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Oracle AutoVue integration with web application as a drawing viewer

June 18, 2014

Oracle AutoVue (ver 20.2 in this example) has a Java applet which can be embedded in a web page. I was reluctant to include Java applets in my enterprise web applications because they depend on user’s local machine setting and can be broken by future Java updates (it has a notorious past history particularly with Smarteam). But Oracle AutoVue is almost the only possible option when you want to show CATIA based drawings in web pages.

Shop floor people have wanted to see a “rough look” of a part in intranet web applications because sometimes it’s difficult to differentiate parts just with part numbers, particularly when there are lots of left and right parts. We could add just simple photos of completed parts to the database but the Engineering department’s concern was how we can maintain the accuracy of the picture when design drawings are frequently changing.

For a long time, I didn’t have an answer for this concern. But now I realized if I embed the Oracle AutoVue in a web page and link to the Smarteam database in order to retrieve the latest drawings, I have a solution for this concern. Smarteam API has a functionality of composing a view file in cgr (“CATIA Graphical Representation”) format on-the-fly and copy it in a temporary folder. This means that not only we can show a drawing but also show it in 3-D form when the base drawing of a part is a 3-D file. Users can even turn it in their browsers. How cool is that?

Vision AutoVue

Here is the applet code of Oracle AutoVue embedded in an page:

    <!-- BEGIN AutoVue for Java Applet -->


        HSPACE="0" VSPACE="0"
        WIDTH="100%" HEIGHT="100%" MAYSCRIPT>

        <PARAM NAME="EMBEDDED" VALUE="true">

        <!-- Optional: To call a Javascript function after the applet has initialized -->
        <PARAM NAME="ONINIT"   VALUE="onAppletInit();">

	<!-- Optional: To call a Javascript function after the applet initialization fails -->
	<!-- <PARAM NAME="ONINITERROR" VALUE="onAppletInitError"> -->
        <!-- Set FILENAME parameter to the file you want to view at start            -->
        <PARAM NAME="FILENAME" VALUE='<%=FileURL%>' >
        <!-- Try direct socket connection  and  servlet tunnelling -->

        <p><b>Requires a browser that supports Java.</b></p>

    <!-- END AutoVue for Java Applet -->

You can set the public property FileURL from code behind. It can be web server’s local path or any URL. Since Java version 6, the enhanced security will display annoying error messages. You can avoid them by making a white list in Java control panel (this is a local settings). Make sure you include both Java applet server and web application server if they are from different machines.

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