Archive for the ‘UCM’ Category

WebCenter Suite Real Time Chat – Mobile (Android, RIM, iOS, Windows)

October 25, 2012

As our continued drive to improve the WebCenter Suite I’m happy to announce that Fishbowl Solutions WebCenter Mobile Real Time Chat integration is soon to be released supporting Android, RIM, iOS and Windows Mobile Devices.

No true tablet application support yet but this is on the roadmap (you can use the mobile app on the tablets today or if your site has been optimised for tablets access chat via the integrated browser solution).

If your not familiar with our WebCenter Messging and Presence integration here is a quick rundown of it’s features.

Supports browser messaging integration with the WebCenter Suite – Portal, Sites & Content. There are no requirements to have a messaging XMPP server ie MS Lync setup; however if you do our solution can integrate with a number of messaging solutions ie – MS Lync, gTalk, etc.

For a preview of our browser integration check out these earlier posts

Addon:: WebCenter Portal Spaces Real Time Chat Instant Messaging and Presence Integration Video.

WebCenter Portal Spaces – Real Time Messaging & Presence Solution.

Maximize Your Oracle WebCenter Investment – See Fishbowl Solutions at Oracle OpenWorld

September 27, 2012

Oracle OpenWorld is upon us! Are you ready? Fishbowl Solutions is ready, and we are also willing and able to begin discussing how we can help your organization maximize its Oracle WebCenter Investment. Fishbowl Solutions has a lot planned for OpenWorld, but the main reason we are attending is to meet with WebCenter customers so that we can learn about your business challenges and discuss the ways in which Fishbowl Soutions may be able to solve them. To that end, I would encourage you to visit Fishbowl Solutions in booth #1941 – Moscone South. Stop by to see and discuss the value-add WebCenter components we offer, including solutions for mobile content management, SharePoint integrations, and Google search within WebCenter. We would also like to discuss the ways we can help you address your overall web content management, records management, enterprise portal, or document imaging initiatives. If you are a WebCenter customer, Fishbowl’s booth is a can’t miss destination.

Here is a listing of all our OpenWorld activities:

  • Fishbowl and Customer Presentations – Monday, October 1st:
    • WebCenter Content Strategy and Vision featuring Banner Engineering, 12:15 PM, Moscone West – 3001
    • Living with SharePoint, 1:45 PM, Moscone West – 3001
  • Wednesday, October 3rd
    • Building Next-Generation Portals: An Interactive Customer Panel Discussion, 5:00 p.m., Moscone West, room 3000
    • Sponsored by Fishbowl Solutions – drawing for a FREE iPad 3
  • Thursday, October 4th
    • Land Mines, Potholes, and Dirt Roads: Navigating the Way to ECM Nirvana featuring Banner Engineering, 12:45 PM, Moscone West – 3001
    • Sponsored by Fishbowl Solutions – drawing for a FREE iPad 3
    • Using Web Experience Management to Drive Online Marketing Success, 2:15 p.m., Moscone West, room 3001
    • Sponsored by Fishbowl Solutions – drawing for a FREE iPad 3
  • Sponsor – Oracle WebCenter Customer Appreciation Event
    • Tuesday, October 2nd, 6:30 – 9:30 PM, The Palace Hotel – Ralston Room

We look forward to discussing your current Oracle WebCenter use cases and what your organization would like to accomplish going forward. If you would like to schedule a private meeting at OpenWorld with any of our Oracle WebCenter experts, please email info@fishbowlsolutions.com.

jQuery Customizations for WebCenter

September 24, 2012

jQuery has become a staple for a lot of the customizations in WebCenter Content. In fact, I can’t think of a customization over the past couple years that I haven’t used jQuery in some form. I’ve outlined below a few of the basics to get jQuery running on your content server and a couple examples on how we use it. For those of you mumbling “jQuery is just javascript”, well you’re right, but who in the world would pick an axe to cut down a tree when you’ve got a perfectly good chainsaw to do the work for you? Javascript is still great for the little stuff, but jQuery is a much better toolbox.

First things first, you need a place to include your jQuery and you customizations. We generally create a brand new component, which I won’t cover here, but you’ll find all the  information you need at oracle.com. You’ll also need to download the latest and greatest jQuery here:

http://www.jquery.com/download

After downloading the jQuery source you’ll need to put it on the server so the client can access it. We usually store these files with the component we create to allow easy access.
Once you’ve created your new jQuery customizations component you’ll simply need to overwrite the std_html_head_declarations like so:

<@dynamichtml std_html_head_declarations@>
<$include super.std_html_head_declarations$>
<script type=”text/javascript” src=”js/jquery-min.js“></script>
<@end@>

You will need to make a few small changes to setup the source highlighted in red, but this is pretty straight forward. (it’s the location of those jQuery files you’ve just downloaded)

Now that all the pieces are in place to use jQuery, let’s move on to some quick and easy customizations.  Say you have a pretty basic UCM check-in screen: Content ID, Title, Author and any other information you need for a standard check-in. This is great, but your users don’t follow the standard you’d really like them to follow for Titles. This can be difficult to regulate and the default profiles and rules just don’t cut it. With jQuery, we could simply add the following code and it would pop-up a message when the user clicks on the title field:

$(document).on("click", "input[name='dDocTitle']", function(){
     alert("Please make sure to add ‘FB_’ to the beginning of 
     your titles.");
});


While this may look confusing the code is very straight forward. It basically states that when the document is ready for check in, add a click event to the dDocTitle input, and when this click event occurs send an alert to the user. With such a minimal amount of code we were able to let our users know they need to structure their titles to start with ‘FB_’.

This is great and almost everyone is following the process, but they are getting really frustrated with all the alerts. Here is some code to check if they have added the ‘FB_’ and alert them if they haven’t:

$(document).on("focusout", "input[name='dDocTitle']", function(){
     if(jQuery(this).val().substr(0,3) !== "FB_"){
          alert("Please make sure to add 'FB_' to the beginning of 
          your titles.");
     }
});


With just a simple if statement to check the beginning of all our clients values when they focus off the item we can alert them of their mistake. To take this one last step further, we can add the ability to check for the correct value. If it’s not there, it would be added instead of warning our users by simply adding this section inside of the ‘if statement’ above:

$(document).on("focusout", "input[name='dDocTitle']", function(){
     jQuery(this).val("FB_" + jQuery(this).val());
});


While regulating what our users enter can be very difficult in most situations, jQuery makes regulating this easy. On top of that it removes any server side work which can take a lot of expensive resource time for even the simplest validation. I encourage you to give jQuery a try and see what other solutions you can come up with.

Fishbowl’s SharePoint Connector Version 2.0 for Oracle WebCenter Content – Webinar Recap, Recording, Q & A

September 12, 2012

Fishbowl Solutions officially released its SharePoint Connector on Friday, August 31st, and we followed that up with a webinar discussing the release on Thursday, September 6th. If you weren’t able to attend the webinar, you can view the recording from the link below. For those that did attend, I have also included below the answers to the questions that were asked during the webinar. Many thanks to the attendees for asking such great questions.

Before you move on to view the recording and skim the questions, here is a brief recap of what was covered in the webinar and why as a SharePoint and WebCenter customer you should care. Happy reading!

  • Fishbowl’s provides the only Oracle “Validated Integration” solution between Microsoft SharePoint and Oracle WebCenter Content
    • Validation from Oracle that the connector works as designed has helped to greatly increase customer confidence
  • The connector was developed using Microsoft’s own API (application program interface) for building third-party storage connectors
    • Microsoft’s publicly available API was used to build the connector, which is the same API used by other ECM vendors to integrate SharePoint – OpenText is probably the best example
  • Fishbowl’s SharePoint connector provides a seamless, transparent integration
    • Connector maintains the SharePoint user experience but content ultimately resides in Oracle WebCenter Content
  • Past client engagements have vetted out 3 distinct use cases:
    • Large Volume Sites – increase governance and reduce costs by centralizing SharePoint content within Oracle WebCenter
    • Content Distribution Across Enterprise – surface up content created in SharePoint but stored in WebCenter to other Oracle business systems and applications and even mobile devices
    • Records Retention & Discovery – meet compliance, reduce risk, and ensure the accuracy of information by utilizing WebCenter’s best-in-class content management capabilities
  • SharePoint and WebCenterlike peanut butter and chocolate
    • Leverage the benefits of both systems without having to choose one over the other
  • Evaluations Available!

Webinar Recording

Q & A

Q: Does your solution use a Remote Blob Storage (RBS) provider for SharePoint?

A: No. Fishbowl’s SharePoint Connector utilizes External Blob Storage (EBS) to store content created in SharePoint within Oracle WebCenter. EBS Providers offload the BLOB (Binary Large Object) and pass an ID to SharePoint to keep track of it, whereas a RBS provider offloads all BLOB content being pushed to SQL Server and directs it to third-party storage. This means that EBS providers have the context information of the BLOB and changes/deletes to it can be tracked through SharePoint. RBS providers have less BLOB context because the metadata has to be stored outside of SQL Server. 

Using the EBS API the Fishbowl’s SharePoint Connector acts at the Foundation Services level to intercept BLOB file stream requests (which occur during any save or open request) and redirects these calls to Oracle WebCenter Content. The SharePoint client and client-side API are unaffected by this redirection and content will appear to the user as residing ‘inside’ SharePoint.

Q: Does the Fishbowl SharePoint Connector require the installation of the Oracle SharePoint Connector?

A: No. The Connector has no relationship, nor is Oracle supporting their former connector.

Q: How does the licensing work?

A: The Connector is licensed per SharePoint server.

Q: Is it possible to use SharePoint search to search WebCenter Content – both content stored through the connector and other content stored in WebCenter Content?

A: No, only SharePoint content can be searched through SharePoint by average users. The only search for WebCenter Content is through the “Add from WebCenter” administrator feature.

Q: Is there a risk that Microsoft could deprecate the APIs (Application Programming Interface) you leverage and threaten the viability of the connector going forward?  How heavily are the APIs used by other software vendors/MS partners?

A: API deprecation is always an issue. However, this is not likely to happen with our connector in the foreseeable future. Here are several reasons why:

  1. We use the same APIs from Microsoft as used by OpenText, EMC, and others for their connectors. These APIs are new or enhanced with SharePoint Services 3.0 and were specifically designed to enable vendors such as us to build connectors. As Microsoft is very sensitive about appearing as a monopoly, it is very unlikely they open themselves to yet another lawsuit by removing this functionality.
  2. We are working on achieving Microsoft certification and hope to have it by end of this year or early spring of next. We are already a development partner of Microsoft but our goal is to ensure the product will be supported across all Microsoft and Oracle platforms.

Q: Can storage of a document or change to a document kickoff BPM (Business Process Management) processes in the Oracle environment?

A: The ‘out-of-the-box’ Connector does not support this at this time. However, we do offer consulting services in support of this and have one customer that is doing something similar. We hope to support this out-of-the-box in the near future and would be grateful to discuss your needs to ensure we do this right.

Q: OpenText was mentioned earlier, from a high-level, how does the v2.0 connector “stack up” to OpenText’s Application Governance & Archiving solution for SharePoint 2010?

A: The connectors are quite similar. Here is a short list of some similarities:

  • Both use Microsoft’s own API for the creation of third-party storage providers
  • Both do not interrupt/change the front-end SharePoint user experience. The storage of content to WebCenter or OpenText is completely transparent to the user
  • Content can be stored automatically – based on size, extension, folder location – or interactively – SharePoint user decides if content should be stored externally.
  • The ability to synchronize active and archived SharePoint content versions with versions in WebCenter or OpenText

Furthermore, the goal of OpenText’s and Fishbowl’s SharePoint connector was to provide organizations using both SharePoint and OpenText or WebCenter Content with the ability to continue to leverage the capabilities of each system, but also provide an integrated, end-to-end information management strategy to consolidate content within one system of record.

Q: I saw that it can search WebCenter and add to SharePoint, but can you also just search?  In other words click on a button in SharePoint to pass some values from a SharePoint list to search for content in WebCenter or if not mapped to a list, pop up a search dialog to key in search values manually.

A: Yes, however, this feature is only exposed to SharePoint Administrators and is intended to search and add content from Oracle WebCenter into SharePoint. Nonetheless, administrators can use either Webcenter Basic Search or Profile Search to search and add items from WebCenter.

Q: Can Fishbowl’s SharePoint Connector work with Oracle Imaging and Process Management (I/PM) 11g or just Universal Content Management (UCM)?

A: Yes. The connector is designed specifically for the WebCenter underlying repository: Content Server. Since I/PM  11g supports the same repository, the Connector should support most operations.

Q: Can the storage of a document in WebCenter be driven by a metadata value?

A: No. Storage of a document is driven by file extension, size, library, location and whether it is a major or minor version.

The Fishbowl SharePoint Connector allows required and custom metadata values that may be required for searching or retention management to be mapped from SharePoint to WebCenter Content. This enables Document Property values from SharePoint to be populated in Oracle WebCenter Content metadata fields. Certain values are automatically synchronized between the two systems such as the file name and the user id of the person checking in the content. When someone adds or updates an item in SharePoint, the Connector will automatically put their user id in the Oracle WebCenter Content dDocAuthor field.

Additional values such as the Title field or other custom fields defined in SharePoint can be mapped through the Connector configuration. For example, a ‘Department’ field in SharePoint could be mapped to a ‘Department’ field in Oracle WebCenter Content. Whenever a document is checked into SharePoint and stored in WebCenter Content by the Connector, the value supplied by the user through the SharePoint interface would automatically be assigned and displayed within Oracle WebCenter Content.

Q: How long does a typical implementation of Fishbowl’s SharePoint Connector take?

A: This will vary based on a number of factors, but an implementation involving one SharePoint Server should take around 40 hours. This includes installation, configuration and testing.

Q: How does the connector resolve the discrepancy if the Oracle WebCenter Content repository requires a metadata value that the SharePoint library does not have (and, therefore, the SharePoint user didn’t provide it)?

A: Any field that is required to submit content to WebCenter Content must also have a corresponding SharePoint column mapping configured otherwise the content will not be saved into Oracle WebCenter Content. To ensure that field values are provided by the user when checking in content, you should also designate the corresponding field as required and provide a default value within Microsoft SharePoint. Simply mapping a field from SharePoint to a required field in Oracle WebCenter Content using this page will not make the field required in SharePoint and will result in the file not being stored in Oracle WebCenter Content.

Anytime a field value cannot be updated correctly within Oracle WebCenter Content (i.e. required field missing, mismatched data types), the Connector will store the file in the native SharePoint file store (i.e. SQL Server). These errors are recorded in the Content Server log which should be monitored regularly to ensure the Connector is working properly.

Q: Can Fishbowl’s connector be configured to affect the move of content from SharePoint to Oracle WebCenter Content, in effect making the document no longer available in SharePoint and only in WebCenter.  For example, a document is available for a while in SharePoint, then a metadata value of “complete” moves the document to oracle.

A: Yes and No. Fishbowl’s SharePoint connector can be configured to store all versions of SharePoint documents within Oracle WebCenter Content or only Major versions. To store Major versions, SharePoint users select the appropriate content items and then select the “Publish” command from the document menu – so this is driven by user interaction and not metadata.

However, content created in SharePoint and stored in WebCenter is considered “managed” SharePoint content. This means that the content can be viewed from either system but only updated/edited in SharePoint.

To completely remove content items from SharePoint and have them only available in WebCenter, Fishbowl’s connector can also be configured to retain content versions in Oracle WebCenter that have been deleted from SharePoint. In this case however, the content will appear to the user normally in the recycle bin and can be restored.

Q: What is planned for the next version?

A: Fishbowl Solutions does not typically share feature/functionality plans for future versions. However, we are keenly focused on improving the product in such areas as workflow and records management.

Q: Does Fishbowl’s SharePoint connector work with other RBS Providers like StoragePoint?

A: At the present time, no.

Q: What needs to be configured in SharePoint to have a document loaded into Oracle WebCenter vs. into SharePoint?

A: Fishbowl’s SharePoint Connector for WebCenter Content begins with the assumption that all content is to be stored in the default SharePoint repository (i.e. Microsoft SQL Server) unless otherwise specified by one of many configuration options. These configuration options are available and displayed at the farm, site collection, Site, and “UCM Folder” level.

It doesn’t matter which configuration option is in effect, as long as a single configuration rule is met the file will be stored in Oracle WebCenter Content.

Q: Can you set an automatic default storage location as well as allow the user to overwrite the location as long as if follows certain exception rules?

A: Yes.

Q: Have seen anyone use the connector to create an easy to use content contribution interface via SharePoint for non-technical users, i.e., to update images & PDFs on a website, etc.?

A: Yes. Fishbowl’s SharePoint Connector for WebCenter Content enables organizations to easily utilize SharePoint as a collaboration and authoring tool in these scenarios yet leverage the additional features provided by WebCenter Content for distribution and publishing of information.

If you are using SharePoint as a space to Collaborate on work-in-process documents and wish to use WebCenter content as the location to publish final versions, you will likely want to configure SharePoint to use major and minor version control and only publish major versions to WebCenter. This will cause the Connector to only store versions that a user has explicitly used the “Publish” command on within SharePoint.  Once in WebCenter, these versions can serve as the final record or “single source of truth” and can be linked to various applications using Oracle-provided connectors, custom integrations, or web publishing.

We look forward to your comments and thoughts regarding the integration we have provided to connect SharePoint with Oracle WebCenter Content. If you have any questions regarding this integration, please feel free to ask them here on our blog and we will answer them. Your comments and feedback are always appreciated.

Announcing Version 2.0 of Fishbowl’s SharePoint Connector for Oracle WebCenter Content

August 31, 2012

Back on June 21st, Fishbowl Solutions previewed Version 2.0 of its SharePoint Connector for Oracle WebCenter Content – watch the recording here. I am happy to announce that after 10 weeks of further testing, refinement, and a successful Beta program, Version 2.0 is now available!

Version 2.0 marks a significant evolution of Fishbowl’s SharePoint Connector. Before I get into a few of the reasons why, I will first provide a brief history of this product. Fishbowl started working on the connector in late 2010. Version 1.0 was released in April of 2011, and the product achieved Oracle Validated Integration a few months after that. Version 1.0 worked as intended. It was essentially a web part that could be configured to act as a storage provider to store content created in SharePoint within Oracle WebCenter Content. Customers were happy that the product enabled them to get content into WebCenter and off SQL Server, but as with most software products they wanted more. There was also some confusion regarding 1.0 use cases. For example, Version 1.0 allowed bi-directional content updates. Content could be updated in either system and the updates would be reflected in both systems. However, this was somewhat problematic as customers expressed concerns regarding security and content/data integrity issues that may arise from having the ability to update content from either system.

With Version 2.0, Fishbowl Solutions has provided an integration that helps to clearly separate use cases for each product, yet still enable the back-end power of Oracle WebCenter Content to be leveraged. That being the case, Version 2.0 does not support bi-directional content updates. Content creation and updates occur exclusively in SharePoint. Permissioned users can access and view the content from either system, but WebCenter users will be alerted with icon and text cues for those content items “managed in SharePoint”. This further helps separate use cases for each product, positioning SharePoint as the collaboration platform, and WebCenter as the single-source-of-truth repository.

Version 2.0 also includes greater configuration flexibility. Connector settings are applied at the SharePoint central admin level, and either inherited or overwritten at the site collection, site and folder level. This will enable organizations to get the Connector up and running quickly decreasing overall time to value.

There are many more Version 2.0 features and improved functionality that I would like to discuss in this blog post, but instead I am going to wait and share these with you during our SharePoint Version 2.0 Connector webinar next Thursday, September 6th at 1:00 PM EST, 10:00 AM PST – see registration link below. I hope you will be able to join us as we discuss the use cases for the connector, the new features/functionality and corresponding benefits of each, as well as a demonstration.

Fishbowl Webinar: Pair Best-In-Class Collaboration with Industry-Leading Enterprise Content Management