When creating interactive
form designs, you can use external data sources (databases, XML
data files, XML schemas, and web services) to define field values, populate
fields on a form, or collect data entered on a form. Designer provides the
data connection tool that lets you define connections to data sources.
You can then bind fields that accept these types of data to the
data sources. If a field supports scripting, you can write FormCalc
calculations and validations. In addition, you can also take advantage
of two custom objects, the Data Drop-down List and the Data List Box,
to connect to a database to populate a list box. You can find these
two objects on the Custom category of the Object Library palette.
The types of data you choose depend on your form and how you
plan to distribute it. You can connect to one or more data sources
and bind the data to one or more fields in your form design.
An XML schema specifies how to formally
describe elements in an XML document. You can connect one XML schema to
a form, and bind specific elements and attributes defined in the
schema to fields in the form. You can use this to map data into
and out of form fields in a format that conforms to the schema.
For more information, see
Create a data connection to an XML schema
Sample XML Data
If you do not have an XML schema, you can
connect an XML data file to a form, and bind elements and attributes
in the file to fields in your form. The data captured in the form
will conform to the XML data file. You can use the data file to
provide the mapping of data into and out of form fields in the required
format. For more information, see
Create a data connection to an XML data file
Adobe Data Model
Connecting to an Adobe Data Model enables
you to create forms that use a data structure captured in AEM forms. Designer
saves forms that have an Adobe Data Model data connection in XDP
format only. For more information, see
Create a data connection to a model
WSDL file web services provide functions
and data to other applications through the Internet by using HTTP/HTTPS and
message level (SOAP) authentication standards. The web service can
receive and process a command and return the results to your form.
You can connect one or more web services to a form.
Create a data connection using a WSDL file
You can connect one or more databases to
a form to exchange data between the form and the database. You can populate
fields with data from a database or integrate data captured in the
form with the database. Data exchange is possible for interactive
forms in Acrobat using client-side binding. For more information,
Create a data connection to an OLE database
Designer provides built-in tools for creating, binding, importing,
and exporting from and to data sources. However, form authors who
are not experienced in working with data sources should seek the
assistance of database administrators and other technical staff
to provide support for implementing the data connections.
Consider these points when planning how to set up and execute
the data exchange required by your form:
Identify the data sources you will use to capture user-entered
data and to import data into form fields.
Decide if you will use field binding to an XML schema or
data file to define the structure of the data.
Obtain data mapping information, including the data types
and structures used by your existing data source.
Acrobat, security concerns dictate that you cannot specify an ODBC
connection string using the Driver=; syntax, so the client system
needs a DSN configured for ODBC connection. Also, if you are using
external data sources in a form that you want to make available
using Adobe Reader, you must set usage rights for the form using
Acrobat Reader DC extensions 10.