd like the subsection to show, causing the document to reflow as necessary. The result would be a cleaner resulting document showing only the options that were relevant to the selections a user name, and not all the possible options showing all the time for everyone.
2. We have created evaluation forms which pull the standards from a datasource (in this case a SharePoint list), dropping values into specific fields based on position selected, and allowing people to add comments in additional fields. This would require the field sizes to adjust/change, and the document length to change according to flow.
I understand LiveCycle is very powerful and can do this and a whole lot more... but is it a good choice to tinker with now, for these simple needs?
In short, I think LiveCycle is my answer -- but wanted to get input from those who know the tool and are using it. And is that answer simply using LifeCycle Designer to create these forms, or do I need the whole back end server app, etc.?
One concern I have is that after downloading LiveCycle Designer today to start the free trial, I tried to start a form from a Word document. I'm using Office 2013, and the software didn't recognize that, erroring out telling me I had to be using Office XP or better. Is this software a key element of Adobe's strategy, and a good investment at this time? As I've tinkered with the Designer app, sometimes searching through help resources from Adobe online that hinge upon a product selection first DO NOT list LiveCycle! That concerns me.
Thanks for your insight.
You could use Designer to create forms and save them as PDF. But in order for them to be filled up using the free Reader, you'd need to have the PDF reader extended. And for that, you'd require the server.
However, with the LC server on the backend, it opens up a whole lot of other possibilities like submitting the data into a workflow for further processing, or using the same form design and have it rendered into HTML so that the data could be captured using just a browser, across devices.
As regards LC, it is not going anywhere. In fact, in March last year, Adobe had a major release, ES4 out with a lot of innovative technologies built in that further augment the product. Please see http://helpx.adobe.com/livecycle.html for more on that. We may not have upgraded the Infopath filter since sometime now, a fact, I am sure you are well aware!