Web Connector: what it is and how it works

crystal supports many data sources, but not all of them! You might need to hook up a data source that we don’t support yet — that’s where the Web Connector comes in.

The Web Connector lets you connect all the data sources to crystal that aren’t currently supported and enable customized logics.

Let’s see in detail how it works!

When to use a Web Connector

The most common scenario of using a Web Connector is when you need to connect data from unsupported sources. As we already mentioned here, there are several data sources supported by crystal until now, and more are yet to come.

But if your data source is not on this list yet, you can still get insight from your data through the advisor, thanks to the Web Connector.

Another possibility is that your data is stored on a web service, such as REST-API, SOAP, GraphQL and you don’t want to move it to another data source.

You might also need a Web Connector if you want to implement custom business logics that are not yet supported by crystal, such as:

  1. Optimizations logics (Data partitioning or the application of an algorithm to better fetch the data based on the given parameters).

  2. Filtering logics (External parameters that do not belong to your organization, such as current weather, the current value of bitcoins, etc…).

  3. Complex data joins logics (live sources like currency or stock exchange).

For example, you may want to connect a specific platform, such as a real-time stock quotes platform, to your advisor. Or, you might need to fetch data from some internal tools, specific to your company. You may also want to fetch data from different sources already aggregated but on different criteria (such as day, week, or month).

In all of these scenarios, the use of a Web Connector will allow you to configure the advisor with your data, without having to move them somewhere else.

But how does the Web Connector work?

How to develop and connect the Web Connector

The Web Connector is able to communicate with services that implement the iGenius adapter’s SDK interfaces. To configure it, there are a few steps to be taken.

STEP ONE: Develop a web service that can fetch your data.

STEP TWO: Use our crystal adapter SDK to shape your data in a way that crystal can understand.

In order to use the SDK adapter, you will need to:

  1. Implement the connect endpoint that allows crystal to connect your service with an API token.

  2. Implement the describe endpoint that returns the information about the tables your service shows.

  3. Implement the execute endpoint that, given a query, will allow your service to return data.

STEP 3: Deploy the service.

STEP 4: Connect it in crystal’s Self-Service Console.

Not that hard! And once the Web Connector is configured, you will be able to connect all the data source types you need. Just remember that APIs should be authenticated using an API token.

Here you can find the technical documentation for building a Web Connector and for our SDK.

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