Acrobat SDK Overview
The Acrobat SDK is a set of tools that help you develop software that interacts with Acrobat technology. The SDK contains header files, type libraries, simple utilities, sample code, and documentation.
Using the Acrobat SDK, you can develop software that integrates with Acrobat and Adobe Reader in several ways:
The Acrobat SDK provides support for development on both Windows and Apple Mac OS environments.
Besides the technologies provided by the Acrobat SDK, you can also use the PDF Library (PDFL) to develop applications that create and manipulate PDF documents but do not interact with Acrobat. For more information, see Adobe PDF Library.
The placement of a script at a given level also determines its reusability. For example, folder level scripts are available within all documents, document level scripts are available to all fields within a given document, and field level scripts are visible only to the fields with which they are associated.
Plug-ins are dynamically-linked extensions to Acrobat or Adobe Reader. They can hook in to the user interface in a number of ways and can register to be called when a variety of events occur in the application.
A plug-in is written in ANSI C/C++ and uses the Acrobat public APIs. It can add functionality to Acrobat Pro Extended, Acrobat Professional, Acrobat Standard, or Adobe Reader. A plug-in program file goes into a Plug_ins folder or directory and is initialized during Acrobat or Adobe Reader startup.
There are three types of plug-ins:
On Windows, plug-ins are DLLs. However, plug-in names must end in .API, not .DLL. On Mac OS, plug-ins are code fragments, whereas on UNIX, plug-ins are shared libraries.
Acrobat provides support for interapplication communication (IAC) through OLE automation and DDE on Windows, and through Apple events and AppleScript on Mac OS. Adobe Reader also supports IAC, but does not support OLE on Windows.
IAC support allows programs to control Acrobat or Adobe Reader in much the same way a user would. You can also use IAC support to render a PDF file into an external application window instead of the Acrobat window. The IAC methods and events serve as wrappers for some of the core API calls in the SDK.
On Windows, you can develop IAC applications using Visual Basic .NET, Visual C++ .NET, or Visual C# .NET. On Mac OS, you develop IAC applications using Xcode. CodeWarrior is not supported.
Choosing the correct Acrobat SDK Technology
Some of these example tasks, such as SOAP and Web services, can in fact be done with a plug-in by using low-level APIs. However, this is a time-consuming approach and requires an in-depth knowledge of the low-level APIs.
Situations where to Use IAC
To take advantage of Acrobat functionality from within an external application, use IAC.
So, you can use the IAC API to open and view a PDF document. You can also use the IAC API to perform these tasks:
You can also extend the functionality of the IAC interfaces by writing plug-ins that use core API objects not already part of the IAC support system.