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Web Services with Digital Signature?

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Hello,



I spoke to Adobe yesterday regarding using web services to submit forms, but our forms need to have a digital signature in them. He said (not a quote, just a recap here) while technically possible, it will be difficult since we would need to deserialize the document.



So, has anyone accomplished this? Is there a QPAC out there that can already handle this?



Thank you,

Jennifer
9 Replies

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So you want to submit a PDF to a web service? Is there a reason you would want to do that instead of an HTTP Post submit to a servlet or something like that?



Chris

Adobe Enterprise Developer Support

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Hello Chris,



I really am in unfamiliar ground here, so if a servlet works, then great (of course I have no clue how to do that...).



Basically we need to have a form out on a website so that people can submit this form with a digital signature. We do have Form Manager, but right now cannot use it since the Form Manager requires AD/LDAP accounts. Considering that our form is a request for a USER ACCOUNT, we are stuck 😄 I thought the web services may have been our answer, but then it was looking like we couldn't use it because of our digital signature requirement.



The only reason I wanted to try to make this fit back into the workflow is for after the fact processing done by admins (who will definitely have a LC account). I figured an admin could trigger the workflow by sending the user (no LC account) an email with the URL to the pdf form - I assumed this could be done with some type of init form. The 2 different possible scenarios:



1. The user gets the email, fills the form and signs it and then provides the email address to the next user (again, no LC account) to fill and sign and then to a third user without an LC account to fill and sign and then if we could hook back into the work flow from there so that the admin could basically "check off" that their account was created which would then send an intro email to the user with their account info and other message.



2. Within the Init Form we provide the supervisor and security manager email addresses, so that when the first user submits the form, it automatically sends an email to their Supervisor (assuming we need to hook back into the workflow). And then eventuall we get to the "check off" part and go on our way.



After these three people sign the form, believe it or not, we need TWO (possible 4) more signatures. These people will have LC accounts.



Overall, I need to keep the form intact with the digital signatures so we can store the form. Would the HTTP Post submit to a servlet accomplish this? If so, where can I read up on this further?



Regarding the form storage, I originally thought this would be stored for viewing through Form Manager, but Adobe Support indicated that the admin would have to actually upload this filled out form through adminui, so this just sounded like a mess to me. I was hoping to have something where the admins could search for submitted forms as needed.



I hope this is all making sense. We spent so much money on this product and it's looking like we cannot use it now because of 1. requirement of an AD/LDAP account to use Form Manager and 2. if we don't use Form Manager, it looks like we cannot utilize web services due to our requirement of a digital signature.



I just need to get this form online and ideally, get it hooked back into the workflow somehow with keeping the digital signature in tact.



Another question - What if we received the form via email with the first three parts filled out (data + digital signatures from the non-LC account holders). Can we get this form submitted into the workflow then to utilize Form Manager?



Thank you so much for your help, I really appreciate it.

-Jennifer

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Level 9
Hi Jennifer



There are a couple of ways I can think of that you can go about this:

1. Put a http Submit button on the form, which submits to a url on your server. Behind this url, you will have a servlet, which uses the Form Server and Workflow apis to initiate a workflow. This workflow will be used by your internal people to sign off the request.



2. Put an Submit button on the form, specifying type=PDF and address=mailto:someemail@yourserver.com. This will submit the PDF form as an attachment to the designated email account. Then create a workflow that waits for emails to arrive at this account (using Email REceiver), extracts the pdf, processes it (using the Form Submit QPAC), and initiates the main workflow (using the Chain QPAC).



Personally I'd go with #2, because you can do it all without any coding.



If you'd like me to explain further, give me a call on +61 2 9976 4500

(Current time in Sydney: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/results.html?query=sydney)



Regards,

Howard

http://www.avoka.com

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Thank you for the suggestions.



I am currently trying the following:



Use Send Attachment QPAC to email form to user. They can fill out and pass around via email attachments (although I may make a run back and forth to the Email Receiver QPAC, not sure yet) to Supervisor and Security Manager and then email back into specified email address (LC user) where the Email Receiver QPAC will catch it and then pass on to Submit Form QPAC and then User, etc. etc.



So far, so good except that no data that is if the form attachment is being received. The form is blank, but I am receiving a PDF and I don't get any errors from the Workflow.



Any insight into where I going wrong? The Email Receiver can receive PDF's with Digital Signatures? i.e. I am setting the "attachment location" to a document variable.



Thanks, I've spent at least 3 hours already trying to get the data!



-Jennifer

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Both of Howard's suggestions are good, and I was going to suggest using the email qpacs (receive and send) like you are doing on top of that. You guys are saving me lots of typing 😄



Honestly though, I think you've hit a point that may need too much in depth help for this forum. I would suggest opening up a support case for this were you can share your workflow and explain your needs and the support team can give you more 1-1 guidance on how to achieve your objective.



Chris

Adobe Enterprise Developer Support

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Thanks Chris,



I've sent my email in, so I hope someone has some insight.



🙂 Jennifer

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Level 9
Hi Jennifer



Can you please explain what you mean by: "no data that is if the form attachment is being received. The form is blank".

(Or, if support have already helped you with this, please ignore...:-)



Howard

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Hello Howard, thanks for asking. I ended up getting this to work, and support asked me the same question. Here is what I wrote back to them:



I should have said the form comes back, but there is no data saved in the form.



Actually, I got it working this weekend - the signature and everything came back in. I was testing with the same email account and not looking for something unique in the email subject. I believe what was happening is that I would test the workflow and I think my previous workflow would catch the email being sent out with the "blank" form and then send that back in to my email Receiver. Maybe that doesn't make sense, but it's working, so yay!



So, yes, you can use the document variable. I have a feeling the documentation meant a more "generic" way of talking about the form variables and meant the "form" and the "document" type.



In regards to my whole scenario, these two email QPACs are working quite well (or so they seem to be!), so I think this is what I am going to do:









  1. Have a form (wether it be PDF or not) on our website that collects the first three "non-LiveCycle" user's name and email.


  2. Use the web services to hook back into the work flow and set this information to variables.


  3. Email out the form to the first user, who can reply back to email the filled out and signed form. An email Receiver QPAC will catch the email (I will probably need to catch something unique in the subject line, probably User's full name or something like that) and then send it right back out via email attachment to the next person, etc..


  4. Once the third user emails the form back in, I will then procede with the workflow as usual (using Form Manager) since I will be dealing with LC account holders at that point.






Since I can delete the emails within the Email Receiver QPAC, all these emails shouldn't bog anything up.



Not too pretty, but I think it should work out just fine! I am starting to put the workflow together now, so I will let you know if this works. Now I need to figure out how to use these web services...



-Jennifer

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Level 9
Hi

Glad that you've got it going.

One way to guarantee uniqueness in the email is to embed the process's process-id into the subject line of the outgoing email - I find this a useful technique.



Howard

http://www.avoka.com