How to Configure a Connector
  • 22 Mar 2023
  • 6 Minutes to read
  • Contributors

How to Configure a Connector


Article summary

Understand the details of configuring a Connector in Tulip.

In this article you will learn

  • How to configure a connector
  • What each input in the configuration modal means

Overview

Connectors allow integrations between external systems and databases. There are two types of connectors we’ll discuss in this article, HTTP and SQL.

Check out the “What Are Connectors?” article, so you know exactly what concepts and details a connector encompasses.

How to Configure a New Connector

Setting up a new connector doesn’t require extensive knowledge of APIs or databases, but it helps to have familiarity with connection types.

To create a connector, navigate to the Connectors page under Apps. Click + Create Connector in the top right corner. Name and give a description to your connector, then choose whether it’s an HTTP or SQL connection. Remember: an HTTP connector integrates to an API server, whereas a SQL connector connects to an external database.

Create a Connector.gif

After clicking the Create button on the Create Connector modal, you're taken to a homepage for that particular connector.

Here, you’ll notice a red notification that this connector is currently offline.

Connector Offline.png

In order for the connector to be online, you need to click the Production & Testing & Development button to specify the server you want to connect to.

What to Know Beforehand

Before you start, it’s important to note that both HTTP and SQL connectors have authentication parameters to ensure that anyone making a request to an endpoint or database has permission to do so. These measures are in place to protect your data and ensure secure access.

The following sections walk you through how to configure both HTTP and SQL connectors.

HTTP

An HTTP connector talks to API servers. Tulip's HTTP Connectors interface with most types of APIs, including REST and SOAP.

Set Up

To configure a connector, you need to have handy a couple of pieces of information about the server you’re trying to connect to. These include:

  • The Host URL
  • Whether or not the server uses a TLS
  • Any Header or Cert necessary for authentication

You can find this information in the API documentation of the server you’re connecting to. This generally requires a search for “[server name] API documentation”.

HTTP Connector1.png

Let’s unpack how to go through this configuration:

Configuration Modal

Running On - Make requests for the connector host. The Cloud Connector host is provided by Tulip and makes requests via the Tulip Cloud. Any on-premise connector host that you’ve registered to your account will also appear.
Host - The network address, i.e. a hostname or IP address, that Tulip connects to.
Port - Your server listens to requests on a specific networking port, which your server provider gives you. The default is almost always fine.
TLS (Transport Layer Security) - Tulip uses a TLS to encrypt your traffic as it connects to the server. If the url starts with https, it’s TLS.

Authentication

Headers - Provides data origin authentication, data integrity, and replay protection.
Certs (Certificates) - A server certificate is sent from the server to the client at the start of a session and is used by the client to authenticate the server

The following authentication types are available for HTTP connectors:

Authentication Types.png

No Auth - No authentication needed or the authentication is within other request headers like x-auth-token.
Basic Auth - Basic authentication, shares your username and password.
OAuth 2 (Bearer token) - Bearer Tokens are the predominant type of access token used, they consist of an opaque string, unintended to have meaning to clients using it.
OAuth 2 (Operator) - Typically used for clients that require access to a limited set of resources on behalf of a user. For example, a mobile app that requires access to a user's contacts or calendar events. This role grants the client access to only a specific subset of resources, and the user must explicitly grant permission for the client to access those resources.
OAuth 2 (Admin) - Used for clients that require access to a wider range of resources or administrative functions. This role grants the client extensive access to the user's account and resources. For example, a client with OAuth 2 (Admin) access may be able to manage a user's account settings, create or delete resources, or perform other administrative tasks.
OAuth 1.0 - Previous version of OAuth that mainly handles web workflows.

NOTE

You can set up the Headers and Certs at a later point. The headers can also be configured in the connector function.

To learn more about HTTP connectors, check out An Overview of HTTP Connectors.

SQL

A SQL connector talks to external databases. Setting up the connector is fairly straight-forward, but you’ll need a few pieces of information handy to make it quick and seamless.

Set Up

To configure an SQL connector, you’ll need to following pieces of information:

  • The type of SQL database
  • Server URL
  • Whether or not the server uses a TLS
  • Your username and password for authentication

SQL Connector1.png

Let’s unpack how to move through this configuration:

Configuration Modal

Running On - Make requests for the connector host. The Cloud Connector host is provided by Tulip and makes requests via the Tulip Cloud. Any on-premise connector host that is registered to your account will also appear.
Type - The type of SQL database you want to connect to. Choose between Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, PostgreSQL, or OracleDB.
Server - The network address, a hostname or IP address, that Tulip connects to.
Port - Your server listens to requests on a specific networking port, which your server provider gives you.
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) - Used to encrypt connections between your client applications and your instances running the server
Database - The name of your database
User - Username for the database
Password - Password for the database

Authentication

The authentication process for SQL requires your username and password login credentials for the database you want to connect to.

For more information on SQL connectors, check out [An Overview of SQL Connectors].

Getting the Connector Online

Once you’ve entered all the fields correctly, click the Test button at the bottom right of the Configuration Modal. The connector takes a few seconds to test and certify the connection to the server. If you input accurate information during the configuration, the status will change to Online.

Connector Online.png

If the connector still appears offline, review the information you entered and ensure it’s correct.

You can also check out our Troubleshooting Connectors guide for more information.

Further Reading


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