The announcement of Adobe Acrobat XI and Reader XI this week has focused more attention on forms than there has been in years. This is the first of this series of posts on Acrobat, Reader and LiveCycle Reader Extensions. This first post, however, will focus just on the basics of Reader Extensions as a technology platform in Reader.
Adobe describes Reader Extensions in the following way
Reader Extensions enables document producers to use a Web-based interface to quickly and easily embed usage rights into Portable Document Format (PDF) files that will “turn on” functionality hidden within the free Adobe Reader. These functions are automatically activated when the respondent opens the Adobe PDF document. Customers, constituents, and partners who access a rights-enabled Adobe PDF document can:
- Save the file to their local hard drive
- Fill it out onscreen
- Share it with others to review and add comments using intuitive markup tools like electronic
sticky notes, highlights, and text strikethroughs
- Authenticate and sign a document
- Submit the completed document electronically
While people generally concentrate on local form save as the most important reader extensions right, there are actually 12 individual rights. Adobe has an excellent knowledgebase article on this for your reference. These rights are
|FormFillInAndSave||1||Fill in form fields and save files locally.|
|FormImportExport||2||Import and export form data as FDF, XFDF, XML and XDP files.|
|FormAddDelete||3||Add, change or delete fields and field properties on the PDF form.|
|SubmitStandalone||4||Submit data to a server when it is not running in a browser session, by email or offline.|
|SpawnTemplate||5||Create pages from template pages within the same PDF form.|
|Signing||6||Digitally sign and save PDF documents, and clear digital signatures.|
|AnnotModify||7||Create and modify document annotations such as comments.|
|AnnotImportExport||8||Save annotations such as comments in a separate data file and load comments from a file.|
|BarcodePlaintext||9||Print a document with form data barcoded in an unencrypted form that does not require licensed server software to decode.|
|AnnotOnline||10||Upload and download annotations such as comments to and from an online document review and comment server.|
|FormOnline||11||Connect to web services or databases that are defined within a PDF form.|
|EFModify||12||Modify embedded file objects associated with the PDF document.|
Two elements are necessary to reader-extend a file. The first is code that will appropriately create the rights dictionary in the PDF file. The second, since that rights dictionary is signed with a digital certificate, is to have an appropriate Reader Extensions credential from Adobe. To date, only two implementations of the rights code exist. The first is in Adobe Acrobat, which has the capability of reader-extending forms and documents to limited audiences. The second is a Java implementation, available within Adobe LiveCycle, more recently, the Adobe Java PDF Toolkit distributed by Datalogics. Reader extension credentials for the signature are still fully controlled by Adobe and can also be resold by Datalogics for use with the standalone Java PDF toolkit. This allows OEMs and ISVs to embed reader extensions capabilities within their products.
Acrobat Pro, since version 8 has enabled a subset of these rights. They are 1, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8. [Acrobat seven also reader enabled documents but only for comments: just enabling rights 7 and 8.] Access to the full set of Reader Extension rights is only available with Adobe server products in the Java implementation.
I will be covering more details and evaluations of Reader XI and rights in the near future… Stay tuned.
If you are attempting to save an XDP file in LiveCycle Designer ES2, created with an earlier version of Designer (i.e. 7, 7.1 or ES), then it can occur that the Save process never completes, and you must kill the Designer process manually in Task Manager. If you analyse the files on your local disk, you will notice some tmp files with large file sizes.
This issue is related to the Data Binding option Allow binding to data not defined by the default data connection. For some forms that contain data connections, Designer ES2 can get stuck in an endless loop while saving the XDP to an intermediary tmp file. You will see the tmp file will contain a huge number of repeated entries related to the DataDescription similar to the following:
<DATACONNECTION xmlns:dd=”http://ns.adobe.com/data-description/” dd:additions=”$template(DATACONNECTION)”/>
Read the complete post at Adobe LiveCycle Blog.
- Siddharth Jain, Quality Manager @ Adobe
On WebSphere, errors are encountered on attempting to interact with a service managed by the Livecycle DSC container. The service is unexpectedly shown as inactive in the Livecycle administration console. Examination of the server logs (SystemOut.log) shows that the service failed to start due to class-loading issues (ClassNotFoundException errors).
The issue occurs as a result of a file-lock which prevents the DSC container from properly extracting the class files required by the DSC class-loader to a temporary directory on the local file-system. To confirm that this is the case, note the time-stamp of the ClassNotFoundException error thrown during service startup in the WAS SystemOut.log and then check that the WAS SystemErr.log contains warning messages of the form ‘The process cannot access this file because it is being used by another process’ around the same time.
To remove the lock, shut down the server and periodically try to manually delete the file for which the file-lock warning is appearing in SystemErr.log (the log file should contain the complete path of the file) . If the deletion succeeds within a reasonable amount of time, start the server and check that things are fine. If the file continues to stay locked for a long period of time, try restarting the machine.
If you are using LiveCycle Designer ES2 to import Microsoft Word documents from MS Word 2010 or later, you may receive the following error
Word (version XP or onwards) could not be found on the machine
This error occurs because LC Designer ES2 does not recognise the installation folder for Microsoft Word 2010 or later versions. LiveCycle Designer ES2 was released before these versions existed and therefore the installation folders were not known/recognised.
This issue has been fixed in LiveCycle Designer ES3 and last cumulative QuickFixes (QF) for Designer ES2. Ensure you are using the latest QF for Designer ES2, or request the latest from your support representative.
If you require an urgent fix for this issue you can make the following change in the registry:
Note: we cannot provide support for any problems that may arise as a result of modifying the registry. Only an experienced user or an administrator should attempt this, and a full registry backup should be performed before making changes.
1. For 32-bit Windows:
- Create the following path in the registry:
- Create a new string value named Path with value C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\
2. For 64-bit Windows
- Create the following path in the registry:
- Create a new string value named Path with value C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\
You should check the installation folder used in the Path value exists and contains WINWORD.EXE. You will need to restart LiveCycle Designer for the changes to take effect.
This issue is also being discussed in the forums: