Adobe LiveCycle Designer book – 2nd edition released

JP Terry has done it again! JP is the CEO of SmartDoc Technologies and he’s released the second edition of his very popular Adobe LiveCycle Designer book. The first version sold over 11,000 copies! This edition has all-new sections of best practices for PDF forms and is up-to-date with Designer ES4 features. It includes coverage on how to create HTML forms with Designer and LiveCycle Enterprise Suite to target mobile devices. Of course JP had a little help…he collaborated with the LiveCycle engineering team to verify content and cover best practices. A big thanks to the team!

You can find the book on Amazon. Be sure to get the supporting files for the book on www.smartdoctech.com/support.

designerbook_2nd_ed

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Resolving org.omg.CORBA.NO_RESOURCES exception on JBoss seen after an arbitrarily large number of operations in LiveCycle ES4

Issue:

After a large number of PDF Generator conversions on JBoss, conversions intermittently fail with the error: org.omg.CORBA.NO_RESOURCES exception. This initially results in intermittent failures which without a server restart can cause all operations to start failing after some time. The error message seen in the logs is:

org.omg.CORBA.NO_RESOURCES: (Pool)[0/1000] no idle threads but maximum number of threads reached (1000)  vmcid: 0x0  minor code: 0  completed: No

Cause:

The problem is caused by jacORB (the ORB bundled in JBoss) keeping a thread waiting to connect to a peer that is no longer available. Repeated occurrences of this situation cause threads to be needlessly occupied, ultimately causing thread pool exhaustion.

Resolution:

Red Hat has provided patch JBPAPP-10887 to resolve the issue on JBoss EAP 5.2.

The patch requires LiveCycle PDF Generator ES4 SP1 to be installed, with JBoss EAP 5.2. For more details on the patch installation process and other requirements please refer to the tech note: http://helpx.adobe.com/livecycle/kb/orgomgcorbano_resources-exception.html.

For more details on whats new in LiveCycle ES4 SP1 refer to the link: http://helpx.adobe.com/livecycle/help/whats-new-livecycle-es4-sp1.html

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Customizing LiveCycle Workspace to suppress a message notification

In LiveCycle Workspace, there are various notifications that are logged according to the operation performed. But sometime there could be a need to suppress a particular message (as happened in one of our customer scenario).

Perform the following steps to suppress a notification:

  1. Import the workspace source code in Flex Builder.
    The Workspace source code can be found at <LC_INSTALLATION_DIR>\sdk \misc\ProcessManagement\Workspace.
    For information on how to import the project, see http://help.adobe.com/en_US/livecycle/10.0/customizeworkspaceui.pdf
  2.  Make a note of the message ID you need to suppress. Place the mouse on the Info icon next to the message. See the below snapshot for example (The message ID to suppress here is : ALC-WKS-007-109).
    workspace
  3. Search for this message ID in the Workspace source code. You will find some references. See the below snapshot for details:
    eclipse
  4. Comment out the respective code from the ActionScript and also from the .properties file.
  5.  Rebuild the code and deploy.
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Converting HTML pages to PDF containing Middle-Eastern and Indic characters with LiveCycle ES4

When you convert a file that contains characters of Middle-Eastern or Indic languages to a PDF document, the characters of Middle-Eastern and Indic languages does not appear in the output document.

To convert the documents that contain characters of Middle-Eastern or Indic languages to a PDF document, use Adobe Acrobat WebCapture.

The detailed steps for the support are:

  • Install the required font on the server
  • Modify GeneratePDFService to use Acrobat Web Capture route for converting HTML files (Windows only)
    • In AdminUI access: Home > Services > Applications and Services > Service Management
    • Configure GeneratePDFService to enable Use Acrobat WebCapture (Windows Only) – set the value to true
  • Ensure Acrobat 11 is updated to latest update (at least 11.0.4)
  • Restart the machine after Acrobat update.
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LiveCycle PDF Generator ES4 SP1 provides Quick-Fix patch to take the advantage of Microsoft Windows hotfix 2815716

Microsoft released hotfix 2815716 to resolve the issue which restricted different users running in a single session (using runas command) to print from 32 bit applications. This restriction earlier forced the users to end the Splwow64.exe process manually before using the runas command to print from a 32-bit program with different user account in a single session.

This restriction required LiveCycle PDF Generator service to terminate splwow64.exe before Microsoft Office and other native conversions could be executed (though this termination was not done in case it was known that non-availability of Splwow64.exe would not cause a failure).

Microsoft released a hotfix on Windows Server 2008 R2 to resolve the issue (enabling support for multiple users in same session to perform printing in parallel): http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2815716

A quick fix (pdg-1000-001) is now available on LiveCycle PDF Generator ES4 SP1 which takes advantage of this fix and removes all the splwow64.exe management code.

This fix mandates:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 with Service Pack 1 (a requirement for the Microsoft patch)
  • A registry entry provided by the Microsoft patch with below values:

Key: HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print
Value:
Name: SplWOW64TimeOutSeconds
Type: REG_DWORD
Data: 30

This entry is automatically added through LiveCycle Configuration Manager (LCM) in case of turnkey and local deployment, and needs to be added manually on other windows setups (cluster and remote deployments).

The Quick fix provides the following advantages and is highly recommended to be applied:

  • More stability as the termination of applications is reduced to minimal. This in turn increases the longevity of the server as there is a much less probability of orphaned applications hogging CPU and memory.
  • Before the QF if a user tried to print a file on the server inside a different session, splwow64.exe was terminated which could result in undesired behavior for the application. With removal of the code to kill splwow64.exe this issue is also resolved (though please note that it is still required that applications used by LiveCycle PDF Generator for the conversions should not be launched manually on the server while the conversions are running. Also Acrobat / Acrobat plugins and Adobe PDF printer should not be used on the server from outside of PDF Generator process).
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Rendering a Chart in Mobile Forms

Pre-Requisites to understand this article is experience with LiveCycle ES4- specially the new Mobile Forms and FormManager capabilities. If you would like to learn more on these topics please visit ES4 Mobile Forms for detailed documentation
In this article we will use JQPlot charting capabilities to draw a pie chart.To Learn more about JQPlot- click here The charts data will be coming from the table which is designed using the LiveCycle Designer. We will also be exploring the FormBridge API’s to access the Table’s data to feed into the JQPlot chart.
First design a simple dynamic table in LiveCycle Designer. In the Designer create a place holder for the pie chart.
Upload the xdp and the sample data into LiveCycle Form Manager.Download the sample xdp and test data

Next we need to create a custom profile. A profile is nothing but a html page which will be used to contain the html rendition of the xdp form.More on Custom Profile The custom profile of ours will make use of JQPlot library and the FormBridge API to access the data from the Form to build the PieChart. The following code in our custom profile is import
Var label = formBridge.getFieldValue(“xfa.form.form1.#subform.TableAndChart.Table1.Row1["+i+"].Cell1″);
Var value = formBridge.getFieldValue(“xfa.form.form1.#subform.TableAndChart.Table1.Row1["+i+"].Cell3″);
The above code gets the cell values from the First and Third columns. Once we have the values we then create an Array which is then passed to JQPlot to render the PieChart.
The rest of the code in the html page is JQPlot specific to draw the PieChart.

To create a custom profile on your system please follow the following instructions
Login to /lc/crx/de on your machines
Naviagte to /content/xfaforms/profiles
Right click on profile node and create a Node called charts of type nt:unstructured
Set the following properties on the newly created node
sling:resourceSuperType: xfaforms/profile
sling:resourceType: jpmc/chart
Save
Next Download the profile
Then using package manager import the profile
Navigate to /apps/jpmc/chart folder
Take a look at the html.jsp code. This is the code which reads the tables data and generates the Pie Chart

To get the complete setup on your system follow the following steps
Upload the xdp you have downloaded into FormManager
Upload the sample data using Form Manager
Associate the Charts profile with the form
Preview the form with sample data

If all has gone well you should see something like this
Sample Chart

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A lot of times you have a need to extract or import the data from Excel file into LiveCycle form in a programmatic manner. To accomplish this I have written a simple component. This component makes use of Apache POI classes to extract data from the Excel file. The sample component is not generic for all Excel files, but it was written for extracting data from a specific Excel file. With little modifications you can get this code to work with any Excel file. The code creates a map of xml documents where each xml document corresponds to a row in the excel document. You can deploy this component using workbench and use it as part of your process. To build the component please follow steps mentioned below
Download the eclipse project from here Eclpse Project
Import the eclipse project into your eclipse IDE
Download the following jar file. The eclipse project depends on these jar files
Jar Files needed for the eclipse poject
Build the component and deploy it using workbench
Test it by providing the excel file which is available here as an attachment to the pdf file Parsing Excel files
Create a simple process using the component
Test the process with Excel file from the previous step

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Parsing Excel file

A lot of times you have a need to extract or import the data from Excel file into LiveCycle form in a programmatic manner. To accomplish this I have written a simple component. This component makes use of Apache POI classes to extract data from the Excel file. The sample component is not generic for all Excel files, but it was written for extracting data from a specific Excel file. With little modifications you can get this code to work with any Excel file. The code creates a map of xml documents where each xml document corresponds to a row in the excel document. You can deploy this component using workbench and use it as part of your process. To build the component please follow steps mentioned below
Download the eclipse project from here Eclpse Project
Import the eclipse project into your eclipse IDE
Download the following jar file. The eclipse project depends on these jar files
Jar Files needed for the eclipse poject
Build the component and deploy it using workbench
Test it by providing the excel file which is available here as an attachment to the pdf file Parsing Excel files
Create a simple process using the component
Test the process with Excel file from the previous step

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Form Manager API

LiveCycle ES4 saw the (re)introduction of Form Manager. In simple terms Form Manager simplifies the process of managing forms. The official documentation for Form Manager can be found here
Once you have your required forms in Form Manager, you can start to build and manage Forms Portal. There are 2 ways to build forms portal.

  • Using Form Manager API
  • Using Forms Portal Components in CQ
  • FormPortalSample Portal

    In this post we will discuss the first option(using the Form manager api. In your web application you will need to make a ajax call as shown in the code snippet below.

    $(“#searchforms”).on(“click”,function()
    {
    var nameOfForm = “*”+$(“#formstosearch”).val();
    $.ajax({
    type:’POST’,
    url:”/lc/libs/formsmanager/manage.json?func=searchForms”,

    data:{
    appPath:””,
    cutPoints:”title|description|author|formUrl|pdfUrl”,
    relation:”NO_RELATION”,
    includeXdp:”false”,
    maxSize:0,
    offset:0,
    orderings:JSON.stringify([]),
    statements: JSON.stringify([{"name":"title","value":nameOfForm,"operator":"CONTAINS"},{"name":"status","value":"true","operator":"EQ"}])
    },
    success:function(data)
    {
    }

    Lets take a look at the code above
    #searchForms is the id of a button in the html page. When clicked the above code gets executed.nameOfForm is a variable which holds the value the user typed in the search box.
    Next is the ajax call which is being made to fetch the forms whose title starts with the value entered in the “#formsToSearch” field and forms whose status is “true”(meaning active)
    The ajax call has the following parameters
    appPath – This is application from which you want to search forms from. in our case we are searching for all forms in the repository
    cutPoints: These are the attributes of the form that are returned in the search results
    relation:Indicates what related objects to fetch. No_RELATION means no related objects to fetch
    statement: can have multiple statements. each statement will have name,value,operator. In our case the first statement is looking for forms whose title contains the value of the variable. The second statement is searching for forms whose status equals true(meaning active)

    Once the query is executed, the success handler function can access the results which are stored in the variable.
    You can then loop through the data elements and access title,description and other attributes using the data[i].title or data[i].description syntax

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    Task Summary Page

    Workspace in LiveCycle ES4 now shows a new tab called the “Summary” tab. As the name indicates this tab can be used to summarize the current task details. By default the “Summary” tab does not have any content in it. The process developer can create the content of the “Summary” tab. In general it is used to show some extra information related to the current task- such as Task Summary or display the driving directions specific to the address mentioned in the task.
    The document listed hereTask Summary URL explains in detail the steps needed to display some task specific information in the summary tab. The pdf also has the necessary collateral to compete the short tutorial.
    you would need the following to successfully complete the steps mentioned in the document
    LiveCycle ES4 Server
    Livecyle ES4 Workbench
    and some experience with LiveCycle
    If you have any questions- Do not hesitate to ask

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