9 November 2009
Previous experience with LiveCycle Designer ES will be helpful, but it is not required.
LiveCycle Designer ES2
Adobe LiveCycle Designer ES2 is Adobe’s most recent release of the Adobe LiveCycle ES2 (Enterprise Suite) design tool for creating interactive forms and document templates. LiveCycle Designer ES2 ships with LiveCycle ES2 and is available as an upgrade to Acrobat 9, which shipped with the LiveCycle ES Update 1 version. LiveCycle Designer ES2 is also an integral part of the LiveCycle Workbench ES2 design environment.
This article provides a summary of what's new in LiveCycle Designer ES2.
LiveCycle Designer ES2 provides an easy method of creating commonplace form behaviors (Actions) without the need to write scripts. With a few clicks you can add or remove fields or whole sections of a form, show a help dialog, add attachments, change a field’s color, and much more (see Figure 1). Actions are supported for Adobe Reader 7 and higher. You can also call script object functions from an Action, so even if you’re not a programmer you can use custom functions written by programmers in your forms. Script objects are used to contain common scripts that are used repeatedly in one or more forms.
With LiveCycle Designer ES2, you now have more control over validation and mandatory field message display behavior. You can use settings in the Form Properties dialog box to set the color of fields that fail their validation tests, set the focus on failed fields, and show multiple messages at once (see Figure 2). This feature is supported for Adobe Reader 9.1 or higher.
LiveCycle Designer ES2 provides a facility to filter the display of the data connection tree. This makes working with large schemas easier because you can display only the section you are currently binding to the form (see Figure 3).
It’s also now possible to submit the data of fields not bound to a schema along with the bound data. This is useful when submitting data that is not part of the schema but is needed for additional processing or routing of the form.
LiveCycle Workbench ES2 integration
We have revamped the integration between LiveCycle Designer ES2 and LiveCycle Workbench ES2. LiveCycle Designer ES2 now runs in separate window but remains connected to LiveCycle Workbench ES2 for file storage and application usage. This integration frees more screen real estate for designing forms and improves performance. As you author forms, a new form wizard walks you through decisions about XDP and PDF template types and submission options. Form creation is now more closely integrated with process management for easier workflow creation.
Custom metadata entry
Custom metadata name-value pairs can now be added through the Info tab of the Form Properties dialog box (see Figure 4). Use this feature to create your own entries that can be picked up by Internet search engines.
Ease of use
We completed a number of improvements that make LiveCycle Designer ES2 easier to use:
- Snap to Object makes aligning form objects correctly even easier.
- List box items and values can be populated by pasting from the clipboard.
- The object assist facilities for scripting are improved with additional help as well as method and property identifiers.
- The default scripting language can now be set at the application level in addition to the template level.
Printers and barcodes
Three new label printer types have been added (Intermec, Toshiba, Datamax) as has the USPS Intelligent Mail barcode. Also, new page scaling options provide more control over how margins are scaled when the PDF is printed.
Application data model as a new data connection
In the Data Connections dialog box you’ll find a new data connection type to link to an application model. This enables you to share data bindings with application data models created in LiveCycle Workbench ES2 and used with LiveCycle Guides.
LiveCycle Designer ES2 now provides the ability to generate XML Localization Interchange File Format (XLIFF) identifiers in form templates. These identifiers can be used in form translations. XSL Transformations (XLSTs) are provided to extract text strings and merge translated text with existing templates.
And, lastly, Catalan, Basque and Tagalog locales are now supported for date and numerical formatting.
Where to go from here
To find out more about LiveCycle Designer ES2 and the LiveCycle ES2 suite of products please see the LiveCycle Developer Center site on the Adobe Developer Connection.