Developing connectors

Developers can create custom connectors for their organizations by using BMC Helix Connector Designer. Tenant administrators and end users use custom connectors to create flows in BMC Helix Integration Studio to complete multiple business tasks.

Connector development overview

The following diagram provides a high-level overview of the actions and roles that might be involved in the connector development process. The exact roles and distribution of responsibilities might vary depending on the nature of a particular project and the structure of a company.

For example, if a connector is being designed for a development tool, such as GitHub, the following roles might be appointed:

  • A software architect takes on the Business Analyst role for the project.
  • Developers and QA engineers take on the Developer and the Tenant Administrator roles.
  • Other employees in the business organization are the End Users.

Before you begin

Before you start the connector development process, make sure that the following tasks are completed:

ActionReference

Make sure that the connector required for accomplishing your business tasks is not available out of the box. By default, BMC Helix Integration Studio includes out-of-the-box connectors for popular BMC and third-party applications.

If the required connector exists, but does not meet your organization's business requirements, try to configure the connector in BMC Helix Integration Studio as a tenant administrator.

Learn about the target application.

For example, for a HootSuite connector development project, you must be familiar with HootSuite's functionalities, particularly those that are exposed through its APIs. A clear understanding of the third-party application's input and output requirements can prevent a significant amount of development effort.

Refer to the documentation of a third-party application.

Since Integration Controller runs only in Linux environments, you should be comfortable working in the supported Linux operating systems.

You must also be proficient in reading and writing code in Java or JavaScript. These programming languages are currently supported in BMC Helix Connector Designer.

N/A

Verify that you can log in to the development and production instances of BMC Helix Integration Studio.

To verify access, log in to your production and developer instances.

Production instances vary by region. For more information, see Accessing BMC Helix Integration Service.

Learn about the best practices for connector development.For more information, see Best practices for connector development.

Process for developing connectors

Use the information in the following table to understand the workflow and the sequence of tasks to be performed for an end-to-end connector development process:

TaskActionReference
1.

Set up the connector development environment to create, test, build, and deploy custom connectors.

You need to set up the connector development environment only once, and then you can use it for developing new custom connectors.

If you use HTTP or HTTPS proxy servers, set up the environmental variables to enable Integration Controller to connect to the proxy servers. The proxy options are not included in the generated code until you set up the variables.


2.Make sure that the connector development environment is set up correctly by using the validation utility and running the health checks.Validating the connector development environment
3.(Optional) Set up your development tools for remote hosting and debugging of your connector code.Setting up your developer tools for remote hosting of the connector code
4.

Start the development process by creating a connector project in BMC Helix Connector Designer and adding the basic connector details.

Note: You must add at least one trigger or action to complete the creation of the connector project.

Creating or deleting a connector project
5.(Optional) Add an API definition file to generate fields while adding triggers or actions in the later stages of connector development.Adding an API definition file to generate fields related to the connector
6.

Add trigger details, trigger definition, and other trigger-related information to specify the triggering events for future flows that will use the connector.

Adding connector triggers to run a flow
7.

Add action details, action definitions, and other action-related information to specify which actions must be performed when a flow that uses the connector is triggered.

Adding connector actions to be performed in the target application
8.Add queries to get data from a target application server when the connector is used in a flow.Adding queries to get data from a target server when running a flow
8.

Build your connector to generate the required connector code files and make it available to your organization within BMC Helix Integration Service.

Building connectors
9.

Test your connector with test values to check for errors in the generated code before deploying the connector to a production instance. Then start the connector in a Docker container in BMC Helix Connector Designer, and test flows on a development site before deploying the connector to your production site.

Testing connectors and validating them on the development site
10.Deploy the connector to a production site.Deploying connectors to the Helix Integration Service production site

Where to go from here

Installing and setting up the connector development environment

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