GEBS Reporting Web Publisher, or Web Publisher, simplifies the deployment and usage of IBM Rational Publishing Engine by providing a thin client for document generation with RPE. Web Publisher is built on top of Rational Publishing Engine and adds several useful new features.

GEBS Reporting Web Publisher takes RPE off your desktop. Web Publisher provides a RESTfull interface to IBM Rational Publishing Engine document generation capabilities and a Web UI built on top of that interface. The solution is easy to deploy and maintain and supports the most recent RPE release, 1.1.1.2.

You can use the Web UI as a thin client to become productive immediately or you can use the RESTful API to integrate document capabilities in your applications.

Removes the deployment and maintenance costs, including updates, that are incurred by having to deploy the thick RPE client on every machine in the organization. Centralized management and enhanced reuse of RPE artifacts.

Built using industry standards: XML, REST, Ajax, HTTP, HTTPS.

Highlights

Thin client – no installation required on user machine.

Makes document generation a breeze. Easy to use and learn.

Intuitive user interface that allows users to create, configure and run document specifications.

The administrator can manage document generation processes and access to resources such as templates.

Built in library for templates, document specifications and style sheets.

Built in document library.

All the artifacts produced by the document generation are persisted and can be accessed at a later time.

Built on industry standards: XML, REST, HTTP, Ajax

Supports secure access using Basic Authentication over HTTPS

Components

Web Publisher 1.0 was designed as two independent Web components:

  • A RESTful Web Service built on top of RPE’s public API
    • Message Format: XML
    • Transport: HTTP, HTTPS
  • A thin client ( Web UI) on par with the RPE Launcher functionality.
    • Ajax technologies (jQuery)
    • Supported by all major browsers (IE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari)

Why Two Components?

The main purpose of the REST Service component is to integrate document generation in the organization’s custom document generation process. Each organization will have the possibility to build its own Web UI based on the REST Service component. In help of the customer a detailed REST Specification is also provided.

As an already implemented thin client, the Web Publisher Web UI uses advanced technologies like DHTML, jQuery and AJAX, and provides full functionality to create, configure and run document specifications.

Deployment

Supported Application Servers:

  • Apache Tomcat 6.0 or later
  • IBM WebSphere Application Server 6.1 or later

Architecture

Figure 1: Web Publisher architecture

Authentication and Authorization

The application uses the authentication mechanism provided by the servlet container. For this purposes, the Basic Authentication type is being used, over a SSL (HTTPS) connection.

It is easy to integrate with pre-existing user management systems.

Before a user is granted access to the Web UI application or to the REST Service, the container ensures that the user is identified (logged in) and that the user is assigned to a role that has access to the resource. Any unauthorized access results in an HTTP 401(Unauthorized) status code.

What can you do today with Web Publisher 1.0?

1) Publisher Module

  • Create Document Specifications (the document specification will be automatically saved to the user document specification library)
  • Add/Remove templates to a document specification
    • There are 3 ways to add templates to a document specification:
      • Upload the template from the local system (the template will be automatically saved to the user template library)
      • Add the template from the user template library
      • Add the template from an URL (credentials are needed – in this case the template will not be uploaded to the template library)
  • Add/Remove outputs to document specification
    • In version 1.0 there are 4 possible output formats: HTML, Word, PDF and XSL-FO
  • Configure a Document Specification
    • Configure outputs details
      • Add stylesheets [HTML, Word]
        • Upload from local system (the stylesheet will be automatically saved to the user stylesheet library)
        • Add directly from the user stylesheet library
        • Add from a specific URL (need to provide credentials)
  • Update an Document Specification from the user library
  • Generate Document
    • Run a Document Specification and obtain a result archive and an associated Log file.
    • Use preview function just to see how your document will look at generation moment (in preview mode, just a subset of element will be displayed in the result, allowing for obtaining a brief result, quicker).
    • Cancel a current execution

2) Administrative Module – available only for users with the ADMINISTRATOR Role.

  • Manage running executions
    • View execution log
    • Cancel execution, based on execution details and current log

3) History Module

  • View all executed document generations.
  • Add possible filters:
    • Failed executions
    • Aborted executions
    • Finished with success executions
  • Download associated log and result archive for each execution.

Web UI – Publisher View

Figure 2: Web Publisher Publisher view

1 – Document Specification Panel
This panel displays all the user document specifications from the Document Specification Library.

2 – Document Specification Workbench
This panel contains two different zones:

  • Execution zone – permit to generate/preview documents.
  • Configuration zone: permit to configure a document specification.

3 – Properties Panel
This panel offers the possibility to edit the properties of the element selected in the Document Specification Panel.

4 – Templates & Stylesheets Panel
This panel contains two sections: Templates and Stylesheets.

  • Templates: all the user templates saved in the Template Library
  • Stylesheets: all the user stylesheets saved in the Stylesheet Library.

5 – Console Panel
Display the execution log (status).

6 – Results Panel
Display the execution result information (execution time, log, result files)

Web UI – Administrative View

Figure 3: Administrative view


1 – Executions Menu
This menu offers the possibility to select what type of executions will be displayed. Currently there are 3 main execution categories available in the menu:

  • Running – means that the document generation is in progress.
  • Waiting – means that the document generation was not started yet. The execution was added to the waiting list, and will be handled as soon as possible.
  • Executed – means that the document generation was ended. A document generation could end with 3 different status codes: finished, failed, or canceled.

2 – Executions Table
This panel displays information about the executions (started time, finished time, owner, etc.).
Administrative tasks:

  • Cancel a running/waiting execution (need Administrator role)
  • Clear executions history – delete finished, canceled or failed user executions.

3 – Execution Properties Panel
This panel displays the properties of the selected execution from the executions table. It also provides the possibility to download the results and the log of the execution.

Roadmap: Next release

  • Internationalization and localization support
  • Add the possibility to view the result in HTML format without downloading the results archive.
  • User Configuration Module
    • Specify generation parameters: preview limit
  • Upload a Document Specification to the server (The referenced templates and stylesheets will also be uploaded to the server.)
  • Add a new supported output format for RPE – Excel
  • Add more functionality for the Administrator
    • Add new actions: Pause, Resume executions
  • Improve the administrative capabilities
    • Implement a document generation scheduler (generates documents at specific date/time)
    • Specify SERVER component parameters: number of concurrent generations, maxim number of templates, document specifications and stylesheets that a user could have on his library.
    • Create special jobs that automatically delete generated results and logs.
  • TBD: Add RDF support to REST Service.
  • Add the possibility for more users (group) to share the same templates, stylesheets and document specifications.

For More Information

For further information or to reach a representative: http://gebsreporting.com/products/rpe-on-web/ .

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