Customize the eClient, Part 1: Get started with IBM Content Manager eClient

Install, configure, and learn basic capabilities

Are you ready to get started with the browser-based interface for IBM® Content Manager, the eClient? This article provides detailed step-by-step instructions on how to install eClient, how to configure it, and how to begin using it to access your enterprise content.

Guang Xu (xuguang@cn.ibm.com), Software Engineer, IBM Content Manager Development, IBM

Author Photo: Xu GuangXu Guang works as a Content Manager eClient developer in IBM China Software Development Lab (CSDL).



Wei-Dong Zhu, Project Leader, IBM

Wei-Dong (Jackie) Zhu is a Project Leader in Content Management for the International Technical Support Organization at the Almaden Research Center in San Jose, Calif. She has more than 10 years of software development experience in document search systems, image workflow processing, and digital media distribution. She holds a Master of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Southern California.



Mike Grasselt (grasselt@de.ibm.com), Technical Lead, IBM

Mike Grasselt is a senior software engineer who has worked for IBM since 1997. Currently, he leads an Information Platform and Solutions development team focusing on solutions integrating Master Data Management and SAP. In earlier roles, he integrated text analysis technology with content management and was an author of the IBM Redbooks publication "eClient 101 Customization and Integration." He has presented university lectures on software development for IBM mainframe servers. He developed an SQL extension for the Business Processes Execution Language (BPEL) and published several papers on data-aware business processes and web services. He was responsible for the service-oriented architecture (SOA) alignment of InfoSphere Information Server to allow integration with WebSphere Portal, WebSphere Process Server, and InfoSphere Master Data Management Server. In addition to his technical responsibilities, he is a mentor in the IBM technical community.



Alan Mayer, I/T Architect, IBM

Alan Mayer is an I/T Architect in IBM Global Services in U.S. He has 10 years of experience implementing Content Manager for various clients. His areas of expertise include application development and document imaging.



Lijing Zhang, Software Engineer, IBM

Lijing Zhang is a software engineer for IBM. He has worked for IBM since 2001 in the Content Management field. His areas of expertise include Content Manager, Information Integrator for Content, and VideoCharger. He is a co-author of the "Content Manager V8 Certification Study Guide."



27 March 2008

The material in this article was originally published as part of an IBM Redbooks® publication, eClient 101 Customization and Integration. It has been updated to include details for eClient, Version 8, Release 3, Fixpack 8.

Introducing Content Manager eClient

The Content Manager Version 8 eClient is a Web application that allows you to manage documents, search for documents, and retrieve documents from content servers. Here are some of the content servers that the eClient can access:

  • IBM Content Manager for Multiplatforms
  • IBM Content Manager OnDemand

The eClient application server is deployed and runs in WebSphere Application Server. It consists of JavaServer Pages (JSPs), servlets, a viewer applet, cascading style sheets, property files, and more. The eClient is built on top of the IBM DB2® Information Integrator for Content Java™ APIs. You can customize the eClient to meet the needs of your organization. With the eClient, you can connect to the Information Integrator for Content federated server, which allows you to perform searches across a variety of content servers simultaneously. You can also choose to connect directly to individual content servers. Figure 1 shows the eClient infrastructure:

Figure 1. eClient infrastructure diagram
eClient infrastructure diagram

The eClient Version 8 provides many new features and significant enhancements over the previous versions. Since Version 8.1, eClient offers document manipulation features. These include:

  • Importing and deleting documents
  • Check-in and check-out support for documents
  • Re-indexing documents
  • Changing document attributes
  • Folder operation
  • e-Clipboard to support folder operations
  • Versioning support
  • Support for Content Manager document and folder note logs

All of the above features are available when connecting to Content Manager Version 8 servers. When connecting to other content servers or previous version of Content Manager servers, only some of the mentioned features may be available.


Prepare for installation

This part provides detailed procedures for installing, configuring, and verifying IBM DB2 Content Manager Version 8 eClient, and IBM DB2 Information Integrator for Content Version 8 on the Windows® platform.

Installation overview

This installation overview section briefly discusses installation options for IBM DB2 Content Manager Version 8, IBM DB2 Information Integrator for Content Version 8, and IBM DB2 Content Manager Version 8 eClient, and the eClient prerequisites.

The following products were used while preparing this part:

  • Windows XP + Service Pack 2
  • DB2 Universal Database V9.0 + Fix Pack 1
  • WebSphere Application Server V6.1
  • IBM HTTP SERVER V6.1
  • Content Manager V8.4
  • Information Integrator for Content V8.4
  • eClient V8.4

Topology

There are many ways to configure Content Manager and the eClient system. For a development environment, you may install all three products on the same machine. Developers can have full control of their own system.

In a production environment, you may consider installing each product on a separate machine. In this scenario, Information Integrator for Content connectors (either local or remote connector) must be installed on the eClient machine.

To achieve the best performance, you may have a cluster of eClient servers. In this setup, multiple eClient application servers run on multiple machines in a WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment environment. This configuration provides workload management that avoids a single point of failure.

Prerequisites

Since eClient is a Web application, you must install WebSphere Application Server on the same machine with eClient. A Web server is essential to run eClient on the Internet or intranet. It is not necessary to install the Web server on the same machine where eClient is installed.

In order to connect to different back-end servers such as Content Manager, Information Integrator for Content connectors must be installed.

For this scenario, DB2 V9.1, DB2 NSE V9.1, WebSphere Application Server V6.1, IBM HTTP Server V6.1 and Content Manager Server V8.4 have been installed on the same machine. Before you install the eClient, collect the following information:

  • WebSphere Application Server information
    • Node name
    • Server name
  • eClient Server name
  • eClient Web application name
  • eClient Web context root
  • Application server security state (enabled or disabled)
    Requirement: If application server security is enabled, you must know the application server administrator ID and password.
  • The location type of the workflow server
    The options are local, remote, or dynamic. If the location type is remote or dynamic, the location of the workflow server must be determined.

Content Manager Version 8 eClient Installation

This section provides instructions for installing, configuring, and verifying IBM DB2 Content Manager Version 8 eClient on a Windows platform. If you have already installed Content Manager and Information Integrator for Content on your machine, your machine should have all the prerequisites required for installing eClient.

Install eClient

The eClient installation procedure automatically deploys the eClient application server in WebSphere Application Server. In order to ensure successful deployment, make sure WebSphere Application Server is in the proper status at the time of installation depending on the version of the WebSphere Application Server you are using.

Complete the following steps to install eClient:

  1. Log on to the machine as a system administrator user.
    Note: It is a best practice to create a user ID such as "admin" and assign it to the system administrator group on the machine right after the operating system is installed. Then, you should log in as user admin to install all products, including DB2, WebSphere Application Server, Content Manager, Information Integrator for Content, and eClient.
  2. Insert the eClient installation CD into the CD drive. The launch pad should start automatically. If the launch pad does not start automatically, change to the eClient directory and run the setup_win.bat script.
  3. From the launch pad, click Install to start the eClient installation program.
  4. Follow the instructions in the installation window to install the eClient. The default installation directory for the eClient is C:\Program Files\IBM\db2cmv8\CMeClient.
  5. To verify the installation, check the return code on the last screen of the installation program. If the return code is a value other than zero, check the IBMCMROOT/log/ecinstall.log file. The log file provides details about the installation step in which the error occurred, and also includes return codes.

After the installation is complete, select the Launch the Configuration wizard check box to configure and deploy the eClient.

Configure eClient

You can run the configuration wizard to configure and deploy the eClient.

To configure the eClient:

  1. Start the configuration wizard.
    • To start the configuration wizard from the final window of the installation wizard, select the Launch the configuration wizard check box.
    • To start the configuration wizard from the command line, change to the IBMCMROOT/bin directory and run the config_EC script.
  2. Click Add configuration.
    Figure 2. Start eClient configuration
    Start eClient configuration
  3. Select the components you want to configure.
    Figure 3. Select product components
    Select product components
  4. To configure the eClient application, provide the WebSphere Application Server home directory and profile home directory, if you enabled security for your WebSphere Application Server or WebSphere Business Integration Server Foundation, select the check box.
    Figure 4. Provide WebSphere Application Server directory
    Provide WebSphere Application Server directory
  5. You can customize the name of the eClient application and the context root as you wish. And it is not necessary to select the check box by specifying the IBM_CM_PRODDIR and IBM_CM_WORKDIR WebSphere variables in the wizard. If you decide to install the eClient application on WebSphere Application Server Network Deployment edition, you should specify these two variables.
  6. Select Application Server to be the deployment target.
    Figure 5. Select the deployment target
    Select the deployment target
  7. Select the target server where you want to deploy the eClient application.
  8. For user settings, you can use the default settings for eClient running property, and can also customize all the properties provided by eClient configuration if you select Customize the settings.
    Figure 6. Select configuration type
    Select configuration type
  9. After specifying user settings for the eClient properties, the configuration for the Client application is complete.
    Figure 7. End of configuration
    End of configuration

The configuration of IBM DB2 Content Manager eClient V8.4 is complete.

eClient settings

Two of the eClient configuration files are discussed in the following sections: IDM.properties and IDMadminDefaults.properties. These two files control which features are available to end-users and specify how documents are retrieved and displayed in eClient. In addition, enabling the viewer applet is covered. Both of the files are packaged into eClient.ear file during configuration. The final location of these two files is $WAS_HOME/profiles/[wasProfile]/installedApps/[cellName]/eclient.ear/eclient.war. That is also the location for other eClient application files.

IDM.properties file

This file controls what features are enabled or disabled for eClient. Changes made in this file take effect the next time the eClient property daemon checks the properties. If you have disabled the property daemon, you must restart the eClient application server to make the changes effective. For example, to have the following four menu options on your eClient home page:

  • Search
  • Import
  • Worklists
  • Create Folder

you must set the parameters in the IDM.properties file as shown in Table 1. By default, the search capability is assigned to everybody.

Table 1. Enabling importing, worklist, and creating folder capability
workFlowEnabled=true
importSupported=true
CreateFolderEnabled=true

For a list of sample parameters in the IDM.properties file, see Table 2.

Table 2. Parameter description in IDM.properties file
ParameterDescription
WorkingDirLogging, tracing, and data conversion directory.
CacheDirStorage area for document caching.
ImageURLPath for the JSP images.
MaxResultsMaximum search results displayed per screen. Default is 10.
TotalMaxResultsMaximum search results retrieved from the server per search criteria. Default is -1 for all hits.
ICMServersURLLocation of the CM V8 server initialization file.
max_import_file_sizeMaximum file size allowed during import. Default is 2 MB.
workFlowEnabledEnable/disable the workflow functionality. Default is false.
SortChildAttributeValuesDisable/enable sorting of child attribute values within an item.
ICMDisplayOrderEnabledSpecifies if attribute columns in search results page will be aligned by the order defined in ICM servers.

IDMadminDefaults.properties file

The IDMadminDefaults.properties file controls how eClient displays objects retrieved from content servers. For each supported MIME type, you can specify one of three options:

  • Applet: Use the eClient applet viewer.
  • Don't launch : Force a file conversion on the eClient application server to a rendered type that can be handled by the browser.
  • Launch: Launch the third-party application as viewer.

If you choose launch for a MIME type, you can select which application you use to view the retrieved objects. This is controlled by the file extensions in the IDMadminDefaults.properties file. In a Windows operating system, a MIME type is associated with a file extension and an application. Table 3 shows a sample IDMadminDefaults.properties file

Table 3. Sample IDMadminDefaults.properties file
application/pdf=launch
text/plain=don't launch
image/tiff=applet
image/gif=don't launch
image/jpeg=don't launch
text/html=launch
video/x-ibm-ivs=launch
## Format: [MIME_TYPE].extension={ preferred extension for the document type }
application/pdf.extension=pdf
application/vnd.ibm.modcap.extension=mda
audio/basic.extension=wav
image/gif.extension=gif
image/jpeg.extension=jpg
text/html.extension=htm

Enable viewer applet

Using a viewer applet enables users to perform actions such as annotation editing, rotation, zooming, and printing on retrieved documents. Enabling a viewer applet may improve performance if users frequently view large documents, view many documents per login session, or frequently manipulate the retrieved documents.

To enable the viewer applet, set the viewerAppletEnabled parameter to true, and use the IDMadminDefaults.properties file to set the display option to applet, as described in "IDMadminDefaults.properties file".

A Java plug-in is also required to run the viewer applet. The plug-in might not be installed on the viewing machine. For Windows, specify the location from which the plug-in is automatically installed by Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator in the plugin_exe and plugin_page parameters, respectively. The default values for these parameters point to a JavaSoft Web site. You can change these default values for performance reasons, or to prevent your users from retrieving this plug-in from outside your firewall.

Verify eClient installation

After you have installed eClient, you can access eClient through http://[hostname]:[hostport]/eclient/IDMInit.

  1. Start the eClient application server by running C:\Program Files\IBM\db2cmv8\CMeClient\startIDMServer.bat.
  2. Log on eClient initialization page by running C:\Program Files\IBM\db2cmv8\CMeClient\GeteClientURL.bat.
  3. You should see the eClient logon window, as shown in Figure 8.
    Figure 8. eClient Logon page
    eClient Logon page

Use eClient

This section provides a high-level description of how to use the out-of-the-box eClient application. This part gets you up to speed with eClient so that in later parts of this series you can customize and integrate your project.

This section covers the following topics:

  • Logging on to eClient
  • Searching for documents
  • Displaying documents
  • Creating folders
  • Importing documents
  • Document routing

Log on to eClient

By means of a Web browser, eClient provides the ability for users to log on, search, and display documents stored in one or more Information Integrator for Content back-end repositories. The examples provided in this article use Content Manager Version 8 as the back-end data store.

To log on to the eClient, do the following:

  1. Open a Web browser and enter the following URL:
    http://[hostname]:[hostport]/eclient/IDMInit

    This invokes the IDMInit servlet on the Web server, which initializes the application and calls the IDMLogon2.jsp to display the logon window shown in Figure 8.

  2. Enter the user ID and password. Select the server you want to log on to. Click Logon.

    The eClient validates your logon information and displays the main eClient window, shown in Figure 9, that allows you to perform various tasks.

    Figure 9. eClient window
    eClient window

    Note that on your system, all of the functions should be available. You can enable or disable some of the functions by changing the values in the IDM.properties file. The IDM.properties file is normally located in $WAS_HOME/profiles/[wasProfile]/installedApps /[cellName]/eclient.ear/eclient.war. The following lines in the properties file control which options are available on the main eClient window:

    • importEnabled=true
    • createFolderSupported=true
    • workFlowEnabled=true
    • savedSearchEnabled=true
  3. After changing the values in IDM.properties, you must stop and restart the WebSphere Application Server.

To perform a search, do the following:

  1. Click Search in the main eClient window. This allows you to select an item type to search.
  2. Select an item type, such as NOINDEX. Figure 10 shows the attributes for the item type.
    Figure 10. Search — Document attributes input window
    Search -- Document attributes input window

    This search window allows you to specify the search criteria for one or more of the attributes. The "(?, *)" by the attribute name indicates that wildcard can be used for specific attributes. The ? is a single character wildcard and the * is a multi-character wildcard. The Advanced option adds advanced search operators such as LIKE, BETWEEN.

  3. Enter your search criteria and click Search to view the search results similar to Figure 11.
    Figure 11. Search — Search result window
    Search -- Search result window

Search results

After performing a search, the search results window shown in Figure 11 is displayed.

A list of documents that meet the search criteria is displayed in the window. The ItemType (NOINDEX) is displayed in the tab across the top of the window. A check box, document icon, and document attributes are displayed for each document.

To view a document, click the document icon and the document is displayed in another window.

There are many things you can do with a document besides view it. The options available are listed in the drop-down box at the top of the search results window shown in Figure 12.

Figure 12. Search — Search result drop-down box
Search -- Search result drop-down box

There are a number of different options in the drop-down box. These options are actions you can apply to selected (check-marked) documents, as follows:

  • Open: This option opens the document.
  • Edit item attributes: This option allows the user to re-index a document.
  • Import item: This option allows you to import a new document into the system.
  • Copy items to e-clipboard: This option allows you to add documents to a virtual clipboard. This is useful for adding documents to a folder using the eClient.
  • Clear e-clipboard: This option allows you to clear all content in the e-clipboard.
  • Start process: This option allows you to start the document in a workflow.
  • Process information: This option shows you the current workflow status of the document:

Display documents

In order to display a document, click the document icon in the search results window, or select one or more documents and select Open from the drop-down box at the top of the search results window.

Each document has an associated MIME type that is used to control how the document should be viewed. For example, if you are viewing a Microsoft® Word document, then Word should be used to display the document. If the file is a TIFF file, then an image viewer is used.

There are two viewers for TIFF documents included with the eClient: the basic viewer and the applet viewer. Both are discussed in the following sections.

Basic viewer

The basic viewer is the default viewer. With this viewer, the eClient server converts a TIFF file to a GIF file first and then sends it down to the browser. This viewer gives you basic image manipulation functions such as change page, zoom, scroll, and rotate.

Figure 13. Default image viewer
Default image viewer

The toolbar on the basic viewer window provides the basic image manipulation functions and also the document attributes access and printing functions.

Applet viewer

The applet viewer has more functionality than the basic viewer. Instead of having the eClient server converting a TIFF file to a GIF for viewing, the applet viewer displays TIFF files and other file formats on the client. When a user requests a rotate, the rotation of the document is done on the client machine. Unlike the basic viewer, it does not go back to the server to perform the action.

The applet viewer also supports image annotations such as sticky notes, highlights, stamps, and text overlays.

Figure 14. Applet viewer
Applet viewer

Import documents

You can import documents from a file system using the eClient. From the main eClient window, use the Import option to achieve this. If the Import option is not available, set the importSupported parameter to true in the IDM.properties file. If the entry does not exist, add it to the file importSupported=true.

  1. From the main eClient window, click Import. A window similar to Figure 15 appears.
    Figure 15. Import — Import input window
    Import input window
  2. Select an item type from the drop-down box for the document you want to import.
  3. Enter the index values and select the file type of the document you are importing. You can click Browse to find a file on your local or network drive to import. When ready, click Import. After importing the document, a window similar to Figure 16 appears.
    Figure 16. Import — Import complete window
    Import complete window
  4. Click OK to complete the import, or you can add the document to a folder. If you want to add it to a folder, select Add to new folder and click OK.
  5. Select an item type for the folder and enter the folder attributes.

Create folders

This section shows you how to create a folder and add documents to it using the eClient. The main eClient window should have a Create Folder option on it. If your eClient does not have this option, set the CreateFolderEnabled parameter to true in the IDM.properties file, as follows:

CreateFolderEnabled=true

Restart WebSphere to make the change effective. To create a folder and put documents in the folder, do the following:

  1. From the main eClient window, click Create Folder. A window that asks you for the item type and attributes for the folder appears.
  2. Select an item type and specify the correct attribute values.
  3. After the folder is created, use the search function to locate the documents you want to add to the folder.
  4. From the search results window, select the document and then use Copy items to e-clipboard in the search results drop-down box to add the documents to the e-clipboard, as shown in Figure 17.
    Figure 17. Folders — Copy selected documents to e-clipboard
    Folders - Copy selected documents to e-clipboard
  5. Use the search function to find the new folder you created.
  6. Check the check box next to the folder, and select Paste items from e-clipboard to folder from the search results drop-down box, as shown in Figure 18.
Figure 18. Folders — Paste items from e-clipboard
Folders - Paste items from e-clipboard

The documents are now contained in the folder you just created.


Conclusion

In Part 1 of this series, you have looked into the eClient installation, usage modeling, and implementation on the Content Manager version 8.4 platform. This article demonstrated in detail how to configure eClient, how to customize eClient settings, and how to use eClient functions with Content Manager V8.4 products. In Part 2, you'll learn how to set up an eClient development environment and see how to get started with debugging your application.

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