5 Replies Latest reply on Dec 20, 2011 1:50 PM by philmodjunk

    Security: Can you secure a pdf using FM?



      Security: Can you secure a pdf using FM?


      I have an eBook that I would like to distribute with an FM solution. I can pw secure the pdf using Adobe. However, people share pw's. A way around this would be for FM to open a pdf reader and automatically issue the pw. ie. the user would never know the pw. Obviously the pw has to be encrypted within FM otherwise somebody could hack it.

        • 1. Re: Security: Can you secure a pdf using FM?

          Hmmm, if you use Save As PDF in a script to create the PDF file, you have the option to assign a password. Which would keep the PDF thus produced inaccessible once the user closed the PDF.

          But FileMaker would have to create the PDF in the first place....

          • 2. Re: Security: Can you secure a pdf using FM?

            I'm just at the stage of assessing FM as a solution: What does 'Save As PDF in a script' mean?

            And are you saying that a pdf created in FM:

            - Can only be opened when the FM solution is opened?

            - What is the security level? ie. in Acrobat you can set: No printing, no copying (but permit comments), and there is 128-bit encryption. ie. it is quite flexible in what you can offer a user but providing they don't know the pw, it's v. hard to break in.


            V. important: I've produced the eBook from Open Office writer:

            - Does FM allow such a file copied into it?

            - And does it retain formatting such as fonts.

            - Will the pdf retain hyperlinks internal and external (ie. web) to the document?

            • 3. Re: Security: Can you secure a pdf using FM?

              I don't think FileMaker will quite do what you need, but you can download a free trial copy and experiment if you want.

              Save as PDF is a script step that allows you to "print" to a PDF instead of hard copy. It includes an option to automatically open the file at the same time that it is created. Thus, Save as PDF can create the PDF and open it, but if it assigns a password to this new file that is not revealed to the user, they will be unable to re-open the file directly, they'd be limited to using Save as PDF to create and open a new copy. This is security set on the PDF file so there is no encryption just a password lock as defined by Adobe--not FileMaker.

              A big limitation here is that this step only works when the file is opened in a copy of FileMaker Pro. If you intend to use FileMaker Advanced to distribute run time copies of your ebook (So that they do not have to buy and install FileMaker in order to read your book), save as PDF does not work with the run times as FileMaker Inc did not pay for such a license from Adobe.

              Does FM allow such a file copied into it?

              Not so that you can then generate PDF's from the Open Office file. You could insert the file into a container field, but can't generate PDF files from it. You'd have to import the unformatted text into one or more text fields. Since FileMaker is a database, not a publishing/word processing tool, you will likely find there are limitations what you can do to format the document--especially if it includes pictures or other illustrations.

              On the other hand, if you imported the text and set up one or more layouts to present the pages of your ebook, you wouldn't need to generate any PDF, the users could simply open the database and read from the pages. While it may not be flexible enough to produce exactly the formatting you want, you would have the options to use buttons that the user clicks to make the document interactive and container fields could contain video and audio instead of just static illustrations...

              • 4. Re: Security: Can you secure a pdf using FM?

                Thanks. FM isn't likely to permit easy transfer of the current eBook.

                Back to my original Q: Can an FM script trigger the opening of my pdf eBook and then enter the pw when requested? ie. the FM runtime would 'know' the pw, the user would never see it.

                • 5. Re: Security: Can you secure a pdf using FM?

                  No, as far as I know, it cannot, That's why I was brainstorming alternatives.