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Rendering Forms

About the Forms service

The Forms service lets you create interactive data capture client applications that validate, process, transform, and deliver forms typically created in Designer. Form authors can develop a single form design that the Forms service renders in PDF, SWF, or HTML in various browser environments.

When an end-user requests a form, a client application sends the request to the Forms service, which returns the form in an appropriate format. As soon as the Forms service receives a request, it merges data with a form design and then delivers the form in the desired format. The Form service output is an interactive form, typically a PDF document. An interactive form enables users to fill in fields located on the form.

Depending upon the type of client application, you can write the form to a client web browser or save the form as a PDF file. A web-based application can write the form to web browser. A desktop application can save the form as a PDF file. To demonstrate how to write out to a web browser and to a PDF file, the quick starts located in the Rendering Forms section are organized in the following manner:

  • The Java API strongly typed (SOAP mode) examples are a Java servlet.

  • The web service (Java Base64) examples are a Java servlet.

  • The web service (MTOM) examples are a console application (not all quick starts have a MTOM example).

    Note: For information about creating a web application that uses java servlets to invoke the Forms service, see Creating Web Applications that Renders Forms.

    You can pass a form design (an XDP file) or a PDF document to the Forms service using one of two ways:

  • You can reference the form design using a URL value. This approach involves using a URLSpec object. The content root is passed to the Forms service using the URLSpec object’s setContentRootURI method. The Form design name (formQuery) is passed as a separate parameter. The two values are concatenated to get the absolute reference to the form design. (Most of the quick starts located in the Rendering Forms section use this approach.)

  • You can pass a com.adobe.idp.Document that contains the form design to the Forms service. Two new methods named renderPDFForm2 and renderHTMLForm2 accept a com.adobe.idp.Document object that contains a form design. (See Passing Documents to the Forms Service.)

    You can accomplish these tasks using the Forms service:

  • Render interactive PDF forms. (See Rendering Interactive PDF Forms.)

  • Render forms at the client. (See Rendering Forms at the Client.)

  • Render forms based on fragments. (See Rendering Forms Based on Fragments.)

  • Render rights-enabled forms. (See Rendering Rights-Enabled Forms.)

  • Render forms as HTML. (See Rendering Forms as HTML.)

  • Rendering HTML Forms Using Custom CSS Files (Rendering HTML Forms Using Custom CSS Files.)

  • Handle submitted forms. (See Handling Submitted Forms.)

  • Creating PDF Documents with Submitted XML Data. (See Creating PDF Documents with Submitted XML Data.)

  • Prepopulate forms. (See Prepopulating Forms with Flowable Layouts.)

  • Passing Documents. (See Passing Documents to the Forms Service.)

  • Calculate form data. (See Calculating Form Data.)

  • Optimize an application. (See Optimizing the Performance of the Forms Service.)

    Tip: The Adobe Developer web site contains the following article that discusses how to create a ASP.NET application that invokes the Forms service and renders forms. See Creating form rendering ASP.NET applications.

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