Handling submitted forms

Web-based applications that enable a user to fill interactive forms require the data to be submitted back to the server. Using the Forms service, you can retrieve the data that the user entered into an interactive form. After you retrieve the data, you can process the data to meet your business requirements. For example, you can perform the following tasks:

  • Store the data in a database

  • Send the data to another application

  • Send the data to another service

  • Merge the data in a form design

  • Display the data in a web browser

    Form data is submitted to the Forms service as either XML or PDF data. This option is set in Designer. A form that is submitted as XML lets you extract individual field data values. That is, you can extract the value of each form field that the user entered into the form. A form that is submitted as PDF data is binary data, not XML data. As a result, you cannot extract field values. However, you can save the form as a PDF file or send it to another service.

Handling submitted XML data

When form data is submitted as XML, you can retrieve XML data that represents the submitted data. All form fields appear as nodes in an XML schema. The node values correspond to the values that the user filled in. Consider a loan form where each field in the form appears as a node within the XML data. The value of each node corresponds to the value that a user fills in. Assume a user fills the loan form with data shown in the following form.

The following illustration shows corresponding XML data that is retrieved by using the Forms service.

The form design must be configured correctly in Designer in order for data to be submitted as XML data. To properly configure it to submit XML data, ensure that the Submit button on the form design is set to submit XML data. (See Designer Help.)

Also, you must specify the correct content type to handle XML data. For example, specify application/vnd.adobe.xdp+xml. The content type must match the submitted form data. You can also specify multiple content type values, such as the following value, to ensure that various form submissions can be used:


Handling submitted PDF data

Consider a web application that invokes the Forms service. After the Forms service renders an interactive PDF form to a client browser, the user fills an interactive form and submits it back as PDF data. When the Forms service receives the PDF data, the service can send it to another service or save it as a PDF file. To handle a submitted PDF form, ensure that you specify CONTENT_TYPE=application/pdf as the content type.

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