Getting Started with Adobe LiveCycle Data Services and Java

Update: Unfortunately, it didn’t take much longer before this configuration ran into memory and other problems. I am looking into other options that are more robust.

Over the past few days, I’ve been experimenting with Adobe LiveCycle Data Services and Java to build a Java-backed Flex application. Over the next few posts, I will chronicle my experiences in the hopes of others avoiding some of the pitfalls I have encountered.

Setup

To get started, we’ll set-up and configure our development environment. In order to support development of both the client (Flex) and server (Java), I wanted to configure my IDE to handle both Flex and Java EE.

Note: I always like to use the latest and greatest, but Flex Builder 3 beta 2 and Eclipse 3.3 do not play nicely together. This configuration led to an “Out of Memory” error every twenty minutes or so, which became unmanageable. The approach I followed utilizes Flex Builder 2 with Eclipse 3.3, this is not a support configuration, but it is done in a way that allows you to easily disable the Flex Builder features if desired.

Software

Installation

  1. Download all of the above packages.
  2. Extract Eclipse to a known location. I used “C:\eclipse3.3”
  3. Install Flex Builder 2 at “C:\Program Files\Adobe\Flex Builder 2” as the stand alone version, not the plug-in
  4. Install LiveCycle Data Services at “C:\Program Files\Adobe\lcds”

Configure Eclipse

Out of the box, Flex Builder 2 does not work with Eclipse 3.3. A detailed tutorial on how to configure Eclipse to use Flex Builder 2 is available, but the following is the process that I utilized:

  1. Create a new Eclipse extension:
    1. Create a new directory “C:\eclipse3.3\extensions” and a second directory “C:\eclipse3.3\extensions\eclipse”
    2. In this directory, create an empty “.eclipseextension” file (hint: from a command prompt, enter “echo > .eclipseextension”)
    3. Create two additional directories in the new eclipse directory: “plugins” and “features”
    4. In Eclipse, select Help > Software Updates > Manage Configuration…
    5. In the right panel, click on “Add an Extension Location”
    6. Navigate to “C:\eclipse3.3\extensions” and click “Ok”
    7. Close Eclipse
  2. If you have a license for Flex Builder 2, you should launch Flex Builder and enter the license key now. You can then close FB.
  3. We will now merge Flex Builder into Eclipse:
    1. Copy “C:\Program Files\Adobe\Flex Builder 2\configuration\com.adobe.flexbuilder.”
    2. Copy “C:\Program Files\Adobe\Flex Builder 2\features\com.adobe.flexbuilder.*” to your extension feature directory “C:\eclipse3.3\extensions\eclipse\features.”
    3. Copy “C:\Program Files\Adobe\Flex Builder 2\features\com.adobe.flexbuilder.*” to your extension plugins directory “C:\eclipse3.3\extensions\eclipse\plugins.” Note: There are directories and jar files that need to be copied.
  4. Finally, restart Eclipse via the clean option (open a command prompt at “C:\eclipse3.3” and enter “eclipse – – clean”). This forces a reload of all Eclipse plugins.

You can verify that Flex Builder capabilities have been installed by checking if the “Flex Development” perspective is available (Window > Open Perspective > Other).

Finally, we will install Peter Martin’s outstanding FDS plugin, which we can use to generate application skeletons for LCDS projects:

  1. Download the plugin
  2. Launch Eclipse (if not already open)
  3. Select Help > Software Updates > Find and Install
  4. Select Search for new features to install
  5. Click New Archived Site
  6. Select the plugin ZIP file you downloaded
  7. Click Finish
  8. Check the feature
  9. Complete the wizard and restart Eclipse when prompted

I’ve been running this configuration for some time now and it seems to be stable (i.e. no Out of Memory errors). I will post updates with any glitches that need to be fixed.

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5 Comments on “Getting Started with Adobe LiveCycle Data Services and Java”

  1. […] will now utilize Peter Martin’s FDS Plugin (installation explained in my previous post) to generate our application […]

  2. CowDir says:

    Pretty awesome article. Thanks! – CowDir

  3. Simon Talbot says:

    Now that you’ve covered the pre-requisites, where in your article above do we actually get started with Flex, LiveCycle and Java?

    How strange would it be to have an article called “Getting Started with Adobe Illustrator” that simply contained the instructions:

    1) Insert your disk into the drive.
    2) Install Illustrator
    3) Good luck!

    Completely mystified.

  4. josh says:

    @Simon – You might want to take a look at another article I posted a week or so after this one: https://iamjosh.wordpress.com/2007/11/08/building-a-livecycle-data-service-application/

    I think this covers more of what you are looking for.

  5. ashwath says:

    hi Josh,

    i have eclipse 3.3M4.

    I tried to do all the steps suggested by you, but not able to see Flex Perspective 😦

    where to paste this content??
    C:\Program Files\Adobe\Flex Builder 2\configuration\com.adobe.flexbuilder

    and there are 4 folders viz.,
    1) com.adobe.flexbuilder.feature.core_2.0.143459
    2) com.adobe.flexbuilder.feature.core_2.0.155577
    3) com.adobe.flexbuilder.feature.standalone_2.0.143459
    4) com.adobe.flexbuilder.feature.standalone_2.0.155577

    Do we have to copy all these folders to extensions/features and extensions/plugins ???

    Pls help…

    Brgds,
    Ashwath