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Creating Web Applications that Renders Forms

You can create a web-based application that uses Java servlets to invoke the Forms service and render forms. An advantage of using a Java™ servlet is that you can write the return value of the process to a client web browser. That is, a Java servlet can be used as the link between the Forms service that returns a form and a client web browser.

Note:

This section describes how to create a web-based application that uses a Java servlet that invokes the Forms service and renders forms-based on fragments. (See Rendering Forms Based on Fragments.)

Using a Java servlet, you can write a form to a client web browser so that a customer can view and enter data into the form. After populating the form with data, the web user clicks a submit button located on the form to send information back to the Java servlet, where the data can be retrieved and processed. For example, the data can be sent to another process.

This section discusses how to create a web-based application that enables the user to select either American-based form data or Canadian-based form data, as shown in the following illustration.

cw_cw_FragmentWebClient

The form that is rendered is a form that is based on fragments. That is, if the user selects American data, then the returned form uses fragments based on American data. For example, the footer of the form contains an American address, as shown in the following illustration.

cw_cw_FragementFormFooter

Likewise, if the user selects Canadian data, then the returned form contains a Canadian address, as shown in the following illustration.

cw_cw_FragementFormFooterCND

Note:

For information about creating form designs based on fragments, see Forms Designer.

Sample Files

This section uses sample files that can be located in the following location:

<Forms Designer install directory>/Samples/Forms/Purchase Order/Form Fragments

where <install directory> is the installation path. For the purposes of the client application, the Purchase Order Dynamic.xdp file was copied from this installation location and deployed to a Forms application named Applications/FormsApplication. The Purchase Order Dynamic.xdp file is placed in a folder named FormsFolder. Likewise, the fragments are placed in folder named Fragments, as shown in the following illustration.

cw_cw_FragmentsRepository

To access the Purchase Order Dynamic.xdp form design, specify Applications/FormsApplication/1.0/FormsFolder/Purchase Order Dynamic.xdp as the form name (the first parameter passed to the renderPDFForm method) and repository:/// as the content root URI value.

The XML data files used by the web application were moved from the Data folder to C:\Adobe (the file system that belongs to the J2EE application server hosting AEM Forms). The file names are Purchase Order Canada.xml and Purchase Order US.xml.

Note:

For information about creating a Forms application using Workbench, see workbench Help.

Summary of steps

To create a web-based applications that renders forms based on fragments, perform the following steps:

  1. Create a new web project.

  2. Create Java application logic that represents the Java servlet.

  3. Create the web page for the web application.

  4. Package the web application to a WAR file.

  5. Deploy the WAR file to the J2EE application server.

  6. Test your web application.

Note:

Some of these steps depend on the J2EE application on which AEM Forms is deployed. For example, the method you use to deploy a WAR file depends on the J2EE application server that you are using. This section assumes that AEM Forms is deployed on JBoss®.

Creating a web project

The first step to create a web application that contains a Java servlet that can invoke the Forms service is to create a new web project. The Java IDE that this document is based on is Eclipse 3.3. Using the Eclipse IDE, create a web project and add the required JAR files to your project. Finally, add an HTML page named index.html and a Java servlet to your project.

The following list specifies the JAR files that you must add to your web project:

  • adobe-forms-client.jar

  • adobe-livecycle-client.jar

  • adobe-usermanager-client.jar

  • adobe-utilities.jar

For the location of these JAR files, see Including AEM Forms Java library files.

To create a web project:

  1. Start Eclipse and click File > NewProject.

  2. In the New Project dialog box, select Web > Dynamic Web Project.

  3. Type FragmentsWebApplication for the name of your project and then click Finish.

To add required JAR files to your project:

  1. From the Project Explorer window, right-click the FragmentsWebApplication project and select Properties.

  2. Click Java build path and then click the Libraries tab.

  3. Click the Add External JARs button and browse to the JAR files to include.

To add a Java servlet to your project:

  1. From the Project Explorer window, right-click the FragmentsWebApplication project and select New > Other.

  2. Expand the Web folder, select Servlet, and then click Next.

  3. In the Create Servlet dialog box, type RenderFormFragmentfor the name of the servlet and then click Finish.

To add an HTML page to your project:

  1. From the Project Explorer window, right-click the FragmentsWebApplication project and select New > Other.

  2. Expand the Web folder, select HTML, and click Next.

  3. In the New HTMLdialog box, type index.html for the file name and then click Finish.

Note:

For information about creating the HTML page that invokes the RenderFormFragment Java servlet, see Creating the web page.

Creating Java application logic for the servlet

You create Java application logic that invokes the Forms service from within the Java servlet. The following code shows the syntax of the RenderFormFragment Java Servlet:

     public class RenderFormFragment extends HttpServlet implements Servlet { 
         public void doGet(HttpServletRequest req, HttpServletResponse resp 
         throws ServletException, IOException { 
         doPost(req,resp); 
          
         } 
         public void doPost(HttpServletRequest req, HttpServletResponse resp 
         throws ServletException, IOException { 
             //Add code here to invoke the Forms service 
             }

Normally, you would not place client code within a Java servlet’s doGet or doPost method. A better programming practice is to place this code within a separate class, instantiate the class from within the doPost method (or doGet method), and call the appropriate methods. However, for code brevity, the code examples in this section are kept to a minimum and code examples are placed in the doPost method.

To render a form based on fragments using the Forms service API, perform the following tasks:

  1. Include client JAR files, such as adobe-forms-client.jar, in your Java project’s class path. For information about the location of these files, see Including AEM Forms Java library files.

  2. Retrieve the value of the radio button that is submitted from the HTML form and specifies whether to use American or Canadian data. If American is submitted, create a com.adobe.idp.Document that stores data located in the Purchase Order US.xml. Likewise, if Canadian, then create a com.adobe.idp.Document that stores data located in the Purchase Order Canada.xml file.

  3. Create a ServiceClientFactory object that contains connection properties. (See Setting connection properties.)

  4. Create an FormsServiceClient object by using its constructor and passing the ServiceClientFactory object.

  5. Create a URLSpec object that stores URI values by using its constructor.

  6. Invoke the URLSpec object’s setApplicationWebRoot method and pass a string value that represents the application’s web root.

  7. Invoke the URLSpec object’s setContentRootURI method and pass a string value that specifies the content root URI value. Ensure that the form design and the fragments are located in the content root URI. If not, the Forms service throws an exception. To reference the AEM Forms repository, specify repository://.

  8. Invoke the URLSpec object’s setTargetURL method and pass a string value that specifies the target URL value to where form data is posted. If you define the target URL in the form design, you can pass an empty string. You can also specify the URL to where a form is sent in order to perform calculations.

  9. Invoke the FormsServiceClient object’s renderPDFForm method and pass the following values:

    • A string value that specifies the form design name, including the file name extension.

    • A com.adobe.idp.Document object that contains data to merge with the form (created in step 2).

    • A PDFFormRenderSpec object that stores run-time options. For more information, see AEM Forms API Reference.

    • A URLSpec object that contains URI values that are required by the Forms service to render a form based on fragments.

    • A java.util.HashMap object that stores file attachments. This is an optional parameter and you can specify null if you do not want to attach files to the form.

    The renderPDFForm method returns a FormsResult object that contains a form data stream that must be written to the client web browser.

  10. Create a com.adobe.idp.Document object by invoking the FormsResult object ‘s getOutputContent method.

  11. Get the content type of the com.adobe.idp.Document object by invoking its getContentType method.

  12. Set the javax.servlet.http.HttpServletResponse object’s content type by invoking its setContentType method and passing the content type of the com.adobe.idp.Document object.

  13. Create a javax.servlet.ServletOutputStream object used to write the form data stream to the client web browser by invoking the javax.servlet.http.HttpServletResponse object’s getOutputStream method.

  14. Create a java.io.InputStream object by invoking the com.adobe.idp.Document object’s getInputStream method.

  15. Create a byte array populate it with the form data stream by invoking the InputStream object’s read method and passing the byte array as an argument.

  16. Invoke the javax.servlet.ServletOutputStream object’s write method to send the form data stream to the client web browser. Pass the byte array to the write method.

The following code example represents the Java servlet that invokes the Forms service and renders a form based on fragments.

 /* 
     * This Java Quick Start uses the following JAR files 
     * 1. adobe-forms-client.jar 
     * 2. adobe-livecycle-client.jar 
     * 3. adobe-usermanager-client.jar 
     *  
     *  (Because Forms quick starts are implemented as Java servlets, it is  
     *  not necessary to include J2EE specific JAR files - the Java project 
     *  that contains this quick start is exported as a WAR file which 
     *  is deployed to the J2EE application server) 
     *   
     *  These JAR files are located in the following path: 
     * <install directory>/sdk/client-libs 
     *  
     * For complete details about the location of these JAR files,  
     * see "Including AEM Forms library files" in Programming with AEM forms 
     */ 
 import java.io.File; 
 import java.io.FileInputStream; 
 import java.io.IOException; 
 import java.io.PrintWriter; 
  
 import javax.servlet.Servlet; 
 import javax.servlet.ServletException; 
 import javax.servlet.ServletOutputStream; 
 import javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet; 
 import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletRequest; 
 import javax.servlet.http.HttpServletResponse; 
 import com.adobe.livecycle.formsservice.client.*; 
 import java.util.*; 
 import java.io.InputStream; 
 import java.net.URL; 
  
 import com.adobe.idp.Document; 
 import com.adobe.idp.dsc.clientsdk.ServiceClientFactory; 
 import com.adobe.idp.dsc.clientsdk.ServiceClientFactoryProperties; 
  
 public class RenderFormFragment extends HttpServlet implements Servlet { 
      
     public void doGet(HttpServletRequest req, HttpServletResponse resp) 
         throws ServletException, IOException { 
             doPost(req,resp);  
  
     } 
     public void doPost(HttpServletRequest req, HttpServletResponse resp) 
     throws ServletException, IOException { 
          
          
              
         try{ 
             //Set connection properties required to invoke AEM Forms                                 
             Properties connectionProps = new Properties(); 
             connectionProps.setProperty(ServiceClientFactoryProperties.DSC_DEFAULT_SOAP_ENDPOINT, "http://[server]:[port]"); 
             connectionProps.setProperty(ServiceClientFactoryProperties.DSC_TRANSPORT_PROTOCOL,ServiceClientFactoryProperties.DSC_SOAP_PROTOCOL);           
             connectionProps.setProperty(ServiceClientFactoryProperties.DSC_SERVER_TYPE, "JBoss"); 
             connectionProps.setProperty(ServiceClientFactoryProperties.DSC_CREDENTIAL_USERNAME, "administrator"); 
             connectionProps.setProperty(ServiceClientFactoryProperties.DSC_CREDENTIAL_PASSWORD, "password"); 
              
             //Get the value of selected radio button 
             String radioValue = req.getParameter("radio"); 
              
             //Create an Document object to store form data 
             Document oInputData = null;  
              
             //The value of the radio button determines the form data to use 
             //which determines which fragments used in the form 
             if (radioValue.compareTo("AMERICAN") == 0)            { 
                 FileInputStream myData = new FileInputStream("C:\\Adobe\Purchase Order US.xml"); 
                 oInputData = new Document(myData);  
             } 
             else if (radioValue.compareTo("CANADIAN") == 0)            { 
                 FileInputStream myData = new FileInputStream("C:\\Adobe\Purchase Order Canada.xml"); 
                 oInputData = new Document(myData);  
             } 
                      
             //Create a ServiceClientFactory object 
             ServiceClientFactory myFactory = ServiceClientFactory.createInstance(connectionProps); 
                  
             //Create a FormsServiceClient object 
             FormsServiceClient formsClient = new FormsServiceClient(myFactory);  
          
             //Set the parameter values for the renderPDFForm method 
             String formName = "Applications/FormsApplication/1.0/FormsFolder/Purchase Order Dynamic.xdp";   
                                      
             //Cache the PDF form 
             PDFFormRenderSpec pdfFormRenderSpec = new PDFFormRenderSpec(); 
             pdfFormRenderSpec.setCacheEnabled(new Boolean(true)); 
          
             //Specify URI values that are required to render a form 
             //design based on fragments 
             URLSpec uriValues = new URLSpec();  
             uriValues.setApplicationWebRoot("http://[server]:[port]/RenderFormFragment"); 
             uriValues.setContentRootURI("repository:///"); 
             uriValues.setTargetURL("http://[server]:[port]/FormsServiceClientApp/HandleData"); 
                      
             //Invoke the renderPDFForm method and write the  
             //results to a client web browser 
             FormsResult formOut = formsClient.renderPDFForm( 
                         formName,               //formQuery 
                         oInputData,             //inDataDoc 
                         pdfFormRenderSpec,      //PDFFormRenderSpec 
                         uriValues,                //urlSpec 
                         null                    //attachments 
                         ); 
          
             //Create a Document object that stores form data 
             Document myData = formOut.getOutputContent(); 
          
             //Get the content type of the response and 
             //set the HttpServletResponse object’s content type 
             String contentType = myData.getContentType();  
             resp.setContentType(contentType); 
          
             //Create a ServletOutputStream object 
             ServletOutputStream oOutput = resp.getOutputStream(); 
          
             //Create an InputStream object 
             InputStream inputStream = myData.getInputStream(); 
          
             //Write the data stream to the web browser 
             byte[] data = new byte[4096]; 
             int bytesRead = 0; 
             while ((bytesRead = inputStream.read(data)) > 0) 
             { 
                 oOutput.write(data, 0, bytesRead); 
             } 
      
         }catch (Exception e) { 
              System.out.println("The following exception occurred: "+e.getMessage()); 
       } 
     } 
 }

Creating the web page

The index.html web page provides an entry point to the Java servlet and invokes the Forms service. This web page is a basic HTML form that contains two radio buttons and a submit button. The name of the radio buttons is radio. When the user clicks the submit button, form data is posted to the RenderFormFragment Java servlet.

The Java servlet captures the data that is posted from the HTML page by using the following Java code:

             Document oInputData = null;  
              
             //Get the value of selected radio button 
             String radioValue = req.getParameter("radio"); 
                          
             //The value of the radio button determines the form data to use 
             //which determines which fragments used in the form 
             if (radioValue.compareTo("AMERICAN") == 0)            { 
                 FileInputStream myData = new FileInputStream("C:\\Adobe\Purchase Order US.xml"); 
                 oInputData = new Document(myData);  
             } 
             else if (radioValue.compareTo("CANADIAN") == 0)            { 
                 FileInputStream myData = new FileInputStream("C:\\Adobe\Purchase Order Canada.xml"); 
                 oInputData = new Document(myData);  
             }

The following HTML code is located in the index.html file that was created during setup of the development environment. (See Creating a web project.)

 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> 
 <html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml"> 
 <head> 
 <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" /> 
 <title>Untitled Document</title> 
 </head> 
  
 <body> 
 <form name="myform" action="http://[server]:[port]/FragmentsWebApplication/RenderFormFragment" method="post"> 
      <table> 
      <tr> 
        <th width="344" scope="col">Forms Fragment Web Client</th> 
      </tr> 
      <tr> 
        <td> 
          <label> 
          <input type="radio" name="radio" id="radio_Data" value="CANADIAN" /> 
          Canadian data<br /> 
          </label> 
          <p> 
            <label> 
            <input type="radio" name="radio" id="radio_Data" value="AMERICAN" checked/> 
            American data</label> 
          </p> 
        </td> 
      </tr> 
      <tr> 
      <td> 
        <label> 
          <input type="submit" name="button_Submit" id="button_Submit" value="Submit" /> 
            </label> 
            </td> 
         </tr> 
        </table> 
      </form>     
 </body> 
 </html>

Packaging the web application

To deploy the Java servlet that invokes the Forms service, package your web application to a WAR file. Ensure that external JAR files that the component’s business logic depends on, such as adobe-livecycle-client.jar and adobe-forms-client.jar, are also included in the WAR file.

To package a web application to a WAR file:

  1. From the Project Explorer window, right-click the FragmentsWebApplication project and select Export > WAR file.

  2. In the Web module text box, type FragmentsWebApplication for the name of the Java project.

  3. In the Destination text box, type FragmentsWebApplication.warfor thefile name, specify the location for your WAR file, and then click Finish.

Deploying the WAR file to the J2EE application server

You can deploy the WAR file to the J2EE application server on which AEM Forms is deployed. After the WAR file is deployed, you can access the HTML web page by using a web browser.

To deploy the WAR file to the J2EE application server:

  • Copy the WAR file from the export path to [Forms Install]\Adobe\Adobe Experience Manager Forms\jboss\server\all\deploy.

Testing your web application

After you deploy the web application, you can test it by using a web browser. Assuming that you are using the same computer that is hosting AEM Forms, you can specify the following URL:

  • http://localhost:8080/FragmentsWebApplication/index.html

    Select a radio button and click the Submit button. A Form that is based on fragments will appear in the web browser. If problems occur, see the J2EE application server’s log file.

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