Please embed Flex in LiveCycle PDF’s

I downloaded a sample that Mike Potter’s blog pointed me to, and started filling out the form. I have Acrobate Reader 7. I nearly laughed it was so pathetic.

Easily fixed; allow Acrobat Reader to embed SWF’s as native pages, and I’ll show you forms done right… you know, like tabbing that actually visually shows you where you are, not having 3 annoying dialogues pop up in your face, etc.

Anyone do LiveCycle for a living? Do they (LiveCycle customers) even have a clue what Flex is? Potential for growth?

8 Replies to “Please embed Flex in LiveCycle PDF’s”

  1. First of all, using Javascript you can do most of what you are talking about.

    Having said that, yes, coming from something like Flex, LiveCycle forms can certainly appear boring. However, you need to remember the context for where those forms are being used, and what the target market is. The target market is large enterprises with established businesses. I’m not sure you’d have a lot of luck going in there and telling them about this cool new technology that not many people are using yet. These are large companies whose business processes enable the efficiencies for them to generate profits. They want established, well known technologies, that work with existing systems. So, PDF with Adobe Reader, works really well for them.
    Filling out an expense for isn’t exactly the funnest thing in the world either: you need a solution that works. LiveCycle works well, not because its flashy, but because the paper forms match the electronic forms *exactly*, and companies leverage the existing install base of Reader.

    So, while I agree with you that forms made using Flex / Flash are much more exciting, I think you’re forgetting what the target customer is for LiveCycle. Having said that, there’s a cool example that I’m hoping to post in the next few weeks that shows Flex and LiveCycle working together, so you can take an online form, and then go offline in PDF format to continue working.


  2. Thanks for getting some guidance on how Flex and LiveCycle compare. I come to this from the PDF end. I have been interested in LiveCycle but it always seems very expensive. One reason the LiveCycle crowd would not know about Flex is that Adobe is really great at market segmentation and targeted messages. Unfortunately it leads to confusion eventually. Flex seems really well promoted with a free SDK for developers and a free starter phase of server software. LiveCycle is only even promoted to a small target group of large organisations. Maybe Adobe see this as the past, to be exploited for high prices while it lasts. flex is the future so needs to scale up. Hope this is wrong but it is the impression I am getting. There is no information about acrobat 8 except it should help upgrade income. why? what features? Apollo implies that PDF will be a better container for Flash. Maybe people with acrobat 7 would be better off finding out more about Flex than upgrading?

  3. Flex 1 & 1.5 were originally targted this way to. I think this was, however, recon on Macromedia’s part, and to garner capital as well as prove / unprove assumptions about the market.

    Apollo will use PDF & Flash Player together, but they won’t embed eachother per se (although, PDF does support ActiveX control embedding).

    Not sure… I have no idea about the ‘PDF’ market. The only market segment I was in that had a relation was manufacturing. Buyer’s send RFQ’s in with 3D embedded designs and other 2D drafts of products to be created for manufacturers to build. It was a great global format for transferring those types of data around, but not really sure how Flex would fit it. I once hoped that perhaps a lot of LiveCycle’s automatic, server-side form generation could be embedded in PDF’s to allow a more dynamic presentation. To me, it’s really easy to create forms in Flex, and play with that data, so I just assumed it’d be easier to do those types of things in Flex INSIDE a PDF vs. using the native PDF form stuff. I’ve kind of got subjective blinders on now; anytime I see forms, I think ‘Flex’.

  4. JesterXL,

    Thanks for this. I still am not getting any clues about LiveCycle/ Acrobat 8 from Adobe sources. what you say sounds all too plausible. Flex is the future. OK, I have to think about this now.


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