2 major PDF Form improvements in Version 5.X release of our PDF library

In Part 2 of a series of articles regarding the JPedal Version 5.X update we explore the big changes that this update will bring.

If you have been following our blog articles, you will know that our Version 5.X release is designed to add some major enhancements. For Forms, we will be adding 2 major enhancements:-

1. Improved XFA forms support. We already offer support for XFA forms with legacy support and will be expanding this to include pure XFA Forms. We will also be improving JavaScript and we are currently evaluating whether we might allow users to add in their own JavaScript code. You can find out why XFA forms matter in a previous article on ‘Why XFA is important‘.

2. More flexible forms architecture. When we started writing the code we were focussed on converting the Forms so we created the GUI Swing components to represent the Form objects and allowed users to interact with them. We upgraded this so that we could also use it to generate other types of Forms (we have a version which creates Form components in the ULC Form library from Canoo) and it also produces HTML forms for our PDF to HTML5/SVG converter. However, this left us with several issues:-

a. A Swing component is problematic if you want to run code on servers in background threads.
b. Many users now want to use JPedal to access the actual Form data.
c. It is not efficient with JavaScript where a bespoke Java Form Object is much easier to utilise.

Internally we have always converted Forms into our own Java objects. So we now represent the FormObject as a Plain old Java object with a set of access methods for you. You will be able to access the Java version of the Form object as well as the GUI component representing it. The Swing Component is now created only when and if we need it and we sync the values internally between the FormObject and its GUI component.

So in version 5.X we will be giving you a far more powerful and flexible Form architecture to handle PDF forms with along with a whole load of updated documentation. We hope you are as excited as we are!

This post is part of our “SVG Article Index” in these articles, we aim to help you build knowledge and understand SVG.

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Mark Stephens

System Architect and Lead Developer at IDRSolutions
Mark Stephens has been working with Java and PDF since 1999 and has diversified into HTML5, SVG and JavaFX. He also enjoys speaking at conferences and has been a Speaker at user groups, Business of Software, Seybold and JavaOne conferences. He has a very dry sense of humor and an MA in Medieval History for which he has not yet found a practical use.
Markee174

About Mark Stephens

Mark Stephens has been working with Java and PDF since 1999 and has diversified into HTML5, SVG and JavaFX.

He also enjoys speaking at conferences and has been a Speaker at user groups, Business of Software, Seybold and JavaOne conferences. He has a very dry sense of humor and an MA in Medieval History for which he has not yet found a practical use.

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