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Connectors and Ports

Connectors

Connectors come bundled with RSSBus Connect and provide the ability to process messages. Connectors are able to transport messages to outside destinations via transport protocols such as AS2 or OFTP. Or they can transform messages from one format to another such as XML or EDIFACT. Connectors are the building blocks for creating a process flow of data through RSSBus Connect.
Connectors require specific settings in order to process messsages. They can be configured to poll folders, servers, or databases for new files or messages to process. Connectors can also have receive endpoints that listen for new incoming messages.

Connector Types

Transport

These connectors link to outside systems to transport data to and from RSSBus Connect. Transport connectors usually contain a send folder and a receive folder where files are sent from and received to, respectively. The connectors will monitor the send folder at a polling interval for files to send to the server.

Transformation

Transformation connectors can transform data from one format to another. For example, an X12 port will process a file formatted in X12 to XML, and vice versa. These ports will poll the send folder for files to process and place files that have been processed into the receive folder for that port.

Document Generation

Document generators are connectors that are able to generate documents based on data that they receive. For example, an Excel port can generate an Excel document based on a template by reading the data from an XML file that is dropped into a folder it is listening to.

Ports

Ports are individually configurable instances of a particular connector. Ports contain specific information about how to process an individual message meant for a specific recipient. This information can include server connection information, XML schema information, or other settings that tell the port how to process messages that it receives.

The image below describes the flow of data through various ports in RSSBus Connect from a database to a recipient outside of your organization.

Each port has a unique identifier that is used throughout RSSBus Connect to identify that port. All ports also contain automation settings which dictate how many times to retry processing a message. Ports log every message they process to a transaction log visible in the Status tab of the application.

Ports also have unique characteristics and settings that are specific to that port, such as the send and receive folders for that port. Each port has a set of events which are invoked when certain events occur, such as before and after sending a file. These events are capable of executing many different tasks such as pushing the processed message to another port for further processing, sending an email notification, executing a batch file or shell script, or simply moving the file to another location on disk. The events are built on a rich extensible scripting engine which allows flexibility to write custom operations for processing files.

Messages

Ports can create raw files or messages when processing files. Message files are MIME-formatted files that contain metadata about the file as well as the file contents. These message files are named by the Message Id generated by RSSBus Connect with an extension .eml. The metadata has information about which ports have processed the file, failures, and the data type, among other things.

If you want to retain the metadata of a file throughout its life in RSSBus Connect, set the output format for each port to generate message-formatted files. However, if you want a port to generate files without the metadata information, set the output format for that port to be raw.

Routing Messages/Files

Messages can be routed from one port to the next or out of RSSBus Connect altogether. Transport ports such as AS2, OFTP, and SFTP can push messages to other systems such as trading partners or other servers. However, if you want to push a message from one port to the next, RSSBus Connect has events which allow this.

When messages are pushed from one port to the next, metadata about the message is included in the message file that is routed to the next port. This information is useful in tracking the history of which ports have processed the message.

Transactions

All messages that are processed by ports in RSSBus Connect are logged to the transaction log. This contains information of the status of each message and additional information about when the message was processed, errors that occurred, etc.

 
 
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