[kwlug-disc] (Windows) savable pdf forms?

unsolicited unsolicited at swiz.ca
Wed Nov 3 12:09:22 EDT 2010

Raul Suarez wrote, On 11/03/2010 11:32 AM:
> The main question when solving a problem is: Define the problem.
> In this case you say that you need Fillable PDFs. that to me sounds
> more like a solution than a problem definition.

Good point (solution vs definition). Thanks. Hopefully it should be 
obvious that we're struggling to get a grasp of things, here.

> Depending on the ultimate goal. fillable PDFs may be the answer or
> may not.
> For on-line forms you don't even need to have a database server.
> You could initially collect the answers in your email
> http://www.chami.com/tips/internet/010597I.html

Cool! Thanks for the link.

> --- On Tue, 11/2/10, unsolicited <unsolicited at swiz.ca> wrote:
>> From: unsolicited <unsolicited at swiz.ca> Subject: [kwlug-disc]
>> (Windows) savable pdf forms? To: "Kwlug-Disc"
>> <kwlug-disc at kwlug.org> Received: Tuesday, November 2, 2010, 3:36
>> PM I will be collecting a bunch of information (name, phone
>> number, e-mail address).
>> I understand I can create an openoffice document with fields,
>> export as pdf, and create a pdf form.
>> As far as I know, people could then open up the form (in Acrobat
>> Reader), fill it out, and print it. And that's it. They can't
>> save it, e-mail it, nothing, and, of course, nothing comes back
>> to me to be able to do anything useful with the data except
>> reenter the data.
>> I have no choice, but the clients will all be using Windows, and
>> Acrobat Reader. I have no ability to install Okular, Foxit, or
>> anything extra, everywhere. It's hard enough to get them to open
>> e-mail, an attachment is going to be challenging, and other
>> software is right out. We are not in an alternate dimension where
>> they're all running Kubuntu.
>> Poking about with google searches, I see there are web sites, or
>> were, such as pdffiller.com, that would take a pdf form and let
>> the user fill it out on the web. I've seen no hints that a data
>> record could be extracted and sent back to me. All such free
>> sites I could find are no longer free.
>> - anyone know of such a free site out there (still?)?
>> - how might I go about getting a savable pdf form, starting with
>> OpenOffice, and ending with windows acrobat reader savable files?
>> - how might I make this webable, html + xml files? - e.g. Print
>> blanks for people to fill out on-site, .pdf's to send to people
>> to fill out then print, and/or a web page to fill out, if
>> possible.
>> - what are the concepts / magic search terms I am looking for,
>> having received such a filled out pdf, to have the form processed
>> and append a record to a database (openoffice spreadsheet for the
>> moment.)
>> - suppose a web page is possible, what am I looking for / search
>> terms in terms of a foss package, that would do that back end
>> part such as let them inquire for their last form, update it, and
>> the office can then look at the current records?
>> - there aren't really any back end servers available, no real
>> front end user expertise to create their own sql queries /
>> reports on the fly, and few web storage facilities available
>> beyond something like google docs. At this stage, openoffice
>> spreadsheets and documents are all that's available, which is ok
>> as this process will result in traversing the user exercise of
>> figuring out what reports need to come out, and therefore what
>> data needs to be collected - which is to say, cause the system
>> requirements to be defined.
>> What FOSS is out there in this area, and what is it I'm groping
>> towards in terms of concepts or search terms.
>> Thanks for any thoughts, ideas, suggestions.

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