® Forms Server – Forms Services Platform (hereafter referred to as the Forms Services Platform) lets developers integrate and extend IBM
Forms products with other systems. It consists of a collection of libraries to help you develop modules that can be connected together to integrate applications.
These libraries are available for the Java
™ programming environment and include:
- a form Object that represents the form in memory
- a mechanism to handle requests
- a mechanism to handle responses
- a set of reusable pipes
- a configuration system that controls pipeline execution at runtime
- a set of Forms Services Platform classes
Modules are OSGi bundles that contain Java
) and configuration data (pipelines
). Some bundles also contain dependency information such as database drivers, that can link the bundle to outside mechanisms (such as log4j).
About OSGiParent topic: IBM Forms Server – Forms Services Platform overview
The Forms Services Platform runs in an OSGi framework. Pipes, configuration files, and services are packaged into OSGi bundles. A single bundle can contain multiple services, pipes, and configuration files.
Pipes perform tasks. Each task is a small component of a larger request. For example, if you want to save form information to a database, you would need to break that request into its component tasks. These tasks could include loading the form, looking up database information, mapping the form metadata, and so on. Each of these tasks is performed by a separate pipe.
A pipeline is a sequential series of pipes. Pipelines assemble configured instances of pipes into a complete request processor.
Passing data between pipes
Pipes work together in a pipeline. Most pipes must receive information from the pipeline as well as pass on new information to the pipeline for use by other pipes using the data bucket. This is done using pipe parameters.
About the extensions directory
The extensions directory
is a special directory where you deploy extensions
– pipes, pipelines, and extra configuration properties – to the Forms Services Platform. Any JAR files or properties files in this directory will be read by the Forms Services Platform as it starts up. It is by this mechanism only that you can get your own pipes and pipelines running on the Forms Services Platform.