Reader Extensions will allow you to turn on features in Reader on a form by form basis. By default Reader woudl not have the functionality in question. There are two versions of Reader Extensions. The one you use inside of Acrobat will allow you to add the right to save a PDF locally, add a digital signature and add commenting. The Acrobat version also has a license that will only allow you to distribute the Reader Extended form a max of 500 users.
The other version is a server based product and is a module inside of the LiveCycle server. It has all of the functionality mentioned above as well as the ability for the form to connect to external sources (like a DB or a web service). It supports other extensions but you have not mentioned those so I have concentrated on the ones you need.
Note that you only need to Reader Extend the form once (before you distribute it).
So to accomplish what you want you will need the server version.
Hope that helps
Paul, thanks as always for your assistance. Seems like I can't be the only one needing this sort of 'standalone' data access. Can you advise an alternative strategy allowing the data and the form to be maintained individually? Tthanks again
There are not many options ....
1. Reader Extensions as discussed earlier (this woudl allow ADO or Web Service access). Note that it might be more economical and easier to buy Acrobat for all of the users instead of Reader Extending a form.
2. Server based programs that retrieve the data and then merge the data and template together then deliver the completed package.
3. Hardcode the values into the form so no external data source is required.