Connectors


Connectors are used by certain types of data sources to:

  • Define connection settings to databases and query them in different steps in the deployment process, e.g. development, acceptance and production.
    • EasyVista IT Service Manager connectors (access to Product name - ev itsm.png databases used by EasyVista and EasyVista KPI data sources), MySQL connectors (used by MySQL data sources), MS SQL Server connectors (used by MS SQL Server data sources):
    • A connector must be defined for each database used at each step of the deployment process.

      Example documentation icon FR.png SAP database in the development phase ==> Connector A; SAP database in the production phase ==> Connector B

  • Retrieve dynamic content from websites or third-party products (also known as services):
    • REST connectors (used by REST (Connector) data sources).
    • Data is retrieved using URI (Uniform Resource Identifiers) or endpoints.
          Example documentation icon FR.png  Google Calendar, Google Contacts, Twitter
    • The service's data may be public and accessible to everyone (no user authentication required) or restricted to certain users. In this case, user authentication is required before the resource can be accessed. Product name - ev sas.png supports two types of authentication, Basic and OAuth 2.0.
       

Each data source using a connector can point to:

  • The connector itself, identifying a combined database/deployment process step.
    • If you want to modify a component in this combination, you must select another connector.

      Example documentation icon FR.png SAP database in the development phase ==> Connector A; SAP database in the production phase ==> Connector B

    • To run the app for another step in the deployment process, you must modify the connector for all relevant data sources.
  • An alias, identifying the product with which the app can interface, e.g. Product name - ev itsm.pngSAP, Finance or Outlook.
    • The deployment process step is no longer linked to the data source but is selected using an execution context when the app is run.
    • To run the app for another step in the deployment process, you only need to modify the current execution context. The connector to be used will automatically be identified for the new step. No modification is required in the data sources. Open url.png See the example.

Notes

  • Connectors, aliases and execution contexts are defined in the App Gallery or using the graphic editor. They are common to all apps. The current execution context is specific to each app and is defined in the app properties.
  • EasyVista IT Service Manager connectors:
    • They are defined by Logo - EasyVista.png during the setup of Product name - ev sas.png and cannot be modified.
    • Product name - ev sas.png They are always shipped with a sandbox connector (account 50005) and a production connector (account 50004).
    • To create a connector with an email address, you must submit a request to Logo - EasyVista.png. You should provide the email address you want. It must be unique in the corresponding Product name - ev itsm.png database.
  • REST connectors:
    • A list of services is defined by Logo - EasyVista.png.
      • Those using the None or Basic authentication methods can be modified or deleted. You can also add new ones.
      • Those using the OAuth 2.0 authentication method cannot be modified or deleted. You cannot add new ones.
    • Any REST (Connector) data source pointing to a REST connector enables you to access a service and all the resources defined for it.
    • For services using OAuth 2.0 authentication, users can access the personal information in their accounts via their user information zone Apps - Authentication zone.png > [ MANAGE MY EXTERNAL ACCOUNTS ].
  • Depending on the connector, the information to be specified will vary.
  • Connectors are linked to access management in the App Gallery and to the profile of the logged-in user:
    • App Center Manager profile: Users can create connectors other than easyvista IT Service Manager connectors. They can also create aliases and execution contexts.
    • App Creator profile: Users can create connectors other than easyvista IT Service Manager connectors. They can also list execution contexts but cannot see their details.
    • Registered User profile: Users are not authorized to modify connectors, aliases or execution contexts.
  • Access to a connector linked to a sensitive database can be restricted using the Keep it Private property in the connector.
             Example documentation icon FR.png  Restricting access to an accounting database.

Best Practice big icon.pngBest practice

  • The number of execution contexts is specific to each customer and depends on the customer's deployment strategy. You should define an execution context for each step in the deployment process, e.g. development, acceptance and production.
  • You should define an alias for each product interfacing with Product name - ev sas.png and associate a default connector that will be used when the app is run in cases where the current execution context is not specified.
  • We recommend that you use an alias to associate a data source with a database. You should point the data source to a connector when the database does not change, regardless of the step in the deployment process.

Caution

  • When you change the connector of an EasyVista or EasyVista KPI data source, you must specify its components again (query, view and filter).
  • When you change the current execution context of an app, you should ensure that the components (query, view and filter) of each data source exist for the new execution context so that the associated widgets can work correctly.
  • If you delete a connector, an alias or an execution context, you should ensure that they are not being used by any app because this app will no longer run correctly.

 

Example

An app is made up of an Product name - ev itsm.png dashboard (1) and charts displaying financial data (2). Its deployment comprises three steps: development, acceptance and production

  • The Product name - ev itsm.png section (1) includes four Dashboards widgets linked to EasyVista data sources.
  • The financial section (2) includes three Dashboards widgets using MySQL data sources linked to the Finance product database.
           Apps - Connectors - Example.png

The connectors, aliases and execution contexts used by the app are listed in the table below:

  • Creation of an execution context for each of the three steps in the deployment process: development, acceptance and production.
  • Creation of an alias for each product interfacing with the app: EasyVista, Finance.
  • Creation of a connector for each database used by the product during the different steps in the deployment process, e.g. EasyVista ITSM SBox connector linked to the Product name - ev itsm.png 50005 database (sandbox environment) to be read during the development step.


E x e c u t i o n     c o n t e x t s    (= deployment steps)
Development Acceptance Production

Alias: Product name - ev itsm.png

(easyvista) connector

connector: EasyVista ITSM SBox

(default connector for the alias)

connector: EasyVista ITSM Test connector: EasyVista ITSM Prod

Alias: Finance

(mysql connector)

connector: Finance Test

(default connector for the alias)

connector: Finance Test connector: Finance Prod

You can use one of two methods to build the app in the sandbox environment before switching to the other two environments:

  • The app is built using connectors:
    • You must point each data source to the connector to be used for the development step. 
    • Once you have tested the app, you should modify each data source and point it to the connector to be used for the acceptance step.
    • Next, deploy the app in the production environment by pointing each data source to the connector to be used for the production step.

      ==> We do not recommend this method because you are required to modify all data sources in the app to select the connectors to be used for the acceptance step. You are then required to modify them again to select the connectors to be used for the production step.

  • Best Practice icon.png The app is built using aliases. Open url.png See the procedure.  
    • You should specify the current execution context of the app (in the general properties) corresponding to the first step of the deployment process, the development execution context. 
    • You should point each data source to the alias identifying the desired product, EasyVista for data sources linked to Product name - ev itsm.png and Finance for Finance data sources.
    • Run the app. The connectors that will be used are those defined for each product in the development execution context.
    • Once you have tested the app, you should modify the current execution context to perform the second step in the deployment process, the acceptance execution context. Run the app. The connectors that will be used are those defined for both products in the acceptance execution context.
    • You should then deploy the app in the production environment after modifying the current execution context to production.

      ==> We recommend that you adopt this method because it requires you to modify only the current execution context of the app. Thanks to the use of aliases, all data sources in the app will automatically point to the connectors in the acceptance execution context and subsequently to those in the production execution context.

Screens description

Access: via the App Gallery or the graphic editor  >  Apps - Gallery - Connectors icon.png

List of connectors

         Apps - Connectors - Connectors tab.png
Click a connector to see its details or click [ ADD CONNECTOR ] to add a new one.
Note

  • You cannot add a new easyvista IT Service Manager connector.
  • The fields to be specified depend on the type of connector.
     
"easyvista IT Service Manager"    Connectors
Connector Type - EasyVista.png
Connector Name Connector name.
Type Type of connector: easyvista IT Service Manager.
URL Link for accessing the Product name - ev itsm.png database.
Account Product name - ev itsm.png database account (e.g. account 40000 for the test database).
Email Email address for accessing the account.
  • By default, the email address is not specified. Logged-in users can access the specified account and view only the data for their domain, e.g. Europe Incidents.
  • If you want to restrict or extend access to a specific domain (e.g. if access to the Canada Incidents domain is also required), then you must create a connector with an email address for this domain. Note: You should submit a request to the Logo - EasyVista.png Support team and provide an email address that is not already used for the corresponding account.
Keep it private Used to indicate, in edit mode, if the connector can be used by all users authorized to create apps (Public Public icon.png option) or only by the app creator (Private Private icon.png option).
"MYSQL"    and    "MS SQL Server"    Connectors
Connector Type - MySQL and MS SQL Server.png
Connector Name Connector name.
Type Type of connector.
Hostname Name of the machine hosting the data server.
Port Port number for accessing the data server. Note: As a general rule, we use port 3306.
User Name of the user with access rights to the data server.
Password User password.
Keep it private Used to indicate, in edit mode, if the connector can be used by all users authorized to create apps (Public Public icon.png option) or only by the app creator (Private Private icon.png option).
"REST"    Connectors -   Open url.png   See   REST (Connector) data sources   and the   procedure.
Connector Type - REST.png
Connector Name Connector name.
Type Type of connector.
Authentication method User authentication method for accessing the data source. Note: The information required for configuring the type of connector will depend on the method.
  • None: No authentication is required for accessing the service because the REST API is open or public.
  • Basic: The authentication parameters specified are sent to the third-party product in the header of the HTTP request.
  • OAuth 2.0: Authentication specific to the data owner is performed using the third-party product. OAuth 2.0 is based on this authorization delegation protocol.
Service URL URL of the third-party product interfacing with the app.
  • Click REST - Select URL icon.png to display the list of services available and select the one you want.
  • For the None and Basic authentication methods only, you can click Apps - Add icon.png to create a service in the new window that will appear.
Apps - Connectors - Connectors tab - REST create service.png
  • Service Name: Name of the service.
  • URL: Link for accessing the service.

    Note: You can add variables in the main section of the URL using the following format: {variableName}. You can also add parameters at the end of the URL prefixed by the ? or & character.

    Example documentation icon FR.png https://{hostname}/api/v1/{account}/

  • Icon: Icon associated with the service. By default, Wheel icon.png. Click Upload icon.png to upload another icon. Click Apps - Remove uploaded file icon.png to return to the default icon.
Key / Value

Used to customize the HTTP header of the requests made to a third-party REST API.

  • In particular with a Basic authentication, any third-party REST APIs require to pass a static password token/API Key (generally created/revoked in an admin interface) in the HTTP header of all API calls.

    Example documentation icon EN.png Authorization key associated with {Your Authorization Token} value

  • Note: According to the third API, you should use None or Basic authentification mode.
ACCOUNT / subdomain In Basic authentication: Account and domain name provided by the third-party product.
User name / Password authentication In Basic authentication: Login and password for accessing the third-party product.
Instance In OAuth authentication:
Authentication parameters In OAuth authentication: Parameters required for accessing the service. These vary depending on the third-party product. Click Edit icon.png to enter the information.
Default Resource Resource proposed by default for the service when a REST (Connector) data source is created.
  • Click REST - Select URL icon.png to display the list of resources defined for the service, i.e. resources predefined by Logo - EasyVista.png and manually added resources.
  • Click [ ADD RESOURCE ] to create a new resource in the new window that will appear.
  • Apps - Connectors - REST create resource.png
    • Label: Name of the resource.
    • URI: URI for accessing the resource.

      Note: You can add variables in the main section of the URI using the following format: {variableName}. You can also add parameters at the end of the URI prefixed by the ? or & character.

      Example documentation icon FR.png request?max_rows={maxrows}

    • Default Selector: Default selector of the resource used to extract only the data you want from the JSON file. You can enter the name of the tag directly or click Apps - Edit icon.png to use the Selector tool.
    • Description: Description of the resource.
      Example documentation icon FR.png Shows a list of the last 50 Salesforce records consulted by the authenticated user account.
    Keep it private Used to indicate, in edit mode, if the connector can be used by all users authorized to create apps (Public Public icon.png option) or only by the app creator (Private Private icon.png option).

    List of aliases

             Apps - Connectors - Aliases tab.png
    Click an alias to see its details or click [ ADD ALIAS ] to add a new one.

    Alias Name: Name of the alias identifying one of the products with which the app can interface, e.g. Product name - ev itsm.pngSAP, Finance or Outlook.

    Type: Type of database linked to the product, e.g. MySQL, that determines the connectors that can be associated with it.

    Default connector: Default connector associated with the alias, used when the app is run in cases where the current execution context is not specified in the general properties. Note: Only a connector that has the same type as the alias can be associated.
     

    List of execution contexts

             Apps - Connectors - Execution contexts tab.png
    Click an execution context to see its details or click [ ADD EXECUTION CONTEXT ] to add a new one.

    Name: Name of the execution context identifying a step in the deployment process.

    Alias Name Associated: List of all existing aliases. You must specify the connector to be used for each alias.

    Connector to be Used: Name of the connector used for connecting to the alias. If the connector is not specified for one of the aliases, then the default connector defined in the Aliases tab is used when the app is run.

    Procedures

    How to manage connectors

    1. In the App Gallery or in the graphic editor, click Apps - Gallery - Connectors icon.png.

    2. The list of existing connectors will appear.

    • You can click the one you want to display and modify its properties, or
    • You can click [ ADD CONNECTOR ] to create a new one (Note: Only for users with the App Center Manager profile), or
    • You can click Apps - Delete icon.png to delete the one you want (Note: Except for easyvista IT Service Manager connectors).

    3. Define an alias corresponding to each of your products interfacing with Product name - ev sas.png:

    • Select the Aliases tab to display the existing aliases.
    • You can modify the existing properties for each of them, or
    • You can click [ ADD ALIAS ] to create a new one (Note: Only for users with the App Center Manager profile), or
    • You can click Apps - Delete icon.png to delete the one you want.

    4. Define an execution context for each step in the deployment process of the app:

    • Select the Execution Contexts tab to display the existing execution contexts.
    • You can click the one you want to display and modify its properties, or
    • You can click [ ADD EXECUTION CONTEXT ] to create a new one (Note: Only for users with the App Center Manager profile), or
    • You can click Apps - Delete icon.png to delete the one you want.

    How to create a REST connector

    1. In the App Gallery, click Apps - Gallery - Connectors icon.png or in the graphic editor, click EVApps - GUI - Connector icon.

    2. Click [ ADD CONNECTOR ]:

    • Enter the name of the new connector.
    • Select REST to indicate the type of connector. The fields to be specified will automatically appear.

    3. Select the authentication method you want, i.e. None, Basic or OAuth 2.0. The fields to be specified for the selected option will automatically appear.

    4. Indicate the service (third-party product) associated with the connector.

    • Click REST - Select URL icon.png next to the Service URL field. The list of existing services will appear.
               Apps - Connectors - Connectors tab - REST choose service.png
    • Click the one you want. The window will automatically close and the URL of the service will be specified.

       In this window, you can also:

    • Define a new service by clicking Apps - Add icon.png (Note: Only for None or Basic authentication). Open url.png  See the description of the Service URL field.
               Apps - Connectors - Connectors tab - REST create service.png
    • Modify or delete a service (Note: Only for services not defined by Logo - EasyVista.png).
      • Display the contextual menu by moving the mouse over it.
      • Click v and select the option you want.
                 Apps - Connectors - Connectors tab - REST contextual menu service.png

    5. Specify the resources proposed for the service.

    • Click REST - Select URL icon.png next to the Default Resource field. Note: If it is a service predefined by Logo - EasyVista.png, the list of all predefined resources for the service will appear.
               Apps - Connectors - Connectors tab - REST resources list.png
    • Click [ ADD RESOURCE ]:
               Apps - Connectors - REST create resource.png
      • Specify the properties of the new resource. Open url.png See the description of the Default Resource field.
      • To use the Selector tool, click Apps - Edit icon.png next to the Default Selector field.
        • You can click the tag you want in the JSON table. It will appear in yellow.
        • You can also enter an expression in the search field at the top of the window and click [ APPLY ].
                   Apps - Connectors - Connectors tab - REST edit selector.png
      • Click [ SAVE ]. You will return to the list of resources.
    • Repeat the procedure above to create all resources to be accessed for the service.
    • In the list of resources, you can also:
      • Click one of the resources to modify its properties.
      • Click Apps - Duplicate icon.png to duplicate a resource. Next, click the duplicated resource to modify its properties.
      • Click Apps - Delete icon.png to delete a resource.
    • Click [ SAVE ]. You will return to the window for creating the connector. Caution: Actions performed in the list of resources, i.e. creation, modification and deletion, are saved only when you click this button.
    • Select the resource proposed by default for the service when a REST (Connector) data source is created from the Default Resource drop-down list.

    6. Specify the fields specific to the selected authentication method.

    7. In the Keep it private field, indicate whether you want a Public Public icon.png connector or a Private Private icon.png one.

    8. Click [ OK ].

    9. Create a REST (Connector) data source pointing to this connector. You will automatically have access to the associated service and all configured resources. Open url.png See the procedure.

     

    How to deploy an app

    1. To facilitate the configuration of aliases, connectors and execution contexts, you should complete the following type of table. Open url.png See the table in the example.

    E x e c u t i o n     c o n t e x t s    (= deployment steps)
    Execution context 1: Execution context 2: Execution context 3:

    Alias 1:

    (type of connector...)

    connector: connector: connector:

    Alias 2:

    (type of connector...)

    connector: connector: connector:

    Alias 3:

    (type of connector...)

    connector: connector: connector:

    2. Define the configuration for each connector.

    • In the App Gallery, click Apps - Gallery - Connectors icon.png or in the graphic editor, click EVApps - GUI - Connector icon.
    • Define a connector for each database used by one of your products (services) interfacing with Product name - ev sas.png in the steps in the deployment process:
    • Define an alias corresponding to each of your products interfacing with Product name - ev sas.png:
    • Define an execution context for each step in the deployment process. All aliases will automatically be listed. For each alias, you must specify the connector used for reading the service database in the step.

    3. Build the app and initialize the deployment process.

    • Go to the App Gallery and click Apps - Gallery - Create Application icon.png to create a new app.
    • In the general properties of the app, specify the execution context in the Choose an execution context field and select the first step in the deployment process.
    • Define and configure the app objects.
    • Use an alias to indicate the product (service) each data source should point to.
    • Click EVApps - GUI - Execute icon.png to run the app. The current execution context will automatically search for the connectors to be used with each alias.
          Example documentation icon FR.png  Open url.png See the table.
      • Current execution context = Development execution context (first step in the deployment process).
      • The Product name - ev itsm.png Dashboards widgets use data sources that point to the EasyVista alias ==> When they are run, the EasyVista ITSM SBox connector will automatically be used.

    4. Once you have tested your app, configure it to go on to the next step in the deployment process. In the general properties of the app, modify the current execution context in the Choose an execution context field and select the second step in the deployment process.
        Example documentation icon FR.png  Open url.png See the table.

    • Current execution context = Acceptance execution context (second step in the deployment process).
    • The Product name - ev itsm.png Dashboards widgets use data sources that point to the EasyVista alias ==> When they are run, the EasyVista ITSM Test connector will automatically be used.

    5. Repeat the procedure above to modify the execution context of the app for each of the other steps until the last step enabling you to deploy the app in the production environment.
        Example documentation icon FR.png  Open url.png See the table.

    • Current execution context = Production execution context (last step in the deployment process).
    • The Product name - ev itsm.png Dashboards widgets use data sources that point to the EasyVista alias ==> When they are run, the EasyVista ITSM Prod connector will automatically be used.

    6. Once you have deployed the app, assign access rights for running the app to selected users. To do this, return to the App Gallery and click Apps - Application rights.png in the app toolbar.

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    Last modified by Unknown User on 2017/07/19 15:44
    Created by Administrator XWiki on 2014/09/02 12:21

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