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Introduction

After a custom connector is published, members of the Jitterbit Harmony organization where it is published have access to configure and use the connector in Cloud Studio projects. This page describes where an end user can find custom connectors and how to use them.

Accessing a Custom Connector

In a Cloud Studio project, custom connectors are accessed from the Connectivity tab of the design component palette. They appear the same as any other connector, except that they have a purple folder background and the connector image provided during connector creation:

End users must be using an agent that is version 10.0 or higher to use connectors created with Connector Builder. If the agent does not meet this requirement, you will receive this error message:

Configuring a Connection

A connector provides the interface for entering user-provided input such as credentials to create an authenticated connection. To configure a new custom connection, within the Connectors filter, click the custom connector block:

To configure an existing custom connection, within the Endpoints filter, double-click the custom connection block:

This will open a configuration screen for the custom connection. The fields provided for configuration will be different for each custom connector and depend on how the creator of the connector configured the connector. Common elements of connection configuration are covered below.

TIP: Fields with a variable icon support using global variablesproject variables, and Jitterbit variables. Begin typing an open square bracket [ into the field or click the variable icon to display existing variables to choose from.

  • Endpoint Name: Enter a name to use to identify the custom connection. The name must be unique for each custom connection and must not contain forward slashes (/) or colons (:). As a specific connection and its activities are referred to as an endpoint, this name is also used to identify the custom endpoint.
  • Authentication URL: This field is present if the custom connector was configured to use basic authentication and this field was not hidden by the connector creator. If present, you can edit the URL to be tested against with the credentials entered below.

    CAUTION: If editing the authentication URL, note that the authentication test method is not visible. Check with the connector creator to make sure the new test URL matches the method configured by the connector creator.
  • Base URL: This field is present if it was not hidden by the connector creator. If present, you can edit the base URL that is used for all activities configured by the end user. Do not include any query parameters or paths unless they will be used for all activities (You will be able to specify unique paths and parameters during activity configuration.).
  • Credentials: Fields to enter credentials are present if the custom connector was configured to use basic authentication. These include username and password fields, whose field labels correspond with those configured as Display Names during connector creation. 
  • Request Headers: If the custom connector was created with global request headers, additional fields as defined during connector creation will be present. Enter a value or edit the default value (if provided) for the header.
  • Test: This field is present if the custom connector was configured to use basic authentication. Click this button to test the connection against the configured authentication URL using the provided credentials.
  • Save Changes: Click this button to save and close the connection configuration.
  • Discard Changes: After making changes to a new or existing configuration, click Discard Changes to close the configuration without saving. A message will ask you to confirm that you want to discard changes.
  • Delete: After opening an existing connection configuration, click Delete to permanently delete the connection from the project and close the configuration (see Component Dependencies, Deletion, and Removal).

Configuring Activities

After configuring a custom connection, you can configure one or more activities associated with that connection to use as a source or target within an operation. The activities that are available are defined during connector creation.

Whether the activity can be used as a source or a target depends on the specific web service and the request and response structures, if present. For more information about what determines if an activity can be used as a source or target, see Parts of an Operation in Operation Creation and Configuration.

Within the Endpoints filter, click the custom connection block to display activities that are available to be used with the custom connection:

To create an activity that can be configured, the activity must first be added to an operation on the design canvas. To add an activity to an operation, drag the activity block from the palette to the operation.

For more information about the parts of an operation and adding activities to operations, see Operation Creation and Configuration.

After a custom connector activity has been added to an operation, menu actions for that activity are accessible from the project pane in both the Workflows and Components tabs, and from the design canvas:

  • Project Pane: In the Workflows or Components tab of the project pane, hover over an activity name and click the actions menu icon  to open the actions menu.

  • Design Canvas: Within the operation, click an existing activity block to open the actions menu.

Each of these menu actions is available:

  • View/Edit: This opens the activity configuration screen for you to configure the activity. Details are provided later on this page.
  • Delete: This is used to permanently delete the activity (see Component Dependencies, Deletion, and Removal).
  • View Dependencies: This changes the view in the project pane to display any other parts of the project that the activity is dependent on (see Component Dependencies, Deletion, and Removal).
  • Remove: Available only from the actions menu on the design canvas, this removes the activity as a step in the operation without deleting it from the project. When you remove an activity that is adjacent to a transformation, if schemas are provided within that activity, they will no longer be referenced by the transformation. Removed components can be accessed or permanently deleted from the project pane (see Component Dependencies, Deletion, and Removal).
  • Deploy: This deploys the activity and any components it is dependent on (see Component Deployment).
  • Configurable Deploy: This opens the deployment screen, where you can select project components to deploy (see Component Deployment).
  • Add to group: This opens a prompt to create a new custom group or to add the component to an existing group. Custom groups are an organizational tool to help organize a project (see Component Groups).

The activity configuration screen provides a series of steps for a user to configure, which will be different for each custom connector and depend on how the creator of the connector configured the connector.

The first step typically requires the user to enter basic information and configure fields as defined during connector creation:

TIP: Fields with a variable icon support using global variablesproject variables, and Jitterbit variables. Begin typing an open square bracket [ into the field or click the variable icon to display existing variables to choose from.

  • Name: Enter a name to use to identify the custom connector activity. The name must be unique for each type of activity associated with the connection and must not contain forward slashes (/) or colons (:).
  • Path Parameters, Query String Parameters, & Request Headers: If the custom connector was created with path parameters, query string parameters, or request headers for the activity, additional fields as defined during connector creation will be present. Enter a value, edit the default value (if provided), or make appropriate selections as required for the specific connector.
  • Save & Exit: If enabled, click to save the configuration for this step and close the activity configuration.
  • Next: Click to temporarily store the configuration for this step and continue to the next step. The configuration will not be saved until you click the Finished button on the last step.
  • Discard Changes: After making changes, click Discard Changes to close the configuration without saving changes made to any step. A message will ask you to confirm that you want to discard changes.

The second step displays any request or response data schemas that were provided during connector creation for the specific activity:

  • Data Schema: The request and/or response data schemas are displayed. If the operation uses a transformation, the data schemas will be displayed again later during the transformation mapping process, where you can map to target fields using source objects, scripts, variables, custom values, and more.

  • Add Plugin(s): Plugins are Jitterbit- or user-provided applications that extend Harmony's native capabilities. To apply a plugin to the activity, click to expand this section and select the checkbox next to the plugin to be used. For additional instructions on using plugins, including details on setting any required variables used by the plugin, see Plugins Added to an Activity.

  • Back: Click to temporarily store the configuration for this step and return to the previous step.
  • Finished: Click to save the configuration for all steps and close the activity configuration.
  • Discard Changes: After making changes, click Discard Changes to close the configuration without saving changes made to any step. A message will ask you to confirm that you want to discard changes.

Next Steps

After configuring a custom Connector Builder activity, you can use it within an operation as described below. You may also want to configure chunking to split the data into smaller chunks for processing.

Completing the Operation

After configuring a custom Connector Builder activity, complete the configuration of the operation by adding and configuring other activitiestransformations, or scripts as operation steps (see Operation Creation and Configuration). You can also configure an operation's operation settings, which include the ability to chain operations together that are in the same or different workflows (see Operation Settings).

Custom Connector Builder activities that are used as a source can be used with these operation patterns:

Other patterns are not valid using Connector Builder activities that are used as a source.

Custom Connector Builder activities that are used as a target can be used with these operation patterns:

Other patterns are not valid using Connector Builder activities that are used as a target.

See the validation patterns on the Operation Validity page.

An example of an operation using a custom Connector Builder activity that is used as a source:

An example of an operation using a custom Connector Builder activity that is used as a target:

When ready, deploy and run the operation (see Operation Deployment and Execution) and validate behavior by checking the operation logs (see Operation Logs)

Using Chunking

Many web service APIs have size limitations. If you are running into record limits imposed by the API, you may want to use chunking to split the source data into multiple chunks. The transformation is then performed on each chunk separately, with each source chunk producing one target chunk. The resulting target chunks combine to produce the final target.

For instructions and best practices on using chunking, see Operation Options.

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Last updated:  Jan 23, 2020

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