The amazing adventures of Doug Hughes

When Adobe purchased Macromedia and ColdFusion with it, you knew there had to be more integration with Adobe products coming including PDF. Before Adobe came along, doing anything with PDF documents required great difficulty and usually a 3rd party library. This has improved in recent versions of ColdFusion and now with ColdFusion 8, you can do virtually anything you need – from creating new PDF documents to managing, merging, and manipulating existing PDF documents.Rather than re-invent the wheel for ColdFusion, Adobe has added a slimmed down version of its LiveCycle product to this release.

By doing this, ColdFusion developers now have access to an XML vocabulary called DDX. Simply put, DDX is a set of XML code that describes one or more PDF documents that ColdFusion can build based upon other inputs. You can specify things like watermarks, headers, footers, a table of contents and more.For example, in a project we just finished up for Adobe MAX this past week, we took the United Way’s existing Volunteer web site and added a handful of bells and whistles. One of these additions took the results from a survey about the visitor’s interests in volunteering and put together a customized PDF packet of information for that visitor.

This custom packet included the United Way location closest to the visitor on the cover with a series of other pages describing volunteering activities that would interest the visitor based upon their selections in the survey. Each of these different pages started as an individual PDF document which then, using ColdFusion and DDX, where merged together into one document and a common header applied.To find out more about the possibilities of DDX and how to use it in ColdFusion, check out this article on the Adobe ColdFusion DevNet …

Comments on: "ColdFusion + DDX = Easy PDF Development" (2)

  1. Raymond Camden said:

    If I may, I’d also point folks to my PDFUtils project ( It wraps up some common DDX actions in easy CFC methods. Like for example, you can get the text from a PDF.


  2. So if Coldfusion now do the batch PDF files printing, direct submit PDF stream from DB to local/network Printer, integrate in .Net Framework and available to keep track the document printing in my VB.NET program, like how many pages that was submitted to the printer? Thanks.

    Note: as I have a project require to do such a work, but with the Acrobat standard version, I can’t find any related tools from the acrobat or distriller library in my dot Net application. I can only use the acrobat to submit the print job one by one and subpress the print dialog and acrobat loading screen, but the preformance is not good at all.


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