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Overview of the ADEP Document Services modules

- Michael Steward

When LiveCycle became ADEP Document Services all of the existing modules were ported over but I thought it would be useful to revisit them all and see what as new.  This post gives a summary of the modules which are available to any Document Services solution (excluding the foundation services which come with all Document Services modules) and should be familiar to those who have worked with LiveCycle ES1/ES2 in the past.

Business Process Management

Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform Document Services – Process Management 10.0
Process Management allows the designer to create processes which assign and move tasks around a business.  End users can login using the Workspace web application to view and update any task assigned to them.  This module is commonly used in conjunction with the Forms modules in order to create workflows for forms built by the designer.  ADEP Mobile also comes as part of this module allowing your end users to interact with their tasks on the go.

Content Services
As described in one of my earlier posts this one has now been deprecated.  It’s still included for legacy purposes but you should really be using the new CRX service.

Forms Automation

Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform Document Services – Forms 10.0
The bread and butter of many ADEP solutions, Forms is what allows data to be merged and retrieved from forms rendered to PDF, HTML or Guides.  It also allows forms to be assembled from fragments.  If you are designing to form to be dynamic and it doesn’t have a fixed layout then you will almost certainly need the Forms module.  Together with the Process Management module it allows for some fancy data collection and presentation to your end users!

Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform Document Services – Adobe Reader Extensions 10.0
If you need to distribute those forms you’ve just designed to external parties then chances are you’ll probably run into the need for Reader Extensions.  A “rights-enabled” form opened in Adobe Reader allows the end user to perform tasks that are normally reserved for the commercial Acrobat software such as adding attachments, saving a PDF form locally (the most common use case) and digitally signing forms.  Can be used standalone or as part of a workflow.

 

Read the full blog post here.

Data Services 4.6 Pre-Release

- Mete Atamel

As DataServices team, we’ve been working hard on a number of cool features, so much so that I forgot to mention the latest and greatest version of DataServices has been pre-released on Adobe Labs. There are a lot of cool and useful features in this release. You can see the full list on the pre-release site but I’m especially excited about all the new client SDKs we’ll be providing to connect a number of different desktop and mobile clients to DataServices. With these native client SDKs, we’re transforming DataServices from a Flash-only server to a multi-client server. I personally worked on Java, Android, JavaScript/HTML5 client SDKs and I’d love to hear what you think. Send us comments in the pre-release forum.

——-
Original article at http://meteatamel.wordpress.com/2011/10/20/data-services-4-6-pre-release/.

ADEP: Flex tile is blank? Use the supported Flex SDK version

- Scott Brodersen

I recently had the opportunity to help troubleshoot a Composite Application Framework issue. A member of our community worked through the Create a composite application module of the Create Your First ADEP Experience Server Application tutorial.

Problem: The Flex tile did not populate (it was blank), although the HTML tile appeared fine.

Solution: Use Flex SDK 4.5. Do not use version 4.5.1

Note: This problem/solution applies to ADEP 10.0.0.0. I don’t know what version of the SDK that future ADEP/CAF releases will support out-of-the-box.

If you used Flex SDK 4.5.1 by mistake, here is how to configure the project and tile to use Flex SDK  4.5.0:

  1. In Flash Builder, right-click the Flex project for ADEP and click Properties.
  2. In the properties tree, select Flex Compiler.
  3. At the top of the Flex Compiler panel, set the SDK version to Flex 4.5.
  4. Click OK and when the scary message about overwriting the html-template pops up, click OK.
  5. Open the catalog file (.cxml).
  6. Locate the tile:TileClass element for your tile and in the tile:Content child element, change the value of the flexSDKVersion attribute to 4.5.0.
    <tile:TileClass fitContent="true" height="300" label="WatchedFunds" name="WatchedFunds" width="600">
          <ct:Metadata>
               <ct:Description/>
          </ct:Metadata>
          <tile:Content contentType="application/x-shockwave-flash" flexSDKVersion="4.5.0" loadAs="module" uri="${catalogURL}/tiles/WatchedFunds/WatchedFunds.swf"/>
    </tile:TileClass>
  7. Save the file.

——-

Original article at http://blogs.adobe.com/ADEPhelp/2011/10/adep-flex-tile-is-blank-use-the-supported-flex-sdk-version.html.

Acrobat Reader Extension limitations

- Michael Steward

I’ve been doing a piece of work for a customer who wanted a simple form distributed around their organisation for staff to fill in and return.  The only additional requirement was that end users need to be able to save the document whilst filling it in.  Most of my work to date has been using the Adobe LiveCycle product suite and so I naturally turned to Reader Extensions ES2 which would give end users the ability to save documents offline but comes at a rather large premium in terms of licence costs.

I’d always ignored Acrobat as I’d never needed to use it’s standalone functionality but something about the simplicity of this requirement made me look again.  Sure enough since a few versions ago Acrobat now has a form of Reader Extension capability.  Form designers can use Acrobat (or Designer) to create their form and distribute it via Acrobat and reader extend it (note to Adobe: make this easier to find in Acrobat X Pro, currently it’s hidden under the “Save As” file menu for some reason).

This all seemed a little too easy and instantly made me want to find some sort of limitation as otherwise Reader Extensions ES2 would look a very expensive option compared to the relative inexpense of purchasing Acrobat X Pro licences.  I eventually turned to the EULA, searching for some sort of “gotcha” for this feature.  Sure enough there is one (section 16.8.3).

Read the full blog post here.

Use logging with your Composite Application Framework app

- Scott Brodersen

Adobe forums served up some nice information about logging runtime messages for your Composite Application Framework (aka Mosaic) apps. The Client Component Framework (codename: Gravity) provides the logging libraries….Composite Application Framework runs on Client Component Framework….here’s how to get those logger juices flowing:

<quote>

Yes, Gravity logging APIs can be used in Mosaic as-is. To view the log output:

1.       Open CRXDE lite in a browser and log in
2.       Navigate to /libs/mosaic/components/index/index.jsp
3.       Locate the line in the file that initializes the flashvars variable. In 10.0 this should be on line 65
4.       After that line, add a new line:

flashvars.mdebug = true;

5.       Click the “Save All” button to save the changes

Then, when a new application is launched, a debug window will appear with a “Log Viewer” tab. Note that the debug window will appear in the upper left corner of the browser in a layer that will be behind html or pdf content, so if your application’s layout has html or pdf content in the upper left region you may not be able to see the debug window.

</quote>

What was the OP’s result you may ask?

“That debug window certainly is useful. It has much more useful information than I was expecting. The DOM Viewer is especially nice. It is good to be able to confirm which libraries get loaded.”

Read the full blog post here.

ADEP Data Services for Java EE 4.6 released on Adobe Labs

- Tom Jordahl

As of Monday, October 4 2011 we have made a preview release of the next version of Data Service available up on Adobe Labs.

Some the sweet goodness in this release include:

  • Adobe Flash® Builder® 4.6, Flex 4.6, AIR and AIR Mobile Support — Build Flex and Flex Mobile applications that run in the browser, desktop or on mobile devices using the very latest cutting edge Adobe technology.
  • Managed Remoting — Leverage the power of Data Services Data Management features such as inter-client data sync, paging, entity associations and lazy-loading, with the ease of use of Remoting to create powerful data-centric Flex applications. Re-use your existing Java Beans and persistence using simple JPA-based annotations.
  • Native HTML5 Client SDK — Support for building high performance and very lightweight HTML5/JS applications with Remoting (RPC) and Messaging (push) networking capabilities leveraging HTML5 WebSockets and HTTP AMF channels.
  • Native Apple iOS Client SDK — Support for building very high performance Apple iOS applications with Remoting (RPC) and Messaging (push) networking capabilities leveraging RTMP and HTTP AMF for online, and Apple Push Notification Network (APN) for offline app support.
  • Native Android and Java Client SDKs —Support for building very high performance Google Android and Java applications with Remoting (RPC) and Messaging (push) networking capabilities leveraging RTMP and HTTP AMF channels.
  • .NET Adapters and IIS Plug-ins — Create apps that communicate with server-side .NET code using the new .NET Adapters for Remoting, Messaging, Data Management and MSMQ, or use the all-new native C#-based Microsoft IIS Remoting and Messaging plug-ins to directly access C# server-side code in an all-C# environment.
  • SAP Connector — Create RIA or Mobile applications that connect to server-side SAP ABAP server. Leveraging powerful Model-Driven Development technology, high performance SAP-backed applications can be created in just minutes and hours versus days, weeks or months.
  • Spring Support — Leverage the new built-in support for the Spring Framework Servlet and NIO-based channels, including with NIO channels hosted via Data Services Edge Server for DMZ deployments.

Check it out and leave us some feedback on the Labs forums.

——-
Original article at http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/TomJordahlsMusings/~3/lF0OVX3SuqE/adep-data-services-for-java-ee-46.html.

Defining Document Services Custom Components (DSCs)

Plugs

- Michael Steward

I’ve written a few custom components in my time working with ADEP but recently came across an excellent summary of what exactly these little (or in some cases large!) pieces of code actually are.  A recent blog post on the Adobe ADEP blog summarised it nicely:

A DSC is a component that can be installed on a Documents Server and introduces new functionality. It stands for Document Service Component. Most product components are DSCs but customers can write their own DSCs to create new integrations or functionality that require a higher level of sophistication than is appropriate with the use of standard integration options (e.g SOAP) or scripting/process maps. They are basically POJOs with nifty enterprise configurations around them that allow enterprise class life cycle, versioning and configuration (e.g. in an enterprise BPM system you don’t necessarily want a new version of a component to alter the way an inflight process is operating, or how a completed process reports audit data…) or even have to bounce the server to change the implementation of the DSC. It is definitely part of the secrete sauce of LiveCycle/ADEP Document Services.

Source: ADEP Blog

——-
Original article at http://michaelsteward.com/2011/10/09/defining-document-services-custom-components-dscs/.

Border and Margins in Flowed Layouts

- Stefan Cameron

My friends at Avoka have posted a very useful tutorial on the unexpected behavior of borders in flowed layouts and how to use margins to fix it. Check it out!

——-
Original article at http://forms.stefcameron.com/2010/04/21/border-and-margins-in-flowed-layouts/.

Updated Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform (ADEP) Help Content!

- Gilbert Yu

As part of our continuous effort to make the help content better for you, we have recently updated the following help:

  • New section for installing the Experience Server as a Windows service.
  • Update to describe how to obtain the Customer Experiences Solutions Quickstart.
  • New section for installing the Experience Server as a Windows service.
  • New section about the ADEP Client Component Framework.

NOTE: Be sure to update any cached local copies of the PDF versions you have on your computer.

Please continue to help us improve the ADEP help content by adding feedback at ADEP documentation site. We appreciate the comments you have provided so far!

——-
Original article at http://blogs.adobe.com/ADEPhelp/2011/10/updated-adobe-digital-enterprise-platform-adep-help-content.html.

Displaying Base64 images in Designer

- Michael Steward

A recent project required me to write a custom component to merge image data with some text.  This was simple enough in itself but testing the output Base64 image data with PDF files proved a pain.  As a result I made a very simple PDF in Designer which allows you to test your Base64 encoded image strings to see how they’ll look in a PDF document.  The following link will let you download the form which can be opened in designer.  The archive also contains a very basic data schema and test data to get you started.  Just replace the Base64 string in the “sampleData.xml” file with your own string.  Fire up Designer and click the Preview tab to see if the image is displaying properly.

Download Base64ImageTest.zip

——-
Original article at http://michaelsteward.com/2011/09/16/displaying-base64-images-in-designer/.

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