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Best option for hosting forms online and archiving the completed forms?


Former Community Member

Forgive the length of this post, but I feel it necessary to give a little background information into our problem.

We were looking for a simple solution to a seemingly simple problem: Host ~15 safety forms online for field technicians (electricians) to fill out via their netbooks and submit to some sort of repository for archiving with the ability for the technicians to reopen the forms and make additions over the course of the job / week as well as firing an email off to our H&S rep per form submitted.

Acrobat + Remote Desktop Services (SBS 2011 network) + Reader seemed like a good solution and does work, but it's somewhat cumbersome for the less computer literate techs and proving to be more time in support then we are potentially saving going with paperless forms. This is the system we have in place now.

We initially purchased Acrobat Standard and subsequently upgraded to Professional when we found some limitations we weren't expecting in Acrobat Standard. An Adobe Sales rep also suggested that we check out Livecycle Designer 9, which was included with Acrobat Pro which included even more nice stuff. I started re-authoring the forms in LCD9.

The issue now is that I have Dynamic XML forms with flowed content that cannot be submitted by Reader to sharepoint. Why? You can't reader extend livecycle forms with acrobat, which it is bundled with.....

Why exactly adobe has two different and somewhat incompatible forms authoring tools bundled in the same product is beyond me, especially when one of them requires what I would imagine is an expensive server product to enable it's full use?

So it seems I have a choice between having my employer purchase Reader Extensions ES2 to maintain the nice form design with flowed content, purchasing 12 copies of acrobat to put on the netbooks when Reader SHOULD be all that we need or converting all the dynamic XML forms authored in LCD9 into static AcroForms so they can be reader extended and deployed to sharepoint.

We envision our technicians browsing to and logging in to our hosted sharepoint server, selecting the appropriate form template from a drop down list in a doc library or list, which opens the form for completion in the browser and on submit posts the form to a list on sharepoint for completed forms, preferably with some key fields mapped to custom columns in said list AND with the ability for the submitting technician to re-open the submitted form from sharepoint and make additions as the week / job progresses.

What would be the best option given our current situation and needs? With all due respect, I am looking for suggestions from technically oriented or experienced persons, not sales reps that don't fully know the product.    

3 Replies


Former Community Member

Ok, so I have done some additional reading and I've found out that Livecycle forms can be submitted via reader without reader extensions so long as the submit is via HTTP Post or as XML data only.

This effectively means you can collect the data from the submitted forms for processing, but you can not re-render the form from the form template and the XML without the presumably expensive server component, Reader Extensions, which for all I know, requires other components to run.

This all seems awfully expensive for a solution to host a dozen or so forms and archive the submissions in one place where they can be re-opened and added to.

I don't undestand why it's so prohibitively expensive to submit dynamic PDF forms as PDF vs submitting static PDF forms as PDF, which can be done with Acrobat Pro all by itself at ~$500.


Level 1

We are a SMALL 501c6 Membership Corp and have the same issue. Only about 24 very redundant forms we'd love to host from designing them in Livecycle, but the cost of the Livecycle server prhibits us from doing so. We email the beautiful interactive pdf forms we create in Livecycle to a vendor who chops them up into xml and css.

Members go to his site through our site. They complete the form and it submits and resides on his server securely.

Our staff then logs into his server, and downloads the pdf output which does not look like the original forms and is less than lovely.

What have you found is the best way to take and host securely, the pdf forms we create in livecycle for members?

We are using CreativeCloud and its a shame there is not a Livecycle forms Cloud and Secure Storage product for SMBs and Non-Profits...  Or is there?????


Level 2

If it makes you feel worse Adobe will manage your 24 forms for a minimum of $250,000 per year.  Did you ever find a solution?