Developing connectors

Developers and integration specialists can use BMC Helix Connector Designer for fast, iterative connector design and deployment.

Connector development overview

The following diagram provides a high-level overview of the roles and steps involved in connector development. Exact roles may vary depending on the nature of the project, and responsibilities are shared or distributed accordingly. For example, if a connector is being designed for a developer tool such as GitHub:

  • A software architect is likely going to take on the Business Architect role for the project.
  • A development team consisting of developers and/or QA engineers will take on the Developer and Tenant Administrator roles.
  • Tenant Administrator responsibilities will be shared or consumed by the Developer role.
  • Developers in the business organization and beyond are the End Users.

Connector development process

The following illustration shows a sequence of steps to be performed in BMC Helix Connector Designer to develop a connector:

developing_connectors

Before you begin

At a minimum, the following individuals or teams should work together for end-to-end connector development:

  • Business Analyst—Creates the specifications based on business requirements
  • Developer—Designs, tests, builds, and deploys new connectors
Task Action Reference
1

Confirm that the connector does not already exist. BMC Helix Integration Service includes out-of-the-box connectors for popular BMC and third-party applications. In case the intended connector exists, but does not meet your organization's business requirements, try to configure it as required.

Refer to Finding existing connectors to verify that the connector does not already exist.

Refer to Configuring connectors for instructions on configuring existing connectors.

2 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 intended application's input and output requirements can potentially prevent a significant amount of development overhead. Refer to the target application's documentation.
3

Since Integration Controller runs only in a Linux environment, the Developer should be comfortable working in the supported Linux operating systems. The Developer must also be proficient in reading and writing code in Java or JavaScript, which are the programming languages BMC Helix Connector Designer currently supports.

4

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

Open your production and developer instances to verify access. Note that production instances vary by regions (see Access and installation).

To set up the connector development environment

The developer needs to set up the development environment by installing Docker (a prerequisite for BMC Helix Connector Designer), BMC Helix Connector Designer, and Integration Controller.

System requirements for BMC Helix Connector Designer:

  • Operating system: Microsoft Windows, Apple OS X/macOS, or Linux 
    • Supported Windows versions are 10.x and later
    • Supported OS X/macOS versions are 10.11.x and later
    • Supported Linux distributions are CentOS 7.1 or later (7.3 preferred), Ubuntu 14.04.5 or later (16.04.x preferred), and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3 or later (7.4 preferred)
  • Web browser: Recent versions of modern web browsers
    • Mozilla Firefox 53.x or later
    • Google Chrome 57.x or later
    • Microsoft Internet Explorer 11.x or later
    • Microsoft Edge 40.x or later  
  • Processor: 2.5 GHz, minimum 4 cores
  • RAM: Minimum 8 GB
  • Disk space: Minimum 30 GB of free space
  • Other:  Docker CE (generally preferred, but not supported for Red Hat Enterprise Linux), or  Docker EE (required for Red Hat Enterprise Linux); version 17.06 is recommended

System requirements for Integration Controller:

  • Operating system: Linux (physical or virtual machine):
    • CentOS 7.1 or later (7.3 preferred)
    • Ubuntu 14.04.5 or later (16.04.x preferred)
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3 or later (7.4 preferred)

  • Processor: 2.5 GHz, minimum 2 CPU
  • RAM: Minimum 8 GB
  • Disk space: Minimum 30 GB of free space
  • Network: Allow egress (outbound from one network to another) on port 61600 for bidirectional TCP traffic
  • (Optional) Container software:
    • Docker Engine 1.12 or later (included in  Docker ; note that Docker CE is not supported for Red Hat Enterprise Linux)
    • Docker Compose 1.9 or later (which might not be included in Docker,  depending on the OS )

To install the connector development environment

  1. Log in to your BMC Integration Studio development instance (https://developer.integrate.bmc.com).
  2. Click Sites > Add New Site > Add a Development Site.
  3. Provide a Site Name and optional Description, and click Save.
    The site is saved, and shows a "Not Installed" label and an "Install Connector Designer" button.
  4. Click Install Connector Designer.
    A link appears.
  5. Click the link to open it in your browser, and follow the steps described.
    BMC Helix Connector Designer (https://localhost:3000/) opens in your browser, showing an exclamation mark next to Integration Controller.
  6. In BMC Helix Connector Designer, click Integration Controller in the top menu.
    The Integration Controller page opens.
  7. Provide or update Instance URL, Username, and Password values as appropriate.
  8. Select the site name you provided in step 3 as the Site.
  9. Click Start.
    Integration Controller starts running (this may take several minutes).
  10. Refresh the current page in your browser.
    The BMC Helix Connector Designer interface shows a green tick mark, indicating Integration Controller is running.

  11. (Optional) Refresh the BMC Integration Studio page in your browser. The development site you created previously has an "Installed" label, indicating that Integration Controller is set up properly.

Note

To ensure you have the latest version of Integration Controller, we recommend updating your production and development sites every time new features are released.


Where to go from here

Start a connector project

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