Ariba: Connect BPM Strategic Sourcing With Adobe PDF LiveCycle
THE PROBLEM. When a key customer needed a way to automatically convert contract documents from the Strategic Sourcing product into PDF, and concatenate them into a single document. They needed the solution delivered as an API that could be called from Ariba’s workflow in the Strategic Sourcing workbench.
The timeframe was short, so Ariba needed a team that could ramp up quickly, understand how the Strategic Sourcing product was architected, and collaborate directly with Ariba architects – someone who understands product development and has a track record of working with ISVs.
THE CHALLENGES. Macadamian and Ariba agreed that Adobe LiveCycle would be the best tool for document conversion, but the limited developer documentation for LiveCycle meant that we would need to discover the LiveCycle API through experimentation. Also, LiveCycle forces developers to use Java 1.5, which would require a lot of rework in Ariba’s solution. The additional challenge was that whatever Macadamian developed had to be production-ready, so that it could be rolled into the next product release.
SOLUTION. Macadamian’s developer travelled to Sunnyvale to collaborate with Ariba architects and set up a development environment. Meeting face-to-face cut the ramp-up time to under a week. By working closely with Ariba architects, we were also able to make sure that what we developed could be integrated later into the product.
THE END RESULT. Thankfully, Macadamian is no stranger to undocumented APIs. Macadamian created a Java API to access Adobe’s LiveCycle server, so that the Ariba team could programmatically create and concatenate the PDF contract documents from the Strategic Sourcing product. Despite having very little support from Adobe and virtually no developer documentation for the LiveCycle SDK, Macadamian delivered on-time. The Ariba team was able to understand and use the API built by Macadamian with minimal support – a few phone calls and daily email communication.