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How to use Orchestrator for external REST calls

We kicked off this Orchestrator series with a look at orchestrations used to trigger JDE data exports. These enable JDE users to deliver real-time updates for a more informed and agile workforce. But it doesn’t stop there. With Orchestrator’s ability to perform external REST calls, you can create a more versatile JDE system. Maintain synchronous databases. Perform in-form validations, corrections, or updates. Even connect to external APIs. Orchestrator can do it all, and that gives you even more ways to make a significant impact on your business. 

There are three components to an external REST call—a connection, a connector, and an orchestration. Connection and connector are easy to confuse, so let’s start there.

What’s a connection?

Connections are soft coding records that provide secure access to REST services, databases, or orchestrations/notifications on another system. Usually, system admins set these up to link:

  • Another Orchestrator — such as an AIS Server Orchestrator where orchestrations or notifications reside
  • OpenAPI endpoints — such as an external system where the documentation of external REST services (OpenAPI 2.0) reside
  • REST services — such as an external system where a REST service resides 
  • Databases — using a JDBC driver. Note: the JDBC driver for the database must be in the AIS Server classpath. 
  • An external server — such as a server used to transfer files through FTP or SFTP. You can also use a REST connection to transfer a connector to an external system through a REST connector or a connector that uses FTP or SFTP. 

Associate your connection with a JDE user, role, or *PUBLIC to allow access to users who are creating connectors. When creating a connection, our system admins configure:

  • Name — a name orchestration connectors can reference 
  • Description — a description defining the connection 
  • Type — an external orchestration, OpenAPI endpoint, REST service, database, FTP, or SFTP
  • User/Role — the users or roles authorized to access the connection 
  • Environment — a specific environment authorized to access the connection
  • Endpoint — the endpoint you are connecting to

What’s a connector?

Once a connection is created, business analysts can take over to develop one or more connectors. A connector is a type of service request that allows JDE users to grab the data needed to complete a task. You can even return large amounts of data and store it in an array within the connector for tasks down the road. Use a connector to:

  • Invoke another orchestration/notification either on the local system or, in a multisite operation, an AIS Server on another EnterpriseOne system.* 
  • Invoke a REST service enabling outbound REST calls to external systems as an orchestration step. The orchestration can make a REST call to an outside service and use the data in the response in subsequent orchestration steps. Learn more.
  • Connect a database allowing Orchestrator to read from and write to a non-JDE database using standard SQL.* A database connector enables external databases to be the source of input for orchestrations. It also allows data that is not appropriate for transaction tables to be stored for analysis, archive, or integration purposes. Note the database must support JDBC. 
  • Retrieve or send a file to a known location using FTP or SFTP protocols.* Learn more.
  • Send a file to a known location using a REST protocol.  

Connecting orchestration to business goals

With your connection and connector created, you are ready to add them to an orchestration. After that, you can use the connector as you would any other orchestration. Perform the REST call, and it automatically executes the external REST call. 

You now have the power to drive efficiency and accuracy. For example, your JDE system is continually updated with new customer contact information. Without Orchestrator, it can take hours to verify these addresses externally. But, with an external REST call orchestration, end users can perform address lookups instantly. The business maintains data integrity and saves precious hours in productivity. This same approach can help automate exchange rate conversions and many other tasks in your process flow. 

A business’s call for innovation never rests. In our next blog, we’ll take you further down the path of digital discovery with Orchestrator and the Internet of Things (IoT).

*These features are only available with Orchestrator Studio 6.0.1 or later.

Need help getting started or taking orchestration to the next level? Click to learn about Orchestrator Services. ERP Suites is a JD Edwards Gold Partner and winner of the 2019 Oracle Distinguished Partner Award for Successful Adoption of Orchestrator.