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PDF interactive forms

PDF Interactive forms

Starting with version 1.5 you can use J4L FO Designer and our FOP server to create PDF interactive forms. These are PDF files which contain input fields where the user can enter or select data. PDF forms can be submitted to a web server, sent by email, printed or saved to a local file.

The main purpose of PDF interactive forms is to collect data from your users or business partners. The main advantage over HTML forms (web pages) is that PDF forms can be saved to a local computer, filled off-line and at some time submitted. Futhermore the user can keep a copy of the PDF file she has submitted.

J4L FO Designer can:

  • Create PDF forms using our visual designer.
  • Customize the content of the forms with the business data, that is, each user can received a form with her own prefilled data.
  • Use XML files as input data for the form customizing.

The following diagrams shows a typical use of PDF forms:

  1. You can design your form using J4L FO Designer.
  2. At runtime your application can call our FOP server passing XML Data to customize the PDF form (for example adding the customer name in the form, or prefilling some fields).
  3. The user receives the PDF (for example by email) and saves it to her computer.
  4. At some time she fills in the form and submits it (for example via a web server or email). She can keep a copy of the filled form.
  5. The server can receive the form either as HTML data, as XML or as PDF. Our component provides an interface to extract data from a PDF file.