Adapters are special cases of services that interact with external systems, or that store or manage state data outside of the workflow context.

Adapter Concepts You Should Know

  • One adapter type can have many adapter configurations.
  • Each adapter configuration must have a unique name, because other Sterling B2B Integrator components and programs identify adapter configurations by name.
  • You can create groups of adapter configurations (of the same adapter type). Adapter groups are used in the same way as adapter configurations, but can help with load balancing and failover processing.
  • The separation of business logic (BP) and the endpoint (adapter) allows for a many-to-many relationship between adapters and business processes. Using the metadata given to the business process, one adapter can start several business processes.

    Conversely, several adapters can start the same business process. A many-to-many relationship between adapters and business process definitions enables the system to focus on business problems, not just on how data arrives.

    For example, separating your business logic from the inputs and outputs used to send and receive files allows you to re-use the business logic portion of your entire workflow. Your business logic might be something like transform the data and send it to a back-end system for processing. By separating this from the adapter, that logic can be instantiated by more than one protocol adapter.

Bootstrap Adapters

Some Sterling B2B Integrator adapters can dynamically select and run business processes. These are known as bootstrap adapters. Examples are the File System adapter, and FTP Server adapter.

Many bootstrap adapters have a configuration parameter that enables you to change the document storage setting from the system default. You can select from the following options:
  • File System – Stores documents on the file system. This is controlled by the document_dir setting in You might want to consider using this option if you are configuring one of the Server adapters (HTTP Server adapter, FTP Server adapter, Sterling Connect:Direct® Server adapter) or the File System adapter. Before selecting this option, consider the following: If you choose to store documents on disk, you must perform certain system tasks manually for the documents, such as archiving. For a clustered environment, the document directory must be available using the same path on all nodes of the cluster.
  • Database – Stores documents in the database. If the documents are very large, it can ultimately slow down the system by overburdening the database. This is the best method to use if the service will generate smaller files.
  • Default – Uses the default storage method for this system. The default is controlled by the defaultDocumentStorageType setting in the file. The installed default is Database.

Third-Party Adapters

For some adapters used with third-party software, you must install specific jar files or drivers before you can use the adapter. These third-party jar files are available from the applicable third-party software vendors. Often, you can download the files from the vendor’s Web site. If an adapter requires any third-party files, the specific information about the files is included in the documentation for that adapter. Adapters that may require third-party jar files or drivers include:
  • Oracle Tuxedo adapters
  • Instant Messaging Adapter Suite
  • Adapter for PeopleSoft
  • WebSphere MQ adapter
  • SAP Suite adapter

The scripts are: (for UNIX/Linux) or install3rdParty.cmd (for Windows), located in the Sterling B2B Integrator install_dir/install/bin (or \bin) directory.

You can view instructions and syntax for the script by typing (for UNIX/Linux) or install3rdParty.cmd (for Windows) on the command line from the bin directory.

Note: When executing the Install3rdParty script, the new file references will be appended to the installdir/properties/dynamicclasspath.cfg file. After running the Install3rdParty script, the installdir/properties/dynamicclasspath.cfg should be reviewed to ensure there is only one reference to the file being added. If more than reference exist, the older reference should be removed from the installdir/properties/dynamicclasspath.cfg.

Adapter and Service Suites

Some adapters are designed to be used with a set of related services. For example, the FTP Client adapter works with the FTP Client services. These adapters are not used within business processes themselves; their services are used in the business process and communicate with the adapter, which then communicates with an application outside the system, such as a remote FTP server.