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/libpe_cc.so /usr/lib/libpe_java.so /usr/lib/libuwi_java.so ) 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 ...
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