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Adapter Overview

An adapter is a “driver” program that enables Neuron ESB to interact with a new kind of endpoint, such as a legacy system, proprietary system, or line of business application.

Figure 1 illustrates why adapters are needed: you may encounter systems from time to time that Neuron does not know how to communicate with.

Figure 2 shows the role of an adapter. The adapter knows how to communicate natively with the target system and also how to communicate with Neuron. With the adapter in place, the ESB and the target system can interact.

Development - Adapter Overview Fig.1
Figure 1: Before using Adapters to connect to Target System
Development - Adapter Overview Fig.2
Figure 2: After using Adapters to connect to Target System

Neuron ESB adapters serve to abstract the Target System so that they can be managed and interacted with just like any existing service endpoint. Adapters can encapsulate proprietary or 3rd party API, Logic and/or Transports specific to communicating with the Target System. Using adapters enables developers to interact with other 3rd party systems in a much more standardized way, without having to know specifics about the target system.

Adapters can support a variety of communication patterns such as one way, two way, service provider or service consumer.


Many Neuron .NET adapters support metadata. Metadata is additional information above and beyond the payload data passed between the ESB and an adapter. Examples of metadata include the following:

  • For a file adapter, metadata includes path, file name, file type, length, creation time, and whether or not the file is read-only.
  • For an MSMQ adapter, metadata includes message Id, label, correlation Id, priority, and source machine.
  • For an EMail adapter, metadata includes To/Cc/From addresses, subject, message body, and attachment.

Metadata is stored in an ESB Message’s custom property area which contains name/value pairs. The name of properties that originate as metadata are prefixed to indicate which adapter they are associated with, and optionally whether they apply to inbound messages or outbound messages. For example, the file adapter’s property names for received files are all prefixed with “file_in.”.

The relationship between adapters, metadata, and ESB messages is as follows. Note this only occurs if an adapter endpoint definition has the Include Metadata check box checked.

  • Publishing. When an adapter has new data to pass to the bus, it fashions an ESB message. If Include Metadata has been enabled, information about the original data is added to the message’s custom properties area.
  • Subscribing. When the bus passes information to an adapter to be sent to an endpoint, and Include Metadata has been enabled, the adapter scans for metadata properties in the ESB message which may alter how the information is delivered. For example, the file adapter allows an output file’s path, name, or type to set through the custom properties file_out.Path, file_out.Name, and file_out.Type.

The metadata properties are not always bi-directional; it is typical that on a receive there may be a large set of metadata properties but on a send only a handful of properties have significance at send time. The reason for this is that many of the receive-side properties are read-only.

See Also: Refer to the individual adapter documentation for details about the specific metadata properties supported.

Types of Adapters

Neuron .NET Adapters

Neuron .NET adapters ship with Neuron ESB. They are built using the Neuron Adapter Interfaces and API.  All Neuron .NET adapters are installed and loaded from \Adapters folder located at the root of the Neuron ESB program installation directory.  When writing custom adapters, they must be copied to the Adapters folder.

The following Neuron .NET Adapters can be installed during setup:

File AdapterSupports polling a folder and Folder change events for messages to publish. Supports writing messages to a folder.Publish, Subscribe
FTP/FTPS AdapterSupports polling an FTP site/folder and for messages to publish. Supports writing messages to an FTP site/folder.Publish, Subscribe
MSMQ AdapterSupports polling MSMQ for messages to publish. Supports writing message to a queuePublish, Subscribe
SQL AdapterSupports polling SQL Server for messages to publish. Supports inserts, deletes and request against SQL ServerPublish, Subscribe, Execute, Query
ODBC AdapterSupports polling ODBC data sources for messages to publish. Supports inserts, deletes and request against ODBC data sourcesPublish, Subscribe, Execute, Query
ActiveMQ AdapterSupports polling an ActiveMQ for messages to publish. Supports writing message to a queuePublish, Subscribe
BizTalk RFID Event HandlerSupports receiving events from a RFID readerPublish
Email AdapterSupports sending SMTP messagesSubscribe
CRM Subscription AdapterCRM Workflow AdapterCRM Plug-in AdapterSupports sending messages to (Subscribe) and event based publication from Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4 and 2011Publish, Subscribe
eConnect AdapterSupports communication to Microsoft Dynamics Great PlainsSubscribe, SubscribeTwoWay, Query
SharePoint Subscription AdapterSharePoint Publication AdapterSupports sending messages to (Subscribe) and event based publication from Microsoft SharePoint ServerPublish, Subscribe
Websphere MQ AdapterSupports polling an MQSeries for messages to publish. Supports writing message to a queue. Also supports both service consumer and provider patterns using MQSeries correlation across the bus.Publish, Subscribe, SolicitResponse, RequestReply

Neuron .NET Plug-ins

Neuron ESB also ships two special adapters that are event based, and hosted in the application in which they are the publisher for. These adapters are the SharePoint Publication Adapter and the CRM Workflow Adapter. The setup program for these can be found in the respective sub directory under the \Plugins folder located at the root of the Neuron ESB program installation directory.

WCF LOB Adapters

WCF LOB adapters are adapter programs written using the Microsoft WCF LOB SDK SP2. To use WCF LOB Adapters, the Microsoft LOB SDK SP2 MUST be downloaded and installed on the Neuron ESB Server and where ever the Neuron ESB Explorer will be used to configure the Adapter Endpoint.

By supporting the WCF LOB Adapter SDK SP2, the Microsoft BizTalk Adapter Pack 2.0 adapters may be used and configured as Adapter Endpoints within Neuron.

BizTalk Server is NOT required to be installed to use the adapters.

The Microsoft BizTalk Adapter Pack 2.0 provides the following adapters:

NameDescriptionVersions Supported
Microsoft BizTalk Adapter 3.0 for Siebel eBusiness ApplicationsThis adapter enables clients to invoke Business Services and operations on Business Components in a Siebel eBusiness Application.Siebel 7.5 ( 7.7 ( 7.8 ( 8.0 ( 
Microsoft BizTalk Adapter 3.0 for mySAP Business SuiteThis adapter enables clients to exchange Intermediate Document (IDOC), BAPI, and Remote Function Call (RFC) messages with the SAP system.SAP R/3 4.6c Non-UnicodeSAP R/3 4.7 Non-UnicodeSAP R/3 4.7 UnicodeSAP R/3 5.0 Non-UnicodeSAP R/3 5.0 UnicodeSAP R/3 6.0 Unicode 
Microsoft BizTalk Adapter for Oracle E-Business SuiteUsing this adapter clients can perform operations on the the Oracle E-Business Suite artifacts (PL/SQL APIs, interface tables/views, concurrent programs, and request sets) and the underlying Oracle database artifacts (such as tables, functions, and procedures) by exchanging SOAP messages with the adapter.The Oracle E-Business adapter uses the Oracle Data Provider for .NET (ODP.NET) to communicate with Oracle E-Business Suite. ODP.NET is one of the components of Oracle Data Access Components (ODAC).
Microsoft BizTalk Adapter 3.0 for Oracle DatabaseThis Oracle database adapter enables adapter clients to read and write to and Oracle databaseOracle 9.2Oracle 10.1Oracle 10.2Oracle 11.1The Oracle Database adapter supports Oracle Data Access Components for Oracle Client with Patch Set
Microsoft BizTalk Adapter for SQL ServerThe Microsoft BizTalk Adapter for SQL Server exposes the SQL Server database as a WCF service. Adapter clients can perform operations on the SQL Server database artifacts such as tables, views, and procedures by exchanging SOAP messages with the adapterSQL Server 2000SQL Server 2005SQL Server 2008
Note: A more detailed description of the BizTalk Adapter Pack can be found at
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