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Useful documentation for developing Interactive Forms

I took some time to create a summary of useful documentation about scripting for Interactive Forms. I updated this blog in Jan 2009.

You can find a lot of information about form design and scripting on Adobe’s web site. You just have to know where to look for it and you need to know how the Designer versions relate to LiveCycle versions. LiveCycle ES means Designer 8.1 and LiveCycle ES Update 1 means Designer 8.2. The latest Designer version for Interactive Forms is Designer 8.1 which is part of Enhancement Package 1 of SAP NetWeaver.

Information on form design and use of Adobe LiveCycle Designer

Using the Adobe LiveCycle Designer is not specific to the SAP integration. You can find a lot of information and tips&tricks on form design on Adobe’s web site.

Information on use of scripting for forms development

Adobe published a very useful document called “LiveCycle Designer Scripting Basics”. You do not have to worry about that the documentation is for Designer 8.0. Everything is also valid for Designer 7.1. If you are already on the latest Designer (version 8.1) check out this new revision of the “Scripting basics”.

If you want to know more details about the underlying technology I would recommend to take a look at the XFA (XML Forms Architecture) reference. Especially the sub-section “template reference” in chapter 15 contains useful information about properties and their values. For example go to the documentation for the field tag. There you’ll find the access attribute which controls if a field is read-only or editable. Take a look at the description and you will find the values you have to use in a script to set the desired access mode. Part 3 of the XFA references contains the “Picture Clause Specification”. I highly recommend reading that specification. Picture clauses (also called patterns) are used to define the format of the data, how field values are displayed and which pattern is used during editing a field value.

There is also an Acrobat JavaScript reference. It documents available Acrobat JavaScript functionality. Using in a script for an event you can access the document object. Before you use Acrobat scripting objects I recommend looking at the scripting guide mentioned before (“LiveCycle Designer Scripting Basics”). It has a chapter (#12) on how a couple of things can be achieved directly in Designer scripting without using Acrobat JavaScript functionality.

Besides JavaScript you could also use FormCalc as a scripting language. Either you download the FormClac reference from the Adobe web site or you take a look at Designer Help. Designer Help contains a “FormCalc User Reference”.

Reference of sample forms

If you want to see what forms could look like or you want to promote your own forms check out the forms section on SAP EcoHub. you can even win Finally available: A book on Interactive Forms if you submit a useful and good looking form.

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
        Thanks for consolidating the reference to all useful guides in this blog. This blog is really helpful for developers like me.


      Author's profile photo Christopher Solomon
      Christopher Solomon
      I am stumbling along in the world of HCM Processes and Forms at the moment and this is a nice consolidation of great info. Thanks for the effort!
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Thanks, very useful info.
      Bye, regards.

      Antonio Caldas

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      where are the links to the reference guides? All of them seem kind of dead.