A Closer Look at the Universal Connector – Part Three

Josh Tafoya is a Bold Technical Trainer and is presenting this three-part series to offer a detailed look at the benefits of Bold’s Universal Connector.

Now that you know what the Universal Connector can do, and you’ve even seen some examples, you’re ready to move forward.

There is a foregone conclusion, of course, that you’ve spoken to your sales rep, and purchased the Universal Connector. It is an add-on module, and subject to license. It is absolutely possible to purchase the Universal Connector without having a specific project in mind. Knowing you’ll find a use for it and getting it installed sooner to save time later makes perfect sense. If this is the case, when you purchase the Universal Connector, just let your project manager know. They will arrange for the installation process, and let you know how much notice they will need in the future before addressing specific connectors.

If your Universal Connector is already installed or if it is a brand new project, here are some tips that will ease the process:

  • First, please have in mind as clearly as possible the scenario. If it is a question of whether or not something is possible, or if it has been done previously, talk to your Project Manager and have them arrange a technical call. If it is something that we’ve done before, the tech call won’t be necessary.
  • Next, and this is the big one, please have as many examples as possible of ACTUAL messages that we will be processing. If you at least have an idea of how the message looks or if you think you know how it looks, that’s good of course. But the only way to ensure success is to have samples of the actual messages.
  • If you are getting an email connector, have a copy of the email to send us. Making the example email an attachment (rather than forwarding the email with the previous email quoted) is best. This is usually accomplished by opening a new email window, and dragging the example email from the inbox to the new message window.
  • If it is an SMS connector, get examples texts from the device or service.
  • If it is an ODBC connector, the ideal would be a backup of the database containing the table to be processed. If that can’t be done, a file export from SQL or a spreadsheet containing actual data will work.
  • The same is true for file and FTP examples. Copies of the example files are perfect.

In all of the above cases, there will be examples that we expect to process with the Universal Connector, and in most cases, there will be a variable of some kind. What I mean by a variable is the part of the message that could be SYSTEM OK or ERROR or STATUS CHECK. You’ll want to get a list of the possible messages, so we know how to deal with them.

Since the goal is to make signals in Manitou from these messages, it would also be very handy, when compiling the list of possible messages, to know what you want them to look like in Manitou. Do they fit into the existing event codes currently built into Manitou? Will we need to create new event codes? If we need to create new ones, will we need to create new action patterns to correspond to them, or will the existing action patterns work?

Having examples, and answers to these questions before getting the Universal Connector installed will speed up your installation process.

There are many exciting possibilities with the Universal Connector, and we look forward to exploring them with you!