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online applications with reporting features

Posted on 2011-09-23
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Client wants me to take a pdf document and make it so people can fill out online.  She also wants some sort of reporting for the results of this online application.  Is that something that can be done with Adobe Acrobat Pro or is there another program that I would need to use?
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Question by:nsitedesigns
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Expert Comment

by:Jason C. Levine
ID: 36591410
You can create forms with Acrobat Pro that both email a user and submit data to a database.  But if the user is going to a web page to get the PDF anyway, why not use a regular web form?
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by:nsitedesigns
ID: 36599224
I think they want to collect both online "paper and pencil" forms and if we put the paper one online, it will have the same look.  If I recreate this form and put it online, it will have a different look.  However, if I recreate this form online, is there a way to collect data?
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Jason C. Levine earned 2000 total points
ID: 36599492
So as above, you can form fields to a PDF using acrobat pro.  You can also do it with Cute PDF Pro for a tenth of the price.  When you create forms this way, you can have them email the form data back or connect to a server and store it in a database. However, the latter gets fairly complex and can become a chore.  The only real use case I accept for PDF forms are for the digital signature capability and even then I hold my nose.  

For the web experience looking the same as paper and pencil...who cares?  The web is not supposed to look like a paper and pencil experience...that's the whole point of it :)

Besides, the amount of tech you can throw at a web form is staggering compared to a PDF form.  Ajax error handling alone makes it worthwhile.
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