About form types

Before you start working with the Forms service, it is recommended that you understand the various form types that the Forms service uses. This section describes these form types.

Forms that have a flowable layout

A form that has a flowable layout changes based on data prepopulation or through user interaction. A form design that adjusts to accommodate data specifies a set of layout, presentation, and data capture rules. Such a form design includes the ability to calculate values based on user input. The rules are applied when a user enters data into the form or when a server merges data into a form.

A form that has a flowable layout is useful when displaying an undetermined amount of data to users. You do not need to predetermine a fixed layout or number of pages for the form. When a form/form design with a flowable layout is rendered as a PDF form, intelligent page breaks are generated.

Forms that have a fixed layout

A form that have a fixed layout does not change regardless of how much data is placed into the fields. Any fields left unfilled are present in the form but empty. Conversely, if the form contains more data than it can hold, it cannot expand to accommodate the excess data.

Server-side forms

A server-side form can be a data-driven form; that is, the form is populated with data during rendering. The amount of data determines the form’s layout. Multiple data value instances can be provided for a given field. This causes the field to dynamically replicate so that each data value is displayed within the form.

Fields that are dynamically added to a form are contained in structures called subforms, which are located within the form design. An example of a server-side form is one that is part of a custom application that queries a database and retrieves an unknown number of records. After retrieving records from a database, the application merges data into the form. After the data is merged into the form, the application renders the form to a user.

Client-side forms

A client-side form is typically used to collect data from end users by having them click a button (or another control) that produces a new field in which data is entered. The new field appears on the form immediately and does not require a round trip to the server. That is, the form is not sent to LiveCycle. An example of a client-side form is one that contains fields that where users can enter items to purchase and a button that enables the user to add new fields. Each time the user clicks the button, a new subform is added to the form (a subform can contain a set of related fields).

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