When we first implemented our Connector Engine process in March 2020, where our partners can take part in building integrations for us, we offered them the freedom to select programming language and frameworks to implement connectors. Likewise, we did not limit testing to Robot Framework but required that or similar tests. We wanted to offer our partners the opportunity to innovate and explore optimal solutions without us interfering with the process. We enjoyed the partner community to figure out ways to get things done and offer frameworks and processes to build upon it.
Since March 2020, more than 20 connectors have been developed along with dozens of ontologies. We all have learned from the implementations, and technology has varied slightly. We have also observed that the community has started to adopt connector architecture developed by Polku Innovations. The most used architecture is implemented with Node.js and offers a fast way to develop new connectors. Now that we are making the transition to version 2 platform, this is the natural moment to change the practices.
We aim to have a faster and more automated review process, develop jointly, reusable open-source solutions for connector among all partners, and more rapid connector development comes to a more efficient and less error-prone deployment process in the Platform of Trust Azure environment without needing to reinvent the wheel.
All the above together creates win-win-win situation:
- Connector developers have less work and get paid faster.
- Platform of Trust can offer more reliable hosting for the connectors.
- Customers get the needs satisfied faster and with better quality.
This is achieved by following the principles listed below:
- Use common open architecture defined by Polku Innovations. It was discussed, for example, in the V2 architecture workshop https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlbNwBZHr_s
- Implement Connector with Node.js. See open source code from Platform of Trust Github https://github.com/PlatformOfTrust/multi-connector. Platform of Trust utilizes Azure, and Azure Functions supports Node.js, so we should be able to deploy the connectors in our infrastructure easily if they all are built with Node.js.
- Contribute back. When you develop a new feature in the above connector skeleton, make a pull request to the master. This way, all others get the benefit in future connector development. This is your opportunity to contribute. Note that contribution can be something else as well: documentation, online video how-to, technical blog post.
- Report bugs and feature ideas to Github https://github.com/PlatformOfTrust/collected-feedback/issues/new/choose
The above-described changes are effective immediately, but it does not affect the previously started connectors cause those are implemented with technology developers has chosen. All V2 Platform connectors are developed within the given boundaries above.
Do not hesitate to share your feedback and suggestions. We have now welcomed Connector Engine Manager Hoan Van to join us, who is dedicated only to Connector Engine issues, processes, and reviews. You can contact him directly by:
- Following this link to Platform of Trust Slack workspace
- Contacting Hoan Van in the Slack
- After which, he will invite you to the relevant Connector Engine channel