CGI (Common Gateway Interface) is the standard interface scripting language for executing a program and returning its result to a Web browser. CGI scripts can read and write files, as well as access databases or other applications. You use a programming language such as C or Perl to compose CGI scripts in a text-editing application (i.e., WordPad). To create a CGI script that will collect FDF information, you need the following:
- A programming language such as C (which requires a compiler) or Perl (which has strong text processing capabilities and flexible syntax).
- Proficiency in the programming language. CGI, like many things on the Internet, periodically changes. Check the latest specifications for CGI.
- An application to receive and process the FDF information.
- A Web server.
Acrobat viewers can route FDF information to a server, but they can't do anything with it once it's there, so you must use a CGI script to route the information (just as with an HTML page). The CGI script will parse, or read, the FDF data, then route it according to its instructions.
For a CGI script on a Web server to parse FDF data, you must submit the information from the Acrobat PDF form to a URL that includes the CGI script name. The script name must be followed by the pound (#) character and the capital letters "FDF", so the script recognizes the data as FDF. For example, the URL could read "http:/cgi-bin/MyScript.cgi#FDF."
For sample CGI scripts, see the Acrobat FDF Toolkit SDK, which you can download from the AdobePartner Connection Developers Program Web site at http://partners.adobe.com/asn/acrobat/index.jsp.
Getting Help with Acrobat Forms and Scripts
Adobe Acrobat Technical Support provides assistance with Acrobat software. Acrobat Technical Support does not assist with the following:
- Dynamic page templates. Dynamic page templates enable developers to create customized forms applications, catalogs, brochures, and other publications that can be personalized and delivered on-the-fly.
The AdobePartner Connection does provide documentation and support for Acrobat forms developers, including a Software Developers Toolkit (SDK) for Acrobat Forms. For information about becoming an Adobe Partner Connection member, visit Adobe's Web site at http://partners.adobe.com/asn/developer/main.html . For forms resources, including the Acrobat SDK and the FDF Toolkit, visit http://partners.adobe.com/asn/acrobat/docs.jsp.