Author Archive: Scott Macdonald

Using LiveCycle Data Services to create applications

Did you know that you can use LiveCycle Data Services to create interactive applications that display run-time data? If you are interested in knowing how to program these types of applications, then i recommend checking out this article: Creating live stock quote sample applications using the Message service.

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Creating HTML forms using LiveCycle Designer and CSS

Using PDF technology to render forms is beneficial in many use cases. However, the features offered by this technology are sometimes not required. For instance, consider the following scenario: a team member enters information in an Air or Flash application, which uses a LiveCycle ES2 process to create and email a form to the rest of the team. Because the form will undergo very few modifications, and its primary use is to display information, HTML is a viable alternative to PDF.

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How to create a Data Services ES2 application by manually creating Java server-side classes

Did you know that you can use LiveCycle Data Services ES2 to manage data located in a relational database? That’s right, using Data Services ES2, you can automate data synchronization between an Adobe Flex client application and a middle tier. As part of creating a Data Services ES2 application, you can create server-side classes that contain Java DAO application logic. If you are wondering how to do this, check out the Creating data management applications by manually creating Java server-side classes article.

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Tip for working with the LiveCycle ES2 Email component

You can use the LiveCycle ES2 Email component to enable your processes to send email messages, as shown in the following illustration.
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When using the Email component, you specify typical values such as the SMTP server, the user name, and password. The Email component is straightforward, especially if you are used to working with TCPIP servers and the SMTP and POP3 protocols. (For more, see the Email topic in Application Development Using LiveCycle Workbench ES2.)

Unfortunately, when working with the Email component, you may encounter a situation that can lead to some frustration. When testing your process in Workbench ES2, an exception may be thrown when the Email component attempts to send an email message. The LiveCycle ES2 log file displays the following information:

2010-04-12 13:31:46,406 ERROR [com.adobe.idp.workflow.dsc.invoker.WorkflowDSCInvoker] An exception was thrown with name javax.mail.MessagingException message:Could not connect to SMTP host: myserver, port: 25 while invoking service EmailService and operation send and no fault routes were found to be configured.

This may lead you to triple check your Email server configuration settings, rebuild your processes, test them over and over again, and so forth. If this occurs, check your anti-virus software, it may be blocking port 25. Once the anti-virus software lets you route messages through port 25, your LiveCycle ES2 processes that use the Email component will work nicely (assuming that all other settings are valid).

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Get up and running quickly by using LiveCycle ES2 API Quick Starts

Did you know that you can use LiveCycle ES2 API Quick Starts located in Programming with LiveCycle ES2 to quickly get up and running with the LiveCycle ES2 SDK? API Quick Starts are complete pieces of application logic that you can copy and paste into your own developments environments that programmatically perform LiveCycle ES2 operations. For example, you can use the API Quick Start titled Converting a PostScript file to a PDF document using the Java API to convert a PostScript file into a PDF document. In fact, you can watch an online video that demonstrates how to use API Quick Starts at the following URL: http://tv.adobe.com/watch/duanes-world/duanes-world-david-rr-webber-oasis-and-livecycle-es2/.

The content that discusses how to use an API Quick Start is located about 11 minutes into the presentation.

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Create LiveCycle ES2 services that return real-time web service data

Did you know that as a Java programmer, you can create LiveCycle ES2 services that return real-time web service data? That is right, you can create a business process that retrieves real-time web service data over the Internet by using a LiveCycle ES2 service that invokes external web services. For example, assume you want to create a business process for the National Weather Service, a branch of the United States government. You can create a LiveCycle ES2 service that can invoke an external web service and retrieve weather data.

Although you can communicate with a third party web service using the LiveCycle web service component available with Workbench ES2, you can create a custom component instead. Creating a custom component offers you additional flexibility. For example, you can develop the component to analyze real-time data and then create an XML schema to better reflect your business priorities.

Also when using the web service component in Workbench ES2, you have to create an XML SOAP request and handle a SOAP response. Some Workbench ES2 users may be unfamiliar with SOAP requests and responses. Instead, create a Java proxy library using JAW-WS or AXIS. Then all you have to do is call methods that retrieve the data from the third party web service. There is no need to create XML SOAP requests and handle SOAP responses. The Java proxy library can be used within a LiveCycle ES2 component.

After the component is deployed, Workbench ES2 users can then use operations by dragging operations onto a process map. They do not have to specify a WSDL endpoint, create XML SOAP requests or handle SOAP responses. It is the component that handles the SOAP requests and responses, not Workbench ES2 users. For details, check out the following article: http://www.adobe.com/devnet/livecycle/articles/extend_webservices.html.

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Making Life Easier When Developing Custom LiveCycle ES Components

Recently, I was developing a LiveCycle ES component that uses Java APIs that are new to me. As I was thinking about how to implement the functionality that these new APIs offered into a LiveCycle ES component, a development pattern occurred to me. This pattern can be used by any LiveCycle ES component developer.

Because a LiveCycle ES component runs as a service, there isn’t an easy way to debug the application logic. That is, how can I set a breakpoint in the Java code and step through it? How can I ensure that these APIs are doing what they are supposed to do?

The answer is to use Java APIs inside a test Java console application. Then, you can set a breakpoint and step through your Java application logic to ensure the application logic works properly. Once you are satisfied the application works, copy the application logic from your test Java project to your Java project that creates a custom component.

This worked for me. The new Java APIs I was using were proxy Java APIs that consume a web service that returns real-time weather information. That is right – I wanted to embed a custom service into LiveCycle ES that returns real-time weather information so I can embed weather information into a PDF document. And using this pattern, I was able to ensure that the Java APIs worked before I used them inside a LiveCycle ES component.

Note: If you are interested in knowing how to create a custom LiveCycle ES component that invokes an external web service, then keep an eye out for a future development article titled Invoking Web Services using Custom Components to appear on the LiveCycle ES developer center. As a component developer, this is an article you won’t want to miss.

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Invoking LiveCycle ES 8.2 services using Java proxy files created using JAX-WS

Did you know that you can use JAX-WS to create Java proxy classes that
consume the SOAP stack of a LiveCycle ES 8.2 service? That is correct,
you have another choice when deciding how best to invoke LiveCycle ES
from a Java client application.

When creating proxy classes, you do not need to include LiveCycle Java
client JAR files in your Java project’s class path.  For example,
assume you want to invoke the Encryption service to protect a PDF
document with password-based encryption.

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Invoking a LiveCycle ES service directly from an application built with Flex

Did you know that you can invoke a LiveCycle ES service directly from a client application built with Flex? That is right – you can develop a client application, such as an AIR application, and perform LiveCycle ES operations. For example, you can protect a PDF document by developing the client application to invoke LiveCycle ES and encrypt the PDF document. For complete details, check out the Encrypting PDF documents using Remoting article.

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What is an Adobe LiveCycle ES Application

As an Adobe LiveCycle ES user, you have encountered the term LiveCycle ES application; and if you have not, you will. Well, what exactly is a LiveCycle ES application? Is it a process developed in Adobe LiveCycle Workbench ES that uses some forms and form data and allows users to interact with it using Adobe LiveCycle Workspace ES? Is it watched folder solution that enables users to place PDF documents in a folder where they are encrypted by a process created in Workbench ES. Or is it a client application written is Java, web services, or Adobe Flex that invokes LiveCycle ES. Well, the answer may surprise you. The answer is all of the above and much more.

LiveCycle ES is a development platform that lets you develop enterprise solutions to automate business processes. Some companies spend time and effort to process information the old fashion way; that is, by using paper-based forms only. And by doing so, information is lost or a lot of cost is involved processing the paper-based forms. As a LiveCycle ES user, you can use its functionality to develop a LiveCycle ES application to automate business processes. You can use Workbench ES, the LiveCycle ES SDK, or a combination of both. The LiveCycle ES SDK is provided to enable you to create client applications that can invoke LiveCycle ES services.

One type of use case is using both the Workbench ES and the LiveCycle ES SDK. That is, you use Workbench ES to create a process that automates your business processes. Then you can use the LiveCycle ES SDK to create a client application written in Flex, Java, or a development environment that supports web services. The client application is used to invoke the process created in Workbench ES.

For example, if you belong to a company that develops in Java, you can invoke a process from a Java client application. It does not matter if the Java application is an EJB bean, a Java Swing application, a Java servlet, or a console application.

When using the LiveCycle ES SDK, you do not have to create a process using Workbench ES. For example, you can develop a web application that directly invokes a service, such as the Forms service. In this situation, the web application is able to render interactive forms to users in a web browser. To develop this type of data capture application, you use the Forms service Java API. This LiveCycle ES application is created without using Workbench ES. Most LiveCycle ES services have a Java API that enables you to directly invoke the service.

On the other hand, you do not have to develop a client application using the LiveCycle ES SDK either. Instead, you can develop a process by using Workbench ES and then have users interact with the process using Workspace ES. This approach enables a LiveCycle ES application to be developed without any programming involved.

As you can see, when creating LiveCycle ES applications, you have many choices. This is what makes LiveCycle ES a very powerful development platform. Before you start developing an application, it is important to plan your application and have a clear understanding of what you want it to do and how you want users to interact with it.

So in conclusion – the next time you encounter the term LiveCycle ES application, know that it can mean many different types of solutions. This is just a tip that hopefully makes your experience with LiveCycle ES a positive one.

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