Saturday, 13 June 2009

Forms Portal - Integrating Lotus Forms 3.5 and WebSphere Portal 6.1 together

I have not yet written this up fully, but I am working on a demonstration whereby I can provide a user with a list of available e-forms within a portlet, and then allow the user to select one of the forms to be displayed in a second portlet on the same page.

This is being achieved using WebSphere Portal 6.1 and Lotus Forms 3.5 - the Lotus Forms product includes a Webform Server ( aka Translator ) which can be interacted with from a Java web application ( portlet / servlet ) using the Lotus Forms APIs.

In my demo, I have installed all the relevant products: -

WebSphere Portal 6.1
Lotus Forms Server 3.5 - Webform Server
Lotus Forms Server 3.5 - API

on the same VMware image running Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

For this reason, the Webform Server ( which runs on its own WebSphere Application Server instance ) runs within the same cell as the portal server, meaning that I only have one cell/node configuration to manage, with a pair of application server instances ( WebSphere_Portal and TranslatorServer ) running on the one node in the one cell.

DB2 UDB is required by the Webform Server, rather than the portal, although both could share DB2 ( for this demo environment ).

Installing WP and LF was a matter of running through some installation wizards, and was very pain-free.

Setting up the Lotus Forms API to interact with WAS and the Linux OS was a little more tricky, but this document was of immense help.

I did hit a couple of issues, but these turned out to be typographical errors on my part - in one case, I copied the relevant Linux OS binaries ( /usr/lib/ /usr/lib/ /usr/lib/ ) into the wrong directory. In the other, I forgot to add a second WebSphere environment variable ( LFS_API_LIB_DIR ).

I will write this up more fully, and share it here.


PS I have done this many times before, since IBM acquired PureEdge in 1995 ( using a number of versions of Forms and Portal/Workplace ), but this is the first time I've done it with the latest versions on Linux ...

hi Dave Hay,
when will you publish the full document on integrating webForm with Portal
Hi Amir

Thanks for the reminder - I'll do this before the end of this week.

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