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Signature capture into our web-based Java app?

My short question is, can someone recommend a decide/software combo to
capture a signature into our Java app in some usable format? Let me
elaborate:

1. current system: our users fill out a form in the browser. We
generate a PDF file in a specific format off that input data. The user
prints the PDF, signs it manually (the old fashioned way, with a pen),
and then mails it off to a central location.

2. proposed system: user fills out form. User then signs on the
hardware device, which in some more or less magical fashion plop that
signature into our PDF file. The user then will press a button and the
PDF file will be emailed to our central location.

So, we're trying to evaluate device/software combinations that would
suit our needs. We're assuming there would be a need to capture that
signature into some file format (gif or other standard format) for
storage, for auditing purposes. So if anyone has eny picks/pans or
experiences, I'd appreciate your input. Thanks in advance.

0
12/27/2005 3:58:00 PM
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Steve G wrote:

> My short question is, can someone recommend a decide/software combo to
> capture a signature into our Java app in some usable format? Let me
> elaborate:
> 
> 1. current system: our users fill out a form in the browser. We
> generate a PDF file in a specific format off that input data. The user
> prints the PDF, signs it manually (the old fashioned way, with a pen),

...(most probably) copies the signed form using the office
MFC - scanner/copier/FAX (for future reference), .. [1]

> and then mails it ..

(the original)

>..off to a central location.
> 
> 2. proposed system: user fills out form. User then signs on the
> hardware device, 

<dripping with sarcasm>
Which hardware device exactly?  Should I get my magic marker
and sign on the screen, or are you referring to me signing
my printer?
</dripping with sarcasm>

The only 'hardware device' suitable for accepting a signature
is a hardware device that provides you with a flat surface and a
nib or point to represent the scribing tool (pen/pencil).
I forget what they are called..

You might try to emulate that using the mouse, painting
the signature in an area on-screen, but have you ever
tried 'drawing/painting' your own signature in a regular paint
program, using a line trace?  Mine generally looks nothing
like my actual signature (and is barely legible - whereas my
signed name is easily readable).

>...which in some more or less magical fashion plop that
> signature into our PDF file. 

<dripping with sarcasm>
Look at the ..

   java.magichappens.*

...package for that.
</dripping with sarcasm>

[1] Alternately, you might prompt the user to *upload* a
scan of the document they just signed and copied using their
MFC - the image of the copied document may still be sitting
on-screen.

It is not quite as easy as you wanted, but it is practical
given the available technology (assuming the scanner), requires
no 'specialist hardware', probably fits well with the current
process of getting the form to you, and is quicker than surface
mail.

HTH

-- 
Andrew Thompson
physci, javasaver, 1point1c, lensescapes - athompson.info/andrew
0
SeeMySites (5478)
12/28/2005 12:24:36 AM
Thanks for the clever little <dripping_with_sarcasm> tags, I never
would have caught the
sarcasm, me being such a thickie and all.

1. I left the details and nature of the "hardware device" deliberately
nebulous because I didn't want to lock any useful respondents into any
particular track, hardware-wise.

2. your scan-upload idea has been evaluated and rejected. The
requirement is specifically to a) capture a signature from a
signature-capture h/w device and b) save it to a file somewhere that
could then be c) embedded in our generated PDF and then d) the file
generated by the signature-capture device optionally/possibly stored
somewhere.

<dripping_with_condescension>
So you see, Andrew, your wee little scan-and-upload thought, while
darling, is really too crude for what the customer is demanding. Right.
Off you go, then.
</dripping_with_condescension>

0
12/28/2005 1:07:31 PM
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