February 2011 Archives

Adobe Saveable Forms

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Problem:
Generating saveable forms that can be emailed once completed by the constituent and either stored by GPS Alliance or forwarded on to a central unit for processing.

The latter includes many financial forms.

Solutions:
  • Traditional non-saveable forms that are written on and faxed back to GPS Alliance or directly to central unit.
  • Web form that sends form contents in an email to a pre-determined email address. 
  • Web form that connects to database, which stores information for processing and manipulation
  • Saveable PDF that will allow forms to be saved by the constituent and emailed to GPS Alliance or central unit (500 extractions - any usage of the data - allowed)
  • Workflow software (currently GPS Alliance is involved in the Workflow Consortium using WorkflowGen) which takes much more work than Adobe products, but allows for web forms to be built, backed by a database, integrated UofM authentication, and routing for all appropriate parties to the form process.


Adobe Licensing for Saveable forms:

http://www.adobe.com/products/eulas/pdfs/Gen_WWCombined-20080205_1329.pdf

15.12 Acrobat Pro and Acrobat Pro Extended Feature. 15.12.1 Definitions.
15.12.1.1 "Deploy" means to deliver or otherwise make available, directly or indirectly, by any means, an Extended Document to one or more recipients.
15.12.1.2 "Extended Document" means a Portable Document Format file manipulated by Acrobat Pro or Acrobat Pro Extended Software to enable the ability to locally save documents with filled-in PDF forms.
15.12.2 If the Software includes Acrobat Pro or Acrobat Pro Extended, the Software includes enabling technology that allows you to enable PDF documents with certain features through the use of a digital credential located within the Software ("Key"). You agree not to access, attempt to access, control, disable, remove, use or distribute the Key for any purpose.
15.12.3 For any unique Extended Document, you may only either (a) Deploy such Extended Document to an unlimited number of unique recipients but shall not extract information from more than five hundred (500) unique instances of such Extended Document or any hardcopy representation of such Extended Document containing filled form fields; or (b) Deploy such Extended Document to no more than five hundred (500) unique recipients without limits on the number of times you may extract information from such Extended Document returned to you filled-in by such Recipients. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, obtaining additional licenses to use Acrobat Pro or Acrobat Pro Extended shall not increase the foregoing limits (that is, the foregoing limits are the aggregate total limits regardless of how many additional licenses to use Acrobat Pro or Acrobat Pro Extended you may have obtained).


Explanation: (from http://acrobatusers.com/forum/forms-acrobat/license-limitations-forms in August 2010)

Standard allows you to create forms but only other Acrobat users can fill them in and save the data, and if your users are all working in Acrobat, there are no limits on how many responses you can process.

If you're using Acrobat Pro and are using Reader-extended forms, then to be specific there are (and can be) no limits on the actions of the [/u]user[u] as they're not bound by the Acrobat EULA. An unlimited number of people can open and fill in the form, and an unlimited number of them can submit the data back to you.

[b]However[/b] if the recipient list exceeds 500 people, you are only permitted to extract information from 500 of those replies. If there are less than 500 recipients in total (and you must of course know this in advance) they can each keep sending you the same form data over and over again, which means you could end up with thousands of extracted datasets.

In the context of Acrobat, "extract" means either to reload the FDF data into Acrobat to see the fields populated in your copy of the PDF, or to take the data directly and use them without Acrobat (including human or machine reading of printouts, faxes, etc). Anything whereby you get access to what they typed in the fields.

Remember that this is a per-document limit; so if you send out ten different surveys, you could process responses from 5000 users in total (some of whom can overlap) - which is the typical way people will handle things like a PDF form on a website (when your 500th user emails in their data, delete it, upload a new form and start again from zero).

We know the wording of 15.12 is ambiguous, so there is opportunity for interpretation; however to work beyond the 15.12.3 limits on a unique document you would need to purchase the server-based Adobe LiveCycle product.

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