Javascript Driven ADF Taskflows for WebCenter Portal

This is a continuation from my previous post - Developing WebCenter Content Cross Platform iDoc Enabled Components for Mobile, ADF, Sharepoint, Liferay.

You can see a video of JIVE Forums integration with a JS Taskflows vs ADF Taskflow running in WebCenter Portal here -

Click here for hi-resolution

This post is aimed at Web Developers, Designers and Marketing web teams who aren’t familiar with ADF and want to create reusable dynamic taskflows without the need to learn ADF or Java to provide interactive dynamic regions using Javascript, HTML and CSS with custom frameworks like jQuery designed not to conflict with ADF JS environment.

Read on for a step by step run through on creating JS driven taskflows  -

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Developing WebCenter Content Cross Platform iDoc Enabled Components for Mobile, ADF, Sharepoint, Liferay

frankensteinSo over the last couple of months I’ve been thinking and tinkering with code, wondering, “What’s the best approach for creating WebCenter Content (WCC) components that I can consume and reuse across multiple platforms and environments?”
Is it pagelet producer or maybe an iFrame? These solutions just weren’t good enough or didn’t allow the flexibility I really wanted.

I needed a WCC Solution that could easily be consumed into mobile, either Cordova (Hybrid APP) or ADF Mobile (AMX views), and that worked on different devices/platforms as well as on any enterprise app, i.e. Sharepoint (.Net), Lifreray,  WebCenter Portal (ADF) or even consumed into the new WebCenter Content ADF WebUI. It also needed to provide the added advantage that there would not need to be multiple branches of code or redevelopment of the component for each platform and environment.

And in the famous words of Victor Frankenstein.. “It’s Alive!!”

After tinkering around and trying different approaches, this is the solution I created to support the above model.
I’m not saying this is the right approach or supported by the enterprise vendors, but an approach that is reusable and can work on all enterprise apps.

 

[VIDEO CONVERTING]…

Here’s a quick video of a drag/drop MultiUploader component I created for WebCenter Content Classic that I can reuse on .Net and ADF WebCenter Portal/Content as well as mobile.

Read on to find out more on how this was achieved.

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11g AJAX Authentication for WebCenter Portals Rest API and Content

WebCenters Portals REST API and WebCenter Content provide a great set of  web services enabling you to create rich interactive JavaScript components. You can see an example of this here - http://www.fishbowlsolutions.com/mobile via jQuery and UCM – Client Side Ajax UCM Interaction blog post.

An issue you may have come across if you don’t have SSO enabled is the ability to interact against these services. This can be a problem if you are writing Javascript Widgets or hybrid mobile applications for WebCenter Portal that require authentication to access them.

You could present a popup requesting the user to re authenticate; however this isn’t ideal if the user has already authenticated with the portal to access your new JS Components.

Read on to see the options available to you -

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Responsive Search with PivotViewer

Searching for a specific document out of millions can be a daunting task, particularly if you don’t know what you’re searching for. Often the title is on the tip of your tongue, and you would know it if you saw it. Wouldn’t it be nice if search tools accommodated for vague criteria just as easily as pinpoint queries? What if users could take a heap of guesses and whittle it down into a small set of relevant results?

We set about to solve this problem for WebCenter Content by leveraging a tool designed to handle massive amounts of data. Microsoft’s PivotViewer feeds off data sources and molds them into views for the end user to consume. The most popular example of this technology in action is the Netflix catalog at where 1000 movies from Netflix Instant can be pulled down and organized by year, cast, rating, and more. The applications for such powerful control over this data are clear for anyone who can’t remember the name of the movie that starred so-and-so and was released at the turn of the century. We immediately recognized the value of this within the domain of Digital Asset Management, and so we brought it to WebCenter.

PivotViewer is a control for Microsoft Silverlight, which is installed as a browser plugin much like Flash. Once it receives a collection of data that it can understand, PivotViewer organizes the data by common attributes called facets, allowing documents to be sorted and filtered on any metadata field. The thumbnail rendition is pulled in to represent the document in the canvas. Silverlight operates asynchronously, meaning that it doesn’t need to wait for every image to download before it can be used.

PivotViewer grid view

PivotViewer grid view

This control is made accessible on the main search result page. In practice, users can perform a quick search for latest documents or use existing search methods to gather a large set of documents, and drill down from those results using PivotViewer. All that it needs is a QueryText parameter in the URL.

For example, say I was looking for a Powerpoint presentation that held an important piece of information, but I could only reliably identify it by its red background. I would first use the full-text search for fragments of content, narrowing candidates down to 200 or so results. These would be piped into PivotViewer to show two-dozen red-colored documents. Using the metadata filters, I would select the Presentation document type and the date range of its release, yielding 2 documents. This process allows quick retrieval in spite of the vague search criteria, and is much more precise than wading through 10 pages of possibilities.

Zoom-in details

Zoom-in details with quick links to the content info page and web viewable

Selecting a document brings up a short list of content information; these fields can be customized for each distribution of the component. Each of these fields is a hyperlink that can quickly create a filter on its value. Say that a collection of documents was checked in together: by finding one document and filtering on its Release Date and Document Type, the entire collection is immediately available to me. I can also create a filter across all fields with a keyword search.

Pivoting with PivotViewer

Pivoting with PivotViewer

Complementing the default grid layout is a bar chart representation of results along any metadata field. This view is helpful for identifying patterns within data, allowing me to actively pivot on fields and drill down on interesting pockets of documents. Every action is recorded in a breadcrumb trail at the top of the control, so if I ever get lost, a few clicks will undo the filters I’ve added and get me back to where I was.

All of these features are packed into a content server component and ready to be installed in a few clicks. Contact our sales team at sales@fishbowlsolutions.com to discuss your search needs and schedule a demo.