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Can IText Acheive this ?

 
Ranch Hand
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Hi all,

I am in process of requirements gathering phase and I am exploring all the possible solutions to complete my project. I am in process of designing an app where in a student fills out an information online (PDF File) the professor reviews the pdf and submits a new pdf (much similar to the employee appraisal system).

I would like to know that if I create these 2 pdfs using ITEXT,

1. can I create any number of instances of these pdf ?
2. Can I edit/save this pdf ?
3. Can IText do all of these things by its own ?

basically I haven't worked on ITEXT but according to me ITEXT has the capability of create pdf files which acts like objects.

Please correct me if I am wrong.
 
Rancher
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#1: Not sure what you mean by "instances of PDF" - PDF is a file format; obviously you can make as many copies of a file as you need. Is that what you're asking?

#2: iText can create PDF files containing AcroForms. I think Acrobat Reader -which not everyone has- can be used to fill in the fields, and then submit the PDF in one of several ways.

#3: If you're even seriously considering using iText for something like this, you *need* the iText in Action book. The documentation that's available online is not nearly complete.

But why does any of this have to be a PDF? Why can't the students enter the data into a web app which stores it in a DB, and to which the professors have access? And in the end, when -and if- actual paper is needed, a PDF is generated? What benefits does PDF bring to the system?
 
Anil Karamchandan
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Hi ,

thanks for the reply, actually there are 2 reasons why I need pdf.

1. have not worked on itext before thus a good practice.
2. a valid one i guess. the pdf which I have is huge, with a large amount of text and says 60-70 dropdown and checkboxes. I am not sure its efficient to store such a large data and I dont want to complicate it further by storing in different tables sicne there are 4 pdf files with each having 70-80 fields.

Actually I have the pdf which could be written, should I go in for

1. IText to recreate the same pdf
2. Use the editable pdf. On every user request, create new instance of this editable pdf , once the user saves it, save it locally on the server and retrieve it when required ?

I am not sure now do I actually need IText here ?

Could you please let me know what are acro forms and y itext is such widely used.
thanks !
 
Ulf Dittmer
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have not worked on itext before thus a good practice.


That's only a good reason if you have unlimited time. Is your employer fine with you adding new technologies to a project in order to bolster your CV?

300 fields, give or take, is nothing. Not sure what you mean by "efficient", but any solution that stores those in a DB will be faster than a solution that handles PDFs - reading and writing such files is a complex and comparatively slow process.

AcroForms is a big subject. Like I said, if you're serious about PDF processing in Java, get iText in Action; it explains form handling, amongst many other subjects, and does it very well.
 
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