Adobe Lifecycle Designer 10.4 Upgrade

Introduction

Adobe Lifecycle Designer 10.4 and above is now the recommended version of ALD for working with Forms Lifecycle Manager (FLM) interactive forms.

This document describes some of the new features in Lifecycle Designer 10.4 and above.

Please review the following SAP Notes:

Although this document describes new features, it is not an exhaustive list, and more features are available.

Upgrading FLM Templates

Update the Template Properties

The default Target Version in ALD 10.4 is Acrobat and Adobe Reader 9.1 or later.  Its likely that existing templates will have a Target Version of Acrobat and Adobe Reader 8.1 and this setting needs to updated to the default for ALD 10.4

 

Calculated fields set Read-Only

When opening a .xdp template for an existing form process please be aware of the following.

When an object has script in the calculated event, ALD 10.4 will make the field readOnly. This should have been the expected behaviour in ALD 8.1 and the bug has been fixed.  The setting can be switched back but if the object is a button, there is often a check to hide the button when it reaches the max, or min.

To avoid this issue please update pre 295 SP5 xdp templates with the following Java Script.

  • Add the following to the initialize event of the affected button: this.access = “open”

The only other way to switch off the readOnly parameter is to go into the XML Source and delete from there.

To do this select the object, and then select the "XML Source" tab to view the XML definition. Where the code is 'access="readOnly"' delete the code section then select the Design View tab, any changes will result in a Warning popup to be displayed giving the option to save the changes.

If form is quite large, it can take some time to go through and make the changes, and once finished return to the main designer window.

 

New Features in ALD

PDF Preview

When first opening the Application, there is nothing to dissimilar too the previous version  as shown in Fig 1.



The differences/improvements come when using the application, and the changes are subtle but very effective.

The first improvement is when using the application and previewing a PDF using the "Preview PDF" tab, or by pressing F5, all the windows apart from the design area are minimized, see Fig 2, which gives a larger window to preview the PDF.

This includes, if open, the script editor and the report window. Once finished previewing the PDF the windows are then returned back to the original position that they were in prior to pressing the "Preview PDF" tab or pressing the F5 key.

Styles

This is a new feature that gives the ability create a style for objects.

If a customer has a specific way of displaying objects such as a background colour, font, font size etc then ALD 10.4 allows a style for that object to be created, then it can be applied to all of the same objects which will then set those objects to that style.


To create a style right click on a object and one of the menu options is Style, and when selected creates a new style.

Styles are object dependent, in that properties cannot be set within the style that are not available to that object through the normal way.

Note: Once a Style has been created it is not automatically applied to the object.

To apply the style in the Style menu, select the object then from the dropdown the styles for that type of object will be available.


Styles can be exported and imported from different templates, so a library can be created and used, thus ensuring that a consistent look and feel is kept through all the templates for a specific customer.

Along with the objects, there is a new menu item called Style Catalog, which is activated by either pressing Shift-F2, or selecting it through the Window Menu at the top.

Flash Fields

There is a new field in the object pallet called Flash Field, this is currently not supported in FLM.

Tables

The support for tables has been extended so that adding rows and columns is now much easier. Previously a right-click and select row or column and before or after procedure had to be used.

In ALD 10.4 when focus is on a cell there are now a small "+"s around the outside of the table, by clicking the appropriate + a new row or column will be added.

 A new column cannot be added if there is no space for the column to be created.

Macros

The functionality of ALD 10.4 can by extended by using JavaScript files and running them from the new Macros menu. For example, a macro could be used to rename a field or subform and update all the script references, or to find all scripts that consist entirely of comments.

Bullets and Numbered Lists

The Paragraph palette includes options for adding, formatting, and aligning bulleted and numbered lists in text.

Flowed Subform

In addition to top-to-bottom and Western, you can now specify right-to-left for the flow direction of objects in a subform that flows content.

Changes

Form Properties

Form Properties has changed, gone is the tabular style of properties. Now all the Properties are listed in a single window, with the specific option changes to the right.

There is only one drawback with this, and that is with the Variables, if a variable name is too long it may be truncated.

The Form Properties window also cannot be resized.

There are a few new Properties which are Defaults and Run-time, and Form Validation.

Cleaner icons

Icons used throughout version 10.4 are much cleaner and more vibrant making ALD easier to use.

Annoyances

Warnings

There is no way of switching warnings off.

Data Binding

If adding a field independently of a bound subform the Data Binding Name may begin with "$." which will cause a warning in ALD.  To correct this simply remove the "$." from the beginning of the name.

Calculated fields

As noted above, when an object has script in the calculated event, it makes the field readOnly.