SQL Server Management

In my experience I have noticed that many different companies do not manage their database correctly, or even at all.  I have included a link to the Microsoft TechNet article describing strategies for managing your SQL database.  There are lots of helpful hints pertaining to log management, backup and restore procedures, rebuilding faulty system databases, importing and exporting data, and even copying databases from machine to machine.  This light reading will make you more aware of some possible issues and provide you with basic knowledge of recommended procedures to get the most out of your SQL Server.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee210540%28v=sql.105%29.aspx

Andrew Skovran
Support Engineer
ImageSource, Inc.

Technical Support Providers

Small businesses that offer tech support will turn out better results than a big tech support company offering global support.  Having worked in tech support and worked with providers of various sizes, I have come to the opinion that small departments offer more meaningful support, better customer service and have superior knowledge.

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Database Lookups Made Easy

Database lookups are easy with ILINX® Content Store.  Recently I configured a few and thought I would share some of the features.  I am assuming that you are somewhat familiar with database lookups in general, so this is not a step-by-step but just to point out some cool features.

Here is the application that we need a lookup for and we are going to base it off the SSN field.  We will need to click edit on the field and enable/configure the lookup

Fill in all the information to make the connection.  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

Lighten your LiquidOffice Development Load

If you are developing forms in LiquidOffice, chances are form owners have asked you to include drop lists to ensure data integrity in your backend database or repository.  And just as likely they have asked for drop list value changes AFTER the form has been published. Or sometimes there is a business need to accommodate frequent drop list value changes. In many cases it is advantageous to allow users to make the drop list value changes themselves.   One approach is to use a LiquidOffice drop list maintenance form, and restrict access to this form to the appropriate power users. Whenever the need for a change arises the maintenance form is available.

To get started, create a database to house the drop list values.  Each field in the table will correspond to a drop list on your form.  Populate these fields with the initial values the form owner has provided.

Next, create a connect agent to your database.  In LiquidOffice Management Console, highlight the Connect Agent icon then select File/ Add.  The wizard walks you through steps where you name the connect agent and the type (SQL DataBase Read/Write in my case). Select a JDBC driver and modify the JDBC URL to reflect your hostname and database name.  Provide credentials, select ‘LookUp Only’, and you are done.

When designing your form’s drop list, go into the properties to select Control type: drop list and List source: dynamic (from database).  You can then select the connect agent, table and column and you are set.  If you want the display column to be different than the storage column, click Storage Column and select another column from the drop list. An example: Display = “Arizona”,  Storage =”AZ”.   Remember you must publish the form to confirm the drop list is correctly populated.

Now create another LiquidOffice form to perform maintenance on the drop-list table.  Continue reading

How To Perform Basic Web Troubleshooting for IPM Web

Web troubleshooting can be difficult and searching through Oracle Metalink to get information can be even worse.   I found this record in the Oracle Archives and thought it may help out other Acorde/Stellent/Oracle IPM/UCM users.  The following is a general guide for troubleshooting issues with the IPM Web service.  Hopefully reviewing the installation checklist and going through this troubleshooting guide will resolve most configuration issues with the web service.

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Good Support Ticket Habits

You’re working along and go to retrieve an image, nothing comes back.  You click the link again, and again, and again till you finally receive an error message.  Here you are, faced with a single “OK” button message box containing a conglomeration of paths, error codes, object ID’s, ect. that seems to defy all logic and meaning.  Your system is down and you need to contact support for assistance in correcting the issue.  Regardless of the severity of the error/crash you want the error/crash corrected ASAP, here are a few tips that can help speed up the response/resolution time.

The first step in contacting support is the opening of a support ticket.  The information that you provide while submitting support tickets is critical in the support staff in providing the best and quickest resolution to the issues that you are experiencing.
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