Adobe LiveCycle Barcoded Forms Licensing

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When do I need to license
Adobe® LiveCycle® Barcoded Forms ES software?

If you add a Paper Forms Barcode object to a fill-and-print PDF form using either Designer or Acrobat and the value of the barcode will change while opened within the free Adobe Reader then the PDF form you are distributing needs to be licensed with an Adobe® LiveCycle® Barcoded Forms ES license.

Here are a couple of scenario’s that may help you understand this concept further:

Scenario 1:

  • A PDF Form with a dynamic 2D barcode (also known as the Paper Forms Barcode) is filled-in and printed with Adobe Acrobat Standard or Adobe Acrobat Professional
  • The user of the PDF form changes a field value that causes the value of the barcode to change
  • The 2D barcode is not compressed
  • An Adobe® LiveCycle® Barcoded Forms ES license is not required as the 2D barcodes printed by Adobe Acrobat Standard or Adobe Acrobat Professional are not encrypted or hidden and can be read by a barcode decoder capable of reading 2D barcodes.

Scenario 2:

  • A PDF Form with a dynamic 2D barcode is filled-in and printed with the Free Adobe Reader
  • The user of the PDF form changes a form value that causes the value of the barcode to change
  • The 2D barcode is not compressed
  • An Adobe® LiveCycle® Barcoded Forms ES license is required or the 2D barcode printed by the free Adobe Reader will be encrypted* (Reader 7.x) or hidden (Reader 8.x and higher) and cannot be decoded by any barcode decoder

*Take note that the encryption mechanism used in Reader 7.x is not a “feature” that can be turned on or off.  It is a licensing mechanism only.  Encrypted barcodes cannot be read by the Adobe Decoder.

Scenario 3:

  • A PDF form with a dynamic 2D barcode is filled-in and printed with Adobe Acrobat Standard or Adobe Acrobat Professional
  • The 2D barcode is compressed
  • An Adobe® LiveCycle® Barcoded Forms ES license is not required
  • Only the Adobe® LiveCycle® Barcoded Forms ES Decoder license is required to decode the compressed 2D barcode
  • The barcode is FLATE compressed so a software based decoder could be modified to decode the FLATE compression if required.

Scenario 4:

  • A PDF Form with a dynamic 2D barcode is filled-in and printed with the Free Adobe Reader
  • The user of the form changes a form value but there are no changes to the value of the barcode
  • The 2D barcode is not compressed
  • An Adobe® LiveCycle® Barcoded Forms ES license is not required and the 2D barcode printed by the free Adobe Reader will can be read by a barcode decoder

If you are still not sure of the concept, take a look at these samples and be certain you test your forms with the free Adobe Reader prior to distributing them to ensure that they have been properly licensed.

 

This first sample only contains “//” in the form1.#subform[0].PaperFormsBarcode1::calculate – (JavaScript, client) event and this.rawValue=”123456789101112131415″; in the form1.#subform[0].PaperFormsBarcode1::initialize – (JavaScript, client) event.  The barcode value will not change at runtime and if printed using the free Adobe Reader, the Barcode will still render correctly.

adobe_livecycle_barcoded_forms_no_license_initialize_only

 

This sample has not been properly licensed and the barcode contains the default auto-generated script to include all contents of the PDF form at runtime.  Because the form is not licensed properly and the barcode value changes at runtime the barcode will either encrypt itself in Reader 7.x or become hidden in Reader 8.x or higher.

adobe_livecycle_barcoded_forms_no_license_changes

10 Responses to Adobe LiveCycle Barcoded Forms Licensing

  1. Lee Sutton says:

    One item to note here is that if you do purchase Adobe LiveCycle Barcoded Forms ES you are provided with a license of Adobe LiveCycle Reader Extensions ES. The other way around is not true. If you purchase Adobe LiveCycle Reader Extensions ES alone you will not have the Barcoded Forms right.

  2. Mike says:

    Hi Lee – just to say thanks, your stuff is always very useful…… and generally helps to make sense of the LC pages on adobe.com !!

  3. John Wilson says:

    Hi Lee,
    thanks for the info you have posted. I have been trawling through the Adobe website and have found rather conflicting info – I wonder if you can help further!?

    I am involved in a project which closely matches “Scenario 2”. We have to physically scan and decode documents which include a Livecycle-generated 2d barcode (generated by Adobe Reader). Our scanning process is being done on a “basic” Windows standalone PC. I don’t want to bury my questions in too much detail so I’ll just add that all we need to do is output the decoded info into an xml file.

    After reading your posting a few days ago, I found this today: http://www.adobe.com/support/products/enterprise/knowledgecenter/c4691.pdf but it relates to “7” so I don’t know if this functionality exists in thge current version. I am referring to the 3rd bullet point in the final summary – paraphrased “if the rights have been set this way, a 2d barcode created this way WILL NOT be encrypted and WILL be readable by any 2d barcode decoder.

    Q1: Is this document still relevant to the current version?
    Q2: Am I reading it correctly?
    Q3: We would prefer to be using Adobe products end-to-end but installing a full Livecycle environment for what we have to do would be total overkill – can you point me to any suitable 2d barcode decoder?

    Best Regards
    JOHN

    • Lee Sutton says:

      Hi John, one thing we need to be clear on is that the 2D barcode technology only needs to be licensed and enabled on your forms if the data in your 2D barcode is going to change at runtime. Meaning, the barcode value will change as a result of something in the barcode changing the initially rendered value. this.rawValue=someothervalue.rawValue + "," + anothervalue.rawValue. If you are not changing the value at runtime then the barcode should decode perfectly fine with any 2D barcode decoder. Most high-volume scanning solutions will include a barcode decoder.

      You will need to license Adobe LiveCycle Reader Extensions which contains the 2D barcode right if at any point the 2D barcode value will change between the time the form is rendered (initialize) and the time the user prints the form (pre-print/post-print).

      In regards to the changes between Reader 7 and Reader 9 the main difference is that if the barcode is overpopulated with data or incorrectly licensed (not extended before distribution) then the barcode will gray out. Prior to Reader 8 the data in the barcode was encrypted which brought some confusions with people thinking that encryption was a feature of the product and not just the licensing mechanism. Graying out of the barcode makes it very clear that the barcode is “broken” on the form. One difference on the server side between 7 and 9 (ES2) is that Adobe LiveCycle Barcoded Forms no longer exists as a stand alone product. The 2D technology is now included in the Adobe LiveCycle Reader Extensions product.

      In regards to the “overkill” comment, if this is a fill-and-print form adding Reader Extensions will allow the users to save their form data before printing so it may provide a valuable feature to your forms. Yes, that a sales pitch. 🙂

  4. Tom says:

    Is it possible to produce an encrypted barcode that can only be decoded by entering a password?

    • Lee Sutton says:

      Hi Tom, the encryption mechanism that was built into older versions of Reader (6.x,7.x) was purely for the licensing of the Barcoded Forms technology. It was never a feature that could be turned on or off by the form author or the process. There are many JavaScript methods to do different types of “encryption” but I don’t think I would recommend that approach.

      Some use cases that I saw experimented with included the removal of information from the printed form before printing and inclusion of that data encrypted into the barcode (via JavaScript). There were questions as to the validity of the form since the end user is signing a form that did not display all of the information they were actually signing for. So, the use case starts to break down. Verify with your legal department on what may or may not be acceptable in a workflow and what must be visible on the printed form for the form and signature to be valid.

      Alternatively, submit the sensitive information via a webservice prior to printing and remove that information entirely. On the back-end pass back and forth a unique identifier for the submission, include this in the barcode so that the form and the submitted data can be matched up once the paper document is received.

  5. Steven Dayton says:

    You seem to have explained using 2D barcodes in LiveCycle form well enough but I just want to make sure I understand this well enough.

    As I see it no matter which scenario I choose if I want users to open a form and enter data in the fields I need the Adobe LiveCycle Barcode Forms implemented. Is that right?

    Steven

    • Lee Sutton says:

      Hi Steven, there are really two scenarios where you don’t need to license Adobe LiveCycle Barcoded Forms. First, if you are deploying forms that are to be filled out using Acrobat and printed from Acrobat as opposed to the free Adobe Reader then the barcode can change and render without additional licensing or extending. Second, when the data in the 2D barcode will not change at runtime, i.e.: the value is prefilled and does not change before the form is printed.

  6. Shahal Rajan says:

    Hi Lee,
    I have two documents. One is a form with a paperforms barcode (PDF417). It captures all the information correctly. The problem is that when I want to populate another PDF form with only certain fields, the data does not get populated in the fields that I would like.
    How do I fix this?
    If you care to send me an email, I can send you the two forms and you can see for yourself.
    Thanks,

    • Lee Sutton says:

      Hi Shahal,

      I’ll have to make some assumptions here. I’m assuming that you are receiving the printed or scanned PDF and are running it through your barcoded forms decoder service to retrieve the data. Then, you’re trying to place that data into another PDF that you are rendering.

      If this is the case then the easiest way to get around any data extraction and population problems is to use a schema. Between the decode and populate steps use a Set service to populate a schema of either the form or an XML variable that you are going to use to populate the form. This will be easy to debug using the step-through debugger as well as map the data into your form.

      If you can be a bit more specific about your workflow then I can definitely post a Cookbook for you.