Dec 4, 2017 | by Markus Oponczewski | 0 Comments

Last week I attended the Tech-Conference of Amazon Web Services – AWS re:Invent 2017 in Las Vegas. It lasted five days, a period of time that is not always easy to take off from your daily work. Following are the most important pieces of content from my perspective in 7-10 min for reading.

* 10 Seconds Management Spoiler *
Serverless, Machine Learning, the Machine Learning Camera DeepLens, Alexa for Business and Kube as a managed service are the main highlights of this year’s re:Invent. By extending and making existing and established services such as EC2, S3, Glacier or DynamoDB more flexible, AWS helps customers to map many requirements directly in the managed service and reduce the need for workaround implementations. It will be fascinating and at times frightening, what will be possible in the future due to the combination of these powerful services.

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Nov 22, 2017 | by Jennifer Utech | 0 Comments

The first two field reports of my fellow apprentices have already given you some insights into the apprenticeship here @fme. They described our first coding tasks, databases and object oriented programming. However, we learn a lot more than that. I want to talk about our own apprentice project vistaya, explain what vistaya is, how we were introduced to vistaya and what our current responsibilities are. read more

Nov 20, 2017 | by Rüdiger Sievers | 0 Comments

Some weeks ago we were invited to host one event of a networking event series called “Schnack & Schnittchen” (Sandwich-Talks) organized by the Junior Entrepreneurs Organization in Brunswick (Wirtschaftsjunioren Braunschweig). The Wirtschaftsjunioren Brunswick are part of the national association ‘ Wirtschaftsjunioren Deutschland’ and the international association ‘JCI’, in which young entrepreneurs and (young) executives network, train and engage themselves.”Digitialization” was the topic for that event and we gave an insight to the attendees in how we understand the Digital Transformation (DT) and how we help our clients to get a grip at the upcoming challenges. read more

Nov 17, 2017 | by Andrea Wurm | 0 Comments

On Monday, the 23rd of October 2017, 20 bachelor students of Business Informatics at the Technical University of Braunschweig had the opportunity to get to know fme AG during an excursion day.
Our CEO Dirk Bode opened the event with some information about fme’s history and explained the importance of digital transformation. In addition, we were able to show the students the career opportunities and give them an insight into some of the projects and topics of our business units.
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Aug 31, 2017 | by Dirk Bode | 0 Comments

Digitization is changing the world in a sustainable way. New digital technologies are entering the market at an ever-increasing rate, enabling a variety of new business models. Netflix and Co. have eliminated the video libraries, Uber puts the taxi industry under pressure, the hotel industry feels the breath of Airbnb breathing down its neck and the car industry is more afraid of Tesla, Google, Apple and others than of the usual and well-known competitors.

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Aug 24, 2017 | by Jörg Friedrich | 0 Comments

Sometimes not the leading edge technologies are causing you headaches, but also solid requirements like synchronizing your Document object’s attributes with SAP.
In this blog post I will explain the differences and purposes of the OpenText Documentum Archive Services for SAP and OpenText Documentum Content Services for SAP as well as the challenge to synchronize only modified SAP data into OpenText Documentum.

OpenText Documentum Archive Services for SAP
The main purpose of the OpenText Documentum Archive Services for SAP (ASSAP) is to accept content (e.g. the printable bill) delivered by SAP. For this, the ASSAP exposes as ArchiveLink server. With the ArchiveLink protocol, SAP is not only able to archive content but also able to retrieve that content for display purposes. Such content can be for example billing documents. So the active part is SAP. OpenText Documentum is the passive part. The ASSAP will create the link information with SAP archive maintenance data.

OpenText Documentum Content Services for SAP
In short, if you want to interact with SAP in another way than using the ArchiveLink protocol, you need the OpenText Documentum Content Services for SAP (CSSAP).
The mapping is defined by the Document configuration objects, which are text based.
Configurations can be e.g. a mapping of a SAP attribute to an OpenText Documentum attribute or a query executed either against OpenText Documentum or SAP.

Scenario 1:
If you have the content first in OpenText Documentum and want it to link with SAP, a barcode link is a possible way to archive this. The available barcodes inside OpenText Documentum have to be published to SAP. With this, the user can link e.g. a SAP billing document with an available (external) barcode. After this, the Document object (and its content) is linked to the appropriate SAP object and the content can be retrieved via the ArchiveLink interface (exposed by the ASSAP).

Scenario 2:
You want to pull metadata e.g. from a billing document from SAP to OpenText Documentum. For this, suitable search criteria are needed (the receipt number, the ArchiveLink ID, etc.) to build a query against SAP. All matching SAP objects are then mapped to OpenText Documentum objects and all configured attributes are copied from the SAP object into the corresponding OpenText Documentum object. Mapping of attributes might not need necessarily to be linked to the same OpenText Documentum object holding the content. It is up to you how you want to define the mapping rules.

Scenario 3:
You can also modify SAP data based on OpenText Documentum objects’ values. However pulling data from SAP can be performed with standard RFC calls. For pushing data to SAP, the best way is to utilize a custom BAPI created especially for that purpose.

Delta Synchronizations
The CSSAP works best for one-time synchronizations based e.g. on missing data or on specific lifecycle status names.


However with some tweaks you can get the best value of CSSAP and enable delta synchronization abilities:

  • Perform a query against SAP to determine all modified SAP data. For this, weave into the SAP query conditions (query parameters) conditions for querying e.g. a modification date.

For example a regular query parameter inside ASSAP looks like this:

Modification Date=20170401

Change this line e.g. to

Modification Date=‘00000000’ OR AEDAT GE ‘$modified’ OR ERDAT GE ‘$created’
$DQL=select max(any_tracking_creation_date) as created, max(any_tracking_modification_date) as modified from your_object_type

With this change all creations (field ERDAT) and modifications (field AEDAT) can be identified.

  • Based on the result of the above query mark all OpenText Documentum objects subject to synchronization (to be more fault tolerant).
  • Now perform a query against SAP to match all objects in scope of the synchronization. Inject e.g. the receipt no into the SAP query of all pending OpenText Documentum objects. Consider to limit the amount of injected parameters (e.g. the amount of receipt numbers and by this the amount of retrieved receipts) to avoid a synchronization process which will span over a too long time period. Due to the split into a mark and a synchronization step, postponing object synchronization to subsequent synchronization runs is no problem. Either abort of the synchronization step is no problem. The next run will synchronize missed objects. The limitation of the amount of objects can be done e.g. by the DQL hint “return_top N”.
  • Consider increasing the amount of objects within a single transaction (CSSAP configuration) from 1 (default) to a huge amount of objects. By this, the mark step will get fault tolerant and nevertheless the amount of objects processed by ASSAP is limited by the above mentioned object limitation (enforced by the hint “return_top N”).

All taken together, you can achieve a delta metadata synchronization from SAP into OpenText Documentum.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me or to share your thoughts and ideas with me!

Jul 6, 2017 | by Daniel Pelke | 0 Comments

In my last blog post, ‘Digital Transformation Is About More than Just IT,’ I wrote about a fortunate trend, whereby more and more companies are taking a more holistic approach to the digital transformation. We know that IT alone is not the solution to the challenges posed by the digital transformation. More and more companies are slowly realizing that the digital transformation affects not only the IT department but also all other areas of the company.
But training courses and consulting services that are currently being offered give a different impression. Discussions revolving around the digital transformation primarily address the challenges in today’s business world, and terms such as ‘agility’ and ‘new business models’ crop up as the important key terms. Well-known companies that were once successful are mentioned as examples of organizations that did not manage to get on the right path towards digitalization. The training courses and consulting services then frequently put forward new IT procedures and technologies – such as cloud computing, microservices, DevOps, and big data – as solutions to the challenges of our time. However, IT departments are often not trusted to successfully introduce such modern solutions.

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Jun 9, 2017 | by Christopher Hablitzel | 0 Comments

As you most likely know, a growing number of companies are using software to improve internal communication, project collaboration and onboarding. This software is generally replacing an old and dated intranet system that suffers from issues like:

  • Overly complex structure (too many groups, unsorted posts, etc.)
  • Little activity
  • Difficult to use
  • Sub-par functionality

For this very reason many companies today are moving away from such static systems. They are looking to replace the huge stores of data that older intranet systems oftentimes resemble with solutions that are heavily focused on the employees.

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Apr 27, 2017 | by Antje Dwehus | 0 Comments

Despite the ongoing discussion about the prospects of new web technologies, progressive clients or even the need of an unmitigated new user experience, many enterprises are still using the “good old Documentum Webtop” quite contentedly. In general, Webtop applications integrate smoothly with other systems that have spawned over time such as Jive, Jira, CRM and others.

Nevertheless, let’s be honest. There have been some flaws and one of them has always been the content transfer mechanism UCF which can be hard to maintain especially in complex network settings and which causes an annoying dependency on the client’s Java Runtime Environment. With modern browser vendors reducing plugin support and the decision of Oracle to deprecate the Java browser plugin in Java 9, a new content transfer mechanism was long overdue.

So well, with Webtop 6.8.2 a new content transfer mechanism is finally available and therefore the demand of updating those Webtop applications has increased. I was excited to migrate the first Webtop application, which includes some minor customizations from 6.7 SP2 to 6.8.2. A quick gaze at the release notes made me aware of another considerable change: There is no support for modal dialogs anymore, irrespective of the technical aspect. What came to my mind instantly was, that this time the version change is going to be recognized by the users, unlike in preceding changes, where the UI almost remained identical. And that might lead to the potential need for some kind of explanation e. g. adaption of training material. But let’s put this thought aside for the moment and refocus on the update process.

Preparation of the Application Server
First, I installed the original version of Webtop 6.8.2 without any customizations, to ensure that the new content transfer mechanism was working in our environment. In order for it to work properly the following line has to be inserted into the server.xml of Tomcat between the <Engine> and <Host> tags:

<Context path=”/webtop” useHttpOnly=”true”/>

After the adaption of the dfc.properties file and custom\app.xml and followed by a Tomcat restart, I was able to reach Webtop and the Loginmask.

On the Client: Browser Extension-based Content Transfer Using Firefox
The browser extension-based content transfer mechanism exists of two components:
1. Content transfer browser extension
2. Native client application (needs JRE running on the client machine)

When accessing the Webtop with Mozilla Firefox I was prompted to install the extension (Figure 1). OK, no problem, did that.

After a browser restart a pop-up window appeared, which asked for the native client application to be installed. I saved the exe, executed it and restarted Firefox.
And that was it – the content transfer worked!

Figure 1 Installation of browser extension and client application

So, let’s have a closer look at the client:
On the client, you will find the two components. The content transfer browser extension can be found in the Add-On Overview of Mozilla Firefox (Figure 2) whereas the native client application is listed in the Windows Programs and Features control panel (Figure 3 ).

Figure 2 Firefox Add-ons Webtop Content Transfer extension

Figure 3 BHO in Programs and Features

I also tested Google Chrome and Microsoft IE 11, both worked. The IE is a little more complicated regarding the various security settings that have to be met.

Test Environment

Contentserver: 7.2 P22
Application Server: Tomcat: 7.0.33, with jdk1.7.0_51
Client Machine: Win 8.1 64 bit JRE 8 update 121
Client Browser : IE 11, Firefox 52.0.1 (32-Bit), Google Chrome 57.0 (64-bit)

Deploying the Customizations
I didn’t experience any problems regarding the compilation of the custom source code with the new java version and dfc, wdk classes. But with this new release there came a few important changes in the JSP Pages, some of them essential for the content transfer mode. Therefore, all custom JSPs, which were created as a copy of the original JSP and then modified, need a close analysis.
For example, the titlebar.jsp imports three more classes and performs a check for the browser extension.

Code extract from titlebar.jsp

<%@ page import=”com.documentum.web.common.ClientInfo” %>
<%@ page import=”com.documentum.web.common.SessionState” %>
<%@ page import=”com.documentum.web.form.Form” %>
….

if (ClientInfo.useBrowswerExtension(request))

If you don’t have that in your custom titlebar.jsp, the new content transfer won’t work.
Additionally I found the following code, which handles the handshake for the transfer mechanism, in the main_ex.jsp:

Code extract from main_ex.jsp

<% if (ClientInfo.useBrowswerExtension(request)){ if(ClientInfo.isChrome(request) || ClientInfo.isFirefox(request)){ %>
var handshakeelement = document.createElement(“div”);
handshakeelement.setAttribute(“id”, “dohandshake”);
document.documentElement.appendChild(handshakeelement);

You should also revise the layout of all custom components that use a modal pop-up window. Here is an example of a custom search dialog, before and after the update:

         p

Figure 4 example of a custom search dialog, before and after the update

Impressions at a Glance

  • Despite the new content transfer mechanism the client still needs the JRE installed
  • To install the Helper Object (BHO) users need to have administrator privileges on the client. If that is not the case in your enterprise, you need to think of a way for a roll out. Which probably makes sense anyway, because users have to perform operations in order to install the components for the content transfer and that could lead to many support calls.
  • Due to changes in the JSP Pages and the abolition of modal pop-up windows the effort for upgrading a highly customized application might be higher than in preceding upgrades.
  • Good news: You won’t have to fight with the java/browser combination anymore
  • There will be changes in the UI which might force you to update documentation and training material, especially if your application uses a lot of modal pop-up windows.


My Conclusion

In my opinion, the upgrade to OpenText Documentum Webtop 6.8.2 is worth the effort, if you plan to maintain your Webtop application for a couple of years. The new transfer mechanism does its job and makes you ready for the next browser generation without Java Applet support. The absence of modal dialogs might force you to some redesigning, but on the other hand your good old Webtop application will look reasonable even on tablets – that’s a change.

If you have further questions or need help with a specific issue or specific settings and environments, we are happy to further share our experience with you.

 

Mar 23, 2017 | by Ria Gebert | 0 Comments

Hmmhm, let’s think about it. Maybe for the driver’s licence? Or was it the ITIL exam four years ago? Or the Scrum Master test?

Yet, we’re learning every day – especially in times of digitalization where dynamic changes in our work environment are a daily occurrence and regular software updates, new policies and processes recurrently change our operational procedures. These circumstances make it necessary to combine modern forms of learning and to integrate them in our work life – one concept of how this could look like is the 70:20:10 model. read more