Powerful administration features enable NLINK® to be maintained completely from a single location in the enterprise with absolute minimum user involvement. NLINK features central control for installation, testing and upgrades, automatic downloads to external applications, error logging and transaction logging.
Transaction versioning allows the end-user to insert (or extract) configuration data into (or out of) an NLINK meta-database. A logical unit of configuration data is designated a business transaction, and includes definition of Maps, Message Formats, Actions, Events and External Systems. Once the transaction has been extracted from the NLINK meta-database it can be stored into a commercial version control system, (such as Microsoft’s SourceSafe product), allowing business users to create a pre-built library of NLINK configurations and store them in a convenient centralized location. With each new integration project, the ability to draw from previously built and tested business transactions, rather than starting from scratch each time, provides a significant improvement in configuration efficiency.
Automatic schema evolution allows end-users to automate the process of upgrading between different releases of the NLINK product. Typically in a meta-database driven system, if the organization of the data within the meta-database is changed between releases the newer releases of the product may not be able to read older versions of the meta-database. NLINK’s automatic schema evolution reads in older versions of the NLINK meta-database and automatically converts them into newer formats compatible with the newer NLINK releases. A combination of simple to use product installation routines and automatic schema evolution tools makes end-user upgrading between major releases of NLINK a quick and trivial process.
A comprehensive, centralized systems management and state-of-health monitoring capability is provided via built-in tools and the optional connection of the NLINK Server to a variety of third party commercially available enterprise management products.
For example, the NLINK Management Module is a stand-alone application, bundled with the core product, that can be installed on any machine with or without any of the other NLINK components. It provides a network administrator with a convenient means to:
- Control the State of the local NLINK Server.
- Monitor the Status of remote NLINK Servers on the network.
- Examine a filtered view of the Windows Event Log showing only NLINK status.
- Monitor a set of pre-defined NLINK runtime performance statistics.
A variety of Security options are available with NLINK. Authentication and user Access is handled within NLINK as part of the host operating system. Data encryption and other security services are handled either: natively within NLINK, via external hardware or through connection with third-party security servers.
To better understand the technical aspects of the NLINK Server we recommend that you review the NLINK Architecture White Paper. It describes the internal architecture of the various major components of the NLINK product suite, which includes the NLINK Server, NLINK CoNNectors and eXtenders, and the NLINK Configuration Module. In addition to a high-level architectural overview it goes on to discuss some of the more important features incorporated in each component and relates them back to the underlying product architecture.