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Web Services with Javascript


Level 1

Perhaps this has been asked and answered, and perhaps it should be in a different forum, but I've been unable to find an answer to this particular issue.

I created a PDF form using the Form Wizard in Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro, compatible with 7.x. This did a nice job of providing tags and initial formatting for my data entry fields.

I then used LiveCycle Designer ES 8.2 for the rest of my form development.

In LiveCycle I added some hidden fields to hold temporary values for my form id and to help format certain values (e.g. First and Last name become comma separated Last, First). In the forms I created, I also included at least one multi-line field to hold XML values as input and output between my form and several custom Web Services I've created in .NET.

I originally prepopulate my PDF form with the form id using itextsharp. In the form:ready event, I then queried the DB via a Web Service using that ID to get the rest of the form's information in an XML string. This was done using 'xfa.connectionSet.wsdlRef.execute(0);'. I also get the list of values for several drop-downs I included in my form. NOTE: After encountering the issue I describe below I went ahead and prepopulated even more of the data without using the Web Service calls, but haven't completely cleared up the issue.

As so many have found, when running forms with web service calls using a system with Acrobat Pro installed it's no problem. But with Reader only, there's an issue. The difference here is that sometimes the execute works and sometimes it doesn't. The error I get is:

extMessage: General error: Operation failed.

Invalid property get operation; packet doesn't have property 'wsdlRef'

In one form, the first execute of the web service to get the information associated with the form id fails, the next two executes to get drop-down information work fine, and the last one to get yet another drop-down's information fails. I'm wondering if this is a timing issue with Javascript.

I'm very close to being able to implement this solution and this is likely the last major hurtle for me to clear. Can anyone help with this?

Thanks in advance!

3 Replies


Level 10

You need to have the form Reader Extend with Server component for the Adobe Reader to execute webservices.

Acrobat Pro has that capability to connect to Webservices and databases. But for the Reader to connect to webservice/ database you need to Reader Extend the form.




Level 1


Thanks for the quick response.

Initially this is what I thought I would have to do. However, if none of the web service calls worked I would accept this as the simple answer. The fact that some do and others don't, to the same web service, would suggest it's not as cut-and-dry as that, and there's possibly a different solution.

If I do have to add the extensions, can you point me to a better detailed explanation (perhaps one of the PDFs on this site) of how I do this? (The ones I've found in the forums haven't been very helpful to me).

If there's an additional cost involved, it could be an issue.


Level 10


I have a summary of deployment options on our blog: http://assurehsc.ie/blog/?p=29

It examines the features that are available or restricted depending on whether the form is Reader Enabled AND how it was enabled.

Stefan Cameron has some excellent web service call resources on his blog: http://forms.stefcameron.com/