Ohio Hotdocs Integration

From PikaDocs

By Matthew Friedlander
Pika Software (http://www.pikasoftware.com/)

In concert with the Ohio Legal Aid Foundation, Pika Software has developed an integration module for the Desktop version of Lexis Nexis' package Hotdocs. This module allows case specific data to be exported into Hotdocs Desktop to populate forms and interviews conforming to the Ohio DR templates standards.

The following instructions concern installing the new modules into an existing Pika CMS including any relevant information concerning prerequisites.

Table of contents


  • Access to a Windows 2003 web server running the HDPublisher web service.
  • PHP 5.04+ & php-xml.
  • The PEAR SOAP (http://pear.php.net/package/SOAP) and Net_DIME (http://pear.php.net/package/Net_DIME) libraries.
  • Apache 2.0.54+.
  • The Pika export scripts


  • You will need to change the reference path on each copy of the desktop version of HotDocs. Click here for Reference Path Instructions.
  • Get the Hotdocs Module Hotdocs.zip (attached here) Unzip the file to a location on your computer and follow the steps below. Do not upload all of the files to your Pika directory until asked to do so, not all files will need to be used.
  • Copy hotdocs_gen.php into your Pika /ops directory.

Open the hotdocs_gen.php file in the text editor of your choice and change the variable $tx_url to point to the URL of the HDPublisher web service WSDL definition file. (ex. http://somehost.net/HDPublisher/HDPublisher.asmx?WSDL) Change the value of $answer_url to point to the full URL of your pika site. (ex. http://pikasoftware.com/matt/pika )

  • Create a directory called /hotdocs under your main pika Directory.
  • Under the hotdocs directory create a directory called /overlay.
  • Copy template_anx.xml into your Pika /subtemplates directory.
  • Copy the SOAP directory under your Pika /app/extralib directory.
  • Copy DIME.php under your Pika app/extralib/Net directory.

Implementing the Hotdocs Interface Under Documents

To integrate the Hotdocs interface into your Documents tab you will need to alter code in the subtemplates/case-docs.html and the modules/case-docs.php files. Included in the Hotdocs integration files attached above are examples of both of these files to get you started.

  • Locate the case-docs.html under the subtemplates folder of the Hotdocs files. Underneath the form assembly section of that page you will see the code for the following buttons and links. Copy this code into your case-docs.html file under subtemplates and the button and links will then appear on your case documents screen. This will add the following to your Documents tab.


  • Now you will need to add a bit of code under case-docs.php in order to disable the HotDocs button for specific problem codes. This code will need to be added in the 'Vairables' section of the case-docs.php. This disables the HD button for all but 3x LSC Problem codes.
$activate_hd = array('30','31','32','33','34','35','36','37','38','39');
if(!in_array($case_row['problem'], $activate_hd)) {$da['activate_hd'] = "disabled"; }
  • Also you will need to populate the plaintiff and defendant menus depending on how your organization views the client and opposing party roles. In this case we are setting the plaintiff to the primary client and the defendant to the opposing party. These lines of code will need to go right before the 'Document Management' section.
$da['plaintiff'] = $case_row['client_id'];
$da['defendant'] = $opposing_id;
  • Each program will need to make sure that their fields are properly mapped since it varies program to program. For example the Case Number tag in Hotdocs is pulled from the Court Number. This is accomplished by changing the $mappings array (ops/hotdocs_gen.php) for the appropriate key (ex. Case Number). Here is an example for ABLE, it will vary for each other program.
$mappings['Case Number'] = array($case->court_no, 'TextValue');

Finishing the Installation

Once all the steps above are complete you should be able to test the Hotdocs integration by pulling up a case and selecting to generate a document from the Documents tab.

A few additional notes:

  • Be sure to check the location of the WSDL webservice file is active and responding. You can do this by pointing your web browser to the location you entered into $tx_url above and an xml file should appear in response.
  • Be sure that the hotdocs/overlay directory under Pika is apache readable & writeable in order for anx files to be generated and hda files to be temporarily stored.
  • There is an issue with IE7 and Hotdocs Desktop not working properly with remote anx files. This is a known issue to Lexis Nexus and there is no fix currently available.