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The PC Integration API allows you to integrate your browser screens with PC applications. For example, you may have the need to call up your PC-based imaging or document management application to view an invoice, part image, etc., based on a user action in the browser screen. The PC Integration API also allows you to copy data to the PC's clipboard. Genie's STRPCCMD command support also makes use of the PC Integration API.

For obvious security reasons, the browser vendors have made it so that Web-based applications cannot call programs on the PC under normal security settings. This makes it challenging to integrate your browser-based screens with other applications in your environment. The PC Integration API solves this challenge by running the PC commands in either a Java applet (PC Integration Applet) or a separately installed PC program (PC Command Listener or PC Command Launcher). 

One of the following alternatives must be configured on the end user PC's before the PC Integration API can be used.

PC Integration Applet

The applet was the original mode of operation, and remains the default. However, this is being phased out as browser vendors drop support for the Java plug-in. The applet is digitally signed so the end-user's PC can trust the applet to call programs on the PC. The applet is a piece of Java code, but no Java programming is required to use it. The applet is packaged into a JAR file that is placed on your server's file system, and downloaded by the user's browser through the HTTP server. There is a JavaScript function provided that you can use to easily load the applet in your browser page. Once this is done, you can access the applet's functionality using simple JavaScript API that are provided.

PC Requirements

The PC Integration applet runs in the Java Virtual Machine's browser plug-in on the end user's PC. The only current browsers that support the Java plug-in are Internet Explorer and Mozilla FireFox. Chrome and Edge do not support the Java plug-in. 

Installing PC Java Plug-in and Verifying Version

As mentioned above, the Sun plug-in is required. The user can verify the version and install it if necessary at this URL:http://www.java.com

Click on the "Do I have Java?" hyperlink to test the version.

This brings up the verification page. If the latest version of Sun Java is installed, a "congratulations" message will appear.

If the latest Sun Java plug-in is not installed, a notification message will display. If this is the case, the user can click the Download Java Now button to get Java. Installation is automated and takes just a few minutes.

PC Command Listener

The PC Command Listener provides an alternative to the Java applet. This enables the PC Integration API to function in any web browser. However, this must be installed separately on end user PCs. The PC Command Listener works by running an embedded HTTP server on the PC that binds on the IP loopback address and configurable port. The PC Integration JavaScript API then communicates with the Listener using standard HTTP communications. 

PC Requirements

The PC Command Listener runs on any Windows Vista, 8, 7, or 10 PC. 

Installing and Configuring the PC Command Listener on the PC

The PC Command Listener installer can be downloaded here. This is a standard Windows program installer that works in the typical way. The program is installed for all PC users and registers itself to run on Windows startup. The program runs in the System Tray.The tray icon has a context menu that can be used to start/stop the listener and to configure the port number.

  

PC Command Listener Command-line Installation

The MSI installation package can also be run from a command prompt or script using the Windows 'msiexec' command. When installing using 'msiexec' the configuration data can be passed on the command line using the --CONFIG parameter. The configuration will be written to the PC's program data directory, which is shared by all PC users. For example, to set the listen port to 9999 and disable notification messages:

 

 


Configuring the Server for the PC Command Listener

Since the default mode of operation for the PC Integration API is to use the Java applet, the configuration option pui["use pc listener"] and optionally pui["pc listener port"] must be set in order to use the Listener. Options to configure the PC Command Listener are also provided in the Genie Administrator. If specified, these will take precedence.

(Profound UI Version 5, Fix Pack 12.0 and earlier)


PC Command Listener on HTTPS (SSL) Servers

To enable a Rich Display session running on HTTPS to send commands to the Listener, the configuration option pui["pc listener mode"] must be set. Genie automatically detects the site is using HTTPS, so that option isn't necessary for Genie.

PC Command Launcher

The PC Command Launcher is an alternative to the Integration Applet and the Command Listener. This enables the PC Integration API to function in any web browser, in HTTP or HTTPS (SSL) pages, and in browsers running in Terminal Services sessions. However, a program must be installed separately on end user PCs. Another disadvantage is that the Integration API gets no feedback about the command's status. If the command fails to run, then the API doesn't know. Consequently, the command "wait" is not implemented. Each command is executed as soon as it is received, and no commands can wait until the previous command finished.

Once the PC Command Launcher program is installed on a PC, the Launcher will handle any requests to a custom protocol. The Integration API will open a custom URL containing some encrypted information with the command, and the browser will attempt to run the Launcher. The first time a PC Command is sent via the Launcher mode, the browser will prompt the user before running the launcher:

If the user checks the "Always open these types of links in the associate app" checkbox and clicks "Open...", then they will no longer be prompted before the command runs. There is no interface to the PC Command Launcher.

PC Command Launcher works with Profound UI Version 5, Fix Pack 13.0 and later.

Installing and Configuring the PC Command Launcher on the PC

The PC Command Launcher installer can be downloaded here. This is a standard Windows program installer that works in the typical way. The program is installed for all PC users.

PC Command Launcher Command-line Installation

The installer package can be installed from a Windows command line without displaying an interface. For example, do an install with no UI:

Example

The installer needs administrative privileges.

 

Configuring the Server for the PC Command Launcher

The default mode of operation for the PC Integration API is to use the Java applet. To use the PC Command Launcher, pui["pc command mode"] must be set to "launcher". Options to configure the PC Command Listener are also provided in the Genie Administrator. If specified, PC Command Mode will override "pc listener mode" and "pc listener" options.

 

Uninstalling the PC Command Launcher from the PC

The launcher can be uninstalled like any other program, using Windows' Add/Remove Programs:

Or the Windows Control Panel:


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