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Prepopulating edit-metadata form fields with data from a web service

Question asked by tchoupitoulos on May 15, 2013
Latest reply on May 19, 2013 by tchoupitoulos
I have seen simliar posts to this on the forums, as well as other sources, but all replies have either been mere snippets of code with almost no context or explanation, or links to documentation like the forms developer guide that provide more of a 10,000 foot view of the system as a whole than real examples that would guide me.

I have created a custom content type, an extension of cm:content, called ai:bulletin. It has some new metadata properties associated with it, and I have implemented a share-config-custom.xml configuration file to modify the form to include these items, as per the various Alfresco docs as well as Mr. Potts' "Working With Custom Content Types" publication. This has all been completed relatively painlessly.

What I need is fairly simple. I would like to present an editing form for this content type that includes multiselect boxes that are prepopulated using data retrieved from a web service internal to my organization but external to the alfresco system. I've been through your forms documentation, your forms developer guide, Spring surf docs, Alfresco share and repo docs, Freemarker docs, etc. etc. and what I seem to miss is how are all these things tying together? Should I be implementing my service calls using client side javascript, and can freeMarker even support that? Or do I need to extend backend java classes in order to accomplish this?

I feel like the information to do this exists throughout your documentation, but is so piecemeal and dispersed that I could spend a week trying to locate and pin down everything I need. Can anyone provide a quick but complete synopsis or cookbook recipe of exactly what I need to implement, where, and how within the Alfresco system to accomplish this?