Forms Manager deployment and runtime model

Forms Manager is designed to provide a single view for managing all forms in any deployment. To enable some of the capabilities, it replicates forms and images from the Adobe® LiveCycle® repository to a content repository, which is embedded in the LiveCycle container. This content-based repository helps in offering full text search, tagging, and indexing on these forms as well. This also enables adding and managing custom properties on form, so that these can be managed by users for specific scenarios. Forms Manager supports XFA template as XDP files, PDF forms, Print forms, and related assets, such as fragments and referred images.

Forms Manager when deployed in LiveCycle, configures a content repository root where all LiveCycle content is synchronized and also there is a continuous process to watch for any changes on both repositories and to keep them in sync. It provides a combination of event-based and scheduled processes to maintain these in sync. The system can be configured for frequency on which scheduled jobs should run. For more information, see Schedulers in this article.

Runtime component is a combination of traditional DSC which is deployed on LiveCycle container and OSGI services which get deployed as a package in CQ. Below are the details for various components, their deployment models, and runtime interaction.

Deployment

Forms Manager Package

Forms Manager runtime is deployed as the CQ package adobe-lc-formsmanager-core-pkg.zip. The package contains the following artifacts:

  • Forms Manager user interface and related components, such as styles, scripts, and template
  • A bundle that contains OSGI services for managing and searching forms in the CQ repository
  • Schedulers for activation/deactivation, removal of the temporary files, and repository synchronization.
  • A render JSP that is used to manage the form preview requests

The package is installed in the embedded CQ container in LiveCycle, when Forms Manager component is installed.

Forms Manager DSC

Forms Manager DSC adobe-formsmanager-dsc.jar is a DSC component that contains the following:

  • A listener that pushes native repository CUD (Create, Update, Delete) events for forms, images, folders, and applications to the Forms Manager OSGI services available in CQ. Based on these events the OSGI services at CQ replicate the state of native repository to the CQ repository.
  • A service FormsManagementService that provides internal operations, such as getting the repository root folder, getting the CRX™ repository JNDI name, and marking a set of applications for sync. 

Runtime

Forms Event Listener

This listener pushes CUD events from the native repository to the OSGI services so that the resource replication can be done from the native repository to the CQ repository.

OSGI Services

OSGI service exposes all the operations of Forms Manager. All user interface actions as well as user search is handled by this service.  The OSGI service also covers some of the internal actions, such as reverse replicating resources from CQ to the native repository whenever they have been updated inside the CQ repository through Forms Manager.

Schedulers

The following two scheduler services provide the backend processes for Forms Manager:

  • Activation/Deactivation and Cleanup Scheduler is a scheduled service that executes at a default frequency of 60 minutes and does the following operations:
    • Activates forms where the activation time is less than equal to the time when scheduler runs
    • Deactivates forms where the deactivation time less than equal to the time when scheduler runs
    • Removal of the temporary files and folders, that have been created during Forms Manager activities such as upload
  • A synchronization scheduler runs at the default frequency of three minutes and scans all applications in the LiveCycle repository and in the CRX repository. It synchronizes the applications using LiveCycle repository as the primary source.

Note:

Date and time for activation and deactivation is the current server time.

Authorization

To access Forms Manager, role of Forms Manager Administrator is available in LiveCycle ES4. Assign this role to a user or a group to provide them to access Forms Manager.

Forms Preview

A sling resourceType is associated with each form node created in the CRX repository that is lying in Forms Manager. A preview script is associated with the resourceType, that is used to render the form as either PDF or HTML. HTML preview is not supported for PDF forms and Print forms.

Rendering a form with Forms Manager

To know more about rendering profiles, see Rendering Form Template.

Rendering as PDF

For each form retrieved using Forms Manager search/lookup, an associated render URL can classify render type as PDF or HTML (default). A PDF render profile is a LiveCycle process that takes a PDF document as input and returns a PDF document as output. This profile can be selected from Form edit screen wherein all such processes are listed in a combo box titled "PDF Render Profile".

Rendering as HTML

XDP forms, but not PDF forms and Print forms, are rendered as HTML. When the render URL on a form is invoked with the type as HTML, it triggers the following call sequence:

A request to render a form is sent to the HTML forms renderer with the configured render profile. The request contains form template name and path of the form in the native repository. Additionally, the request contains associated submit URL (if any), render profile (if specified), and sample data URL (if uploaded). This information is used by the HTML forms renderer to render a form.

Render profile is an HTML form profile that generate the HTML rendition of the form. If not specified, the default renderer profile is used.

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