Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Consuming Siebel Web Services with InfoPath

Continuing my work on InfoPath I've completed the web service interface in Siebel based on very simple web service contracts that are easy for the rules engine in InfoPath to use. I will walk through the process of setting a reference to the web service and configuring an InfoPath form to use the service.

Firstly - InfoPath uses the WSDL file that Siebel produces on the Inbound Web Service page to create the internal proxy. If you don't know what WSDL is then it's best to learn about it and then continue.

1. Save the wsdl from Siebel into a convenient location
2. Open up an InfoPath form and open up the Data Connections window available from Tools, Data Connections
 3. Click on  Add...
A wizard starts - it's important that the Receive Data option is chosen; with this method you can specify inbound parameters in our case, we want to specify the SR number as well as the name of the activity plan to attach.
4. The next dialog asks what the source/destination of the data connection. Select Web Service
5. Here we have to specify the location of the WSDL file we saved from Siebel earlier. If we were connecting to a .Net web service we could provide the URL that would auto generate the wsdl on the fly.
6. The next step involves picking the specific operation we want to use. If the web service has multiple operations we need to pick only one. I've created a web service from a workflow process so there will only be one operation.
7.The next dialog asks us if we want to specify any default values. In this case, there are none, but there are scenarios where we want to call a staticly defined service (let's say to get a specific List Of Values type) and we don't want to use rules to set the initial parameters.
8. We can choose to fire the web service call when the form is launched - perhaps to refresh a set of values retrieved from an external source (again the List Of Values idea comes to the fore). In this scenario, we don't want to choose this option as the form will execute the service based on rules.
 9. On the next page we can choose to pre-cache the data from the data connection. Again there are valid scenarios for this option (like a list of values query) where we want to pre-cache a set of values in the InfoPath template. It will save on network traffic if constant refreshing is not needed. (Great for combo-boxes on the form)
10. That's it. Quite a few steps, but the wizard interface breaks all of the options down into an easily digestible set of steps.

I'll go over how to actually use the web service in a future post. (Code free!)

1 comment:

Sankalp said...

Hi..How do I Provide my credentials of Siebel when connecting Infopth to Siebel.
I am using Siebel ON Demand.When i connect it gives server error that seesion is not available.This is perhaps due the reason I have not provided my Siebel On Dmenad Username and Password.Can U plzz Help me with ths

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