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Anypoint Connector DevKit

Jul 16, 2014 09:18

George Hoffer

Mar 26, 2015 12:30

Mulesoft Current Mule Documentation

Anypoint Connector DevKit

Mulesoft Documentation Page


Anypoint Connector DevKit

The MuleSoft Anypoint™ Connector DevKit provides the following features to help you develop or maintain a connector:

  • Visual design and implementation using Anypoint Studio with an Eclipse-oriented interface that helps simplify and speed up development

  • Maven support for development and building

  • Connector development and packaging tools

  • Authentication support for multiple types of authentication like OAuth and Basic Authentication

  • DataSense support to acquire metadata from endpoints

  • Extensive testing capability

  • Examples, training, and support to simplify startup and solve issues

  • Provides Batch, query pagination, and DataSense Query Language support

Note: For version 3.6 migration information, see Connector Migration Guide Mule 3.5 to 3.6.

Want to try a tutorial?  See Tutorial - Barn Connector


What's a Connector?

A connector is software that provides a connection between a Mule flow and an external resource. The resource can be any source of content, such as a database, protocol, or API. You can create a connector with the Anypoint Connector DevKit and the Anypoint Studio IDE. A connector is written in Java version 7.  Connectors access web resources using REST, SOAP, or the Java SDK.

Anypoint Connector DevKit provides the tools and interfaces for building custom connectors. As reusable components that hide API complexity from the integration developer, custom connectors facilitate integration with SaaS and on-premise Web services, applications, and data sources. Connectors that you build using Anypoint DevKit in Anypoint Studio and in Mule ESB runtime environments, function as extensions of the core product.

Connector Architecture

Connectors operate within MuleSoft flows:

A connector has two sides. The Mule-facing side communicates with a resource’s target-facing client side to enable content to travel between the Mule flow and the resource.

Mule-Facing Functionality

From the Mule-facing side, a connector consists of:

  • A main Java class. Java code that you annotate with the @Connector attribute.

  • Connector attributes. Properties of the @Connector class that you annotate with the @Configurable attribute. See  Java annotations for information on how annotations work. See the Annotation Reference for information about Anypoint Connector DevKit annotations.

  • Methods. Functionality that you annotate with the @Processor attribute.

Additional annotations define authentication-related functionality and connection management, and to control the layout of the Anypoint Studio dialogues for the connector. The data model and exceptions that either raise or propagate are also Mule-facing classes.

Anypoint DevKit generates a skeleton connector when you create your Anypoint Connector project in Studio. The skeleton connector includes the @Connector class, the @Configurable attributes, the @Processor methods, and authentication logic to build out your connector. During the build process, the annotation processor extends your code with functionality to integrate with Mule.

Target-Facing Functionality

The target facing or client facing side of a connector depends on the client technology that enables access to the resource. This functionality consists of a class library and one or more classes that Mule-facing @Connector class uses to access client functionality. This functionality is called the client class.

The client class in turn generally depends on other classes to actually implement calls to the target. Depending on your target, some of these classes may be generated or provided for you. For example, if you have a Java client library, or are working with a SOAP or REST service, most of the client code is implemented there. In other cases, you have to write this code yourself.

Creating a Connector

To create a connector:

  1. Set up your development environment - Install Java JDK version 7, Apache Maven, Anypoint Studio, and Anypoint DevKit Plugin to build and test your connector. You can develop a connector using Windows, Mac, or Linux.

  2. New Connector - Create an Anypoint project - Set up Anypoint Studio and install the connector plugin. 
    Existing Connector - To import an existing connector project, click File > Import > Anypoint Studio > Anypoint Connector Project from External Location, choose a URL or a .zip file, and complete the wizard to locate and import the project.

  3. Determine resource access - Each resource has a different access method, such as REST, SOAP, FTP, or the Java SDK features.

  4. Choose an authentication mechanism - Mule supports OAuth V1 or V2, basic authentication using a username and password, or basic using authentication protocols such as API Key,  SAML, NTLM, Kerberos, or LDAP.

  5. Choose the connector's data model - Models can be static Java objects or dynamic objects. You can use DataSense - Determine what information the target resource expects.

  6. Add connector @ attribute annotations - Create code for your connector containing the @ attributes that Mule uses to designate the important parts of your connector.

  7. Code tests - Tests can be unit tests, functional tests, and Studio interoperability tests.

  8. Document your connector - MuleSoft provides a template that helps you fill in the blanks to create documentation to help your staff and to help others understand the features and use of your connector.

  9. Package your connector.


Anypoint Connector DevKit lets you build connectors that don't exist. Before creating a connector, check Connectors for available connectors. The Connectors page also lists Community open source connectors that let you contribute to the growing community of public connector development.

Connector Data Model

The data model for the connector consists of the objects passed into and out of the exposed operations. While many Web services accept and return XML or JSON data, a proper Mule connector must translate the data format the client uses into Java objects – either POJOs or key-value maps which represent the data objects sent to, and returned from, the target. (Returning raw XML or JSON responses to Mule is one marker for an immature, improperly implemented connector.)


REST simplifies access to HTTP using POST, GET, PUT, and DELETE calls to provide access to creating, getting, putting, and deleting information on a resource.

DevKit provides a set of annotations called @RestCall annotations that helps building a Connector for a RESTful API.

SOAP is a traditional means of communicating with a resource and requires a WSDL file, which is an XML file that specifies all aspects of a Java class’s structure, methods, properties, and documentation. SOAP is an industry standard with tools for governance, building, and schema information.

DevKit provides a tools that helps building a connector using a WSDL file. 

Code Sample

The following is an example connector that Anypoint Studio creates for you as a starting point:

 Starting Connector Code

From this example, you can see a connector starts with the @Connector annotation, and that annotations define functionality, processing, and connection strategy. From this starting point, you add classes that let you access the interface of the resource to which you connect, to process the data, write tests, document your connector, and publish it so that the connector is accessible from Studio.

Anypoint Connector DevKit Features

Anypoint Connector DevKit supports:

Authentication Types

API Types

Anypoint Platform

Connector Development Lifecycle

More Information

Connector Development Provides steps to follow from set up to packaging a connector.
Anypoint Connectors How to use and implement connectors - this section is in the Mule User Guide.
Connectors Connectors available from MuleSoft or third party sources.
DataSense-Enabled Connectors View which MuleSoft connectors support DataSense.
Annotations ReferenceDescribes DevKit elements that start with an at sign(@), which you can use in your connector to identify classes and functions for Anypoint functionality.