May 14, 2008

Using Ext JS library in Documentum

Documentum provides a very good framework for web applications called WDK. If you have worked with WDK, I am sure you must have come across the Ajax and webtop examples. When ExtJS 2.1 was released I needed to test it features, and the idea of using Ext in Documentum struck me! Here we will integrate Ext and Documentum in a simple WDK application. We will use WDK widgets to build the regural forms but add Ext Slider widget (not available in WDK) to the form.

Integrating or mashups are not always easy. As web developer we all would think that just adding the Ext java script files to the WDK application folders will be enough to get things started. But that turned out to be wrong. So lets start with troubled water.

Troubled Water
We will have few questions first and try answering them. Where will be deploy our Ext files? Where will we access Ext files from (container JSPs or our custom component JSPs)? I will answer these questions collectively. I assume you already have a skeleton WDK application on your server and I am sure you know our customizations will go into to custom folder.

We will hold all Ext related files in customjs folder under the custom folder. And as any normal WDK application, I will have my configurations in config and create appropriate JSPs. Now lets come to the second question. We will access these files from component JSP and will use complete context path to access the java script files. The reason to use complete context path is that, container JSPs access all java script files from /wdk/include folder. Now you know the folder structure, let move to programming.

Setting up Ext
Like any other Ext enabled application I will have a appjs which hold my custom Ext files. In customjs folder I have two folders : appjs and extjs. extjs will hold all the Ext library and appjs will hold our application.js file. In our application we will just be adding a slider to the Documentum form. My application.js will look like this:
app = function() {   
var sampleSlider; 
var sliderClick = function(slider,event) {

sobject = document.getElementById("agetxt");
sobject.value = slider.getValue();

sobject = document.getElementById("sliderval");
sobject.value = slider.getValue();

return {
init:function() {        
sampleSlider = new Ext.Slider({renderTo:'sample-slider',width: 200,minValue: 0,maxValue: 100});

Note that I have simply initialized Ext.Slider object and rendered it to "sample-slider". I also have added a listener to listen clicks on the slider. We will come back to this later.

Programming your WDK component
I will just create a simple component with a JSP and a behaviour class. The JSP will have a form that will request Name, Age and a slider with which user can select a value. The user will be able to select his age using the slider. But the demo I have displayed a text field for the Age. Ideally we will not need this and we will use a hidden field to hold data. But why do we need hidden fields? In the behaviour class you will not have direct access to the Ext widgets. But you have access to all WDK widgets. This is where hidden field comes to rescue. From the behaviour class you will be able to access the values user sets using the slider. The listener methods that we attached to the slider helps in storing the slider value to the hidden field in the JSP page.

Finally on running the WDK application you will get a good looking Ext widget. You can download all the files (I only have the components & ext js files). But you will have to build the skeleton by yourself. Let me know if you have better ideas or problems.


Anirban said...

i am working in a documentum for the last 6 months. i am working on webtop customization where i have developed my own custom components. i am facing a problem with with regards to use of ajax in documentum.i have a form where i need to populate city,road number by entering the main concern will be integrating the behaviour class with the javascript in the jsp. please help.

marry said...

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