LiveCycle update: Forms, documents, and the Adobe Marketing Cloud

2013 was an exciting year for LiveCycle. I want to take a moment to update you on how we are continuing to invest and innovate in forms and documents, and provide an overview of our 2014 plans.

In 2013, we introduced LiveCycle ES4, a major release that extends rich form and document experiences to mobile users. Shortly afterwards, we began integrating these capabilities into Adobe Experience Manager, enabling  organizations to easily create, manage, and publish forms and documents in conjunction with a market leading web content management solution. To date, we’ve released three form and document capabilities:

The feedback from customers has been overwhelmingly positive. Over the last three quarters, many customers have migrated to Adobe Experience Manager forms and documents while preserving their investments in LiveCycle forms.  By integrating form transactions and document confirmations into their web and mobile engagement strategies, they can extend their reach and maintain brand consistency while managing all assets from a single platform.

We will continue to provide updates to LiveCycle customers, while deepening our integration with Adobe Experience Manager to help government, financial institutions and other regulated industries easily engage with citizens and customers through secure, compliant, yet easy-to-use forms and documents. Stay tuned as we announce new features and releases in 2014.

Arun Anantharaman
Senior Vice President Products
Digital Marketing

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Troubleshooting Adobe ES4 Mobile Workspace Build failure issue with xCode 5

With the upgrade of OS X to version 10.8 and above and xCode version to 5.0 onward, some build issues might come up with Adobe Mobile Workspace

MWS build error

To resolve this problem, we need to remove the weak library link flags from the Linking options. Here are the steps for the same.
1. Go to Capture build settings screen.
Build Settings
2. Move to ‘Other Linker Flags’ under Linking Section.
Other Linker Flags

3. Now remove weak_library linking of /usr/lib/libSystem.B.dylib from both release and debug Linker Flags.
Weak Library flags

 

Removed linker Flags

4. Try building the Capture project again. The build should succeed now.
Build Successful

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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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