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Use of digital signatures within a workflow

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02-11-2005

Hello all,



We attempt to build a workflow, where users will be digitally signing the forms being routed. However there are implications some implications with signing the documents.



Here is the use scenario



1. Initiator fills a form with datadigitally signs the formand then submits the form.

2. 1st participant reviews the signed formthen he also signs the form on a separate area

3. The signed (by initiator and participant) form is then archived. The data are extracted and stored to a third party system (e.g. a database)



What we have tried up to now



a. used Designer 7.0 to design a XFA form template incorporating some data entry fields and two signature fields.

b. embedded a binding schema and saved as .xdp

deployed the form to LC Form Manager

c. we RE the deployed form properties to allow for digital signatures in Reader

d. used Workflow Designer to create a simple workflow with two users (initiator to fill and sign the form, 1st participant to sign the form, 2nd participant for viewing the result)

3. set a Init-Form to use this particular template (the url points to our form)

4. set a Form-Var (the variable is of type document, the XFA schema is also displayed)

5. set data mappings (user properties) to use Form-Var as both input and output



Now, the sad story



i. initiator logins to FM, selects the form, fills some data, signs and submits the form

ii. 1st participant receives a working item in his worklist

iii. he opens the form, any data the initiator entered are there, BUT the digital signature field (where initiator previously signed) is EMPTY

iv. initiator navigates to his archive and sees the same (data but no signature)





Remark: whenever this form opens (1st participant worklist or initiator archive), the form takes up all the space within Internet Explorer, i.e. the FM left-side navigation and any other frames disappear



Any idea to workaround on this would be great. Thanks in advance for your help,



~Evangelos

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HowardTreisman
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02-11-2005

Hi



It sounds to me like the Reader Ext part is not working. (But this is just a guess.)



Why don't you try getting the initiator and 1st recipient to use Acrobat rather than Reader, and see whether that fixes the problem. That will tell you whether it's a RE problem or a Workflow problem.



Howard



Howard Treisman

Avoka Technologies

Specializing in Custom QPAC development and LiveCycle Solutions

http://www.avoka.com/avoka/qpac_library.shtml

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HowardTreisman
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02-11-2005

A couple of other thoughts...

1. Is the data-out-type of the init-form document or form? (It should be document if you want the signature.)

2. Try using a pdf rather than an xdp as your template. (This shouldn't matter, but...)



Please let me know if any of these is successful.



Howard

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02-11-2005

Hi Howard,

thanks a lot for the tips.



tried using Acrobat--void

also tried saving the XFA form as PDF, as well as trying with a plain old AcroForms PDF--void

init-form is of type document



Everything seems to be in place, so I guess it must have been some simple detail that I may be missing here...



I posted the wf xml, and the XDP file, in case you might want to take a look. Would that work for you?

http://www.anodos.gr/misc/SimplePODigSig.xml

http://www.anodos.gr/misc/SimplePODigSig.xdp



Thanks,

Evangelos

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09-11-2005

Hi Evangelos,



Your issue is that you are submitting back an XDP format and not the PDF format. To resolve this issue, open your form and select the FSSUBMIT_ field from the heirarchy. Click on the Object palette and look at your Submit options. On that tab look at the Submit Format dropdown. You will want to choose PDF instead of XML Data Package (XDP). I have attached the working version of your form!!!



Basically you where reconstructing the PDF with the submitted data (the data does not have the signature in it) and hence the signature was being lost. The signature info is only part of the finished PDF.

NOTE: that the signatures will break from step to step (i.e. a yellow exclamation mark will appear) but Adobe are aware of this, and it will be fixed in the future.



regards

David.

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HowardTreisman
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09-11-2005

Well spotted David. (And I'm sorry I missed it Evangelos.)



This is actually documented in Chapter 8 of "Designing workflows", "Configuring Submit buttons when handling documents". It does pay to read the documentation 🙂



Howard

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09-11-2005

Thank you all for your help,



indeed I used the default XFO library object(providing the WF fields)when designing the form. Did not consider that I should have looked into the submit button attributes.



Evangelos

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13-12-2005

I've been following along and finally got the signature to carry over to the next step of the workflow. The problem that I am having now is that when you change the Init-Form variable to a document variable you loose the option to Include routenames in form data. How are you to populate the Submit button with your next step (example: Approve or Reject) if you cant use this option?