Get Social & Collaborate!

Entries in Forms (7)


Workplace Forms & Workflow-Xpress Demo Site at last!

Well here it is at last. I can't say that it is finished as it seems the more we do the more ideas we come up with to make it better.

Here is a link to the ISW Workplace Forms Demo site. We have a few forms on show however the best area is the Form Gateway. The concept is that organisations can have a Forms Gateway where external (and internal I guess) users can gain access to forms they are allowed to complete. They can fill them in and submit them and they start a Workflow process using Workflow-Xpress. We are pretty happy with the progress however it is really just a proof of concept. The possibilities are great though and it is great to see the products coming together in the exact way we thought they would when we started with Workplace Forms last year.

We have many ideas of what else we can do and essentially I can see this turning into a product offering for organisations that are looking at Workplace Forms and are interested in a Forms Gateway. Feel free to make suggestions/ask questions etc. 


WebSphere Portal Express 6.0

A Lotusphere announcement that I missed (thanks Dave) was WebSphere Portal Express 6.0. We have looked at previous versions of Websphere Portal for a number of our clients in Australia in the past however as most of the Australian market is SMB it really was too big. We looked at Workplace Services Express however it didn't quite have the flexibility of the full Portal. So with the announcement of WebSphere Portal Express 6.0 it is great to see IBM continual commitment to the SMB space.

We have already been using IBM Lotus Component Designer (Previously Workplace Designer I think) and it really is a great tool for us Domino developers to move into the Portal space. Maybe a good project for me would be to integrate Workplace Forms with WebSphere Portal Express 6.0!! 


Blogging Again

Well like many others I got bogged down with work and slackend off with the blogging. But I am back. We have had a pretty busy couple of months on a number of fronts.

We have progressed a great deal with Workplace Forms and Workflow-Xpress Integration and now can easily integrate any Lotus Notes database Form with a Workplace Form (More on this later).

We are very close to getting go ahead with a new customer (Can't say who but they are an Australian Public company) to implement Notes & Domino. They use Exchange currently which will be a nice conversion but the best part of it is that they are a clean site without legacy Notes databases etc. We are going to be implementing Workflow-Xpress as the foundation for all Notes applications so it will be great to be able to really leverage the product in this new environment.

I also had a great Xmas of course. Jayne and I spent lots of time with Family & Friends and then spent a week with my family on a P&O Cruise from Brisbane out to Vanuatu and New Caledonia in the Pacific. Very nice. I will upload the photos to Flickr shortly and put up a link.

Anyway just a quick post to get back in the blogging action. With LotusSphere kicking off in the near future I am sure there will be plenty to chat about.

P.S. I have just integrated this blog with Snap to allow the Snap Preview feature. Pretty neat tool where any link to an external site that you mouse over you get a preview load of the site so you can see if it interests you. Great idea and very easy to implement! 


Workplace Forms Integrated with Workflow-Xpress on Domino: Part 3

Well little by little I am progressing. I was having trouble getting the Translator Servlet running on Domino (mainly due to a big lack of documentation showing how to deploy IBM Workplace Forms Server on a servlet container other than IBM Websphere Application Server). So I decided to try it the way it was documented by using WAS 6.0.2.

First I setup another VM-Server running Windows 2003 and applied the appropriate patches etc. I then installed Domino 7.0.1 and the Workplace Forms API and got the Mortgages example working (As this was now the second time it took maybe 1 hr instead of the day that it took the first time). This meant I could use Domino as the storage and data repository for the Mortgages Form using the Workplace Forms Viewer embedded into the browser as an object.

Then in order to get the Workplace Forms Server Translator Servlet operating (This is what renders the XFDL form as HTML) I installed WAS Then upgraded it to WAS The hardest thing here was finding the right files to download from IBM. The documentation seems to indicate that you need to change the Default HTTP Port to be 8085 rather than the preset 9080 for WAS so I did this. I then installed the Workplace Forms Server including the Translator and the sample apps. This seemed to work fine however when I then tried the sample it wouldn't work. After turning off Internet Explorer's "Friendly Error Messages" (NOT) I realised that both the WAS HTTP server and the Translator Service were running on 8085 and hence the conflict. So skip the above step re changing the Port!! Once I changed it back and restarted the services it worked a treat. This all took most of the day as it was a painful process but again I reckon it will only take an hour or so next time.

So now I have Domino acting as the main HTTP server and WAS acting as the servlet container for just the Translator Servlet. Next step is to write a JSP that combines both the Domino integration example and the WAS sample. This should then allow me to use Domino as the Workplace Forms storage of Form templates and have the Mortgages application detect if the user has Workplace Forms Viewer installed. If it does it will load the viewer (as per the Domino Integration example) and if it doesn't it will use the Translator (running on WAS) to render the form as HTML allowing me to still populate the data into the Domino database. Then we are really cooking with gas as they say for all those Domino sites that want to integrate Workplace Forms!!

One good thing about the above is that once you have the Translator installed as a service there is no need to start WAS. You just need to start the Translator service and that seems to work fine. I still believe it will be possible to get the Translator servlet running just on Domino without the need for Tomcat or WAS but I really wanted to get the Translator going first so I went with WAS. Down the track I will try again to get it going just on Domino. An important point that maybe makes it all pointless anyway is that WAS is bundled with Workplace Forms Server anyway (Restricted use license for Workplace Forms only) so that may very well be the way to go regardless. 


Workplace Forms Integrated with Workflow-Xpress on Domino: Part 2

Awesome. I have managed to install Workplace Forms Server API onto a Domino server and have got the Mortgage Form Sample working. At this stage a user can access the Mortgage form from a browser (using the Workplace Forms Viewer at this stage) and enter a customer number. The form is then prepopulated with customer data that is extracted from a Notes database. The user can then complete the form and submit it back to the Notes database. The submit will update any changed customer details and create a new Notes document with the Workplace Form attached. The data from the form is parsed out and populated into the Notes document.

There were a few little tricky bits where the documentation wasn't quite correct (mainly to do with new versions of the API's). Also the setup of the PureEdge configuration needed a little tweaking.

The next step is to modify the Form so that it used the Workplace Forms HTML Translator so that users don't need the Workplace Forms viewer and can have a zero footprint. Once I have that going I plan to integrate the Notes database with Workflow-Xpress so that the submission of the form kicks of a workflow business process to route the form to appropriate people.