The Bell–Connector provides a pre-built framework for the data transfer process, built upon the Bell-Connector SDK. It provides a pre-built set of code to enable the rapid development of automated data exchange interfaces between two systems.
The process of interfacing BellHawk with another system starts with the generation of the XML definitions for all the data objects which will exchanged. These object definitions are entered as Excel spreadsheets and then automatically converted to XML data definition files by the WebDEXEL software (see separate Users Manual).
The XML data definitions are used to translate between named business objects, with their named parameters, and the tables, views and stored procedures through which they are read, written and updated in the database.
The Bell-Connector framework uses these XML definitions to dynamically generate code to get the latest data from the source database and to write the data into the target database. Translation rules between source business object parameters and destination business object parameters are written in VB.Net code. This code is organized into DTO (data transfer objects) that typically handle the transfer of one type of data object (such as Item Master records).
There is a web-based user interface through which DTOs can be scheduled to run periodically between certain times of the day. They can also be scheduled to run once daily or immediately upon command.
The DTOs and their support libraries are organized into executable transfer modules.
The user front end and scheduler can control the execution of of DTOs within multiple transfer processes at the same time and the DTOs themselves can perform many-to-many data object conversions. Also, through the use of the Bell-Connector web-services interface, the computers automatically exchanging data do not need to be on the same network as the data can be exchanged over the Internet using SOAP/XML packets.