Handle PDF Submission

In this part we will create a simple servlet that runs on AEM Publish to handle the PDF submission from Acrobat/Reader. This servlet will in turn, make an HTTP POST request to a servlet running in an AEM author instanceresponsible for saving the submitted data as a nt:file node in AEM Author’s repository.

The following is the code of the servlet which handles the PDF submission. In this servlet we make a POST call to a servlet mounted on /bin/startworkflow in a AEM Author instance. This servlet saves the form data in the AEM Author’s repository.

AEM Publish servlet

package com.aemforms.handlepdfsubmission.core.servlets;
import java.io.ByteArrayOutputStream;
import java.io.IOException;
import java.io.UnsupportedEncodingException;
import java.nio.charset.StandardCharsets;
import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.List;
import javax.servlet.Servlet;
import javax.servlet.ServletInputStream;
import javax.servlet.ServletOutputStream;

import org.apache.http.NameValuePair;
import org.apache.http.client.ClientProtocolException;
import org.apache.http.client.entity.UrlEncodedFormEntity;
import org.apache.http.client.methods.HttpPost;
import org.apache.http.impl.client.CloseableHttpClient;
import org.apache.http.impl.client.HttpClients;
import org.apache.http.message.BasicNameValuePair;
import org.apache.sling.api.SlingHttpServletRequest;
import org.apache.sling.api.SlingHttpServletResponse;
import org.apache.sling.api.servlets.SlingAllMethodsServlet;
import org.osgi.service.component.annotations.Component;
import org.slf4j.Logger;
import org.slf4j.LoggerFactory;

public class HandlePDFSubmission extends SlingAllMethodsServlet {

  private static Logger logger = LoggerFactory.getLogger(HandlePDFSubmission.class);

  protected void doPost(SlingHttpServletRequest request,SlingHttpServletResponse response) {
    ByteArrayOutputStream result = new ByteArrayOutputStream();
    try {
       ServletInputStream is = request.getInputStream();
       byte[] buffer = new byte[1024];
       int length;
       while ((length = is.read(buffer)) != -1) {
         result.write(buffer, 0, length);
     } catch (IOException e1) {
        logger.error("An error occurred", e1);

     HttpPost postReq = new HttpPost("http://localhost:4502/bin/startworkflow");
     // This is the base64 encoding of the admin credetnials. This call should be made over HTTPS in production scenarios to avoid leaking credentials.
     postReq.addHeader("Authorization", "Basic YWRtaW46YWRtaW4=");

     CloseableHttpClient httpClient = HttpClients.createDefault();
     List<NameValuePair> urlParameters = new ArrayList<NameValuePair>();

     logger.debug("added url parameters");

     try {
        urlParameters.add(new BasicNameValuePair("xmlData", result.toString(StandardCharsets.UTF_8.name())));
        postReq.setEntity(new UrlEncodedFormEntity(urlParameters));
        logger.debug("Sent request to author instance");
        ServletOutputStream sout = response.getOutputStream();
        sout.print("Your form was successfully submitted");
     } catch (UnsupportedEncodingException | ClientProtocolException | IOException e) {
        logger.error("An error occurred", e)

AEM Author servlet

The next step is to store the submitted data in the AEM Author’s repository. The servlet mounted on /bin/startworkflow saves the submitted data.

import java.io.BufferedReader;
import java.io.ByteArrayInputStream;
import java.io.IOException;
import java.io.InputStream;
import java.io.InputStreamReader;
import java.util.UUID;

import javax.jcr.Binary;
import javax.jcr.Node;
import javax.jcr.RepositoryException;
import javax.jcr.Session;
import javax.servlet.Servlet;
import javax.servlet.ServletOutputStream;

import org.apache.sling.api.SlingHttpServletRequest;
import org.apache.sling.api.SlingHttpServletResponse;
import org.apache.sling.api.resource.Resource;
import org.apache.sling.api.servlets.SlingAllMethodsServlet;
import org.osgi.service.component.annotations.Component;
import org.osgi.service.component.annotations.Reference;
import org.slf4j.Logger;
import org.slf4j.LoggerFactory;
import com.mergeandfuse.getserviceuserresolver.GetResolver;

    service = {Servlet.class},
    property = {
public class StartWorkflow extends SlingAllMethodsServlet {
        private static Logger logger = LoggerFactory.getLogger(StartWorkflow.class);

        private GetResolver getResolver;

        protected void doPost(SlingHttpServletRequest request, SlingHttpServletResponse response) {
            String xmlData = null;
            System.out.println("in start workflow");

            if (request.getParameter("xmlData") != null) {
                logger.debug("The form was submitted from Acrobat/Reader");
                xmlData = request.getParameter("xmlData");
                System.out.println("in start workflow" + xmlData);
            } else {
                logger.debug("Mobile Form submission");
                StringBuffer stringBuffer = new StringBuffer();
                String line = null;

                try {
                    InputStreamReader isReader = new InputStreamReader(request.getInputStream(), "UTF-8");
                    BufferedReader reader = new BufferedReader(isReader);
                    while ((line = reader.readLine()) != null)
                } catch (Exception e) {
                    logger.debug("Error" + e.getMessage());

                xmlData = new String(stringBuffer);

            Resource r = getResolver.getFormsServiceResolver().getResource("/content/pdfsubmissions");
            Session session = r.getResourceResolver().adaptTo(Session.class);
            logger.debug("Got reosurce pdfsubmissions" + r.getPath());
            UUID uidName = UUID.randomUUID();
            Node xmlDataFilesNode = r.adaptTo(Node.class);
            InputStream is = new ByteArrayInputStream(xmlData.getBytes());
            Binary binary;

            try {
                Node xmlFileNode = xmlDataFilesNode.addNode(uidName.toString(), "nt:file");
                logger.debug("Added nt file node");
                Node jcrContent = xmlFileNode.addNode("jcr:content", "nt:resource");
                logger.debug("Added jcr content");
                binary = session.getValueFactory().createBinary(is);
                jcrContent.setProperty("jcr:data", binary);
            } catch (RepositoryException e) {
                logger.error("Unable to store data to JCR", e);


            try {
                ServletOutputStream sout = response.getOutputStream();
                sout.print("Your form was successfully submitted");
            } catch (IOException e) {
                logger.error("Unable write response", e);

An AEM workflow launcher is configured to trigger every time a new resource of type nt:file is created under the /content/pdfsubmissions node. This workflow will create non-interactive or a static PDF by merging the submitted data with the xdp template. The generated pdf is then assigned to a user for review and approval.

To store the submitted data under /content/pdfsubmissions node, we make use of GetResolver OSGi service allows us to save the submitted data using the fd-service system user which is available in every AEM Forms installation.