Fast Connector Framework (FCF)

The Fast Connector Framework (FCF) is a set of tools designed to allow a developer or Business Analyst with limited knowledge of TIBCO Scribe® to create a basic Connector in days instead of weeks. The following two Frameworks are available:

  • Integration Framework — Build a basic Connector that uses JSON or XML to communicate with the external APIs of your applications and underlying datastores. Use this simple Connector to easily send messages from TIBCO Scribe® to an external system. 
  • Messaging Framework — An extension to the original Integration Framework used to build a Connector that parses inbound messages to TIBCO Scribe® from an external system in either JSON or XML. Once a Map is created and saved in TIBCO Scribe®, a unique URL is generated for that Map providing an endpoint for inbound messages. Messaging is designed to support asynchronous processing of messages sent to TIBCO Scribe®’s Message Queue, without requiring a response other than a standard HTTP status code 200.

The FCF its self is a Visual Studio extension, vsix, that presents you with a Fast Connector Framework option when creating new projects. This option launches a simple wizard where you define details for either an Integration Connector or a Messaging Connector.

For example, if you are simply trying to pull employee information from your HR software using its API, you can define an endpoint for “get employee”. The Integration Framework is designed to reduce the amount of coding required to build a simple Connector. Therefore, the wizard asks for input up front to generate some of the base code for you.

The FCF supports both JSON and XML payloads with basic URL query parameters. At this time query filter parameters supported are “AND” with an “equals” operator, "OR" is not supported. Basic and URL based authentication are possible, and the ability to provide a token for OAuth Connections. However, the negotiation process for OAuth must be manually accomplished outside of TIBCO Scribe®. Query, Create, and Update operations are supported, which should accomplish the majority of the basic operations needed.

Connectors developed using the FCF only support Integration Services (IS) Solutions in TIBCO Scribe®. For other types of Solutions or more complex operations, take a look at the CDK. See Connector Development Kit (CDK).

As a guideline, use the Fast Connector Framework for proof of concept projects or to build a Connector with simple needs for cloud or SaaS applications that meet the following criteria:

  • REST and simple HTTP
  • Queries with simple filters, AND only, equals operator only
  • Create and Update operations only, no Deletes
  • Basic metadata support for entity names, field names, and data types

Connectors built with either the Integration Framework or the Messaging Framework can be installed on a local On-Premise Agent, or published to the TIBCO Scribe® Marketplace.

Fast Connector Framework Prerequisites

TIBCO recommends that Connector developers have some knowledge of simple HTTP web services, JSON, and API use. Previous experience with TIBCO Scribe® technologies, architecture, or internal data structures is not required. For additional information on the contents of the Fast Connector Framework see the following sections of this document:

Limitations

Due to its simplicity, the Fast Connector Framework has some limitations, which vary depending on the Framework you are using.

Integration Framework

  • Only REST web services and simple HTTP calls. SOAP is not supported.
  • Simple queries and filters:
    • ANDs in filters, but not ORs
    • The equals (=) operator, but not others, such as starts with or greater than
    • Query support includes the following Block operation types: Query, Lookup, and Fetch
    • Relationships are not supported
  • Create and Update operations only, not Delete operations
  • Basic metadata including entity and field names, and datatypes, but does not support detailed field metadata, such as showing the picklist values for a field

Messaging Framework

  • Only REST web services and simple HTTP calls. SOAP is not supported.
  • Automatically flattens out any hierarchical data in the message.

Consider using the Connector Development Kit (CDK) if these limitations are too restrictive. See Connector Development Kit (CDK).

Learning Resources

To learn more about the Fast Connector Integration Framework:

To learn more about the Fast Connector Messaging Framework:

Requirements

To develop a TIBCO Scribe® Connector using the either the Integration Framework or the Messaging Framework, you must have the following:

  • A trial or paid subscription to TIBCO Scribe® Integration Services (IS)
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 Pro or higher, or Microsoft Visual Studio Community 2015
  • Microsoft .Net Framework 4.5.2
Some versions of Microsoft .Net Framework do not include support for immutable collections. If you attempt to run your Connector and receive an error message indicating that System.Collections.Immutable could not be found, see Download And Install The System.Collections.Immutable DLL.

Integration Framework Requirements

  • API of the application being accessed must support simple HTTP web services
  • Base URL for the API
  • Credentials for the API

Messaging Framework Requirements

  • API that can send a message to the URL generated by TIBCO Scribe® when the Event Solution Message Map is created and saved. 

Integration Framework Development Process

The process for developing a TIBCO Scribe® Connector using the Integration Framework is as follows:

Messaging Framework Development Process

The process for developing a TIBCO Scribe® Connector using the Messaging Framework is as follows:

  • Read TIBCO Scribe® Architecture, Sample Integration Framework Projects, and Installing Extensions for a clear understanding of how TIBCO Scribe® and Connectors work together to integrate data.
  • Review Messaging Framework — Project Concepts before you start.
  • Download the SDK - Connector Toolkit project and extract the files from the ZIP file.
  • Locate the Fast Connector Messaging Framework VSIX file and install the extension in Visual Studio. See Installing Extensions.
  • Launch the TIBCO Scribe® Fast Connector Framework in Visual Studio to configure your Connector project.
  • Review the API documentation for the datastore you want TIBCO Scribe® to process messages from and determine which data entities you plan to use. Obtain a sample of the API message for a specific entity. This is used to create code for the Connector.
  • Modify the Visual Studio project as needed, update the item.cs using the sample API message, and then make the necessary changes to the connector.cs. 
  • Install the Connector on your TIBCO Scribe® Agent to run and test it. See Installing A FCF Connector.
  • In TIBCO Scribe®, create an Integration Event Solution which contains a Message Map.  When the Message Map is saved, TIBCO Scribe® generates a unique URL where messages can be posted. See Defining An Event Message Map in the TIBCO Scribe® Help.
  • Use a Third-Party system to generate a message and send it to the TIBCO Scribe® unique URL for the Message Map. 
  • Test the Connector on a sample of your application datastore. See Testing The Integration Framework Connector.
  • Use tools, such as Fiddler, to inspect API calls made through TIBCO Scribe®. Compare those to calls made using Postman. To use Fiddler to inspect API calls made through TIBCO Scribe®, you need to modify an Agent configuration file to allow Fiddler to see the traffic between the Agent and TIBCO Scribe®. See Edit Agent Configuration.
  • Release your Connector in the TIBCO Scribe® Marketplace. This step is optional but makes your Connector available to a larger number of users. See Release A Connector In The Marketplace.

See

TIBCO Scribe® SDK Overview