Learn how to add Server Side Extensions to a workflow in ILINX 6.0

ImageSource recently announced the release of ILINX 6.0. The new version of ILINX Capture includes a workflow IXM (ILINX Extension Module) that allows a C# programmer to add their own code to the workflow. As a Sr. Systems Engineer for ImageSource, I would like to give you a quick overview of how to setup and add the code so that you can perform this action yourself.

Once ILINX Capture 6.0 is installed, you should find a subfolder under the install folder (c:\Program Files\ImageSource\ILINX Capture) named “Sample Code”. This subfolder contains a zip file that you can use to unzip the contents to a folder on your hard drive. You can then use the provided Visual Studio shell (Visual Studio Express 2013 for Windows Desktop is free) to open and code/de-bug/build the Server Side Extension. The files listed in the zip file are:

As you can see, there is a solution file that you can open in Visual Studio Express 2013 for Windows Desktop that will allow you to access the layout for each section listed. When you open this file you will get Continue reading

Excuse me, you got some AJAX in my UCM.

Now I know that SiteStudio 10gR4 is hardly brand new but for my own work I’m really starting to dig into it.  We’re running a version of Oracle UCM here at ImageSource that, well, not to put too fine a point on it, is getting a bit long in the tooth.  So, in order for me to play around with it, I ended up installing Oracle UCM 10gR3 on a development system.  I got to say that playing with all the new goodies is pushing getting our production system updated much higher up on my personal priority list!

There are so many new features that SiteStudio 10gR4 brings to the table that to go over them all in detail would take more time than I can spare.  With that in mind I’m going to focus on a new feature that really excites me: External Application Integration.

Oracle has provided us two brand spanking new services in this latest release: the WCM_PLACEHOLDER service, and the WCM_BEGIN_EDIT_SESSION service.  Now, with names like that I can forgive you if you are wondering where the sexiness is located. Let me assure you, it’s in there in spades.

WCM_PLACEHOLDER lets any external application you can think of, be it a custom thick-client, a web portal, or a mashup, get at any piece of content stored in UCM.  Wow!  Not only that but you can specify a rendering template (also stored in UCM) to format the data that’s returned. Double Wow!  So let’s say that you are creating a web portal and want to pull out, say, a word document that happens to contain a press release so you can extol the new virtues of Product 2.0 on the portal page.  With WCM_PLACEHOLDER you could load a link like the following using a standard HTTPRequest on the portal page:

http://myecmserver/idc/idcplg?IdcService=WCM_PLACEHOLDER&dataFileDocName=MY_AWESOME_PR_WORD_DOC
&templateDocName=MY_HTML_TEMPLATE

And get a fully rendered HTML fragment returned to you.  Even though it was a Word document, since we’re pulling it from UCM and using a region template that uses the DynamicConverter to convert that document into HTML, we don’t have to worry about it.  Because this is all done over HTTP we can leverage all the powerful AJAX methods that really are what modern website programming is all about.

You might be saying at this point “Okay, getting HTML back is okay I guess, but man, I really wish I could just get it in some easier format to work with it just as data and let my custom application do what I want with it.”  Luckily, WCM_PLACEHOLDER still has us covered. Continue reading

Making TeleForm and LiquidOffice Work Together

Scanning and capturing data via OCR can save lots of time over manual indexing.  Linking these same forms and metadata to an eForm workflow process takes it all to the next level of efficiency – processes that took hours and days can be reduced to minutes or seconds.  Using out-of-the-box connectors and settings, form templates that were created in Cardiff TeleForm can be exported to Cardiff LiquidOffice.  With a given form residing in both LiquidOffice and TeleForm, capture choices are broadened and the benefits of workflow are easily in reach.

Here’s how it is done.  TeleForm forms can be saved in a file exchange format that LiquidOffice Designer can read.  Once a TeleForm form is complete and tested, it is ready to go.  The form can be a traditional form that was created from scratch in TeleForm Designer, or it can be an ‘existing form’ created initially outside of TeleForm.  These forms then have TeleForm fields placed in appropriate data entry locations.

Once exported to the file exchange format, the file can be opened in LiquidOffice Designer.  It will look just like the TeleForm form.  An important step here is to save the file to the native LiquidOffice .XFM file format, then close LiquidOffice Designer.  Reopen LiquidOffice Designer and open the .XFM file – this quick step ensures the form can be previewed as an HTML or PDF form, or published to the LiquidOffice server, without error.  The fields in LiquidOffice retain important settings that were created in TeleForm such as field name, maximum length, and valid entry characters. If the form is a traditional TeleForm form, ID and reference marks can be optionally retained.  (This allows a LiquidOffice user to fill a form, print it, and fax or scan it in TeleForm.)

Now that we have identical forms in TeleForm and LiquidOffice, TeleForm can be configured to export metadata to LiquidOffice.   Open the TeleForm form in Designer and add the included LiquidOffice Export connect agent.  When configuring this connect agent, you supply the LiquidOffice form GUID or workflow process GUID.  The GUID uniquely identifies the form or process, and can be located via the LiquidOffice Management Console.   You also identify the LiquidOffice Virtual Submit Directory and routing information.  Since TeleForm can have many export agents attached to it, any current export may also be retained – they will coexist without complaint.

When the form is processed in TeleForm – scanned, faxed, or even created using TeleForm Verifier’s NonForm Data Entry feature, the form will appear in the appropriate inbox or queue in LiquidOffice – filled and ready for approval, ad-hoc routing, or workflow processing.  Now that the form exists in LiquidOffice, you may also direct users to fill the forms directly from LiquidOffice when appropriate, bypassing TeleForm altogether.  The form now has grown wings and is ready to fly.

Public Access to Records in Oracle UCM Can Make Web Sites Vulnerable

I was recently surprised to find a lot of companies running Oracle UCM systems that were exposed in a way that someone could hijack the website. We were looking for documents related to generic properties forms on the internet and quickly found 4 large government and corporate companies with systems left wide open with material relating to their websites. We logged on as a guest user and we could have deleted the web content or checked out the content and checked in new content giving us control of what is on their websites. I was able to get the emails of the contributors from the system and emailed them to let them know that they need to lock down their site. It was interesting that I never got a response from any of the people and that the web sites are still exposed. When mixing critical business content and public access you can’t take security and rights issues lightly. In this case, a simple checkbox can make the difference between fast access to important ECM records and becoming a victim of HTML theft.