The Connector Platform is a novel technology that makes it easy to construct uniform gateways, or APIs, for remote software systems that only expose a proprietary or user-oriented interface. The technology makes it easy to build software to access such systems – so that developers can focus their attention on building added-value services.
See a brief introductory video here.
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This eighteen-minute video walks through the process of using the Builder to create and execute a connector, and forms a useful tutorial introduction before reading the main documentation.
The Connector Platform lets you run operations on websites as conveniently as local commands or library calls. Many other “screen scraping” toolkits exist but often provide only simple macro functionality for scripting against a single site. With the Platform, you construct an API that allows you to define how different sites perform the same task. Then you can use the abstraction in your software without having to include site-specific details in your code.
A connector defines how the different tasks in the API are performed for a particular site. Though specified in a straightforward XML file, you don’t have to write these from scratch—they can be interactively created and tested with the Connector Builder, a Firefox extension.
Connectors, once created, can be stored locally in your file system as XML files, or they can be automatically uploaded to our Connector Repository, a website which allows connectors to be managed, shared, tested, and updated. Any connector stored in the repository is automatically made available through the Connector Engine, a server-side component which exposes the functionality of the underlying website through an API or network protocol.
The Connector Platform, which includes the Connector Repository, is part of the MasterKey Platform, a suite of tools that can be used to build versatile, powerful information discovery applications.
For more information about the Connector Platform or other Index Data technologies, please contact us.