Linx Tutorials

Overview of tutorial series

Contents {#contents .TOCHeading}

Introduction 2

Overview - Why Linx? 2

What is the Linx platform? 2

How does Linx work? 2

What makes Linx low code? 2

What are prebuilt components? 2

How is Linx different to other integration methods? 3

Linx integrations compared to your existing integrations 3

How does Linx work with Data? 3

Data storage and information flow in Linx 3

How do I deploy my application? 4

What skills do I need to use Linx? 4

What are some of the typical use-case scenarios for Linx? 4

Key Concepts 5

Layout of UI: components, containers and actions 5

General Resources 5

Steps going forward? 5

Introduction

This introductory guide contains the necessary links to articles and videos that a beginner can go over to familiarize themselves with the high-level aspects of Linx, its UI and the Linx terminology.

It is highly recommended that you read and watch the relevant content before you attempt to develop your own solutions or our tutorial exercises.

Once you are familiar with the below content, you can move onto to practical tutorials in which you will complete exercises exploring all the aspects of Linx functionality which will equip you with the necessary skill to develop solutions on Linx.

Overview - Why Linx?

Go here for more information.

What is the Linx platform?

Linx is a comprehensive integration tool delivering fast and simple integration and orchestration of business processes and applications.  Users can quickly connect databases, systems and applications; move, manage and transform data and automate these processes across multiple cloud services.

[]{#_Toc19530719 .anchor}How does Linx work?\ Linx allows users to set up interactions with databases, files, web services, email and other APIs to efficiently perform repetitive tasks and automate backend workflows.

Users create solutions in the Linx Designer, a drag-and-drop desktop IDE. Solutions are designed to include server-side business logic, such as data validation, workflow rules, calculations, and more, with unlimited flexibility.\ \ Completed solutions (applications) are deployed to the Linx Application Cloud where automated events are executed based on your predetermined triggers.

What makes Linx low code?

Linx uses prebuilt components to access a vast array of programming functions and services without having to write the code.  In addition, Linx has several low code tools built in to accelerate your design work. These include database connectors, an expression editor, debugger and more.

What are prebuilt components?

Our pre-built components are known as plugins. Our growing range of plugins encompasses options for most development use cases such as file interactions, database access, email, web services and more.\ \ Plugins provide specific functionality through: 

  • Functions: the things you want the plugin to do

  • Types: the type of information the plugin uses

  • Services: the triggers or events that will enact the function you wish to perform.

How is Linx different to other integration methods?

With other integration platforms, connectors are typically lightweight wrappers over the endpoints' native API specification, thus there is still significant work required by your integration team to build additional components. 

Linx puts your data model in the centre of your integration universe, providing for a many-to-many integration experience versus custom, point-to-point integrations that are difficult to build and maintain. 

For example, Linx allows you to merge data hailing from multiple databases into a single API response. Linx is database, system- and location-agnostic, meaning you could for instance merge data from a SaaS tool, MySQL and Microsoft SQL Server database into one process.

Linx integrations compared to your existing integrations 

Current integration techniques are complex and expensive. With Linx, every integration you build will become a reusable integration artefact, from custom fields to integration logic, to extending or creating new processes. This creates a one-to-many integration strategy that is unattainable if you build integrations yourself, as you will end up creating point-to-point integrations that your team will have to maintain.

[]{#_Toc19530724 .anchor}**How does Linx work with Data?\ **With Linx, you can set conditions or rules on how the execution of a process will perform. Within the process you can place conditions on the different components such as which branch to follow, based on which predefined conditions. This mechanism enables you to create branches, loops, and any other business logic.\ \ With Linx, data can be handled in multiple ways. It can be:

  • Transferred to a secondary destination, such as another application or a messaging queue

  • Converted to another format, such as an XML file or text file

  • Saved in one or more tables (such as Salesforce) and databases

  • Used as conditions for other activities or tasks

Data storage and information flow in Linx

Linx sits between your application and the endpoint service. Any data that is stored is encrypted and considered transient (i.e. auto deleted). 

As a general rule, Linx does not store business data, only audit logs in the Server dashboard. All data is encrypted over the wire and may be stored to support optional features such as manipulation, transformation, events, formulas or bulk data services. 

How do I deploy my application?

Completed applications are deployed, via 1-click, to the Linx Application Cloud. The Application Cloud is a scalable, high performance server for deploying, running, managing and maintaining projects. The Application Server provides services that run integration processes, as defined in your solution.  The Server is started as a process in background mode and has no user interface.\ \ The Application Server is hosted in the cloud, provided by Linx. Built on Azure, the Application Server is provided alongside an online SQL database and file storage in order to manage your application performance, without concern for cost, updates, downtime or access.

What skills do I need to use Linx?

Linx is powerful and versatile and is best served by experienced IT professionals who want to deliver innovative solutions without disrupting normal business operations. Ideally the user must have some working knowledge of the systems he/she wishes to integrate, for example databases, Json, JavaScript, Rest, etc and is well-versed in your organisation\'s architecture.

What are some of the typical use-case scenarios for Linx?

  • Application Integration:  Access APIs, databases & files from one application & convert them for use in other applications.

  • Web Services: Create REST or SOAP web services, connect to databases, send emails, write files, call APIs, etc.

  • Microservice or API layer creation: Use Linx to expose your current system's functions as a fully-fledged API layer.

  • Automate Data Transfers: Schedule or trigger the transfer of files over networks with message queues, FTP or email. 

  • Business Process Management: Automate business processes to improve efficiency & reduce errors. 

  • Extract, Transform, Load: Aggregate, synchronize and migrate data across systems and databases.  

  • Rapid Application Development: Deliver innovation fast without disrupting normal business operations.

Key Concepts

There are a number of key concepts and terms that you should familiarize yourself with and understand before attempting your own solutions.

This terminology is used throughout the tutorials, community, doc and support sites.

Please make use of the relevant links to the Linx Doc site which will aid you in your understanding.

Layout of UI: components, containers and actions

General Resources

  • Doc Site: Formalized documentation, instructions and sample solutions.

  • Community Site: Informal "stackoverflow" type site where users can post requests, bugs and issues. Issues can then be answered by general Linx users or the support team.

  • Support Contact: For any issues regarding Linx (Training, documentation, technical support etc) please feel free to send an email to support@linx.software

  • Basic examples solutions can be downloaded from here

Steps going forward?

Now that you have familiarized yourself with the key concepts and terminology, and are feeling ready, you can attempt to build your own solutions.

For beginners it is suggested that you attempt Linx Tutorial 1 -- Basic Types, which will walk you through setting up your first solution as well as the entry level skills needed to build more complex solutions.

If you are up to the challenge of building your own solution but need some examples it is advised you take a look at these:

Creating a Basic Solution:

http://linx.software/docs/getstarted/foundational/linxdesigner/basicsolution/

Plugin Introduction:

http://linx.software/docs/learnlinx/intermediate/workingwithplugins/

Best practices:

http://linx.software/docs/learnlinx/intermediate/bestpractice/

Process-flow: from Input to Output:

http://linx.software/docs/learnlinx/intermediate/inputprocessoutput/

Working with Expressions:

http://linx.software/docs/learnlinx/intermediate/workingwithexpressions/

Working with Settings:

http://linx.software/docs/learnlinx/intermediate/settings/

Working with Custom Types:

http://linx.software/docs/getstarted/foundational/linxdesigner/customtypehowto/

Working with Services:

http://linx.software/docs/learnlinx/intermediate/services/

Working with web services:

http://staging.linx.software/docs/learnlinx/intermediate/webservices/

Samples:

http://linx.software/docs/samples/