Archive for the ‘LiveCycle’ Category

UDDI Integration with LiveCycle

On several occasions I have been asked about the possibility of integrating LiveCycle ES with UDDI to provide a standards based way of browsing LiveCycle services. Well I figured MAX2008 was a good motivator for getting such an integration working and so that is what I kicked off several weeks prior to MAX. I decided I would build a LiveCycle Component that allowed for both the publishing and querying of data to and from UDDI from within LiveCycle. Unfortunately, I quickly realized that there still seemed to be limited tooling around UDDI. So while, I could use a complete Java implementation of the UDDI specification from Apache, JUDDI, there was no easy means for me to browse the registry to show the results. This inevitably lead to the 2nd part of this proof of concept which was to build a UDDI browser with Flex. Note: there is an open source Java UDDI Browser available at http://uddibrowser.org/ that works well, however using it for a UDDI LiveCycle demo didn’t seem right for my purposes 😉

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

So why did I create this demo?

  1. To provide a Proof of Concept for Integrating LiveCycle with UDDI
  2. To Discuss features and concepts around the LiveCycle Registry
  3. Learn How-to(s) with Flex and Web-Services (i.e. another excuse for me to improve my Flex chops)

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: This was a demo done as a proof of concept for which I am making the source code available. However note that the LC Component, and UDDI browser need a lot of fine tuning, which I have not and probably won’t have the time to complete anytime soon. The demo did accomplish its goal of proving that it is not only possibly but very feasible to integrate LCES with UDDI.

Architecture
Below is a high-level diagram for the architecture of the UDDI/LCES proof of concept.

LCES UDDI Architecture

LCES UDDI Architecture

  1. JUDDI: A Java based implementation of the UDDI 2 Specification which was used for purposes of this demo. You can find more info about JUDDI at http://ws.apache.org/juddi/
  2. UDDI Component: A custom LiveCycle component deployed in a LiveCycle Instance capable of querying the LiveCycle Registry and publishing service meta-data to a UDDI Registry
  3. UDDI Browser: An AIR application for browsing Businesses, Services, and TModels in a UDDI Registry.

LiveCycle ES Registry
The “Collective” Registry within LiveCycle ES is made up of at least 6 sub registries that store meta-data around the components deployed within ES. The meta-data in the LiveCycle Registry is used at both Runtime (e.g. Service & version resolution) and Designtime (e.g. to build composite applications).

LCES Registry

LCES Registry

  1. Component Registry: Stores the base information relevant to a component such as component id, title, description, etc…
  2. DataType Registry: DataTypes are Java classes that are exported from a component and that can be leveraged by the LCES tooling
  3. PropertyEditor Registry: Property Editors are UI elements implemented in Java that control the visual rendering of types and properties within LiveCycle ES tooling.
  4. Connector Registry: Connectors are integration mechanisms that define a means by which to invoke a LiveCycle service. Example connectors include EJB Connector, SOAP Connector, and VM Connector.
  5. Service Registry: Maintains all the meta-data we have around services such as the signature of a service, description, hints, config values, etc…
  6. Endpoint Registry: Stores configuration necessary to bind a service to one or more connectors. This provides for the loose coupling between service implementations and the means by which they are invoked (i.e. Connectors).

Trying out the UDDI Proof Of Concept
Unfortunately, I have not setup an environment where demos such as this are available online.
For now however you will need to do the following steps:

  1. 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)
  2. Download the Source Code for a) the AIR app and b) the LiveCycle Java Component (i.e. uddi-dsc.jar) used from Download Source Code Note: uddi-dsc.jar contains the related Java code within
  3. 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 (i.e. uddi-dsc.jar) Note: You will need to configure the UDDI3Service by right clicking it in the components view, setting the user/password expected by JUDDI (‘admin’/” for me), and setting the publishAsHost & publishAsPort (used to fill int the WSDL URL in the UDDI Registry)
  4. Import the Flex Project included in the Download to your Flex Builder environment
  5. Run the AIR APP!
  6. Oh wait….. Before any LC Services are available in the UDDI Registry you need to invoke the UDDI2Service.publishLiveCycleService. You can do this from the “Components View” in Workbench, however, you need to first turn on the unsupported workbench option –> -Dcom.adobe.workbench.unsupported.dscadmin.invoke.enable=true in the workbench.ini file

Anyway, Good Luck! there is a lot to play with there.

Few more notes for those digging deeper:

  • I packaged two modified WSDLs from which the WebService ActionScript stubs were generated within Flex Builder. I had to modify the WSDL to get around issues with the decoding of arrays.
  • If you need to regenerate the WebService ActionScript stubs then you will need to modify the src/webservices/inquiry/BaseInquireService.as file to change the isWrapped properties of the WSDLMessages to false rather than true.
  • The calls between LiveCycle and JUDDI seem to be slow on the perf side, but I haven’t drilled into that aspect as of yet
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Zillow + LiveCycle = Portable Real Estate Mashups

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

LCES Pet Store Walkthrough

Ok, So I already did a posting on the LCES Pet Store but I hadn’t learned how to do a screencast yet so now here it goes.

In this screencast I walk through the LCES PetStore application fictitiously selling my own high maintenance dog, Thor (Hey, we can all dream…).

You can see my previous/more detailed post at LCES Pet Store & Process Oriented Application Development.

To see Thor (and the LCES Pet Store) at his best see LCESPetStore at screencast.com

The LCES Pet Store & Process Oriented Application Development!

This is one of three demos that I did at MAX 2008. Unfortunately, I did not make it through all the demos due to technical issues (i.e. I should have come earlier to test out the gear). Enough of the excuses though, hopefully people enjoyed what I could show and now here is the source 😉

The primary purpose of this demo was to show a) a “traditional” enterprise app being built solely on top of LCES and b) the diverge from typical Data Oriented Applications that interact directly with the underlying DB to Process Oriented Applications that leverage Long-Lived processing to build a more rich end-to-end experience.

Click HERE to download the source code.

Note the download is a zip file (LCESPetStore.zip) containing 3 files:

  1. PetStore.zip (My Flex Project) – This App is currently hardwired to talk to localhost.
  2. petstore-dsc.jar – The LiveCycle Data Management Services Assembler that Creates, Reads, Updates, and Deletes Pets from the DB along with the Java source. This DSC also creates the underlying DB table when it is installed, however the DDL is generated for MySQL only currently.
  3. PetStore.lca – The LiveCycle Application Archive that contains the Pet Verification Process and XFA Form used in the Application

The Architecture
Below is a slide of the overall architecture.

LCES PetStore Architecture

LCES PetStore Architecture


Note that only the highlighted boxes are complete in the demo (sorry I didn’t get to the rest;-( .
A brief description of the highlighted Boxes are:

  1. The LCES PetStore AIR application
  2. The Pet Verification Process – A long lived process that generates a form/workitem that is routed to the store clerk (Tony Blue)
  3. The Pet Detail Form – the one that is rendered to Tony Blue
  4. The User Service – An out of the box service used to make User Assignments as part of a process
  5. LiveCycle Workspace – An operational UI provided out of the box for users to manage workitems and participate in long-lived processes.
  6. The PetService – A Custom service that implements the CRUD operations necessary to manage Pets in the Database and to push them to clients via LiveCycle Data Management Services.

For purposes of this demo I decided to use Mate. I was originally motivated by the excellent presentation that I saw from Laura Arguello at the Atlanta Flash & Flex User Group back in September. This is my first time using Mate, so hopefully I paid it some justice here. At MAX 2008 I laid out the following slides to show how MVC related to LCES and Mate to LCES respectively.

MVC & LCES

MVC & LCES

Mate & LCES

Mate & LCES

Anyway, I have two more LCES demos to post over the weekend (the Zillow App and UDDI Browser), so keep an eye out!