Shone Sadler

So what does Zillow and LiveCycle have to do with one another? Well not much other than I decided to do a demo around integrating Zillow with LiveCycle for MAX 2008. Zillow is a vertical platform around real estate located up in the clouds, while LiveCycle is a horizontal platform focused on enabling PDF, AIR, and Flash in the enterprise and is in the more traditional camp of on-premise software.

You can view an entire walkthrough at screencast.com Or the following lower res videos at YouTube.

Part I

 

Part II

So why did I create this demo?

  1. Of course to show off some functionality of LiveCycle and integration with AIR
  2. Illustrate the implementation of a common Engagement Pattern, Content Assembly, we see leveragedby LiveCycle customers.
  3. Show the integration of LiveCycle with a RESTfull Cloud API

Typically I have my own self-serving motivations in implementing demos. This time is no different. I have moved quite a bit over time, but failed to actually make money in the sale of any house (e.g. had to pay to sell my last house in July). So the next time my wife and I purchase a house we will be doing a lot more research than we have done in the past. However, we have always felt constrained by the tools we have used or that our agents have (we have done this a fair bit). While Zillow is an awesome resource it still doesn’t have ALL the information we are interested in. Moreover it doesn’t provide a means for us to effectively collaborate between ourselves and our real estate agent when considering one or more houses. So this demo is a proof of concept of what I was looking for and shows the value add of integrating a powerful cloud API such as Zillow with LiveCycle for creating portable Mashups.

IMPORTANT NOTE: While I have contacted Zillow prior to making this demo and they were nice enough to provide me access to their APIs (specifically their newer GetRegionPostings API) I must also point out that this demo uses their APIs in a way NOT aligned with the Zillow Terms of Use. Specifically, Zillow does not allow for their APIs to be used in anything but a Web based application, where they also expect their branding and links to show up as well. I was given the OK, purely because this was a demo application. I would suggest reading the Terms of Use provided by Zillow when signing up for a developer’s Id.

Architecture
Below is the architecture diagram for the Property Lister Demo.
lces_property_lister_arch
Brief notes on the components:

  1. At the top we have the Property Lister AIR application which communicates with
  2. Zillow, a Real Estate platform in the Sky with a RESTful API
  3. GetPropertyPortfolio Process, a service implemented in LiveCycle which a) iterates through a set of Propertiesm, b) calls GetPropertyDetailReport for each Property, and c) uses the LiveCycle Assembler service to combine all of those reports into a single PDF Portfolio.
  4. GetPropertyDetailReport Process, a service implemented in LiveCycle which generates a single PDF for a given property by a) generating a detail page and b) merging in any attachments specified by the client.
  5. Zillow Component, a Custom Java Component deployed within LC that a) creates a Service in LC that calls into Zillow and b) defines two data types that are used by the demo to communicate between clients (e.g. the Property Lister AIR app) and the GetPropertyPortfolio process.
  6. Out-of-the-box LiveCycle Services that are leveraged by the PropertyLister Application to generate a Portable Real Estate Mashup.

Trying out the Property Lister
Unfortunately, I have not setup an environment where demos such as this are available online, but even if I did for this demo I would be constrained by the Zillow Terms of Use.
For now however you will need to do the following steps:

    1. Read the Zillow Terms of User and Sign up for a Zillow Developer Id at http://www.zillow.com/howto/api/APIOverview.htm
    2. Download and install the LiveCycle trial (if you haven’t already) from http://www.adobe.com/devnet/livecycle/trial/.
      Note: This demo was built on LCES Update 1 (also known as 8.2.1)
    3. Download the Source Code for a) the AIR app b) the LiveCycle Archive and c) the LiveCycle Java Components used from Download Source Code
    4. With LiveCycle up and running go to LiveCycle Workbench and click on Window–>Show View–>Components. In the Components view you can right click the top node to then install the Java Components downloaded
    5. Next, log into the LiveCycle Admin UI (http://localhost:8080/adminui) and go to Services–>Applications and Services–>Archive Management where you can import the PropertyListing.lca file from the download.
    6. Make sure to configure your Email Service through the LiveCycle Admin UI by once again going to Services–>Applications and Services –> EmailService and setting the SMTP host/user/ and password.
    7. Import the Flex Project included in the Download to your Flex Builder environment.
    8. Make sure to set your Zillow Developer ID into the Source code for the AIR app (Currently its hardwired int the com/adobe/service/PropertyListingService.as file.
    9. Run the AIR APP!

 

 

Anyway, I hope you find this demo usefull! Its time to get back to the left over Turkey

—-
Original article at http://lostintentions.com/2008/11/28/zillow-livecycle-portable-real-estate-mashups/.