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Overview of connector development features

Description of the structure, definition, implementation and test of custom connectors in Bonita.

A connector is an element in a process that accesses an external system to read or write information. If the default connectors in Bonita are not suitable, you can implement your own connector. In the Bonita Performance, Efficiency, and Teamwork editions, you are recommended to use the connector development toolkit to create new connectors. Otherwise, you can define a new connector definition or implementation in Bonita Studio, using the wizards started from the Development menu, Connectors submenu.

This page describes the structure of a connector, and summarizes the connector development features avaialble in Bonita Studio.

Connector structure

A connector is implemented in Bonita in two parts, the definition and the implementation. This enables you to change the implementation without changing the definition. Several implementations can be created for a single definition.

Connector definition

A connector definition controls the external interfaces of the connector, both those visible to users (the connector configuration wizard and the icon used to identify the connector in Bonita Studio) and those visible to the Bonita Engine (the inputs and outputs).

Connector implementation

A connector implementation consists of the implementation logic, contained in a Java class. You can create any number of implementations that correspond to a given definition. However, in a process there is a one-to-one relationship between the connector definition and the connector implementation.

The Java class must implement the org.bonitasoft.engine.connector.Connector class. This defines the following methods:

  • setInputParameters to retrieve configuration parameters

  • validateInputParameters to check that the configuration of the connector is well defined

  • execute to execute the connector and returns a map containing all outputs

  • connect to create the connector

  • disconnect to end the connection

All the connector outputs must be set in the implementation; otherwise, the connector execution will fail. The connector outputs must be serializable.

For details of the APIs, the methods and related objects, see the Javadoc.

Importing and exporting a connector into Bonita Studio

You can import a connector that was created using the connecctor development toolkit or that was exported from another Bonita Studio. The connector is imported as a zip file.

  1. In Bonita Studio, go to the Development menu, Connectors, Import connector…​.

  2. Upload the zip file.

The imported connector is now available in the dialog for adding a connector.

It is also possible to export a connector using the option in the Development menu. The connector is exported as a zip file, which you can import into another instance of Bonita Studio. You must specify both the definition and the implementation to export.

Testing a connector

To test the connector independently of a process, go to the Development menu, choose Connectors…​, then choose Test connector…​. Select the connector you want to test, use the wizard to configure the information required for the test, and click Test. The connector runs, and the results are reported.

You need to import a connector into Bonita Studio before you can test it.

Configuring

and deploying a process with a connector

There are two stages to configuring a connector:

  1. When you add a connector to a pool or task, you configure the connector behavior.

  2. When you configure a process for deployment, you specify the definition and implementation of each connector it contains. You must also specify any connector dependencies as process dependencies.

After the connector has been specified in the configuration, when you build the process for deployment referencing the configuration, the connector code is included in the business archive.

After deployment, if you are running the Performance edition, you can update the connector implementation on a live system.