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The Data Access infrastructure allows module developers to integrate external data sources (e.g. web services) with FirstSpirit so that data from these sources may be referenced within FirstSpirit content.

Data access plug-ins can be used as data sources in FS_INDEX input components and can be shown in the form of reports in SiteArchitect and ContentCreator, from where data may be referenced and/or processed in project content via drag-and-drop.

  • Data Object (independent of FirstSpirit APIs)
    This object type is used as the container for discrete data items on which the data access infrastructure operates.
  • Data Access Plug-In
    The plug-in object is the central part of a data access component. It provides metadata about the plug-in, begins the instantiation chain of core data access functionality (i.e. the data access session), and optionally provides aspects which define that the plug-in should be shown as a report in SiteArchitect and ContentCreator.
  • Data Access Session / Builder
    The session object implements core functionality that allow the data access plug-in to be used within the context of FS_INDEX input components. It translates between data objects and storable identifier and instantiates various objects that help present data objects in lists. The session builder object instantiates a session object and optionally configures that session object based on settings sourced from aspects which the session builder object may provide.
  • Data Stream / Builder
    The data stream object provides data objects from some external source for occasions upon which list displays of these data objects are required, e.g. in selection dialogs associated with FS_INDEX input components and in reports based upon this data access plug-in. The data stream builder object instantiates the data stream object and optionally provides aspects that influence the set of data objects provided by the data stream, e.g. by defining parameters which are made available in a configurable filter UI.
  • Data Snippet Provider
    This class handles the task of formatting information about a data object which will be shown in graphical representations ("snippets") of that data object. Besides providing a header text, the class optionally provides extract text as well as images that are used as a data object type icon and a thumbnail.

Important Use of data access plug-ins as reports in SiteArchitect and ContentCreator presents a special use-case which requires implementation of various aspects. See Use for Reporting for more information.
Important Data access plug-ins with report functionality (i.e. those plug-ins which implement the aspect Reporting) require one available application integration license slot each (see Additional documentation, "FirstSpirit AppCenter", chapter 1.6: "License model").

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