Nicknames in Content Server nĂ©e Livelink

Very useful but no one really uses them effectively. As is customary in OpenText terse documentation one sees this when perusing Nicknames

Quickstart Help
Assigning Nicknames to Items
A Nickname is a word or phrase assigned to all Content Server items. If you do not specify a Nickname for an item, the item’s Object ID is automatically assigned as the Nickname. When you choose to specify a Nickname for any item, you can choose one of three Nicknames provided by Content Server, or you can choose your own alphanumeric word or phrase.

OK So I have a Folder in Livelink .I create that as in Administrator Documentation in a Development instance.I give it a good name as in “AdministratorDocumentation” and then it can be put in portals as <LivelinkURL>/Open/AdministratorDocumentation. This is amazing this was before bit ly services like URL rewriting came about .Extremely useful so all one needs to do is transport that freely into your next and next and you will have a decent URL that holds .Everyone does it I think .I try to use its ability whenever possible.

Present day predicament-My colleagues want to use Web Reports as that is the quickest wins in any project where you get customer Wows. So I have this question. If my URL in DEV is http://myserver?func=ll&objid=20099999&RunReport how do we put this in a Portal so that they have easy to use URL’s. So I sprang into action. Gave the WR a nicknames how does one pass parameters no dice. No OT help.No advanced WR help nothing in OT’s cantankerous new website where one types anything and you get pages and pages of results that do you no good 🙂

Anyways fired up Builder ,the present day seeside(CSIDE) and in about 10 minutes or so came up with this. Nickname ospace has tons of logic to convert to smartui so my tests and my customer is happy on a classic offering 🙂 just figure this one out I didn’t know this until I debugged using WR with parameters with a nickname sharing for the community. To outlive the parameter naming problems what I do is if my LR has 3 parameters ,I go to the blue parameter extractor in the WR screen and run it this actually works for me well.

 <URL UPTO THE CGI SCRIPT>/cs.exe/Open/WKSPACTION?inputlabel1=0&inputlabel2=APPU

Take Some REST

Open Text Programming has gone modern now we have REST in abundance. is a self registering site and most of Content Server a.k.a Livelink is hidden very carefully under a heading. Unless you are an advanced programmer who knows how to create dummy responses to REST API Requests most of us will require a working livelink system without which the free site only serves as reference documentation. I wish the POST of the website actually worked on the other side with some carefully crafted mechanisms. In contrast look at the OTDS offering. It gives you access to do it live in one’s OTDS using curl.

The OT Developer Site

Shortcomings perhaps OT can easily fix!

Most of the time developers who know languages and have a general idea about modern technologies get frustrated very easily as they expect modern methods like Google ,Bing, Github etc. to get easy to understand examples and re-purpose. The problem with the OT REST API is it does not level set expectations at all. To draw an example consider when OT moved form a mature LAPI to the CWS Programming .There were Programming examples that included setup of one’s environment in Java or .NET, there were 3 or 4 most common tasks across Livelink a.k.a Content Server .Fast Forward to REST about 6 years earlier than before OT programmers showed use of POSTMAN and common tasks. Just like one day communities vanished OT retired the entire code snippets an voila a brand new website as above beautiful to look at but hardly useful. I cannot fully understand Swagger documentation maybe since I haven’t spend any time learning it. It is akin to looking at JavaDocs doesn’t/wouldn’t ring a bell to the “Accidental Programmers”.



Use of the SmartUI is the best debugger. The REST API is what the SmartUI is written in so if you know debugging with Fiddler or Network tools that is the simplest way one can progress in a timely manner. In many questions posed here when I get time all I do is look at in SmartUI and tell the forum how to do it.


One cannot stress the usefulness of this tool for e.g. one can do what is OT Swagger saying with this and straightaway extrapolate the code .If modern programmers do not know this what a REST API does is send a payload(including headers) to a website(Livelink is a web application) so using HTTP one can even use TELNET to talk to the server 🙂

Implementation Notes of REST API as written in

Is it correct Yes absolutely would a novice programmer understand it ?questionable. Does everyone understand what a Header is as the entire REST is basically authenticated in other languages(software packages) by a API Token.

Creating a Node a Document

Some one in OT just took code in a Postman snippet and sanitized it ,does it tell you how to add a File ? This was not the case some time back .It had good instructions on how to do the Rest queries using POSTman.

Recent Postings that I contributed

These are links in my Personal Workspace in OT KB so you need a active license to see it.

If anyone likes to see them in Google Docs comment I can make that happen

WF REST API EXPERIMENTS.docx” This code shows how to get attachments in a Initiated workflow. There are almost no official examples except a discussion thread that serves as a community collaborated example.

JAVA REST API EXPERIMENTS .docx” This is code which I show that does not use any REST Clients but rely on POJO. Actually shows attaching a document through multipart-formdata.

Useful Hidden URL’s

OT hides many useful URL’s without providing much documentation an effort to codify what is available there

admin.testargshttp://localhost/OTCS/llisapi.dll?func=admin.testargs&helpSA function that can tell you who the user is particularly helpful in debugging authentication.Also can be used to find memory leaks.REMOTE_USER will show up if the webserver has IWA enabled.
admin.threadstatushttp://localhost/OTCS/llisapi.dll?func=admin.threadstatuscan find the status of each running thread also a good way to know if a big web report is running or dead in its tracks 🙂
func=Admin.RebuildAncestors builds both DTreeAncestors and DBrowseAncestors tables
func=Admin.RebuildAncestors&target=DTAbuilds DTreeAncestors only
func=Admin.RebuildAncestors&target=DBAbuilds DBrowseAncestors only
func=attributes.dumpshows a table wise listing of category data structures.Many people do not know that CATS are a Data Structure in a filing system.I added one or two lines in that code to actually print out more info.Many organizations will use this utility to create tables that can be queried by integrators. Suggested by John Simon
Columns Customization Command Configure Container Options-somewhere hidden in there is a Customization if the check box for Enable browse list column customization is not present you are stuck?func=admin.navigationconfigOT is on a spree to hide anything that people knew ,they remove working links old posts and what not I keep forgetting administration URL’s

SOAPUI says <ErrorMessage>Cannot determine the workspace template for business object type ‘Item’, business object ID ’11R22.5GT-7:SET1′. (\OTCS16\logs\, thread 1)</ErrorMessage>
In the Configure Business Object if you don’t provide a Workspace Template .GUI will work but SOAP will fail
Default Document Typefunc=doctemplates.configureDocTemplates

Copy This To That

Recently I saw a post in OT Forum that caught my eye What prompted me to write this is because the OT experts also advised using some other mechanisms (XML WF Extensions and use of WR). Now, normally I like to code as well as any other user in Livelink a.k.a Content Server so why this post is because I remember when OT announced the Item Handler and Item Reference(yes they are different) several years ago I believe when Tammy Jakubowski(now GCI) was the WF Product Manager at OpenText.It was downright confusing but did it work in complicated situation boy it did. So I also asked the same questions why would you need WF Attributes and Form attributes in the workflow because they both do the same thing. But this user kept telling me that Business Workspaces apparently has a WF Step that creates BWS’s and it would only work with WF Attributes and they didn’t want their users to see the WF Interface

I replied with a simple OOB implementation where I used a simple throwaway hardcoded documents inside my WF Attachments map and using two Item Handlers Copied what a user entered in a Form Value to a Category to the throwaway Object and using a second step copied that Category Values onto a WF Attribute.

I later explained to the user in a series of simple screencaps how one would do this as that user needed hand-holding and I find the OT Online Documentation horrendously confusing 🙂

Code Demonstration Pages

Mostly this will consist of CWS or SOAP samples.My setup is against a CS16 computer with OTDS but when I test I make sure I can login as ‘Admin’.For ease I write this using the Visual Studio C# express.Note Java WSAPI clients has differing Syntax,my blog has some hints but for the most part it will be adaptable.Note programmers who work in this are encoraged to understand flow of your code into the livelink server see my posts on a proper way to interpret errors you are getting in your program.when time permits I will post a a flow diagram.

What is CWS ?   How do you DEBUG ?  How to look at a SOAP Envelope?
You just have to get the shell from OT for starting java dev. Java data structures are less forgiving in their get/sets than C# as well. Common misconceptions like to write java client livelink has to run in tomcat all that is not true,the server part of livelink can be anything and the webservices hosted either way and you can write .net clients and java clients

A few years back the OT community had a lot of programmers and they all contributed widely to .Very thoughtless of OT one fine morning they shutdown the site.Most of the code I wrote for public consumption I had in my personal workspace or google drive.This time I am just going to put them in my google drive.You just have to requests me to see it.Note I will not entertain any requests for obtaining software or consultation.I do this pro bono so I don’t lose touch.

How to Rename Nodes in C# Link Request by 
Workflow Service Example Link Request by
Categories/Attributes manipulation in C# Link Request by
Beginners parsing example to Categories/Attributes C# Link Request by
How do you manipulate Multi Valued Attributes( MVA) Java Snippet Link


Answering for a KB thread 
Beginners Adding a Version to a Existing File JAVA Link Answering for a KB thread
How to set Mandatory Attributes in a move

(No Not as simple as it sounds:)

Link Answering for a KB thread 
A C# example that shows SET parsing and MVA’s Link Answering for a KB thread 

Quickly make a LL System without all the document data

Today I wanted to learn the new Distributed Agent framework in Oscript. To do that I quickly rigged up a VM and had a  oracle export done and imported so it looked like something  with some structure.I looked at the EFS attached it was our DEV machines and it had gigs and gigs worth of data.How do I get categories form this system without copying all that trash so I wrote a query to find all files in the category


Notice if I could get just those files needed into my VM it would work so after I put them in Excel and derived a formula I put them in Notepad++.The xCopy with the * creates the hierarchy so that I could copy the small category version files all in all about 1.76 MB very easily.


so it created the necessary structure (So I don’t have to mess with the table entries)


after I put them under my new VM’s  file path I can see my categories fine


I am pretty sure I can do this for WF maps,form templates and such like but have to learn DA

Why Oscript solutions are not passĂ©

Over the years in my work with OpenText Livelink I am fortunate to associate myself with like minds and who like me share their code,goodwill and advice selflessly .I cherish and hold their friendship above all professional accolades I have ever got.Recently I had lunch with Ossie Moore  Ossie’s LinkedIn it was very short and I would have loved it to last longer as we could talk shop endlessly.Most of what I write in this has bearing to our lunch and he did steer this post. Ossie  for people who do not know him is quite a character.Let’s say you had a requirement,most of us would probably settle for a pretty decent code either in oscript,lapi as that was the predominant development methods one had at the time.Not Ossie he would probably write our kind of code and before releasing it would have at least two more better implementations,he would have thought about the user coming through the web,the other interfaces LL explorer and so on.That is the difference.

Let’s look at ECM deployments in major organizations.

X Organization has identified a massive unstructured data problem.X has a new manager on the block who has had experience with a technology vendor.Insert <vendorname> here. This is how most ECM deployments happen a lot of people passionate in some technology who would solutionize the deployment to suit the vendor.Most of them are assisted by Gartner, Forrester those kinds .I started working in OT technology before these rating companies came up with a barometer of wants so I am going to continue with my cynicism.

So after X Organization will roll out a OOB approach ,people are brought in.Naturally if the product is user friendly and easy its use will grow.Simple things like user activity,data growth etc are good ways to identify its usefulness.Now most people would want to send the link of the objects hoping that it won’t break on re-organizing the structure or re parenting as most of document work revolves around.So you may want to invest on something that people have put thought on like a GUID based system(Livelink, DCTM).Frankly I know only Livelink and DCTM very little. I hate Sharepoint (we call it $carepoint) with a passion because the smallest of things are so difficult to get  done.Good UI all the world has gone for it anything complex you have to buy or build with an array of .net developers different frameworks the works.It also could be that I have only been programming in that and spending time in LL so over the years the idiosyncracies of builder,CSIDE none of these matter to me now because Oscript really has not changed every much.Oscript is just a huge possibilities language. One of my mentors very famous in OT circles John Simon would joke like this.You have a problem you try solving in Oscript.You will spend about 3 to 4 days on it later to find out that what you need is totally available,no need to kludge just poor documentation that is all.

So if you were eager to get into using livelink to its full extent do these things

  1. Challenge a OT person or a OT solution marketer to what they are offering you. Challenge them extremely hard if it is offered at $$$ a user or so.That is how they make their money on licenses.
  2. Challenge if the pitch is towards Oscript is bad that spoils your chances of upgrade.There’s an element of truth in that.I have seen people hacking their way into core code,weblingo such no nos that shows inexperience and desperation. Oscript is not understanding the creation of a request handler,webnodeaction or eventscripting it is an all round knowledge of the product the passion about the product.You can immediately tell if the programmer knows anything because if they start saying about new subtypes you may want to ask them what prompted them to create a subtype, because many times those people have access to the oscript tutorials and the “Hello World” of oscript introduces them to that.You really want a Oscripter who will follow what OT advises them of doing in that case it is very rarely  a bad fit.
  3. Challenge if the pitched solution ends up working only in the webgui what about EC,what about SOAP,what about REST,what about Search

Oscript has years to go if the LL solution is still being used by customers.It can be learned to work wonders for you.The other aspect and full credit to Ossie here is LL software is the most open product much more open than opensource a oscripter can see the entire internals of it so people like me,John,Ossie all have found bugs and we all engage the good OT developers on our finds.Most senior and passionate oscripters continue to do so.There ‘s so much openness and welcoming in the OT programming community,people like David Templeton ,Kyle  Swidrowich and a countless amount of good people who have been striving to keep this open and getting communities to try it out for a better product.They have helped me and a lot of others and you can also get in into the action.

You just need the drive and passion to master LL that is all it takes.Well that maybe true for any technology 🙂


Today I just chanced to see a post where somebody could not get the famous AddressBook module working.This module was part of the Oscript documentation and is usually introducing the user to the various concepts livelink programming entails.Like a “Hello World” for Oscript :).I thought of helping the person and the person had deleted the post.which was originally here  He later removed it because many people do not want to appear wrong.However there is no harm in asking or being wrong.failedaddressbook


Anyways I had done this for another friend so releasing into public domain here….

I did not fix many problems in the module so it is a challenge to the person doing it that is how I learned:)

To Undelete or Not

Many times Administrators and users do things stupidly and want to cover their tracks quickly and without creating unwanted attention.Most people working with livelink know that the application is responsible for the data integrity and referential integrity.So to do any proper reversal you would need to script something back.But again here you are at a disadvantage.If you resort to standard OT support the maximum you are going to get is “you have an error that is not easily fixable and we would recommend you to fix it with our professional services team”.To a org or a small company they do not have that many resources or money to do that,hence the administrator or  a power user turned developer would try to see if something can be done.Lo and behold the KB is consulted and most members who would like to show off will post in their comments.Now that goes for me also because there isn’t a day that goes by when I cannot respond to something.However I am very judicious when I tamper with the livelink database.That is really because I understand oscript and I see the many myriad transactions that happen when it is working,doing upgrades and such.But in many organizations people are well versed in Live Reports and many now have the Web Reports product which is an excellent alternative to certain kinds of programming or utility programs .This is where the start of the problems happen.Say you accepted a bad advice like fixing a column or data point in a table that the “learned KB people” advised,you would not probably notice this way into months or years at part of a upgrade so what you did in earnest will land you in irrecoverable or costly difficulties.So RESIST the urge to change values in OT given tables.If it is your table and you are responsible for it do so by all means.There is no problem with you playing in a VM and understanding it but just don’t think that touching llattrblobdata or llattrdata is all it requires to do category updates 🙂

That doesn’t absolve OT as a company,it is expected to do its fair share.Somethings might be

  1. Perhaps with support paid the customer gets 10 free incident fixes. OT absorbs the development  cost and passes the solution to a would be  admin/dev in the organization.
  2. A list of compiled easy to use reports and utilities,perhaps web reports, perhaps a compiled java app that uses REST or WSAPI or even a utility oscript module.
  3. Some re-assurance from support to quell the panic and perhaps advise the customer to do another thing like tell them a deleted user/users necessarily need not be considered a panic situation.


I had a short stint working with Documentum and I did not know if the utilities it delivered were high priced like what OT does but it had a language called DQL (Documentum Query Language).So any guys who is knowledgeable on the schema could run reports and turn them into DQL commands which would basically honor data integrity and referential integrity for them.This is in a way WR does but it takes enormous patience and complexity to work with it which again would mean should I have developers supporting my application.I would advise WR people in OT to provide clear crisp examples 1 to 5 liners that should work with any livelink any schema,kind of a pre built library more like the canned Live Reports


I tested a user deletion today and tried to see what all tables would be affected so for KB users if you want to see it is here.hopefully I will find a cheap hosting provider to put my content and not in KB as I have been burned in my earlier attempts.

“Why it may not be a good idea to update livelink tables.docx” can be accessed via the following link: