The LiveCycle Terminology Secret Decoder Ring

We would love to send each of you a cool plastic ring to help decipher some of the varying terms found in the LiveCycle forums and product documentation. But, since we don’t know your ring size, we’re providing this one-size-fits-all blog posting instead.

When writing the product documentation, we try to use terms consistently (you can find some of them in the Glossary). But you may run across terms on the message boards (like Adobe LiveCycle Forums and Adobe LiveCycle Developers Google Group) that leave you scratching your head. Hopefully, this table will help you decode the terminology. And, if you run across any other puzzling terminology, please add a comment to this post and we’ll try to clear it up for you.

Non-standard term

Standard term (used in documentation)

Acrobat PDF Form

Acrobat form


Acrobat form

dynamic form/dynamic XFA form

dynamic PDF form (created in Designer)

Flash, Flash-based

based on Adobe Flash technology

flat form

non-interactive form

flatten a form

convert a form to a non-interactive form

Form Server

LiveCycle Forms

form template

form design (we do use "form template" when talking about .tds files in Designer)



Output Server

LiveCycle Output

pre-filled form

prepopulated form

static XFA form

static PDF form (created in Designer)



XFA form

form created in LiveCycle Designer

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3 Responses to The LiveCycle Terminology Secret Decoder Ring

  1. Hi Melanie,Thanks for this, it’s helpful if we all use the same vocabulary. Codifying all the synonyms is a good start.I have one nit-pick though. It seems to me that the selection of the word “process” to describe what are also referred to as “orchestrations” or “workflows” is problematic. The word process is used in so many other contexts that it is hard to distinguish when one is referring to a LiveCycle orchestration/process. For example, take the following sentence “In the Windows task manager, you will see the CPU utilization of the java.exe process increase as the LiveCycle process starts to process the incoming transaction”. I’ve utilized the word process in three different ways in that sentence, yet only one of them refers to an orchestration/process. When I use the term LiveCycle process, do I mean the operating system process or an orchestration/process? Even when that term is placed in context, it’s not always easy to tell.I prefer to use the term “orchestration” simply because it is sufficiently unique that it’s immediately clear what I’m referring to. It would be nice if this (or perhaps some other word that is underutilized if “orchestration” is problematic in some way) were adopted in the Adobe documentation instead of the word “process”, which is already used in a variety of computing contexts.Regards,Rob

  2. Elaine Schmitz says:

    Orchestration / Workflow / ProcessHello, I wanted to comment about the three terms above. I don’t necessarily agree that the standard term for “Orchestration” and “Workflow” should be “process”. Rather, I think that a process is what happens when a form is submitted that utilizes an orchestration. In essence, a process is an instance, or a “spawning of” an orchestration.When I think of workflow, I think of what you are doing in the workbench application. You are creating your workflow, which when it becomes final, is an orchestration.Your thoughts?Thanks,Elaine

  3. Melanie says:

    Hi Rob and Elaine,Thank you both for your comments – we love to get feedback!I must admit that I haven’t written much documentation that uses process/workflow/orchestration, so I didn’t realize it’s a contentious issue. I’ve been talking to our editor and one of the Workbench writers, and they gave me some background info.Long story short is that we (the writers) don’t actually control the terminology that we use. We certainly make suggestions, but the final decision on what to call something is ultimately up to the product managers.We used the term “workflow” in the old LiveCycle Workflow (7.x and earlier) documentation but in the LiveCycle ES world, that term’s been replaced by “process” in both the documentation and the product UI. And we were expressly told to avoid using the term “orchestration”. I think that certain groups (like the training group) use it, but it’s not the officially sanctioned term.We’ll try to be more aware that “process” can be ambiguous, and that we need to make sure the context is clear.Thanks again,Melanie