Tag Archives: PDF

Adobe Digital Rights Management Technologies – ACS vs. LCRM

When we meet with companies we get a substantial number of questions about how to protect digital content. Adobe has at least 2 offerings in the Digital Rights Management space, Adobe Content Server and Adobe LiveCycle Rights Management. These products both fall into the DRM category, but they solve very different problems for very different markets. This article will discuss the capabilities and licensing of each and what problems they are targeted at solving.

Adobe Content Server – DRM for Commercial eBooks

This product, also known as ACS, is capable of securing content in the ePub and PDF file formats. The product is sold by Adobe partners as a server license, and there are transaction charges incurred for each individual content license granted.

The target market for this offering is eBook or other digital content distributors such as Sony, Kobo, Barnes & Noble or Google. Content is licensed on a one to one basis and rights are applied at the time a specific item is purchased. More specifically, content is licensed to an individual with a specific Adobe ID or Vendor ID, and may not be consumed on reading devices that are not registered with that ID. ACS provides granular control over the rights that may be granted with each content license. For example a book store may sell a popular title for one price with the rights to read it on multiple devices, re-download it a future date and print a range of pages, and may also have the same book listed at a different price with more restrictive rights. Once rights are applied, generally at purchase time, these rights cannot be modified or revoked.


Read the complete post at Datalogics Blog.

LiveCycle ES2: XMLForm.exe terminated abnormally with error code {3}


If you are using LiveCycle to process PDF documents you may encounter problems displaying/converting forms or PDF documents, accompanied by exceptions similar to the following in the server log:

ProcessResour W com.adobe.service.ProcessResource doProcessExitCleanup BMC024: Service XMLFormService: Process ProcessResource@f1f45(name=XMLForm.exe,pid=0) terminated abnormally with error code {3}

XMLFormAgentW E com.adobe.livecycle.formsservice.logging.FormsLogger logMessage ALC-OUT-002-004: Unable to find service: XMLFormService, error: Connection to failed service.


Read the complete post at David's Blog.

LiveCycle SharePoint Connector option convert to pdf is not available on .xml or .aspx pages

Users keep facing the issue that the LiveCycle SharePoint connector options are not available on certain type of files like xml and aspx.


To enable convert to pdf option for xml, aspx or any other type of documents (which are supported by LiveCycle PDF Generator component), you can follow the below steps:-


Read the complete post at Adobe LiveCycle Blog.

LiveCycle ES3: CertificateException: Terminating SSL connection – The server is not trusted

- David McMahon, Senior Technical Account Manager @ Adobe


If you are using LiveCycle ES3 Digital Signatures to apply signatures to PDF documents using a timestamp (TSP) server you may encounter the following exception:

WARN  [com.adobe.livecycle.signatures.pki.client.PKIException] (http- Exception from transport package   (in the operation : internalSendReceive)

Caused By: java.security.cert.CertificateException: Terminating SSL connection – The server is not trusted(Alerts.java174)

Caused By: Terminating SSL connection – The server is not trusted(PKISocketFactory.java255)


Read the complete post at David's blog.

Dynamically Rendering PDFs from the LiveCycle Repository

While not as complex a process as Barcoded Forms the process of dynamically rendering PDFs from the LiveCycle Repository is a common process that gets used very often. There may be instances where an application needs a simple static PDF. Perhaps it’s a form that’s not quite ready for online submission. You could store these files on a web server and access them directly but it would be better and easier for future development to store them in the LiveCycle Repository and render them with a call to a REST service that is created when the process is deployed. The path to the document to render is passed into the process via a URL variable and the static PDF or the XDP file converted to PDF is returned to the browser.

For this LiveCycle Hands On the process is very simple. Besides rendering a simple static PDF, it’s also setup to render a simple XDP using LiveCycle Output ES.

Download the LCA here: Render_Form_Demo.lca_.zip

(Right click and select View Image to see the full size image)


Complete article at http://www.underprise.com/2011/06/01/dynamically-rendering-pdfs-from-the-livecycle-repository/.

Security misconceptions – Watermarks, Usage Rights and Rights Management


There is a confusion about what features of Acrobat and PDFs in general offer by way of securing documents. I would like to do a very cursory overview of the items that I have so far seen users consider “security.”

To be clear, by “security” I mean the ability or inability to access the contents of the PDF, thus safeguarding information from entering the wrong hands.

1) Not Security-Oriented

a) Watermarks

Unlike on your Dollar, Euro or Pound notes (etc), the watermark is NOT a guarantee of integrity, veracity or anything at all.

In the PDF world, a visible watermark only exists as a notification mechanism. If a watermark says “Confidential,” it is only warning the viewer that the content is confidential, but will not otherwise try to make itself indelible.

It is meant to be a very visible mark on the page, with the added property of not completely obfuscation the items underneath (allowing readability to be maintained)

b) Certification

A Certified PDF carries a digital signature certifying that certain things can and cannot be done with it. Namely:

-A PDF certified to run privileged scripts can run scripts requiring special privileges, such as writing to the hard drive.
-A PDF certified to be unmodified means that so long as the PDF has been modified withing given parameters (fields filled in for example), then the certification will hold. If a visual aspect of the PDF changes though, the certification will be broken, and Acrobat will report an error.

Certification covers a number of other use cases as well, but I hope the above illustrates sufficiently why this is a not a security-related item, rather a usability concern.

c) Reader Extensions Usage Rights

Acrobat and LiveCycle can extend the usability of PDFs to Adobe Reader, the free PDF viewing application. By extending usability features, you can allow Reader users to fill in forms and save that content, add comment annotation, and other functionality.

However, if the same extended form is opened in Acrobat, the user can do to the PDF pretty much anything that Acrobat has at its disposition.

REUR adds functionality to Reader. Any extra functionality it does not add is a restriction that Reader already had.

2) Security-Oriented

a) Password Protection

Using password protection, you can encrypt the PDF so it can only be opened by a person who has the password. You can also prevent the PDF from being used in certain ways, such as modifying the pages.

You cannot however track who has opened the PDF, when and at what IP. That is the domain of Rights Management.

b) LiveCycle Rights Management (aka Policy Server)

LiveCycle 7 introduced Policy Server, later renamed to LiveCycle Rights Management. Adobe LiveCycle/ADEP Rights Management protects your documents from being accessed by parties you have not authorized to do so.

This allows the document publisher to:
-protect with a user ID/password combination
-force the identification to go to a remote server
-restrict usage rights depending on the user’s group


Read the full article at http://blogs.adobe.com/an_tai/archives/176.

Acrobat Reader Extension limitations

Michael Steward

I’ve been doing a piece of work for a customer who wanted a simple form distributed around their organisation for staff to fill in and return.  The only additional requirement was that end users need to be able to save the document whilst filling it in.  Most of my work to date has been using the Adobe LiveCycle product suite and so I naturally turned to Reader Extensions ES2 which would give end users the ability to save documents offline but comes at a rather large premium in terms of licence costs.

I’d always ignored Acrobat as I’d never needed to use it’s standalone functionality but something about the simplicity of this requirement made me look again.  Sure enough since a few versions ago Acrobat now has a form of Reader Extension capability.  Form designers can use Acrobat (or Designer) to create their form and distribute it via Acrobat and reader extend it (note to Adobe: make this easier to find in Acrobat X Pro, currently it’s hidden under the “Save As” file menu for some reason).

This all seemed a little too easy and instantly made me want to find some sort of limitation as otherwise Reader Extensions ES2 would look a very expensive option compared to the relative inexpense of purchasing Acrobat X Pro licences.  I eventually turned to the EULA, searching for some sort of “gotcha” for this feature.  Sure enough there is one (section 16.8.3).

Read the full blog post here.

Displaying Base64 images in Designer

Michael Steward

A recent project required me to write a custom component to merge image data with some text.  This was simple enough in itself but testing the output Base64 image data with PDF files proved a pain.  As a result I made a very simple PDF in Designer which allows you to test your Base64 encoded image strings to see how they’ll look in a PDF document.  The following link will let you download the form which can be opened in designer.  The archive also contains a very basic data schema and test data to get you started.  Just replace the Base64 string in the “sampleData.xml” file with your own string.  Fire up Designer and click the Preview tab to see if the image is displaying properly.

Download Base64ImageTest.zip

Original article at http://michaelsteward.com/2011/09/16/displaying-base64-images-in-designer/.