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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LiveCycle ES next release: Roadmap and Prerelease

We are planning to release the next version of LiveCycle in 2013. The upcoming LiveCycle release significantly extends LiveCycle capabilities with major innovations such as Mobile Forms, Forms Manager, Forms Portal and Mobile Workspace features. Here is a brief overview of what’s planned for the next release and how you can test drive the new capabilities through the prerelease program.

Mobile Forms
With mobile forms capability, LiveCycle forms become truly multi-channel. This capability ensures that customers can start with an XFA template and render those forms on mobile devices. We make this happen through our new XFA -> HTML5 forms transformation service. The HTML5 forms will look the same as PDF forms in layout and will support most form logic embedded in the XFA form template. So the javascript, form calc and form validations embedded in XFA get carried over to the HTML5 form.

One of our key goals is to ensure that customers who made technology investments in XFA forms will be able to easily render those same XFA forms on to mobile devices. We are trying to ensure that rendering on mobile devices does not require re-authoring of existing XFA forms.

Mobile Workspace
We are building capabilities to extend the business processes of an organization to their field workforce. Many organizations have case workers/ agents who are in the field, who need to visit citizens/ customers, to perform assessments and collect information – for example to fill a survey, take notes, or take pictures.

How do we address these use cases?
We are planning to release a native LC Mobile Workspace app that directly addresses these use cases and significantly extends the value of LiveCycle to the customer.

The key capability here is offline task management. Tasks and the related forms, attachments and notes can be taken offline. You can be in a remote location without WiFi or cellular connectivity and still be able to complete your assessment – fill forms, take pictures, capture conversations, take notes and so on. And tasks will be geotagged and timestamped as well – this can be very critical for an organization to prove that the physical visit was made and the assessment was done at a particular time.

 

The Mobile Workspace app will be based on PhoneGap. We will also release the SDK and source code so that organizations can build their own custom mobile workforce solutions.

HTML Workspace

In prior releases the LiveCycle Workspace application was built using Adobe’s Flex technology which utilized the Flash player in an internet browser.  We are building a new HTML Workspace that will match the capabilities of the Flex Workspace. The user experience has been revamped and the UI is a lot more intuitive. In addition, HTML Workspace is built from individual HTML components. This makes it much easier to integrate Workspace components with web applications. Please note that the Flex Workspace will continue to be supported. With HTML Workspace, we hope to provide customers with greater choice.

Forms Management and Forms Portal

With Forms Management and Forms Portal, we plan to address a critical requirement for any large forms customer – how do I create, publish and manage hundreds or thousands of forms and how do I expose forms to the outside world?

Let’s look at any organization that has a forms portal. There are mainly two groups of people here. One group comprises of the citizens or customers who would like to

  1. Find the right form
  2. Access the form from any device – whether its desktop or mobile
  3. After submission, know the status of the application. They would like to get notifications as the application gets processed at the backend.

At the other end, we have forms and IT administrators who have very different needs.

  1. How do I manage enterprise-grade mission – critical forms processes?
  2. I have thousands of forms and form assets. How do I activate/ deactivate forms, how do I manage dependencies across form assets?

Forms Manager

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first step is forms management. We will enable organizations to manage hundreds and thousands of form assets – whether it is form templates, fragments or images.

We will provide a web application using which form administrators can browse or do meta-data driven search,  “activate” or “deactivate” assets, perform inter asset dependency analysis. For ex: Before changing a fragment, form administrators would like to know which forms will get impacted. By examining inter-asset dependencies, they can understand the ramifications of the change and develop a test plan. You can also preview the forms in PDF, HTML5. You can migrate form assets from dev to staging to production. These are basic needs of any enterprise forms customer and with Forms Manager we plan to address them going forward.

Forms Portal
The next step is, how to  expose these forms to the outside world? For this, we are planning to provide out of the box integration with Adobe CQ. We will be shipping LC – CQ components. They will be delivered as a package on Package Share.

 

The above picture gives an illustration of how this will work. Once the package is installed, form components will start showing up in the CQ sidekick. The form components automatically expose forms in the LiveCycle  repository through CQ. For ex: Here we are developing the web portal in CQ. You can drag and drop form components such as a Form Lister, Form Search. The Form Lister component shows administrators all the forms which are “activated”. The Forms Search component enables end users to search for relevant forms. We aim to make the entire process of publishing forms to the portal very seamless so that forms administrators can publish forms without depending on IT.

Others

In addition to these themes, the upcoming LiveCycle release will also introduce enhancements in Rights Management, Correspondence Management and Data Services.

Rights Management

  1. Support for Dynamic Watermarks on Mobile
  2. Enhanced User Experience for RM documents on Mobile
  3. Ability to search RM protected documents in Sharepoint

Correspondence Management

  1. Performance enhancements
  2. Audit trails with change history
  3. Ability to attach documents to correspondence
  4. Support for super script, subscript and hyperlinks in text content

Data Services

  1. Implementation of new WebSocket standard in js-client
  2. Enhancements to SAP Connector – SAP certification
  3. Websocket support in iOS

LiveCycle Prerelease Program
Now, I would like to share details about the LiveCycle Prerelease program. Click here to  register for the prerelease program. You will find a lot of resources including the software, documentation, demo recordings and forums. If you have any questions regarding the upcoming LiveCycle release or regarding the prerelease program, please contact lcprerelease@adobe.com

The LiveCycle product team is excited about the upcoming release and I hope the new capabilities are exciting for you as well.

— Vamsi Vutukuru, Sr Product Manager

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Adobe LC RM protected documents containing Dynamic Text Watermarks are now supported in Adobe Reader Mobile

Dynamic Text Watermarks support for documents secured using Adobe LiveCycle Rights Management has been enabled in Adobe Reader mobile application version 10.4 onwards for Android/ iOS devices.

On previous versions of Adobe Reader mobile application, opening rights protected documents containing watermarks was not supported.

On Adobe Reader 10.4 for mobile, users will be able to open new or existing documents secured using LiveCycle Rights Management with Dynamic Text Watermarks specified in the policies. To enable this functionality, customers are required to apply a patch on the LiveCycle server. This is supported from LiveCycle version ES2 Service Pack 2 onwards. This will enable support for opening documents with Text Watermarks in Adobe Reader on mobile devices. Without the server side patch, the behavior of LCRM documents in Reader on mobile remains same as that of previous versions.

Limitations:

  • Dynamic PDF Watermarks are not supported.
  • In Adobe Reader 10.4 mobile, the font used in watermarks would be Helvetica and not the font set in the watermark configuration on the server.
  • If the language of the watermark text is not supported on the device, the protected document would not open and an error message would appear.

All other attributes of Dynamic Text Watermarks are supported on Reader Mobile application.

Note: To obtain the LiveCycle Server patch mentioned above, please contact Adobe Support Team.

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