What is IBM AppConnect ?
IBM AppConnect is a middleware offering from IBM with two variants- AppConnect Personal and Professional.
IBM AppConnect Professional aka IBM WebSphere Cast Iron is a product for Integration developers and middleware experts mostly used by technical customers.
IBM AppConnect Personal concentrates on Business users. Follows no coding approach.
Use case resolved in this tutorial
A HealthCare Product Company has three health care products to be sold. Sales Head of the company has most of the leads in a googlesheet and he is finding it difficult to work with his leads. He wants to transfer his processed Leads to sugar CRM as Contacts.He uses AppConnect Personal to do this integration process. Processed Leads becomes contacts. This processed Leads get added to a Googlesheet.This needs to be added automatically into sugarCRM as a contact. This can be achieved by using Appconnect Personal.
You can follow the below steps to proceed on creating the applications that are specific to a particular logged in user.
1. On the IBM App Connect home page, click on Applications Tab as shown in below figure 1.Once you click on the Applications tab, list of Endpoints/Enterprise Applications would be listed. From the Endpoints/Enterprise Applications, you can select one as Trigger and one as Action.
Figure 1 : Applications tab
2. This tutorial will demonstrate Trigger as Googlesheet and Action as sugarCRM. So on the Applications tab select Googlesheet and proceed on connecting your Googlesheet User Account as shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2: Connect your Googlesheet Account
3. Click on “Connect” which will redirect to the Googlesheet Login page where you would need to provide the Googlesheet Account credentials.Once you have authenticated the Googlesheet account you will be redirected to “Allow access” page where the user has to allow access for IBM App Connect to use/modify Googlesheet Account data.
4. Once you have allowed access for IBM App Connect to access data then this account gets added to IBM App Connect and this account will be further used as a Triggers.
5. The next step would be to navigate to Applications tab and select SugarCRM which you have selected as Action/receiver. Once selected this would navigate sugarCRM Application page where you need to provide client id, client secret,username, password, host name and click on “Connect” button as in the below figure 3.
Figure 3: Connect to sugarCRM account
6. Once you provide the correct credentials and click on connect, connection is tested and the application gets connected.
Now that the Application creation for Trigger and Action is complete, you can proceed with creating the needed flows.
Create your flow
To create a flow in IBM App Connect it is a set of steps to be followed selecting the needed data and proceeding on completing the flow. The next few steps would provide insights on how to create a flow in detail.
1. Your next action would be to create a flow in IBM App Connect as you have already configured the Enterprise Application. Click on “Dashboard” and you will see an icon “New” where there are three variants – “Event Driven Flow” ,”Flow for an API” and “Import Flow”. Click on Event Driven Flow and proceed on as shown in Figure 4.
Figure 4: Create an Event Driven flow
2. You will now be navigated to create a flow. Click on the + Symbol to create a flow. First select on the trigger for the flow. The trigger for the flow would be Googlesheet as shown in figure 5 and 6. Select the Object as needed to create a flow. In this case Select “Complete Appended Row” for Googlesheet.
Figure 5: Select new trigger for flow
Figure 6 : Select Trigger object for Googlesheet
3. Now once selecting the operation ” Complete appended row”, you need to select the Googlesheet Spread sheet name and worksheet name (from the dropdown) to be used from the account connected.Complete Appended row is an operation which works with headers. So ensure adding headers to the sheet in the Google account. Say if the sheet has columns “FirstName”,”Last Name”,”Phone” then add that as the first row and add data accordingly to the sheet.
Figure 7 : Select name of spreadsheet and worksheet for Googlesheet
4. Next would be to select the Actions. Actions for the flow would be SugarCRM. Select Create Contact in the SugarCRM as the action. As shown in figure 8.
Figure 8 : Select an Action for the flow
5. Fields of the SugarCRM are displayed so that you could add your inputs or map the inputs from the available input as shown in figure 9.
Figure 9: Fields of SugarCRM displayed to provide mapping
6. Provide the needed inputs.Resolving the use case,you could map the row header of googlesheet to sugar CRM corresponding fields so that the data gets synchronized by clicking on the icon next to the row fields- Available input icon. It displays the list of available input as shown in figure 10.
Figure 10 : Provide a mapping from Googlesheet to SugarCRM
7. Map the FirstName of Googlesheet/worksheetRow with SugarCRM FirstName field, map the Last Name of Googlesheet/worksheetRow with sugarCRM Last Name field and map the phone with Work Phone as shown in figure below. You could also use functions (fx) icon to manipulate the data. For example concate firstName an last Name to add it as Full Name.
Figure 11 : Mappings added
8. Click on “Exit and switch on ” the flow and ensure the flow is started as shown in figure below.
Figure 12 : Exit and Switch on the flow
Moving on, the next step is to test the flow on Googlesheet to SugarCRM which you have created.
Test your flow
Next step is to test the flow created
1. You need to create a Trigger. Login to Google sheet account which is configured on IBM App connect and click on the sheet you have selected. Under the headers add the data which need to be added to sugarCRM as contact as shown below,
Figure 13. Add an entry to Googlesheet
2. Once the trigger is created, Action occurs automatically without any manual step needed. In this case, in the SugarCRM account a new Contact gets added with firstName, last Name and Phone data added to googlesheet as shown below,
This tutorial walked through the steps to use IBM App Connect. This tutorial explained how to create applications and flows and went into detail on how a trigger on Googlesheet added a new contact in sugarCRM account.