eForms Training Introduction

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PDF forms training is frequently purchased without a clear understanding of what’s needed. While many people just want to use Adobe Acrobat to design easy to fill forms that will replace paper work processes, many also want to take it a step further, using PDF files to capture data to a database, for example.

One of the first things to realize is that designing forms for front-end use typically requires a very different skill set from integrating these same forms with a database. While there is some overlap, and it is great to know both, it is appropriate to make reasonable goals as you develop skills with Acrobat PDF forms.

First, realize that there are several ways to capture form data. The easiest to implement is probably an email based workflow, where the person responsible for capturing data receives an email of this data from the form user. That data can easily be imported into a copy of the blank form on the receiver’s computer, and without much more difficulty into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet or Access database, or another program such as Filemaker.

Automating the submission however, so that the data goes directly from the PDF form into a database such as Microsoft SQL Server or MySQL, does require more expertise. However, you’ll find it’s no harder to integrate a PDF form than it is an HTML form.

First, you’ll need to understand something about how web applications work. You will either need assistance from your IT department or some expertise in a web application programming language such as Adobe ColdFusion, PHP, or Microsoft ASP or ASP.NET. In essence, you’ll need to create a web application or web service capable of receiving the data and inserting it into your database for you.

If you are looking for experienced, capable Adobe certified, hands-on training classes in Acrobat PDF forms technology, we recommend Sterling Ledet Adobe Livecycle Designer training classes. They are primarily available in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, San Diego, & Washington DC. Occasionally they are offered elsewhere as well.

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