HVAC Estimator project
We have an online estimating service for Heating and Air Conditioning service contractors. We wanted our users to be able to generate contract documents without having to do any formatting before they were ready to print. Since online coding languages are very limited in their printing abilities we looked at PDF. We spent many hours trying to get FDF to work but we were unhappy with the results achieved. The help Adobe provided was limited and unresponsive.
We developed a work around method that used PDF fields and replaced the default value in the field as if it were a string. This was dangerous because at anytime we could have ended up with a broken PDF file that would not open for the service user. Also the PDF files were very large. Some were as big as 300k much too large for an online service to deliver quickly over a 56k modem.
Now we use data2pdf to create contract documents templates for our service users placing strings within the templates then populating then with service user's data. Similar to the way FDF is supposed to work. The files are much smaller using data2pdf the largest being only 36k a substantial reduction in size from 300k.