This content has been marked as final. Show 1 reply
I don't have any real experience with LiveCycle forms because the Adobe path "went left" and we wanted to "keep going straight" so we continue to use the predecessor product (version 5.0). Besides, we have several hundred forms and lots of VB / VBScript code that would have to be rewritten, debugged & tested
Central Pro Output Server (in the current Adobe vernacular) is a great way for producing paper forms (or PDFs, faxes, etc). It can also email the output or send the PDF directly to the originator's PC. Printed output can go to a central printer or to any printer available on the network. We are almost fully converted from our old DOS-based system and when completed at the end of this month we'll be producing approximately 120,000 "packets" of printed forms per month for mailing to clients.
Unless you use an old, old version of the Output Designer, it is only for producing output (paper, PDFs, faxes, etc). It is
a "filler" product. Some other product has to be used for the "filler" side. The older version of Form Designer that we use has a Filler program as well as an API that we use with VB for the "filler" side of the operation. This VB application builds the files that are compatible to Central Pro for producing the output that was designed with Output Designer. We run several custom "agents" on the server for doing various processing of the data besides just printing (update mainframe database, build form archive database, etc).
If you are anticipating a web operation where the user retrieves a form, fills it out and then prints it or sends the data back to your server for processing, you would then probably want to use LiveCycle forms or custom html forms. If you anticipate the user of the form to want/need to save a partially filled form for completing later, then you would also need the Reader Extensions product (which I understand is
Personally, I don't see LiveCycle forms as being the mechanism for producing masses of printed forms. At least not as a stand-alone product. It would probably be OK for the "filler" product with the data being sent to a server applet that passes it on to Central Pro. Of course, that would mean you
have to design the form twice - once for LiveCycle and once for Output Designer.
For our existing forms (which we maintained a copy as a PDF) we purchased a product that takes PDFs and turns them into Output Designer forms. Converted from PDF or newly created in Output Designer, with the older version of the Form Designer we are using we are able to export it and then import it into the Form Designer and then add the "filler" elements.
If you choose the LiveCycle route and have PDFs of your existing forms then they can be imported directly into LiveCycle. If they are like our PDFs, with no fields, you would then have to add the fields. Of course, if you then use Central Pro for printing, you will have to get the forms into Output Designer somehow - by hand or using something like we did (FormBridge by Texcel Systems) for converting it.