Connectors and Ports
ConnectorsConnectors 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.
TransportThese 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.
TransformationTransformation 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 GenerationDocument 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.
PortsPorts 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.
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.
MessagesPorts 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/FilesMessages 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.