Posts tagged "cmsa"

Better search using asset tagging

Tagging has always been one of the classic approaches towards categorization of assets/objects, that allows a convenient way to ‘search’ for objects based on the associated tags, at a later point in time.

While the Correspondence Management Solution provides advanced search capabilities, wherein one can search over asset properties such as name, description, content, etc., users (customers) may want to associate custom tag(s) with an asset so that assets can then be more easily (and even, logically) searched using these tags.

Now, the obvious question…how to achieve this??

Here goes the answer…

As part of the various extensions points, the solution provides the capability to add custom attributes/properties to an asset, which can then be searched upon (and used in any other asset management workflows). We can leverage this aspect and add a custom property, say ‘tag’, to the desired asset types, which will be used to associate tags with any asset created of that type.

For details and samples around adding a custom attribute/property to an asset type, refer to the ADEP documentation.

Below are the key changes done (snippets) to enable tagging on Letter templates. The same can be applied on other asset types (Texts, Images, etc.) as well.

1. Here’s the addition to the Letter.fml that drives the Manage Assets UI look when searching for Letter Templates:

[Note: Letter.fml can be found in the Services project of the Solution Template]

<property name="tags" type="string">
<annotation name="DDS">
<item name="displayName">Tags</item>
     <item name="visible">true</item>
     <item name="searchable">true</item>
     <item name="columnOrder">11</item>
     <item name="searchRendererOrder">11</item>    
     <item name="searchPath">Letter.extendedProperties.tags</item>
     <item name="assetPropertyType">extended</item>
     <item name="extendedPropertyPath">Letter.extendedProperties.tags</item>
</annotation>
</property>

… which basically is adding a property named ‘tags‘ to the Manage Assets UI, such that it can appear in the Advanced Search, and as a column in the Letters view data grid. Note the entries in purple.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. The new/extended Host Component for the Letter Editor that extends the out-of-the-box Host Component to add UI logic specific to our new attribute ‘tags':

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. A new Skin would be created for the Letter Editor that adds a Text Input to the Properties Editor where users can supply values for the applicable tags on a template:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…which basically, would lead to the Letter Editor showing up like this:
[note the additional text box for entering tags]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Users can now add comma-separated (you are free to use a different separator) tags when creating their Letter templates. Once added, these tags can be used to search for templates on the basis of these tags. See the below snapshot, where a search for templates with the tag ‘noida‘, lists the Letter template that was created with that tag.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As mentioned before, the above snippets just give you an idea of the capability and the necessary changes to get the desired results. There are other (though minor) changes needed as part of this customization, which are similar to the way custom attributes are added to an asset type in general. So, please refer to that documentation for comprehensive steps and details.

Also, you could implement more complex logic within your customized solution to further enhance tagging on assets.

Transporting assets across systems/environments in CM 3.0

Correspondence Management Solution 3.0 provides this great ability to transport, via an intuitive user interface, not just the entire set of assets across environments, but also selective assets. This is one of the uber cool enhancements from how the same is achieved in the previous version of the solution, where this was somewhat limited and cumbersome.

Right from the Manage Assets user interface itself, you can now select any asset or set of (possibly related) assets, that you wish to take over or move to another environment (or physical server), and export them as a ZIP. This ZIP can then be imported over to the desired target system, and voila!…you’ll have your assets in place. Indeed! it is as simple as this.

Please take a moment to read through the published documentation to guide you through the step by step process.

Adobe Correspondence Management Solution 3.0 – Top 10 items to look out for!

If you have not already got a chance to explore the various uber cool features of the all new Correspondence Management Solution 3.0, here are my top 10 ones that you should look out for…

1. With the all new Create Correspondence (aka Document Composer) UI, composing Letters was never so easy! . The new interface provides an easy, intuitive way of composing Letters. With a lot more controls available, such as indentation adjustments, new line, free text, one can design/create a Letter exactly as required.

2. Highlighting of the currently selected asset in the PDF Preview when composing a Letter. Wouldn’t it be a great composing experience if selecting an asset on the flex app. automatically takes you to the respective page, exactly where your content lies within the PDF!? …and then highlight the selected content as well as the target in which the content lies, so you don’t have to search/scroll-over for your content within the PDF. The solution now brings along this amazingly convenient experience for the users.


3. Working on multiple assets at a time. With the all new Manage Assets interface, one can now work on multiple assets (possibly, related to each other) at a time, by virtue of each asset/editor being opened in a new tab in the Editors view. Of course, you can also switch between tabs when working with multiple assets. Here’s a snapshot:

4. Content Preview is yet another amazing addition to the asset authoring experience, wherein you can hover over your asset (in all views that present a list of assets) and see a Preview of the asset content and metadata, be it Texts, Images, Lists, Conditions, etc. So, you no longer need to go back and open the asset editor to see what’s in it. Use the Preview experience to identify the desired asset!

5. Creating numbered and bulleted list content. You can now easily design numbered and bulleted content, by authoring List assets using the List Editor. You can control indentation on paragraph(s) (or even images), specify custom prefix/suffix characters, and much more…

6. The all new Rich Text Editor, that has great text formatting capabilities that includes styling such as Bold/Italic/Underline, Font controls, letter Spacing, line height, Margin controls, Alignment controls. The editor also allows creating advanced bulleted and numbered content, using the appropriate toolbar controls.

Spell Check (English) is another great feature that enhances the text authoring experience.

7. Ability to Publish assets and enhanced version management, with the ability to create different versions of an asset, view previous versions, revert back to last published version, etc. See this post for more on publishing assets.

8. Import/ Export of selective assets is now possible using CM 3.0 via the Manage Assets interface itself. One can select the assets to be exported and simply press the “Export Assets” button. The exported ZIP can then be imported on any other system, using the “Import Assets” action on the Manage Assets interface.
Import/Export of all assets is also now possible right from the Manage Assets (Admin) interface itself, with a single click of a button (rather than the cumbersome steps in Contentspace, as in ES 2.5).

9. CM 3.0 introduces the ability to author Tables (dynamic or static) within your correspondence.

Here’s the Fund Allocation table in the Welcome Kit letter (that is part of the CM sample assets).

10. The Asset Dependencies Browser is an excellent tool/interface to view the dependencies of an asset, and be able to generate a report out of the same.

Note : Users can further drill down into the related assets by double-clicking on the asset, which will then show the dependencies for that asset. One can switch back-n-forth using the breadcrumbs on the top bar.

These are just 10 key features that you just cannot afford to miss. There is a lot more to the solution, the details of which can be seen on this post.

Troubleshoot the Create Correspondence interface of the Adobe Correspondence Management Solution

Create Correspondence interface is the agent facing (flex based) application of the Adobe Correspondence Management Solution that is used to create the final correspondence, using a given Letter template.

In the event of an unexpected behavior or an unlikely error or to get more details on the request processing, there could be a need to troubleshoot the application. Following are some of the ways to do so.

General Flash Logs

Flash Log output is obviously critical when debugging a flex application. All general log messages, including the Form Bridge log output that is redirected from both the PDF and the HTML layers, is output to the Flash logs.

Of course, you would need Flash Debug player, which can be downloaded from the flash download site, to enable such logging. You can appropriately configure the logs based on your operating system.

The application also keeps an in-memory log of all messages that can be displayed using Ctrl + Alt + D, once initialized (note that you must have your mouse focus on the Flex application when you do so). The main purpose of this is so that we can get log contents even when the application isn’t run in a Flash Debug Player.

URL parameters

The Create Correspondence application can be enforced to log additional information by invoking it with some special URL parameters. Note that this can adversely affect the application performance, given the large amount of data being logged.

cmDataDebug

This flag (that can be given as a URL parameter) is used to specifically enable data output to the Flash Log. The output in such cases can be very large (for a complex templates that use large data) but sometimes it is critical to see the generated data the way it is sent to the PDF.

One can set it by including the following parameter in the URL parameters when invoking the Create Correspondence application:

cmDataDebug=1

This is an ON/OFF flag, so anything other than “0” will activate the mode.

cmFbDebug

This is yet another flag, that is used to enable debugging and logging in the Form Bridge layers, and help troubleshoot communication issues. One can set it by including the following parameter in the URL parameters when invoking the Create Correspondence application:

cmFbDebug=[a,[b,[c,[d]]]]

where,
a = debug level until a connection is established (0 = none; 9 = highest/most verbose)
b = debug level after a connection is established (0 – none; 9 – highest/most verbose)
c = delay in seconds (can be a decimal, as in .1) after the HTML has created the PDF <object> and the time it sets its messageHandler (its definition of listener functions) on that object
d = delay in seconds (can be a decimal, as in .001) after the PDF has got as far as the ‘docReady’ message, until it starts to send it’s “initialized” connection message.

The above parameters can hence be tweaked according to the intent of troubleshooting. For instance, if there is a communication issue wherein the PDF takes longer to be ‘ready’ (may be due to a slow connection), you can tweak (increase) the value of  ‘d‘ to a value that sets enough delay for the communication to be successful. If there is a need to log detailed HTML-to-PDF communication messages for a user interaction on the flex app., you can set an appropriate value for ‘b‘.

Transporting assets in Adobe Correspondence Management Solution Accelerator (CMSA) 2.5

Transporting assets in the Correspondence Management Solution Accelerator 2.5  across systems is a common requirement and a frequent activity.

Exporting assets from the source system

CMSA being based on LiveCycle Content Services as the content repository, assets are exported as an ACP from the source system using steps documented in the CMSA guide. Such an exported ACP will contain ALL assets on the source system, and their relationships.

Importing assets to the target system

Importing assets (ACP exported above) on the target system will be largely driven by the intention, and desired behavior.

If the intention is to *create a replica of the source system* (and ignore whatever is on the target system), then perform the following on the target system:

  1. Delete DataStore (under Company Home).
  2. Ensure to delete the same from Deleted Itemsas well. To do so :
    1. Go to User Profile.
    2. Click Manage Deleted Items
    3. Click Show All
    4. Click Delete Listed Items
    5. Click Yes
  3. Delete files within Models (under Company Home > Data Dictionary).
    1. DO NOT delete the Models space itself.
  4. Delete files within lcc_persistence (under Company Home)
  5. Restart your server
  6. Bootstrap CMSA (http://server:port/cmsa/Bootstrap)
  7. Use the Import Utility to import the source system’s ACP
    1. “importWithDD” or “importWithoutDD” would depend on which Data Dictionaries do you wish to honor. The ones from the source system (use ‘importWithDD’) or the ones on the target system (use ‘importWithoutDD’).
  8. Restart your server

However, if the intention is to *keep the existing assets* and import whatever is in the ACP from the source system, then you should IGNORE steps 1. to 6., and simply execute step 7. (i.e., “Use the Import Utility to import the source system’s ACP”) and 8.

It is important to note that in such cases there could be a possibility of duplicate assets in the system, if the source and target systems contain assets by the same ‘name’; since we enforce the uniqueness in asset names via the CMSA interface only, but here we are directly importing assets onto the repository (bypassing the solution’s constraints).