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Using AttachFS To Test Format Descriptions

Format descriptions are one of the handiest features of the OIE workflow engine - no more writing code to read/write all the various files that are received or need to be created; OIE formats can read and write fixed-record length files, delimited files, XLS files, and DIF files. Already built-in to the various format descriptions are various work-arounds for the ways in which each of these files can be mangled. OIE's XLS reading, for example, can deal with spreadsheets where those numbers have actually been occasionally entered as strings, and the delimited file reader can cope with randomly placed escape characters dropped in by applications unaware of what an escape character is. But how do you know, other than trying to run the full process to import the data, if your format description matches the file? Or later on how do you know that the vendor/supplied/department/customer hasn't changed their format without informing you - again without running the process? Answer: Format descriptions can be tested via the AttachFS protocol.

Getting A Route's Markup Via AttachFS

AttachFS provides a simple method to retrieve the representation or contents of an entity via a GET request for the object's identifier [even improper entities such as messages and attachments can be retrieved this way]. For simple clients this is often a more straight forward approach than WebDAV.

As of 0.1.49rc70 you can now retrieve the BPML markup of an OIE workflow by requesting the route's object id from AttachFS.

Easy StandardXML To JSON

Recemt commits to OpenGroupware Coils add a new jsonWriteAction action for OIE workflows. OIE has long had readJSON for serializing arbitrary JSON documents into XML. jsonWriteAction adds the ability to serialize StandardXML data into JSON documents [provided all the data-types represented in the StandardXML document can be persisted in JSON]. Date and date time values will be serialized as strings in the YYYY-MM-DDTHH:MM:SS format; date values will have a time value of "00:00:00'".

XPath Expression As Action Parameters

A new feature in the latest edition of OpenGroupware Coils [0.1.49rc67] is support for using XPath expressions as parameters for work-flow actions. When a work-flow action parameter begins with $XPath: the input message (which must be XML) is interrogated for the corresponding value prior to the action being performed. Evaluation of the XPath is performed after label substution allowing wild cards to be used to construct the query expression.

One use-case where this is frequently useful is when processing the "current" message within a foreach construct.

Using SSH/SCP From OIE

The OpenGroupware Integration Engine supplies three actions for utilizing the SSH protocol:

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