Author Archive: Drew Brazil

Top 10 Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform – Designer features

With the latest release, Adobe renamed LiveCycle Designer to Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform Document Services – Designer 10.

In a recent article posted on the Adobe Developer Connection web site, Niall O’Donovan of Assure Dynamics provides a concise summary of the new features available in Designer 10.

Niall O’Donovan is a regular contributor to Adobe forums, and the recipient of the Adobe Enterprise Developer User Forum Award for 2010.

My top 10 Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform – Designer features
http://www.adobe.com/devnet/livecycle/articles/top-10-adep-designer-features.html

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Tutorial: Designing Interactive PDF Forms

With LiveCycle Designer you can create interactive PDF forms. Interactive PDF forms are useful for gathering information from recipients who want to complete and submit the form online, as well as print a copy of the form.

Below is a link to a comprehensive tutorial written by Samartha Vashishtha, which explains how to create and distribute an interactive form. This tutorial discusses how to create the form, key consideration to keep in mind while creating the form, how to distribute the form, how to manage responses, and how to use scripting for conditional fields.

The tutorial also includes a link to a sample form, which you can view as you follow along.

For more information, see http://ewh.ieee.org/soc/pcs/index.php?q=node/1879

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How to sum the values in numeric field objects

LiveCycle Designer customers often want to add simple calculations to a form, like calculating the sum of the values in two or more numeric field objects.

The following example shows how to write a script that calculates the sum of numeric field objects using FormCalc.

To perform calculations, FormCalc needs to know what objects in the form to include in the calculation. As a result, you need to name the Numeric Field objects that you want to sum on the Binding tab. Once you’ve named the numeric field objects, you can write a simple script using the field names, so that FormCalc knows exactly which fields to sum.

For example, if you have a numeric field object called grandTotal in which you want to display the sum of four other numeric field objects called total, stateTax, federalTax and shippingCharges, the FormCalc script you apply to the grandTotal numeric field object would look like this:

sum (total, stateTax, federalTax, shippingCharge)

Here is a summary of the steps involved:

  1. Add the numeric field objects to the form.
  2. Name each numeric field object in the Name box on the Binding tab.
  3. Select the numeric field object that you want to calculate the sum. For example, “grandTotal”
  4. In the Show list in the Script editor, select Calculate.
  5. In the Language list,select FormCalc .
  6. Add the “sum” script shown above to the Script Editor.
  7. Preview and test the form.

To learn more about writing simple scripts to make calculations, have a look at the tutorial called Creating a Purchase Order Form located here.

LiveCycle Designer also includes a sample form snippet called Calculate the Field Sum (CalculateSum.xdp), which demonstrates how to calculate sums of fields that are at different levels in the form hierarchy. Form Snippets are installed in the EN\Samples\Form Snippets folder under the Adobe LiveCycle Designer installation folder. The topic Calculating the field sums in the Designer Help (Creating Calculations and Scripts > Examples of Common Scripting Tasks) also demonstrates how to calculate the sums of fields located at different levels of the form hierarchy.

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Accessibility Checker for LiveCycle Designer

If you are creating accessible PDF forms, you can now use an Accessibilty Checker to test them to see how well they enable accessibility according to the guidelines for accessible forms. For more information, see here.

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Creating an optional section in an interactive PDF form

LiveCycle Designer ES2 introduced the Action Builder feature. Using Action Builder, you can create interactive capabilities in PDF forms, even if you don’t know how to write scripts.

One of the most common uses of Action Builder is to create an optional section in an interactive PDF form, which appears in the form only when the form filler selects a related option.

For more information, see LiveCycle Designer ES2: Create an optional section in an interactive form

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LiveCycle Designer ES2: Selecting multiple XDP files in Open dialog box may cause LiveCycle Designer ES2 to crash

If you select more than one XDP file in the Open dialog box, LiveCycle Designer ES2 may crash. Certain third party applications add capabilities to Windows Explorer, which carry through to the Open dialog box (and other file browsing dialog boxes) in LiveCycle Designer ES2. With some file extensions like XDP for example, the Open dialog may incorrectly handle multiple file selection and cause LiveCycle Designer ES2 to crash.

To correct this issue, it is recommended that you obtain and apply updates for the third party applications to enable multiple file selection, or to select and open only one XDP file at a time.

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LiveCycle Designer ES2: Using Form Validation feature with static forms

When you use the Form Validation feature with a static PDF form to color mandatory fields that are not filled or fields that fail validation, Designer ES2 may change the appearance of the borders of validated fields. When you use the Form Validation feature with a static form that contains objects with borders, it is recommended that you select the Square Corners option on the Borders tab for each object with a border.

For more information on form validation, see Displaying validation errors in Adobe Acrobat.

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Using a signature pad to sign a PDF

Customers sometimes ask if they can connect an electronic signature pad to a laptop to sign an Adobe PDF document in Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader. The answer is yes, you can. However, support for signature pads requires drivers and plug-ins to Acrobat or Adobe Reader. Also, the PDF document must have the necessary usage rights applied in Adobe LiveCycle Reader Extensions ES to activate the functionality within Adobe Reader (version 7 of later) that enables users to sign the document.

Adobe lists several partners that support electronic signature pads on the Adobe Security Partner Community. Visit the site and have a look at CIC, Interlink, and SoftPro. These partners provide solutions that can enable you to sign Signature fields in PDF forms.

You can also use a device like a Wacom tablet (not a dedicated signature pad) to sign a PDF document in Acrobat or Adobe Reader. In Adobe Acrobat 9.0 (or later), you can select the Apply Ink Signature option available on the Sign & Certify menu, (Advanced > Sign & Certify), to enable the Pencil commenting tool. With this solution, users can sign or write anywhere in the PDF document. However, the document’s integrity is not locked down after the document is signed, like it is when you the use one of the signature pad solutions from one of the providers mentioned above. In Adobe Reader, users can sign the PDF document as long as the necessary functionality is enabled in Adobe LiveCycle Reader Extensions ES, and the appropriate plug-in is installed for the signature software that uses the Wacom tablet.

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Comparing Alfresco Enterprise Edition and Adobe LiveCycle Contentspace ES

People sometimes ask what the difference is between Alfresco and Adobe LiveCycle Contentspace ES, so we thought posting a quick overview on the subject would be helpful.

LiveCycle ContentSpace ES is based on Alfresco 2.1 and offers full Alfresco functionality*, plus LiveCycle Content Services ES. Adobe added more service capabilities by extensively customizing the Alfresco user interface and by integrating various LiveCycle Content Services ES solution components.

Technically speaking, these are the key differences between Alfresco Enterprise Edition and LiveCycle Content Services ES:
- Web Content Management is not embedded or distributed.
- Replaced jBPM with LiveCycle Process Management ES.
- Replaced PDF libraries.
- Enhanced security to enable single sign-on (SSO) with other LiveCycle components such as Workspace and integration with Adobe User Management.
- Added support for the full LiveCycle ES 54 platform matrix including clustering/failover.
- Integrated LiveCycle ES solution components such as LiveCycle Workspace ES, LiveCycle Rights Management ES, and LiveCycle PDF Generator ES.

The key architecture of Alfresco in terms of Java APIs, ACPs, customized content models, actions, and so forth, are the same.

Using LiveCycle Contentspace ES, end users can manage the content through library services such as versioning, check-in/checkout, rights protecting, and archiving according to policies. Developers can also implement processes to enable end users to interact with content and automate procedures like document transformation and PDF generation, rights management, as well as workflows like data capture, and document review and approval.

Along with the Alfresco content management system capabilities, LiveCycle Content Services ES provides the following functionality.

Process automation

Content Services ES can leverage LiveCycle ES for business events by running processes based on content events, such as adding new documents to the repository. A process can also wait for content events to occur, such as a completed document review.

Users can perform the following tasks:
- Attach files, such as reports to a form, and submit the form. After the form is submitted, both the data and the attachments are saved, and can be opened and viewed in the same form layout.
- Access different form applications or content types in the same portal.
- Search and browse by association between processes and documents, and by process and document attributes.

Process initiation

Developers can run processes from LiveCycle Contentspace ES and leverage LiveCycle Workspace ES to review and approve content.

Form rendering

Developers can set up the following form rendering tasks:
- Pre-populate forms by using content or metadata.
- Render forms with attachments from Content Services ES.
- Update forms with a new version of assets referenced during run-time.
- Keep form template versions consistent during the life cycle of the process.

Information protection

Content Services ES can leverage LiveCycle Rights Management ES to automatically apply policies to content that is stored in the repository. Using Rights Management ES, organizations can protect PDF documents. The policies are applied transparently to content when users retrieve content from the repository and save it on the local file system, send content by email to someone who is external to the organization, or place content on devices such as USB keys.

Document output

Content Services ES has pre-built actions that developers can use to automatically convert documents to other formats (for example, from MS Word to PDF). Also, developers can configure actions to start short-lived processes for assembling a set of documents within a shared space into a package, generating PDF files from three-dimensional content, or converting content to PDF/A format for archiving.

* LiveCycle Contentspace ES does not utilize the Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) file server configuration capabilities of Alfresco.

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Visible (Print Only) presence option may not work on button objects when target version is Acrobat and Adobe Reader 7.0.5 or later

The Visible (Print Only) option is available in the Presence list on the Object palette. When you apply the Visible (Print Only) option to an object, the object appears only when the form is printed, and does not appear when the form is viewed on-screen.

However, when you select Acrobat and Adobe Reader 7.0.5 or later as the target version for a form, and apply the Visible (Print Only) presence option to a button object, the option may not work on the following versions of LiveCycle Designer:

- LiveCycle Designer 7.0 and 7.1
With dynamic PDF forms that are migrated to LiveCycle Designer 9.0 and then opened in Acrobat or Adobe Reader 8.0 or later, the Button object may be invisible when the form is printed.

- LiveCycle Designer 9.0
With static and dynamic PDF forms, the Button object may still be visible on the screen when you view the form by using the Preview PDF tab in LiveCycle Designer 9.0 or open it in Adobe Acrobat 7.0.5 or later.

Note: This issue does not occur in Adobe Acrobat 8.0 with dynamic PDF forms.

To resolve these issues, you must carry out these four steps for each Button object that you want to show or hide in Acrobat and Adobe Reader 7.0.5 or later:

1. Click the Button object, and in the Language list in the Script Editor, select JavaScript.
2. In the Presence list on the Object palette, select Invisible.
3. Copy and paste the following script into the prePrint event in the Script Editor.
this.presence = “visible”;
4. Copy and paste the following script into the postPrint event in the Script Editor.
this.presence = “invisible”;

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