1.2 How E-Mail Messages and Web Pages Are Created by the Manual Task Service Driver

E-mail messages, HTML Web pages, and XDS documents can all be considered documents. The Manual Task Service driver creates documents dynamically, based on information supplied to the driver.

Templates are XML documents that contain the boilerplate or fixed portions of a document together with replacement tokens that indicate where the dynamic, or replacement, portions of the constructed document appear.

Both the Subscriber channel and the Publisher channel of the Manual Task Service driver use templates to create documents. The Subscriber channel creates e-mail messages and the Publisher channel creates Web pages and XDS documents.

The dynamic portion of a document is supplied via replacement data. Replacement data on the Subscriber channel is supplied by the Subscriber channel policies, such as the Command Transformation policy. Replacement data on the Publisher channel is supplied by HTTP data to the Web server (both URL data and HTTP POST data). The Manual Task Service driver can automatically supply certain data known to the Manual Task Service driver, such as the Web server address.

The templates are processed by XSLT style sheets. These template-processing style sheets are separate from style sheets used as policies in the Subscriber or Publisher channels.

The replacement data is supplied as a parameter to the XSLT style sheet. The output of the style sheet processing is an XML, HTML, or text document that is used as the body of an e-mail message, as a Web page, or as a submission to Identity Manager on the Publisher channel.

Replacement data is passed from the Subscriber channel to the Publisher channel via a URL in the e-mail message. The URL contains a query portion that contains the replacement data items.

The Manual Task Service driver ships with predefined style sheets sufficient to process templates in order to create e-mail documents, HTML documents, and XDS documents. Other custom style sheets can be written to provide additional processing options.

An advanced method of creating documents is also available, which uses only an XSLT style sheet and replacement data. No template is involved. However, this guide assumes the template method is used because the template method is easier to configure and maintain without XSLT programming knowledge.