PDF In-Depth

FDFGateway - A simple forms data redirector

May 01, 2003

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We've developed a very simple Active Server Pages (ASP) script which allows you to do no-nonsense Forms Data Format (FDF) collection via e-mail. Best of all, this simple script will work with Acrobat Reader.

So simple...

Operation is simple, after having designed your PDF form, and added the form fields as required, add one a hidden field called "mailto". Set its contents to the e-mail address of the person you wish to send the submitted data to (e.g. codecutter@planetpdf.com). Set the submit button to go to the FDFGateway script as installed on your server - don't forget to include the #FDF on the end of the URL so Acrobat knows what to do with the returned data. Ours is at:

http://www.planetpdf.com/planetpdf/asp/fdfgateway.asp#FDF

The FDFGateway script will collect the submitted forms data and immediately e-mail out the forms data (FDF file) to the address specified in the hidden "mailto" field. Nothing could be easier

Try it out yourself

The FDFGateway is setup on the Planet PDF server for evaluation purposes (don't use it as a workhorse). Feel free to give this a whirl to see how it works for you.

Some things you'll need to know

When you do install it on your server, remember you'll need the relevant FDF Toolkit, available from the Adobe Solutions Network and also the CDONTS service as provided with the Microsoft Windows NT Option Kit. Of course, this all presumes you're using Microsoft's IIS. The concept is simple, and you could easily modify this script to work with just about any of the server side scripting languages.

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