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Introduction

Connector server is a container that simply holds connectors. It is a very lightweight component that can be installed on a different node that is used to run midPoint. MidPoint then connects to the connector server and uses it as a proxy (or a gateway) to access systems that it otherwise could not access.

Connector servers are used for a variety of reasons. Maybe the most common reason is to connect to proprietary system that are not fully accessible from Java environment. Legacy Active Directory Connector (.NET) is perhaps most frequently used remote connector that needs to run in connector server because the required functionality is not available from Java environment. Connector servers are also used to reach resources that are not reachable over the network such file exports residing on remote servers.

Connector server may also be used for security. The connection between midPoint and connector server is protected by shared secret and it may also be protected by SSL. Therefore it may be more secure than the native protocol used by the resource. Therefore placing a connector server near the target resource may provide better security than a direct communication.

Installing and Configuring Connector Servers

There are two kinds of a ICF connector server:

  • Java Connector Server is used for ordinary Java-based connectors. It is useful if a connector needs to run on a different host than that where midPoint is running. This is useful mostly for file-based connectors such as CSVFile. It avoids the need to copy or FTP the file to a midPoint host.
  • .NET Connector Server is used for .NET-based connectors. It is usually used only for Active Directory connector or similar connectors to Microsoft-proprietary technologies.

Please refer to the specific pages of the connector servers for download, installation and configuration instructions.

Configuring midPoint

Once the connector server is running its parameters needs to be configured in midPoint. MidPoint can discover local connectors automatically but the situation is a bit more complex for remote connectors. First of all midPoint needs to know that a connector server exists. It also needs to know connection and security parameters. This is configured in a Connector Host object.

Connector Host

The Connector Host object contains description of a remote connector server. It contains name of the host where the connector server is installed, port number that is used for connection, shared secret and other security properties. The connector host definition does not contain information about individual connectors that are deployed on a connector host. This information is contained in the individual connector objects. These are usually created semi-automatically using a remote connector discovery process. Such connector object then refer back to the Connector Host object.

Example of a ConnectorHostType definition
<!-- This configuration is valid for midPoint 3.x. For previous versions, see earlier versions of this page. -->

<connectorHost xmlns="http://midpoint.evolveum.com/xml/ns/public/common/common-3" xmlns:t="http://prism.evolveum.com/xml/ns/public/types-3">
	<name>ICF Connector server on foobar.example.com:8759</name>
	<hostname>foobar.example.com</hostname> 			<!-- hostname/IP where is remote connector server installed -->
	<port>8759</port>						<!-- port where is remote connector server installed -->
	<sharedSecret>							<!-- shared secret between midPoint and remote connector server-->
		<t:clearValue>secret</t:clearValue>
	</sharedSecret>		
</connectorHost>

Configuring SSL

The communication between MidPoint and Connector Server may be protected by SSL. In this case the connector server is a SSL server, midPoint is SSL client. Setup of appropriate cryptographic material needs to be done on both sides.

 

MidPoint

Connector Server

Role

SSL Client

SSL Server

Crypto material

CA certificate

Keypair (private key and server certificate)

Purpose

Validate Connector Server certificate

Authorize the connector server to midPoint

How to set up crypto material

Add trusted root CA certificate to midPoint keystore

Configure keypair on connector server SSL: Java, .NET

How to enable SSL

Set protectConnection property in ConnectorHostType to true

Set connectorserver.usessl option to true in the connector server configuration file

The connector server needs any kind of valid SSL server certificate. It does not need to be a "public" certificate, i.e. it does not need to be issues by the public trusted certificate authority. Certificates from a private CA work just fine. There are numerous primers how to set up a private CA for this purpose, e.g. by using OpenSSL tool.

Troubleshooting

  • java.security.InvalidAlgorithmParameterException: the trustAnchors parameter must be non-empty
    • This strange message usually indicates a missing keystore or a missing trusted root CA certificate in the keystore. See Keystore Configuration.

See Also

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