Working with Forms


Adobe® LiveCycle® Enterprise Suite 4 (ES4) software offers a set of new offerings around Forms:

  • Adobe LiveCycle Mobile Forms (Powered by HTML5):
    In addition to existing XFA to PDF transformation, Mobile Forms enables rendering of XFA form templates into HTML5 format. As a result, XFA Forms can now be made available for mobile devices or any other platform on which PDF-based forms rendition is not available or not fully supported. Mobile Forms supports Layout and Script capabilities of XFA form templates and adds new capabilities targeted for mobile devices like scribble signatures. For more information about Forms Manager, see Introduction to Mobile Forms.

  • Adobe LiveCycle Forms Manager:
    Adobe LiveCycle ES4 also provides a unified view for listing and managing all form templates using Forms Manager. You can use Forms Manager to activate, deactivate, search, and preview forms. For more information about Forms Manager, see Introduction to Forms Manager.

To deploy, configure, develop, and Manage XFA forms using Adobe LiveCycle Mobile Forms and Adobe LiveCycle Forms Manager perform end to end steps listed in this article.

Deploy Mobile Forms and Forms Manager

After you have installed LiveCycle ES4, configure it to deploy Mobile Forms and Forms Manager. LiveCycle Configuration Manager is a wizard-like tool that leads you through the configuration and deployment process, prompting you to provide the required information. For detailed information, see Install Mobile Forms and Forms Manager. After running the LCM, do an on-demand synchronization.

Verify Installation

After you have installed Mobile Forms and Forms Manger and successfully run LiveCycle Configuration Manager, you can verify the Mobile Forms and Forms Manager deployment. 

Verify Mobile Forms deployment

Adobe LiveCycle ES4 provides the Mobile Forms Installation Verification Sample (IVS) application. The IVS is a utility to verify installation of the Mobile Forms service, and how it renders forms. For detailed steps to verify deployment, see Installation Verification Sample (IVS) application.

Verify Forms Manager deployment

To verify Forms Manager:

  • In a web browser and open following URL:
  • Log in using your LiveCycle credential. 

Develop Forms

The Mobile Forms component in LiveCycle ES4 offers rendering XFA form template to HTML5 format. The primary tool used to develop Form template is LiveCycle Designer.  Form designers can design form templates using LiveCycle Designer and Preview them in designer as PDF or as HTML forms.

Mobile Form

Mobile Forms uses regular XFA templates and thus now a same XFA From template designed via LiveCycle Designer can be used to render as PDF or HTML5. For More details around steps to design a Form Template, see Designing form templates.

Best practices to design Mobile Forms

Steps for designing a form template, such as schema bindings or writing form logic are similar for PDF Forms and Mobile Forms. However, due to inherent differences between rendering and scripting engine of a thick client like Adobe Reader and browser-based forms, there are some recommendations described in the Best practices article. These best practices help in designing form templates that ensure that forms in both the formats work as expected.

Preview Mobile Forms in LiveCycle Designer

Besides previewing the PDF rendition of forms, now you can also preview the format in HTML rendition while designing the form in LiveCycle Designer. New Preview HTML tab can be used to preview form as it would appear in a browser. To preview Mobile Forms using the Preview HTML tab, add details of your LiveCycle server to the LiveCycle Designer. For detailed steps, see Preview your XDP form in HTML.

Add a Scribble Signature field to a Mobile Form

Scribing on mobile devices is becoming an accepted practice. In LiveCycle ES4, Mobile Forms and Designer now enable the option of having a scribble signature field on the form. When the form is rendered in the browser, one can scribble on these fields using a stylus or mouse. In LiveCycle Designer, you can drag-and-drop the scribble signature control on your form template and configure it. For detailed information, see Using Scribble Signature.

PDF Form

You can create an XDP file with LiveCycle Designer. This XDP file can be rendered as PDF Form using LiveCycle Forms Service at render time or can be saved as Static or Dynamic PDF Form from LiveCycle Designer. For detailed information, see LiveCycle Designer documentation.

Customizing Mobile Forms

You can customize appearance, create custom interactive widgets, and change default styles to provide a distinct organization-specific appearance to the Mobile Forms. For example, you can change the background color. Apart from above, you can merge XML data with form template.

Create custom profile

You require a Profile to use a Mobile Forms service. A Mobile Forms Profile is a resource node in Apache Sling. It represents a customized version of Mobile Form Render service. Mobile Forms contain a default profile. You can use the Mobile Form Render service to customize appearance, behavior, and interactions of the Mobile Forms. For detailed information, see Creating a Custom Profile.

Create Submit Endpoint

Submit Endpoint is the location where user data XML is posted. There are two ways to specify the default Submit Endpoint:

  1. Specify explicit submit url as a value of the Submit To Url property of Submit Button in the Designer. If specified, it takes the highest precedence.
  2. When rendering the form, send a request parameter named submitUrl as part of render request as mentioned in the Render Parameters table mentioned earlier.

For detailed information, see Rendering Form Template.

Merge Data with form template

You can import your XML data in a form. You can specify absolute path of the data file or  the UTF-8 encoded data bytes to be merged with the form template. For detailed information, see Merge XML data with Form template.

Changing default style

Mobile Forms are rendered using HTML5 capabilities and the styling of the rendered form is done using CSS. The default appearance of a Mobile Form is similar to its PDF rendition. Mobile Forms also allow developer to change this look by allowing certain restyling using custom CSS files. For detailed information, see Changing default styles.

Configure cache

Mobile Forms uses caching to optimize throughput and response time. You can configure the level of the cache service to fine-tune the trade-off between performance and space utilization. For detailed information, see Configure Cache.

Manage Forms

Adobe LiveCycle ES4 also provides a unified view for listing and managing all form templates using Forms Manager. You can use Forms Manager to activate, deactivate, publish, and preview forms. For more information about Forms Manager, see Introduction to Forms Manager.

Get forms in Forms Manager

Forms Manager integrates with LiveCycle repository and remains in sync with it. To add forms in Forms Manager, see Getting forms in Forms Manager.

You can add forms to LiveCycle repository using LiveCycle Workbench application View. Additionally, in LiveCycle ES4, Forms Manager offers an alternate way to add / download forms to the repository / application Model. It offers a browser-based user interface, which can be used to search, list, add, update, and delete forms in the repository and manage their meta properties. For detailed information, see Getting forms in Forms Manager.

Sharing forms in development scenario

You can download your forms as a ZIP archive from Forms Manager. The downloaded ZIP is intended to help form developers download and update assets. For detailed information, see Downloading a form.

Migrate forms to production environment

To migrate assets from one environment to another, use the LCA import and export functionality. For detailed information, see Taking forms to production.

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