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Learn how to integrate Lotus Expeditor and Lotus Forms and take your forms offline. The integration allows you to store draft forms and submit completed forms to a server through WebSphere MQ Everyplace. This queue can hold forms while there is no network connection, and it can then send the forms when the server is available. This approach is a useful way to work on forms while you work offline, submit them, and have them synchronize to the server as soon as you have a connection without any user intervention.
This article assumes that you have some knowledge of form design and Java™ programming and client services development on Lotus Expeditor.
Lotus Forms is an industry-leading forms package based on the xForms standard, allowing a standard way of capturing and handling form data. Lotus Forms allows an electronic form to be completed online or offline and over multiple user sessions, if necessary.
To demonstrate the integration of the offline form with Lotus Expeditor and Lotus Forms in this article, you are guided through the steps to create a plug-in for Lotus Expeditor that can handle a form created with Lotus Forms Designer.
The code to support this scenario is provided in a download file. To play through the scenario, you need to have the following software installed:
- Lotus Forms Designer 3.0.1
- Lotus Expeditor 6.1
To demonstrate the integration, we use a common business scenario: the process of completing, submitting, or saving a simple form. In this scenario, you begin designing a basic Extensible Forms Description Language (XFDL) form, so that the user can submit, save, or cancel it. When the user is in an offline network state and submits the form, the application stores the form in the local database. When the user changes the network state to online, the application synchronizes with the server.
To create this sample scenario, follow these steps:
- Design the XFDL form.
- Create the Lotus Expeditor plug-in to display the form.
- Add the data connection classes.
- Add WebSphere MQ Everyplace capabilities.
Interested in finding out more? See Integrating offline forms with IBM Lotus Forms and IBM Lotus Expeditor