Why Oscript solutions are not passé

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 🙂

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AddressBook

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:)

How to Screw up your Livelink System for the New Year 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: https://knowledge.opentext.com/knowledge/cs.dll/Properties/61862916

 

 

 

Java Samples for Content Webservices

 
I LOST ALL CONTENT WHICH WAS STORED IN COMMUNITIES.OPENTEXT.COM.IF YOU ARE A STARTER READING THIS AND WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE ORIGINAL CONTENT DEPENDING ON TIME I HAVE I CAN SEND YOU SNIPPETS.LEAVE A COMMENT TO SUCH EFFECT.

Java Samples for Content Webservices are few and far in between.OT mainly puts samples in C# and many  a times I myself wonder if my company did not allow me to do that how I would do that in Java.In all truth OT ships a massive application called TreeView.java and TreeView.s ln for both languages .But the java thing takes a lot of setup especially if one was not keeping active in that world.However I used the NetBeansIDE to actually do most of that so I use that debugging environment to try all my java stuff Recently I debugged how to run a Live Report in livelink via C# webservices.Then somebody wanted me to show them how to do it via Java.One of these days I want to return to seeing if I can do all this command line with nothing else other than notepad.

Well I created two word documents, my guess is the poster did not speak english  very well,did not know livelink nor did know java to start with  .Hence I dumbed it enough for people to follow in almost any criteria.

 

Having livelink and its builder helps me in my endeavours and so Oscript remains my first love although I am getting farther and farther from it all

 

I have these files in the Communities website

If I had a LR taking a string parameter  how to write that in Java(C# is available aplenty)

If I had a LR taking a integer parameter how to write that in Java(C#is available aplenty)

There is a bug with Live Report Extensions.A poster in KB said that OT is aware of it.

Why Having LR Extensions(something that Webreports) company produces breaks Livereport calling with Webservices of OT