Archive for the ‘Frevvo’ Category

Prevent Session Timeouts

Monday, September 24th, 2012

We ran into a problem recently where one of our web applications, Frevvo, was timing out. Because Frevvo is a form building tool and we were conducting an extensive survey, occasionally users would take longer than the standard 15-minute session timeout interval. Consequently, when they submitted the survey, the web app wasn’t able to to reconcile the browser’s cookie with a server-side session, and the submission failed – resulting in a lost survey response and unhappy users.

One option was to increase the session time-out, but that could have resulted in wasted resources for users who had already closed their browser windows. Instead, we wanted users with their browser windows still open to keep their session indefinitely, while others would safely close and conserve server resources. To accomplish this, we used the following JavaScript to ensure that an HTTP request was generated from the browser to the server every 10 minutes.

The request doesn’t actually do anything, but it allows the application server to keep the session alive while the user fills out the survey. Of course, this type of script could be used for any web application that relies on sessions, and I’ve used similar scripts in the past in the Plumtree portal, where a lost session can also cause problems:

<script>
     var sessionInterval = 1000 * 60 *10; // milliseconds to minutes
       var sessionRefreshURL = "/frevvo/web/login";

       refreshFrevvoSession = function() {

              // make the request
              var xmlhttp;
              if (window.XMLHttpRequest)
                     xmlhttp=new XMLHttpRequest();  // IE7+, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari
              else
                     xmlhttp=new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP");  // code for IE6, IE5
              xmlhttp.open("GET",sessionRefreshURL+"?sessionRefresh="+new Date().getTime(),true);
              xmlhttp.send();

              // set the timer to run again
              setTimeout (refreshFrevvoSession, sessionInterval);
       }
       setTimeout (refreshFrevvoSession, sessionInterval); // set the initial timer
</script>

Change the Unchangeable in AquaLogic Studio

Monday, October 31st, 2011

I don’t think Oracle even bothered renaming Aqualogic Studio to WebCenter Studio – hell, even BEA never touched Studio after it acquired Plumtree – so whatever you call it, Studio is dead and has long been abandoned. I made a case to Oracle once it should just be open-sourced, and was laughed out of the (virtual) room….

Today’s post is about this long-dead product that a surprising number of Plumtree customers just can’t seem to shake – it provides just enough functionality to be functional for end users.

First of all: Migrate to Frevvo. Even if you don’t use Integryst’s Frevvo integration, Frevvo is how form building and workflows should have been implemented. Maybe Studio would have become this if it hadn’t been abandoned so many years ago, but really, if you have serious electronic forms and workflow needs you shouldn’t be using Plumtree Studio any more.

BUT, if you absolutely INSIST on clinging to Studio, let’s take a trip down memory lane. My very first blog post discussed an Easter Egg in Studio, but it’s worth mentioning that this Easter Egg isn’t just for playing Tetris.

Let’s say you want to change the text of a button to a different language. When you’re editing any Studio portlet, hit CTRL-ALT-? (Or, CTRL-ALT-SHIFT-/. You’ll figure it out.) to bring up the popup:

From here, click “Edit XML”, find the text of the button you want to change and update it:

Now no text in your form is out of reach. The above warning is pretty clear about being careful here, but editing the text is pretty straight-forward.

Parlez-Vous Fran├žais?

Cool Tools 19: Frevvo Live Forms (with WCI Integration!)

Friday, May 27th, 2011

We’ve spent some time recently talking about AquaLogic Studio Server, and even got a tip from our buddy Geoff Garcia about the date Oracle officially stopped supporting it (November 2010).

So now what? You still have requirements to easily build forms and workflows and reports, but aren’t planning on a full move to another platform in the short term. Well, at a recent project where we’ve deployed Atlassian’s Confluence (also integrated with WCI), we came across this great form-builder plugin called Frevvo Live Forms.

In a word, it’s awesome – check out this quick demo (more videos here):

That got us thinking: what about using Frevvo as a replacement for Studio? We could develop the integration so that forms could be added as portlets and administered just like Studio. It’d do everything Studio can (integrate with portal security settings, custom-define forms and fields), have great new features (new data types, drag-and-drop form building, workflows), and, well, it wouldn’t suck like Studio.

So, that’s exactly what we did:

Interested in how to dump Studio and move on to a more powerful form-builder with workflows and much cooler reports? Contact us.