Interactive Communications centralize and manages the creation, assembly, and delivery personalized, and interactive correspondences. Utilize print as master channel for web, you can minimize effort duplication in creating the web output of the Interactive Communication.
The following are the prerequisites for creating an Interactive Communication:
Log in to the AEM author instance and navigate to Adobe Experience Manager > Forms > Forms & Documents.
Tap Create and select Interactive Communication. Create Interactive Communication page appears.
Enter the following information. :
Title: Enter the title of the Interactive Communication.
Name: The name of the Interactive Communication is derived from the title you enter. Edit it, if necessary.
Description: Enter a description about the Interactive Communication.
Form Data Model: Browse and select the form data model. For more information on Form Data Model, see AEM Forms Data Integration.
Prefill Service: Select the prefill service to retrieve the data and prefill the Interactive Communication.
Post Process Type: You can select AEM or Forms workflow to be triggered when the Interactive Communication is submitted. Select the type of the workflow to be triggered.
Post Process: Select the name of the workflow to be triggered. When you select AEM workflow, provide Attachment Path, Layout Path, PDF Path, Print Data Path, and Web Data Path.
Tags: Select the tags to apply to the Interactive Communication. You can also type in a new/custom tag name and press Enter to create it.
Author:The author name is automatically taken from the logged in user’s username.
Publish Date: Enter the date to publish the Interactive Communication.
Unpublish Date: Enter the date to unpublish the Interactive Communication.
Tap Next. The screen to specify print and web channel details appears.
Enter the following:
Print: Select this option to generate the print channel of the Interactive Communication.
Print Template: Browse and select an XDP as the print template.
Web: Select this option to generate the web channel or the responsive output of Interactive Communication.
Interactive Communication Web Template: Browse and select the web template.
Theme and Select Theme: Browse and select the theme to style the web channel of the Interactive Communication. For more information, see Themes in AEM Forms.
Use Print As Master for Web Channel: Select this option to create the web channel in sync with the print channel. Using print channel as master for web channel ensures the content and data binding of the web channel is derived from the print channel and the changes made in the print channel are reflected in the web channel when you tap Synchronize. The authors are, however, allowed to break the inheritance for specific components in the web channel, as required. For more information, see Synchronize Web channel with Print channel.
If you select the Use Print As Master for Web Channel option, you can select any of the following modes to generate Web channel:
For more information on print channel and web channel, see Print channel and web channel.
Tap Create. The Interactive Communication is created and an alert box appears. Tap Edit to start building the contents of the Interactive Communication as explained in Add contents using Interactive Communication authoring user interface. Alternatively, you can tap Done and choose to edit the Interactive Communication later.
After you have created an Interactive Communication, you can use the Interactive Communication authoring interface to construct its contents.
For more information on the Interactive Communication authoring interface, see Introduction to Interactive Communication authoring.
The Interactive Communication authoring interface is launched when you Tap Edit as mentioned in Create Interactive Communication. Alternatively, you can navigate to an existing Interactive Communication asset on AEM, select it, and tap Edit to launch the Interactive Communication authoring interface.
By default, the print channel of the Interactive Communication appears, unless the Interactive Communication is web-channel-only. The Print channel of the Interactive Communication displays target areas, as available in the selected XDP/print channel template. In these target areas and fields, you can add components or assets.
With the Print channel selected, select the Components tab. The following components are available in the print channel:
|Chart||Adds a chart that you can use in Interactive Communication for visual representation of two-dimensional data retrieved from an form data model collection. For more information, see Using charts in Interactive Communications.|
|Document Fragment||Allows you to add a reusable component, such as text, list, or condition, to an Interactive Communication. The added component could be either form data model-based or without a form data model.|
|Image||Allows you to insert an image.|
Drag-and-drop the components into your Interactive Communication and configure them as required.
You can also use the undo and redo operations while authoring an Interactive Communication for both Print and Web channels.
Use the undo operation to discard the last performed action and the redo operation to incorporate the discarded action again. For example, if you have inserted an image or created a data binding in an Interactive Communication and need to discard it, use the undo operation.
The undo and redo options are displayed on the authoring UI page toolbar. The undo option is displayed only after performing an action. The redo option is displayed on the page toolbar only after performing an undo operation. These actions are reset on refreshing the page.
With the print channel selected, go to the Assets tab and apply the filter to display only the assets you want to see.
Using the Assets browser, you can also directly drag and drop assets into Interactive Communication target areas.
Drag-and-drop the document fragments into the Interactive Communication. Following are the types of document fragments that you can use in the print channel of the Interactive Communication.
|Document Fragment Type||Example purpose|
|Text||Text for adding address, recipient's email, and body text of the letter|
|Condition||Condition to add the appropriate header image to the communication based on the type of the policy: Standard or Premium.
|List||Group of document fragments, including text, conditions, other lists, and images.
You can also replace the binding between a target area and a document fragment by dropping the new fragment on the target area using the Assets tab. The blue color shading of the target area while dragging the fragment indicates that the document fragment can be dropped to the target area.
For more information on document fragments, see Document Fragments.
The authoring interface enables you to distinguish between the unbound and bound fields and variables within an Interactive Communication. The interface highlights the unbound fields and variables using an orange border.
In addition, when you hover the mouse over these elements, a tooltip is displayed with the Field (Unbound) or Variable (Unbound) message.
An unbound variable used in a document fragment may sometimes not be displayed on the authoring interface. It can happen due to an inline text rule within a document fragment or in case of a condition fragment. In such cases, a tooltip, highlighted in blue, is displayed as a part of the document fragment. The tooltip displays the number of unbound variables used within a document fragment.
Tap the document fragment, tap (Configure), and then tap Properties from the sidekick of the Interactive Communication. The Variables and Data Model Objects section lists the variables, including the hidden variables, and data model objects used in the document fragments. Use the (Edit) icon next to each data model object or variable to edit the properties.
To set up binding of variables, tap a variable and select (Configure) and then set up the binding properties in the Properties panel in the sidebar.
Navigate to Variables and Data Model Objects to set up binding of hidden variables in the document fragment.
You can also drag-and-drop data source elements or text document fragments to set up binding of variables. To create a binding with any of the data source elements, select the Data Sources tab and drag-and-drop the element to the variable name. The data source element and variable must be of the same type to set up the binding successfully. If you drag-and drop a data source element to an already bound variable, the new element replaces the previous one to create a new binding with the variable. Similarly, select the Assets tab and drag-and-drop the text document fragment to variable name to set up the binding between them. The text document fragment must not contain any variables.
To add a table, with the print channel selected, in the Assets tab apply the filter to display only the Layout Fragments. Drag-and-drop the required layout fragment to the Interactive Communication. A layout fragment is based on an XDP and can be used to create graphical layouts or static and dynamic tables in Interactive Communication that get populated with dynamic data.
Example: A layout table to display gross premium, loyalty discount %, and emergency roadside assistance availability for old and the new policies.
For more information on layout fragments, see Document Fragments.
With the print channel selected, in the Assets tab apply the filter to display images. Drag-and-drop the required images to the Interactive Communication, such as for company logo.
Further, manage the following in the Interactive Communication:
Sychronizing web channel with the print channel
Switch to Web Channel. The web channel appears in the Interactive Communication editor. When you switch from the Print channel to the Web channel for the first time, the automatic synchornization takes place. For more information, see Synchronizing web channel from the print channel.
Since we are using Print as master for the web in this example, the Print channel placeholders, content, and data binding get synced to the web channel. However, you can change and customize the specific content in the web channel. Cancel inheritance for the target areas and variables that have been generated using the print channel to be able to customize content.
Tap the document fragment, tap (Configure), and then tap Properties from the sidekick of the Interactive Communication. The Variables and Data Model Objects section lists the variables, including the hidden variables, and data model objects used in the document fragments. Use the (Edit) icon next to each data model object or variable to edit the properties. In addition, for document fragments that have been auto-generated in Web channel using Print channel, use the (Cancel Inheritance) icon next to each data model object and variable to cancel inheritance and to be able to edit them.
To add additional components in the Web channel, with the Web channel selected, tap Components. Drag-and-drop components in the web channel of your Interactive Communication as required and proceed to configure them.
|Chart||Adds a chart that you can use in Interactive Communication for visual representation of two-dimensional data retrieved from a form data model collection. For more information, see Using chart component.|
|Document Fragment||Allows you to add a reusable component, text, list, or condition, to an Interactive Communication. The reusable component you add to an Interactive Communication could be either form data model-based or without a form data model.|
|Image||Allows you to insert an image.|
|Panel||Allows you to add a Panel to the Interactive Communication.|
|Table||Adds a table that lets you organize data in rows and columns.|
|Target Area||Inserts a target area in a web channel to organize the web-channel-specific components. Target area is a plain container that allows you to group web-channel specific components.|
|Text||Adds rich text to the web channel of an Interactive Communication. Text can also make use of form data model objects to make the content dynamic.|
|Button||Allows you to add a Button to the Interactive Communication. You can use the Button component to navigate to other Interactive Communications, adaptive forms, other assets such as images or document fragments, or an external URL.|
|Separator||Allows you to insert a horizontal line within an Interactive Communication. Use this component to distinguish between sections in a correspondence. For example, you can use the Separator component to distinguish between Customer Details and Credit Card Details sections in a credit card statement.|
As required, insert assets in your web channel.
You can preview your Interactive Communication to see what the print and web outputs of the Interactive Communication look like and continue making changes, as required.
You can use the Preview option to evaluate appearance of the Interactive Communication. The web channel of Interactive Communication also provides an option to Emulate experience of an Interactive Communication for various devices. For example, iPhone, iPad, and Desktop. You can use both Preview and Emulator options in conjunction with each other to preview the web outputs for devices of different screen sizes. The sample data in the preview is populated from the specified forms data model.
Select the (print or web) channel to preview and tap preview. The Interactive Communication appears.
The preview is populated with the specified form data model’s sample data. For more information on previewing the Interactive Communication with some other data or using the prefill service, see Use form data model and Work with form data model.
For the web channel, use to view how the Interactive Communication looks on various devices.
Further, you can Prepare and send Interactive Communication using the Agent UI.
In the Print channel, you can configure the attachments and library access to allow the Agent manage attachments in the Agent UI for the Interactive Communication:
In the Print channel, highlight the Document Container and tap Properties.
The Properties panel appears in the Sidebar.
Expand Attachments and specify the following properties:
Allow Library Access: Select to enable library access for the agent in the Agent UI. If enabled, the Agent can add files from the library while preparing the Interactive Communication.
Allow Re-Ordering Of Attachments: Select to enable the Agent to re-order the attachments with the Interactive Communication.
Max Number Of Attachments Allowed: Specify the maximum number of attachments allowed with the Interactive Communication.
Files To Be Attached: Tap Add and browse to select files to be attached and specify the following:
While editing the Print channel of an Interactive Communication, hover over a field, which is built in the Print channel template, and select (Configure).
The Properties dialog appears in the sidebar.
Specify the following:
Name: JCR node name.
Title: Enter a title that will be visible to the Agent in the Agent UI and in the Document Container tree.
Binding Type: Select one of the following binding types for the field.
Default Values: Default value ensures that the field is not empty when there is no value provided by the specified data model object or text fragment. If the data binding type is none, the default value is prepopulated in the field.
Display Pattern: You can also define a display format for a field. Select any of the pre-defined options from the Type drop-down list to apply a display format to a field. Select Custom to define a display pattern that is not available in the list. For more information, see Data display patterns
Editable By Agent: Select to allow the agent to edit the value in the field in the Agent UI. This setting is not applicable if Binding Type is Text Fragment.
Label: Specify a text string displayed with the field to the Agent in Agent UI. This setting is not applicable if Binding Type is Text Fragment.
Tooltip: Enter a text string that will be visible on mouse over to the Agent in Agent UI. This setting is not applicable if Binding Type is Text Fragment.
Required: Select to make the field mandatory for the Agent. This setting is not applicable if Binding Type is Text Fragment.
Allow multiple lines: Select this field to allow multiple lines of text as entry in the field. This setting is not applicable if Binding Type is Text Fragment.
The authoring interface enables you to define data display patterns for fields, variables, and form data model elements available while creating an Interactive Communication for print and web channels.
To configure the data display pattern, tap the element, select (Configure) and set up the display pattern in the Properties panel in the sidebar. Select any pre-defined option from the Type drop-down list to view the pattern associated with the selected type. Select Custom from the Type drop-down list to define a pattern that is not available in the list. Editing values in the Pattern field automatically modifies the type to Custom.
To apply the display pattern, the number of characters or digits defined in the Pattern field must match or exceed the characters or digits defined in the value for fields, variables, and form data model elements. For more information, see example.
You can re-define display pattern for a field, variable, or a form data model element after generating web content from the print channel. As a result, an element can have different display patterns defined for print and web channels. If you do not define a display pattern for an element in print channel and auto-generate web content using print channel, the data binding defined for the element in print channel defines the display pattern options available in the Type drop-down list. If there is no binding defined for the element, the data type of the element defines the available display pattern options. For example, if you create a data binding of Number type for an element in print channel, the display pattern options available in the Type drop-down list are of Number type in various formats.
Switch to the Preview mode or open Agent UI to view the display pattern applied to these elements.
The following table lists an example of the values that display as a result of setting the data display pattern for a variable:
|Type||Default value||Display pattern||Display value||Description|
|SocialSecurityNumber||123456789||text||123-45-6789||The number of digits in the default value field matches the number of digits in the Pattern field. The value based on the pattern displays successfully.|
|SocialSecurityNumber||1234567||text||1-23-4567||The number of digits in the default value field is less than the number of digits in the Pattern field. The pattern applies to the 7 available digits.|
|SocialSecurityNumber||1234567890||text||1234567890||The number of digits in the default value field is greater than the number of digits in the Pattern field. As a result, there is no change in the display value.|
If a display pattern is not specified for a variable or a form data model element, the global document fragment configuration is used by default.
If you do not apply a display pattern to a variable of number data type, the Print preview displays the pattern according to the global document fragment configuration. If you apply changes to the default global document fragment configuration, the Agent UI still displays the pattern according to the default separators defined for the locale.
Similarly, for fields, if display pattern is not specified, the pattern defined while creating the Print template (XDP) is applied to the field. If there is no pattern while creating the print template, the default patterns based on XFA specifications are applied to the fields.
In addition, if the display pattern that is specified is incorrect or cannot be applied, the default patterns based on XFA specifications are applied to the fields, variables, or form data model elements.
To conditionalize components or content in the interactive communcation, tap the component/piece of content and select (Create Rule) to launch Rule Editor.
For more information, see:
You can add dynamic tables in Interactive Communication using layout fragments. The following steps use an example of a credit card statement to illustrate the use of a layout fragment for creating a dynamic table in an Interactive Communication.
Ensure that the required layout fragment for creating the table is available in AEM.
In the print channel of your Interactive Communication, drag and drop a layout fragment (with a multi-column table) in a Target Area from the Asset browser.
A table appears in the Interactive Communication layout area.
Specify data binding for each of the cells of the table. To create a repeatable row, insert form data model properties in the row belonging to a common collection property.
Tap a cell in the table and select (Configure).
The Properties dialog appears in the sidebar.
Configure the properties:
Name: JCR node name.
Title: Enter a title that will be visible in the Interactive Communication editor.
Binding Type: Select one of the following binding types for the field.
Data Model Object: The form data model property whose value is populated in the field.
Default Value: Default value ensures that the field is not empty when there is no value provided by the specified data model object. The default value is prepopulated in the field.
Editable By Agent: Select to allow the agent to edit the value in the field in the Agent UI.
Preview the Interactive Communication to see the table rendered with the data.
Tap the root panel in the Web template and tap + to add a Table component to the Interactive Communication. A table including two rows is inserted in the Interactive Communication. The first row of the table represents the Table header.
To add or delete columns:
To add or delete rows:
A. Add row B. Delete row C. Move up D. Move down
You can create a web-channel only dynamic table in an Interactive Communication using a data model property of type collection. Such a table is a representation of a collection property’s child properties. You can edit only the formatting properties of the various cells in the table.
You can sort data based on any column in a table in the Interactive Communication. The values in the column can be sorted in an ascending or descending order.
Sorting can be applied to tables columns containing:
To enable sorting:
Select the table and tap (Configure). You can also select the table using the Content browser in the sidekick of the Interactive Communication.
Select Enable Sorting.
Tap to save the table properties. The sorting icons, up and down arrows, in columns headers represent that the sorting has been enabled.
Switch to the Preview mode to view the output. The table is automatically sorted based on the first column of the table.
Click the column header to sort the values based on the column.
A column header with an up arrow represents that the:
Similarly, a column header with a down arrow represents that the values in the column are displayed in the descending order.
Once you create an Interactive Communication, you can edit its properties at a later stage.
Use the Properties page to:
To access the Properties page:
Execute the following steps to add the Web channel for an existing Interactive Communication:
On the Properties page, select the Channels tab.
Select the Web checkbox and select a template for the Web channel.
Select Use Print as Master for Web Channel to enable synchronization between the Web channel and the Print channel.
Tap Save & Close to save the changes.
Similarly, you can tap the Web checkbox on the Channels tab to delete the Web channel from the Interactive Communication.
You can add button as a component to the web channel of the Interactive Communication. Define rules using the rule editor to be able to navigate to other Interactive Communications, adaptive forms, other assets such as images or document fragments, or an external URL on the tap of the button.
To add button and define rules on it:
Tap the root panel in the Web template and tap + to add the Button component to the Interactive Communication.
Tap the button component and tap to define rules on the tap of the button.
In the When section, select clicked from the state of the button drop-down list.
In the Then section:
Select an action from the drop-down list. For example, select Navigate to as the action type.
Specify the URL of the Interactive Communication, adaptive form, an asset, or a web page. For example, specify the URL in the following format to navigate to another Interactive Communication: https://<server-name>:<port>/editor.html/content/forms/af/<Interactive Communication name>/channels/<channel name - print or web>.html
Specify the option to open the asset in same tab, new tab, or new window.
Tap Done and then tap Close to save the rule.
Similarly, you can select other available options from the action type drop-down list, such as Invoke Service and Submit Form. For more information, see rule editor.
Preview the Interactive Communication and tap the button to view the Interactive Communication, adaptive form, an asset, or a web page specified in step 4(b).
The Panel component is a placeholder for grouping other components together and controls how a group of components, such as accordion and tabs, are laid out in the Interactive Communication. A panel component also allows you to make a group of components repeatable for the end user, such as in multiple entries required for filling in educational credentials.
Perform the following steps to add a Panel component to the web channel:
Insert the Panel component in the web channel using any of the following options:
Tap a component, tap + and select the Panel component.
From the Component browser panel, drag-drop the Panel component on the Interactive Communication.
Tap the Panel in the Content browser panel and tap Add Child Panel. Selecting the Add Child Panel option displays the Add Child Panel dialog box. Enter the title and an optional description and name for the Panel component.
Tap the panel from the Content browser to perform additional actions on the Panel such as configure, edit rules, copy, delete, and insert component.
You can also drag-and-drop a panel within the Content browser to reflect the change in the structure of the Interactive Communication in the right pane.
When you select Print as Master for Web Channel while creating an Interactive Communication, the Web channel is created in sync with the Print channel and the content and data binding of the Web channel is derived from the print channel and the changes made in the print channel could be reflected in the web channel when you tap Synchronize.
The authors are, however, allowed to break the inheritance for components in the web channel, as required.
If you select the Use Print As Master for Web Channel option, you can select any of the following modes to generate Web channel:
Synchronizing the channels syncs only the document fragments, images, conditions, lists, and layout fragments from the print channel to the web channel. The sub-forms or parent nodes that include such elements are not synced.
If you select Print as master while creating the Interactive Communication and do not select the auto sync option, you can also drag-and-drop Print channel elements to the Web channel authoring interface.
Navigate to Data Sources > Master Content to view the Print channel elements. Drag-and-drop the target areas, fields, or tables to the Web channel authoring interface. A blue circle icon next to the element name indicates that the Print channel element has already been included in the Web channel.
In the web channel, the components are embedded in the target areas.
Hover over the relevant target area or variable in the web channel and select (Cancel Inheritance) and then in the Cancel Inheritance dialog, tap Yes.
The inheritence of the components within the target area gets cancelled and now you can edit them as required.
In the Web channel, if you have cancelled inheritance of a component, you can re-enable it. To re-enable inheritance, hover over the boundary of the relevant target area, which includes the component, and tap .
The Revert Inheritance dialog appears.
If required, select Synchronize The Page After Reverting Inheritance. Select this option to synchronize the entire inteactive communication. If you do not select this option only the relevant target area gets synchronized on reinstating the inheritance.
If you are using Print as Master for Web Channel and make changes to the Print channel, you can synchronize content to bring the newly made changes to the Web channel.
To synchronize the Web channel with the Print channel, switch to the Web channel and tap the More options icon.
Tap one of the following:
Once you have auto-generated content in the web channel using the Synchronize option, you can perform more actions on components without canceling inheritance.
Tap the component to view the following options:
Copy: Copy a component and paste it in other places in the Interactive Communication.
Cut: Move a component from one place to another in the Interactive Communication.
Insert Component: Insert a component above the selected component.
Paste: Paste the component you cut or copied using the options described above.
Group: Select multiple components if you want to cut, copy, or paste more than one component together.
Parent: Select the parent of a component.
View SOM Expression: View the SOM expression for the component.
Group Objects in Panel: Group the components in a panel to be able to perform operations on those components simultaneously. For details, see Group objects in Panel.
Cancel Inheritance: Cancel the inheritance of the components within the target area to edit them.
The web channel authoring interface facilitates grouping the components in a panel to be able to perform operations on those components simultaneously. The Content tab lists the grouped components as child elements of the panel in the content tree.
Tap a component and select the Group ( ) operation.
Select multiple components and tap Group objects in Panel.
In the Group Objects in Panel dialog box, enter a name for the Panel.
Enter an optional title and description for the Panel.
The grouped components display as child elements of the Panel in the content tree.
Use PrintChannel API to define output format for the Print channel of an Interactive Communication. If you do not define an output format, AEM Forms generates the output in PDF format.
//options for rendering print channel of a multi-channel document PrintChannelRenderOptions renderOptions = new PrintChannelRenderOptions(); PrintDocument printDocument = printChannel.render(renderOptions);
To generate the output in any other format, specify the output format type. Refer to PrintChannel API for the list of supported output format types.
For example, you can use the following sample to define PCL as output format for an Interactive Communication:
//options for rendering print channel of a multi-channel document PrintChannelRenderOptions renderOptions = new PrintChannelRenderOptions(); renderOptions.setRenderFormat(PrintConfig.HP_PCL_5e); PrintDocument printDocument = printChannel.render(renderOptions);