Configuring PDF Generator ES4 on Windows for remote deployments

PDF Generator configuration batch file performs a set of configurations on the server machine which are required to successfully perform various conversions. The batch file is run as part of the LiveCycle configuration for turnkey and local deployments, but is required to be executed manually in case of remote deployments. For a clustered deployment, this needs to be run on all nodes in the cluster.

This post provides the steps to run PDFG configuration batch file manually on a remote Windows server machine.

Note: The configuration batch file needs to be run after the required software has been installed and initial dialogs dismissed (for Acrobat 11 and other required software based on the file formats you want to convert). A server restart is required in case you have already run LCM and the server is in a running state.

Steps to run the configuration batch file manually:

  1. Ensure UAC is turned off on the machine while performing this task.
  2. Log in to the remote LC server machine through which Acrobat XI was installed.
  3. Create a folder, eg: C:\LC_Config_Files
  4. From the machine where LiveCycle ES4 is installed – copy the following folders to the LC_Config_Files folder
    1. plugins
    2. pdfg_config
    3. pdfg_srt
  5. Create a folder with the name ‘configurationManager’ inside  LC_Config_Files folder
  6. On a command prompt
    1. Browse to the folder : LC_Config_Files\pdfg_config
    2. Run the batch file: Acrobat_for_PDFG_Configuration.bat
  7. Run SRT (System Readiness Tool) to verify the configuration. On a command prompt
    1. Browse to the folder : LC_Config_Files\pdfg_srt
    2. Run the command:  SystemReadinessTool.vbs out
    3. This will generate a report in LC_Config_Files\pdfg_srt\out (SystemReadinessTool.html)
    4. Review the generated report of any issues

For more information on the exciting new features introduced in Adobe LiveCycle ES4  refer to the LiveCycle ES4 documentation link: What’s new in Adobe LiveCycle ES4 .

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File Format specific PDFG configuration requirements in LiveCycle ES4

PDF Generator supports a large number of file formats for conversion to PDF, and requires corresponding software installations on the server. Below is a list of applications which are supported by PDF Generator, including the file formats each application supports.

Generic Requirements:

  • PDF Generator is supported only on English, French, German and Japanese platforms (operating system), and each platform should have all  applications installed in the same language.
  • WordPerfect is only supported on English platform.
  • Some applications require environment variables to be defined.
  • Only 32 bit versions of applications below are supported.

Application specific requirements:

  • Adobe® Acrobat® XI Pro : XPS, DWG, DXF, DWF ,Image formats (BMP, GIF, JPEG, JPG, TIF, TIFF, PNG, JPF, JPX, JP2, J2K, J2C), HTML formats –
    • Acrobat_PATH should be set to Acrobat.exe  path
    • All initial registration/activation dialogs should be dismissed for all the PDFG user accounts configured on the server.
    • Acrobat should be installed after all Microsoft applications have installed.
    • Automatic updates should be disabled.

     

  • Microsoft Office, Microsoft Visio, Microsoft Publisher, Microsoft Project (versions: 2007/2010): DOC, DOCX,  XLS, XLSX, PPT, PPTX, RTF, TXT, VSD,PUB, MPP –
    • Acrobat_PATH should be set to Acrobat.exe  path
    • All initial registration/activation dialogs should be dismissed for all the PDFG user accounts configured on the server.
    • Acrobat plugin should be visible inside Word/Excel/PowerPoint/Visio/Project
    • Adobe PDF printer should be seen as default when printing
    • Adobe Acrobat Distiller should be launched manually once for all the PDFG user accounts configured on the server.

     

  • Adobe PageMaker® 7: PMD, PM6, P65, PM –
    • All initial registration/activation dialogs should be dismissed for all the PDFG user accounts configured on the server.
    • PageMaker_PATH should be set to PageMaker exe path

     

  • Adobe FrameMaker® 8.0: FM –
    • All initial registration/activation dialogs should be dismissed for all the PDFG user accounts configured on the server.
    • FrameMaker should be configured to use ‘Framemaker’ product interface (to be selected when FrameMaker is first installed). This can be updated from Preferences section too.
    • Adobe PDF printer should be seen as default when printing
    • FrameMaker_PATH should be set to FrameMaker exe path

     

  • Corel WordPerfect 12 / X4: WPD –
    • All initial registration/activation dialogs should be dismissed for all the PDFG user accounts configured on the server.
    • Adobe PDF printer should be seen as default when printing
    • WordPerfect_PATH should be set to WordPerfect exe path

     

  • OpenOffice 3.x: ODT, ODP, ODS, ODG, ODF, SXW, SXI, SXC, SXD, DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, PPT, PPTX, RTF, TXT , Image Formats (BMP, GIF, JPEG, JPG, TIF, TIFF, PNG, JPF, JPX, JP2, J2K, J2C), HTML, HTM –
    • All initial registration activation dialogs should be dismissed for all the PDFG user accounts configured on the server.
    • OpenOffice_PATH should be set to OpenOffice installation directory

     

For more information on the exciting new features introduced in Adobe LiveCycle ES4  refer to the LiveCycle ES4 documentation link: What’s new in Adobe LiveCycle ES4 .

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Optimizing Mobile Forms Performance

Optimizing Mobile Forms Performance

Livecycle ES4 Mobile Forms renders forms in the HTML5 format. The resultant output could be large depending on factors like the form size and images in the form. To optimize the data transfer, the recommended approach is to compress the HTML response using the Web Server from which the request is being served. This approach reduces the response size, network traffic, and the time required to stream data between the server and client machines.

This article describes the steps required to enable compression for the Apache Web Server 2.0 32 bit, with JBoss.

Note: The following instructions do not apply to servers other than the Apache Web Server, or to another version of the Apache Web Server. See documentation for that server.

Following steps demonstrates changes required to enable compression with Apache Web Server

Obtain the Apache web server software that is applicable to your operating system:

1)For Windows, download the Apache web server from the Apache HTTP Server Project site.

2)For Solaris 64 bit, download the Apache web server from the Sunfreeware for Solaris Website.

3)For Linux, the Apache web server is preinstalled on a Linux system.

Apache can communicate to JBoss using HTTP or AJP protocol. The following are configurations for optimization using HTTP.

1)Uncomment the following module configurations in APACHE_HOME/conf/httpd.conf  file

   LoadModule proxy_balancer_module modules/mod_proxy.so
   LoadModule proxy_balancer_module modules/mod_proxy_http.so
   LoadModule deflate_module modules/mod_deflate.so

 Note: For Linux, the default APACHE_HOME is /etc/httpd/

2)Configure the proxy on port 8080 of Jboss
Add following configuration in APACHE_HOME/conf/httpd.conf configuration file.

ProxyPass / http://<server_Name>:8080/
ProxyPassReverse / http://<server_Name>:8080/ 

3) Enable Compression

Add following configuration in APACHE_HOME/conf/httpd.conf configuration file.

 
<Location /lc/content/xfaforms>
  <IfModule mod_deflate.c>
     SetOutputFilter DEFLATE
     # Don’t compress
     SetEnvIfNoCase Request_URI \.(?:gif|jpe?g|png)$ no-gzip dont-vary
     SetEnvIfNoCase Request_URI \.(?:exe|t?gz|zip|bz2|sit|rar)$ no-gzip dont-vary
    #Dealing with proxy servers
   
     <IfModule mod_headers.c>
        Header append Vary User-Agent
     </IfModule>
  </IfModule>
</Location>

4) To access the Livecycle server, use http://<machine_name>:80

Note: machine_name is the name of the server on which the Apache server is running.

Also see  What’s new in Adobe LiveCycle ES4 and Introduction to Mobile Forms.

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Adobe LiveCycle – Configuration Migration Utility

If you are a LiveCycle customer who manually sets configuration settings for LCAs and DSCs when duplicating an environment or migrating from one setup to another in your Dev, Staging or Production environment, then you may find this utility helpful. It exports the service configurations of all services deployed including LCAs in an XML which can then be imported on another setup to replicate these settings. If you like to be cautious and do settings manually, the XML output can serve as a good source for comparing the settings on the setups. One can also creates an HTML report using the output XML files, that will show the difference between service configurations of two LC system.

  • Export operation extract all the LiveCycle service configurations into an XML file.
  • Import operation takes this xml file as input and replicate the service configuration in the target system.
  • Diff operation generates an HTML report that compares the service configuration of two LC systems. To use this operation-
    1. Execute export operation on LC systems for which you want to take the difference
    2. Rename the xml file, generated as output of export operation, with host name.
    3. Execute bat/sh file after providing values to required field in ConfigurationMigrationUtility.properties file.
    4. This operation generates DiffReport.html file in the directory where the ConfigurationMigrationUtility.jar is placed, as output.

Usage instructions:

  1. Set JAVA_HOME environment variable if not already set.
  2. Set PATH environment variable for java if not already set.
  3. Copy and extract the attached ConfigurationMigrationUtility.rar file.
  4. Follow the instructions provided in readme.txt file placed in lib directory.
  5. Depending upon the operation you want to execute, provide information in the ConfigurationMigrationUtility.properties file.
    • operation – This can have value as either export, import or diff
    • server_url=This variable is for server url matching this pattern <http|https>://<Host_name|IP>:<port> e.g – http://localhost:8080

    • user_id=This variable will have your LiveCycle username

    • pass=This variable will have your LiveCycle password.

    • server_type=This variable must have value as either of JBoss, Weblogic or WebSphere

    • file=This variable will have the file path where the service configuration will be stored. This variable must have complete path for xml file. e.g – c:\tmp\service.xml
    • diffFile1= This is required only for diff operation. This variable will have the path of first xml file used for diff operation.
    • diffFile2=This is required only for diff operation. This variable will have the path of second xml file used for diff operation
  6. Execute bat/sh file.

 

Note:

  1. lib directory and ConfigurationMigrationUtility.jar must be placed in same directory.
  2. ConfigurationMigrationUtility.properties file must be placed in the same directory as ConfigurationMigrationUtility.jar else provide its complete path in the bat/sh file.

Disclaimer:This is not an Adobe officially provided utility. This is designed just to help customers. Please test it in QE environment once before using it in production.

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LiveCycle ES4 – Routing Log Messages

While working with any application server, changing the log level on the fly is always a hectic task. But CQ embedded in Adobe LiveCycle ES4 offers a feature that simplifies adding new loggers or changing the log level for any component of LiveCycle ES4.

Following are the steps to change the log level in Adobe LiveCycle ES4

  1. Login to Felix web console using “http://host-name:port/lc/system/console/configMgr”. Change the host-name and port with your app server host name and port number.
  2. Now search and click on “Adobe LiveCycle Embedded Mode Configuration”, check in the check box named as “Route log message” and click save button. This will enable the routing of log message through Sling Logging layer.Embedded_Mode_Configuration
  3. Now Search “Apache Sling Logging Logger Configuration” and click on “+” button on right hand side of this tab. Apache_Sling_Logging_Logger_Configuration
  4. A new window will pop up. Provide required information in this window –
    • Log Level – To specify the log level you want for that particular component.
    • Log File – Specify the path for the log file in this field.

    • Message Pattern – Specify the log pattern in this field.
    • Logger – Specify the package of the component for which you want to change the log level. e.g. to add the logger for authentication manager give logger name as com.adobe.idp.um

    Configuration_window
    To add logs of more than one component in the same file, simply click the “+” button at end of logger field and provide the package name of the component for which you have to add the logs in the new logger field.

  5. After filling all the required fields click save. Now all the logs for the particular component, meeting the log level, will be added in the log file mentioned in the above steps.
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Register for a local ES4 launch event

Learn how to go mobile with your enterprise forms.  Register for a LiveCycle ES4 launch event near youhttp://adobe.ly/YaCwVm

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Performance Tuning Tips for Faster LiveCycle Output

By considering the settings mentioned here, one can optimize the performance of LiveCycle output component and get better throughput.

Maximum Inline Size

A good starting point is to choose an optimal value of Max Inline Size.

Max inline size (bytes) setting can be found in LiveCycle Administration console under Home -> Settings -> Core System ->  Configurations, and it’s default value is set as 64K. Files larger than 64K are stored in the GDS, and files smaller are stored on the heap. The benefit of this behavior is that we can avoid keeping very large objects in the heap and it reduces the overall memory requirement of the JVM.

So the key point is to keep the file size small and set the Max Inline size a bit higher than the file size, that ensures fast output via Output DSC.

Also note that keeping very large objects in the heap can hamper the application’s performance as these objects can quickly take up a large part of the heap and can trigger frequent garbage collections.

Heap Consideration

To understand the heap requirement of the application, we can use JConsole tool and monitor the heap usage of the system. It is important to find the heap size that you need, and not specify a much larger heap “just to be safe” <as garbage collection in a large heap can be lengthy>.

The best case scenario is a heap 20% larger than the maximum heap from test results. The size should be determined by running a test using the anticipated production system collateral and volume(64bit systems support large heaps which allow for a large Max Inline size if required).

BMC Pool Size

BMC pool size is the other setting which can help in improving the output performance. The default value for “com.adobe.xmlform.bmc.POOL_MAX” is 4. If a server instance has more than four CPU cores, you will get better throughput by setting its value equal to or about 1.5x to 2x the number of CPU cores.

Even though the default POOL_MAX setting is 4, you may not see all four of the XMLForm processes spawned unless the server was hit at any time with four or more concurrent requests. You can verify how many of these processes are running using the following command in Solaris/AIX/Linux:

ps -ef | grep XMLForm

In Windows, you can use Task Manager’s Process tab.

To get all the XMLForm processes spawned and better throughput of output, run your load test with a batch size value higher than POOL_MAX.

A test activity, which showcases the benefits of these parameters was conducted; and it was observed to produce ~300% improvement to give throughput of 2750 Pgs/min as against 980 Pgs/min with default settings.

The settings to get throughput of 2750 Pgs/min were as follows:

For running the tests, configurations were as follows:

  • BMC pool size = 10
  • Watch Folder Batch size = 13
  • Max inline size = 512 KB
  • Input file size(XML) = 490 KB
  • JVM Args: -Xms2048m -Xmx4096m -XX:PermSize=512m -XX:MaxPermSize=1024m

Machine Configuration (on which the tests were run):

  • OS: Win 2008 R2
  • Arch : 64 bit
  • CPU Cores: 8
  • RAM : 32 GB

       ** Results may vary depending upon the hardware spec of the machine, on which tests are performed.

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AEM document services & document security add-ons, powered by LiveCycle

Today we are announcing new AEM document services & document security add-ons, powered by LiveCycle.  These AEM add-ons let you publish & secure enterprise forms and documents on your website.  Learn more here: http://adobe.ly/14uV8lM

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See LiveCycle ES4’s New Capabilities on Youtube

You can now see LiveCycle ES4’s new capabilities to extend processes to mobile devices in action on Youtube.  View this video for an end-to-end demonstration http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPZTXfnsMpw&feature=youtu.be

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Go mobile with Adobe LiveCycle ES4

I am thrilled to be able to blog that today we announced LiveCycle ES4!!, The new release has innovations that make it easier to create, manage, and publish large numbers of forms on websites. But the biggest news is how mobile clients and workers can now actively participate in business processes, improving engagement and productivity.

To add a bit more detail, here are the highlights of the new capabilities:

Mobile forms support

 

Date-picker-IOS

LiveCycle ES4 extends self-service options to users with mobile devices and a web browser by rendering forms to HTML5, PDF, and paper from a single XFA template. LiveCycle ES4 preserves scripting logic, so you can use existing XFA templates to extend forms to mobile devices. This capability is supported in the LiveCycle ES4 Forms Pro module and the Forms Portal Solution.

Mobile Workspace application

Mobile Workspace-home

Workers with mobile devices can take tasks and forms-related processes and work on them anywhere, whether online or offline. Workers can timestamp and geotag tasks, capture electronic signatures, and attach notes, photos, and videos. The app automatically submits forms and associated data to appropriate processes when workers next connect to the network. We’re also releasing the SDK so you can build your own custom solution. The app is included in the LiveCycle Process Management ES4 module.

Forms management and publishing capabilities

The Forms Manager capability streamlines the process of updating, retiring, and managing thousands of forms. Through integration with Adobe Experience Manager (Adobe CQ), business users can rapidly publish documents and enterprise forms on your website without requiring IT support.  This makes it easier to offer self-service capabilities around mission critical, compliant forms processes via your web site.  The Forms Portal Solution leverages LiveCycle Forms Pro ES4 and Adobe Experience Manager (Adobe CQ).

HTML Workspace

Workspace-TaskSummaryPage

LiveCycle ES4 supports a new HTML Workspace that matches the capabilities of the existing Flex Workspace, but makes it easier to integrate Workspace components with web applications. You can brand and customize the HTML Workspace, take advantage of out-of-the-box HTML reports, or use the API to extract data for analysis in third-party reporting tools. The Flex Workspace and HTML Workspace applications are both incorporated in the LiveCycle ES4 Process Management module.

Extended rights management

Protect sensitive information in the mobile realm by allowing Adobe Reader® mobile app users to access documents protected with Rights Management. Authorized users can also search rights management protected documents in Microsoft® SharePoint®.

We’ve had great feedback about these and other LiveCycle ES4 features through our prerelease program.  We are excited to be announcing the release and encourage you to reach out to your Adobe representative or solution partner for more information.

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