Beckon integrates with popular marketing execution systems and provides built-in connectors to fetch data into Beckon WARP drive. But, there are far too many third parties (existing and the ones that are coming up) that are used by Beckon clients. In case we need to fetch data from these, we have a few choices:
- Scheduled exports from the third party and ingest them using Email or SFTP Connectors;
- Manual export from third party and manual upload into Beckon;
- Generic connector.
When a marketing execution third party supports a REST API , a generic connector can be used to fetch the data and load it in Beckon. A generic connector can be configured using a user interface to handle specific API for a third party. Also, fetch-options and pull schedule can be specified for a generic connector just like built-in connectors for automation.
You can choose 'Generic' connector from the available connectors.
The generic connector user interface allows you to configure the API.
There are multiple different ways to connect to a third party API and they will apply in different cases. We will cover them starting with the easiest approaches.
API METHOD: REST API calls are handled using one of GET/POST. The information on what to use will be specified in the third party API documentation for a specific API method.
URL: The URL for accessing a particular resource method. e.g. https://api.beckon.com/epicenterprise/data/file
PARAMS: When API needs query parameters, you can check 'PARAMS' checkbox and then provide name/value pairs of query parameters. These are sent along with the resource URL.
AUTHORIZATION: The generic connector supports various protocols like basic-auth, oauth or custom. You can select an adapter that uses one of these authentication methods from the drop-down. It is also possible to have 'none' as authorization protocol while integrating with a simple API that does not need it. When one of the login scripts is used, one would use 'custom' as the authorization method.
HEADERS: When an API needs a set of name/value pairs as header properties in the HTTP request, that can be specified in this pane. e.g. "Content-Type" as name and "application/json" as value.
There are 4 pluggable endpoints that can be specified using a script. One can specify the script endpoints that apply. The endpoints allow the user to specify a handler script before or after a login call or a request call. The login related scripts are typically used to get an api-token or auth related information. The request related scripts are used to send an HTTP request.
Here are configurations that are associated with various types of scripts.
PRE-LOGIN: A script that returns an HTTP request that will be sent before any request is sent to third-party API. This request will be sent only once for the call.
POST-LOGIN: A script that is used to parse the response received from login-request. This script will typically parse out the required tokens and make them available for the API request script.
PRE-REQUEST: A script that creates an HTTP request that will be sent to the third-party.
POST-REQUEST: A script that will be used to parse the response from the HTTP request.
PROPERTIES: These are name/value pairs that are available to the above scripts.
Refer to Connector Catalog for more details.