PDF form is a great option to distribute and accept data from users. PDF form is similar to a Paper form but with lot more convenience. Apache PDFBox provides low-level APIs to create PDF forms with a rich set of controls and to specify rich formatting options. In the previous article, we explored creating custom pages and adding feature-rich content to a PDF, in this article we will create a PDF form.
In this article, we will look at some of the features offered by Apache PDFBox. In the real world, documents created using PDF libraries may require an additional feature of setting custom page size. Fortunately, PDFBox comes with API to specify page size as per standard units referred in a day to day business. The page sizes are A0, A1, …, A6, LEGAL, and LETTER.
PDF is a convenient way of printing the output and sharing the data with application users. Its ability to scale as per display without distorting the contents, is considered to be the strongest feature over other output formats. As per application requirements, it also becomes necessary to generate PDF at runtime. There are many options, available to do so. Either use reporting tools like Jasper and then using reporting API generate the output in PDF OR if you wish to have finer controls over PDF generation use programming API like iText. iText uses AGPL for Open Source, and it can be pretty fatal, if you really don’t understand its legal terms. Contact someone who understands Open Source licenses. Most of the time, developers forget to pay attention to the licensing model. Developers usually don’t understand what Open source really means, most of them feel its free like air they breath and ignorantly fall into the trap of License violation. Usage of any Open Source software without paying attention to License, can result into lawsuit against development company or hefty payments to the governing company of Open source software. Unfortunately the Illiteracy rate is way too high. Why, I am bragging about all of this, simply the reason is – if you are using iText, be ready to either Open Source your software or pay for use (Once again pay attention to details, don’t just buy any license). OK! so is there really any other option, than just paying bucks. Yes, there is and as usual, Apache is here for your rescue – Apache PDFBox.