Publishing actions

Actions allow you to integrate file creation and storage in other desktop products with the document sharing, storage, security, and management tools of Notes®. When you publish an action, you make it available on the Action menu in any open OLE server application. For example, you might automate a document review process so that a Notes user opens a document that autolaunches a Word Pro® file. After editing the file, the user clicks the "Send to Next Reviewer" menu choice in Word Pro, which routes the document containing the Word Pro document to the next user. By publishing actions, you seamlessly coordinate tasks between applications.

With the support of composite applications, you can choose an action to be associated with a composite application by selecting the name of that defined action. In composite applications, Web Services Description Language (WSDL) files (XML files) containing actions, namespaces, properties, and data types are used by components for component interaction in a composite application. An action name is the unique identifier stored as WSDL content in the application WSDL file. It is used as a programmatic identifier (it is recommended that this value be a short string).

Components within a composite application can be wired to together so a user-initiated action in one component can trigger a programmed action in another component. This functionality is supported by the use of properties, actions, types, and the property broker. Specifically, an action is the logic to consume a property. Only LotusScript® actions can consume a property.

For more information, refer to the "Specifying composite application actions used for communication between application components" section of this topic.

Refer also to the "Working with the Properties design element in Domino® Designer" topic in the "Composite Applications - Design and Management" section of this documentation for more detailed information on actions and properties. For general information on how properties and actions work in composite applications, refer to the topic "A closer look at component interaction" in the "Composite Applications - Design and Management" section.

From a designer's point of view, publishing actions expands the scope of what you can do with a flow of work and enhances your ability to control that flow. Teamed with autolaunching, publishing actions allows you to focus or limit user-access to commands, thereby controlling the flow of work. By simplifying and automating multistep tasks, you improve the security of your system and reduce the chance of user error. Actions can incorporate functions, @commands, and LotusScript. Notes also supplies a number of simple actions, such as Move to Folder, which allow you to incorporate useful actions in your form design without programming in LotusScript.

For information on actions, see "Overview of Automation."

When an action executes

On the Advanced (NotesFlow Publishing) tab of the Action Properties box, you can specify what happens when an action runs. Select "Close OLE object and return to Notes" to close the object, save any changes made during the OLE session, and return to Notes. Select "OLE object remains open" if you want the focus to remain with the OLE object. This property is useful if users need to choose more than one action before returning to Notes.

When designing actions, keep in mind the state of the application when returning to Notes. For example, if you use the autolaunch feature with an action, decide whether you want users to return to Notes, whether you want the Notes window hidden, whether users are in a document or a view, and whether the document has been saved or is new. Write documentation or field help in the form to provide guidance to users.

"Bring document window to front" property

On the Advanced (NotesFlow Publishing) tab of the Action Properties box, choose the property "Bring document window to front" if you want the focus to return to Notes without closing the OLE object. By shifting the focus back to Notes, you provide the opportunity for user-input in Notes. When you use this property, remember that the OLE object has not been saved, unless you explicitly saved the object as part of the action. Therefore, you may have to provide a way for users to return to the object to save it.

Note: The "Bring document window to front" property applies only when the document window in Notes has not been hidden.

To publish an action

  1. Open the form.
  2. Choose View - Action pane to display the Action pane.
  3. Double-click the action you want to publish.
  4. Choose Design - Action Properties.
  5. Click the Advanced tab.
  6. Select "Publish Action with OLE object."
  7. Select a property that controls what happens after a user chooses an action.
  8. (Optional) Select "Bring document window to front" to change the default setting.
  9. Close and save the form.

For information about creating an action, see "Adding Automation to Applications."

Note: If actions do not get published even after you select "Publish action with OLE object," make sure Notes/FX 2.0 is enabled. Choose Design - Form Properties and click the Defaults tab. The "Disable Field Exchange" check box should be deselected.

Examples

A Word Pro document needs to be routed for approval. The Notes form you create has an embedded Word Pro document set to autolaunch when edited and an action called "Send to Next Reviewer." When a user opens the Notes document in Edit mode, the Word Pro document automatically launches. After reviewing the Word Pro document, the user selects the Send to Next Reviewer action from the Action menu. This action sends the Notes document to the next reviewer and closes the object.

To provide other routing options, you can add the actions "Ready for Next Reviewer," "Return to Previous Reviewer," and "Archive Document" to the Notes form.

Specifying composite application actions used for communication between application components

The Composite Settings section of the Advanced tab of the Shared Action properties box lets you choose an action to be associated with a composite application by letting you select the name of a defined action.

In composite applications, Web Services Description Language (WSDL) files (XML files) containing namespaces, properties, actions, and types are used by components for component interaction in a composite application.

Components within a composite application can be wired to together so a user-initiated action in one component can trigger a programmed action in another component. This functionality is supported by the use of properties, actions, types, and the property broker. Specifically, an action is the logic to consume a property. Only LotusScript actions can consume a property.

An action name is the unique identifier stored as WSDL content in the application WSDL file. It is used as a programmatic identifier (it is recommended that this value be a short string.

Note: The term "action" is used in general to talk about the "plug" in a component that consumes a property value. Do not confuse the term "action" used in this sense, with the action buttons used in Notes views and forms. All components can have actions, whether or not they are Notes applications.

To specify a defined action you wish to be associated with a composite application:

  1. In the Domino Designer Pane, click the Shared Code design element.
  2. Click the Actions design element.
  3. Click the Shared Actions title bar in the work area.
  4. Click the shared action where you wish to specify an action to be associated with the composite application
  5. Click the Advanced tab.
  6. In the "Composite Settings" section of the tab, select the desired action from the drop-down list.