Stefan Cameron on Forms
Building intelligent forms using Adobe LiveCycle Designer

'FormCalc' Category Archive

Connecting to a Schema

In previous tutorials, I have shown how to connect an XFA form to a database and a web service. Next on the list is the XML Schema (XSD).

If you work in an enterprise setting, chances are you may have already had to deal with corporate data schemas that define how that data is structured. The goal, when connecting a form to a schema, is to ensure that the data consumed and output by the form adheres to a specific structure. Any fields bound to data nodes that aren’t inside the schema space are basically ignored at time of submission.

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Posted by Stefan Cameron on August 3rd, 2009
Filed under Data Binding,Designer,FormCalc,Instance Manager,Tutorials,XFA

Expandable Table with Totals

It seems that calculating totals in an expandable table with a dynamic/repeatable row is a hot topic lately so I thought I would post a tutorial on how to build a simple table which represents a purchase order where you can add and remove line items and various totals are automatically calculated.

Before we get started, you’ll need Designer 7.1 and Acrobat/Reader 7.0.5 at minimum to run through this tutorial. I will be using Designer 8.2 and Acrobat/Reader 9.0 to do the tutorial so it’s possible some of the UI may have changed slightly since the 7.1/7.05 versions.

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Posted by Stefan Cameron on February 25th, 2009
Filed under Data Binding,Designer,FormCalc,Scripting,Tables,Tutorials,XFA

Adobe LiveCycle ES Update 1 Documentation

Since the release of Designer ES 8.2 and now LiveCycle ES Update 1, the documentation page has been updated with all sorts of goodies related to Update 1, including the following Designer-related documentation:

  • Scripting Reference (technical document about scripting your forms)
  • Target Version Reference (if you want to know what features are compatible with specific PDF versions or if you’re using Designer ES 8.2 to build a form for users on Acrobat/Reader 7.x and you want to make sure they can use your form)
  • Scripting Errors Reference (solutions to common scripting errors)
  • FormCalc Reference (for those of you who like to use FormCalc instead of JavaScript, this reference includes previously-omitted information about various language constructs such as “while”, “for” and “for each” loops)

Posted by Stefan Cameron on July 21st, 2008
Filed under Designer,FormCalc,Scripting

LC Designer ES Documentation Now Online

Adobe recently published a whole collection of documents for Designer. In particular, Designer documentation is now available online via LiveDocs.

Under the Develop Tab, you’ll find documentation on the following topics as they pertain to Designer:

  • Designer Help (LiveDocs)
  • Form Guides (“getting started” guide)
  • Scripting Basics
  • Scripting Reference
  • Target Version Reference (to know what features of XFA and Designer are supported in specific versions of Acrobat — this is what the new Target Validation feature in Designer is intended to help you manage)
  • Transformation Reference (to know what’s supported if you’re targeting HTML)
  • FormCalc Reference

Posted by Stefan Cameron on June 25th, 2007
Filed under Designer,FormCalc,Scripting,Tutorials

Adobe Unveils LiveCycle ES

Today, Adobe unveiled its new LiveCycle Enterprise Suite. It includes a whole slew of new product versions all designed to work together in an IDE (Integrated Development Environment), bringing PDF and Flash together in the same workflow using a new technology called Form Guides (see the Generate dynamic Adobe Flash® Player compatible form guides topic in the LC Forms ES feature list). Form Guides enable you to add an RIA (Rich Internet Application) view to your form to engage your customers in a more compelling way.

What’s more is that the new Enterprise Suite launch means that there’s also new version of Designer: LiveCycle Designer ES (version 8.1). I believe this will be an upgrade to Designer 8.0 which currently ships with Acrobat Pro 8.0. Most notable in this new version are

  • the new Guide Builder tool which will help you quickly re-purpose your PDF form as a Flash-based Form Guide;
  • a new feature called Form Fragments which will enable you to re-use sections of your forms and scripts in other forms while only needing to make changes in one place;
  • a Syntax Checker in the Script Editor to check for errors in your scripts (this will definitely help with debugging!); and
  • the Target Validation feature which will help you determine which XFA features you may use when targeting a specific version of Reader/Acrobat (e.g. if you specify Reader/Acrobat 7.0 as your target version and you insert a table into your form, you’ll get a warning telling you that tables aren’t supported in Reader/Acrobat 7.0 — they’re only supported as of Reader/Acrobat 7.0.5).

Posted by Stefan Cameron on June 4th, 2007
Filed under Debugging,Designer,FormCalc,Scripting