Archive for July, 2008

Debugging Processes in LiveCycle Workbench ES – Record and Playback

Have you ever had a less than ideal experience debugging a process using LiveCycle Workbench ES? In previous versions , the only way to debug your processes was to monitor the server logs or use the Variable Logger service. These methods allowed you to see variable values and also monitor how your process progressed, but they did not visually allow you correlate the data for effective debugging and troubleshooting.

New to Workbench ES in LiveCycle ES Update 1 (8.2) is the ability to record your processes as they run and then play them back to ease your debugging experience. These new record and playback features allow you to visually step through the progression of a process (both the steps and routes taken), view variable values, and see specific errors related to issues in a process.

The recordings are saved on the LiveCycle ES server, where other developers using Workbench ES can also access recordings, allowing for collaboration and efficiencies when debugging or troubleshooting processes. Since recording and playing back processes can degrade the server performance, we recommend only using this feature in development or testing environments – not production environments. You can delete recordings when you no longer require them and when you are done debugging a process, you can disable the recording.

For more information about using the new Record and Playback feature, see http://www.adobe.com/go/learn_lc_workbench_82?context=Workbench_ES&topic=000271.

The following illustrates a process version in Playback mode:

recordPlaybackWB.jpg

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Changing the timeout setting for LiveCycle applications

Have you ever been working away in LiveCycle Workbench ES or LiveCycle Administration Console, when you’re unexpectedly forced to log in again because your session has timed out? By default, those components time out after two hours (regardless of activity or inactivity) and you have to log in again. But if your organization’s security policies allow it, you can change the default timeout setting to any value up to 1440 minutes (24 hours).

If you’re using LiveCycle 8.2.1, you can change the timeout setting by logging into LiveCycle Administration Console and clicking Settings > User Management > Configuration > Configure Advanced System Attributes. The setting is named Session Timeout Limit (Minutes).

If you’re using an earlier version of LiveCycle, you can change the timeout setting in the configuration file. To update the setting, follow this procedure:
1. Log into LiveCycle Administration Console and click Services > User Management > Configuration > Import and export configuration files.
2. Click Export to produce a config.xml file that contains the current LiveCycle ES settings.
3. Open the XML file in an editor, change the value for the following entry to a number between 5 and 1440 (in minutes), and save the file:
<entry key="assertionValidityInMinutes" value="120"/>
4. Go back to the Import and export configuration files page and import the file that you just modified.

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How To Minimize Database Growth

Long-lived processes store process data in the LiveCycle database. The growth of the LiveCycle database can be minimized using a few easy process design and product configuration strategies.

Process Design

Use short-lived processes. Short-lived processes don’t store process data in the database. The downside is that you can’t use Adobe Administration Console to track process status and state. Also, you won’t have a history of the process or any BAM reports.

Some service operations, such as the Assign Task operation (User service), require that they are used in long-lived processes. In this case, you can segment the process into several subprocesses and make them short-lived when possible. If you use this strategy, short-lived subprocesses should handle large data items, such as document values.

Use variables sparingly. When using long-lived processes, for every process instance, space is allocated on the database for each variable in the process. Strategic use of variables can save a considerable amount of space:

Use the fewest number of variables that is possible. For example, you can overwrite variable values when old values are no longer needed in the process. And delete any variables that you’ve created and are not using. (Tip for LiveCycle ES Update 1 users: Validate the process to find unused variables.)
Use simple variable types (such as string, int, etc) and avoid using complex variable types when possible. Database space is allocated for variables even when they don’t contain a value. Complex variables typically require more space than simple ones.

Product Administration

Use Global Document Storage (GDS) effectively. The global document storage directory on the LiveCycle ES server is used to store, among other things, files that are passed to LiveCycle ES services in processes. To improve performance, smaller documents are instead stored in-memory and persisted in the database.

Adobe Administration Console exposes the Default Document Max Inline Size property for configuring the maximum size of documents that are stored in-memory and persisted in the database. If you set this property to a low value, most documents are persisted in the GDS directory instead of in the database. The advantage is that you can more easily delete the files when they are no longer needed when they are stored in the GDS directory.

Some background references:

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LiveCycle ES Update 1 (8.2) has arrived!

Yes, we have released LiveCycle ES Update 1. We invite you to visit the resources site at http://www.adobe.com/go/learn_lc_documentation_82 for all of the documentation you’ll need to learn about creating applications and processes using LiveCycle ES. In addition to the documentation, you’ll find samples, tutorials, as well as links to other resources such as the developer center, forums, and product support.

If you don’t find what you need, let us know!

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Welcome!

Hi,

We’re the team of LiveCycle ES tech writers, and we’ve created this blog to keep you up to date with news about LiveCycle ES resources. We’ll be posting news about product documentation, Knowledge Base articles, new tutorials….we’ll also provide tips and tricks on using LiveCycle ES, as well as a heads-up on (dare we say it) inaccuracies that made it into the product help.

We’d like to hear from you too…drop us a comment on what you’d like to see in this blog, or anything else.

Enjoy!

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