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Enterprise Integration Overview

Hornbill is a powerful tool designed for business use and as such is designed to integrate with typical enterprise environments easily and reliably. The Hornbill platform uses open standards extensively and provide well defined, clearly documented standards based integration points and to the greatest possible extent we provide "easy to use" user interfaces to simplify the process of configuring and testing of common integrations.

The Hornbill platform its self, as well as the range of tools we provide to support the platform, are designed around the philosophy of Service Oriented Architecture which means that our system and its many components are loosely-coupled services and exposed through a secure, self-documented, standards-based web-services API's. It is this design that is the foundation of our automated test strategy which ensures we maintain a consistent and reliable service while delivering new functionality progressively and regularly.

We define our integration capabilities into three specific categories: -

Essential Integrations

These are basic things needed in order to quickly get the system up and running with meaningful data and connectivity. Because we believe these integrations are essential to every deployment we have put a lot of effort into simplifying the process of establishing these integration points. We also believe that because these integration needs are pretty much universally required by our customers in order that they get good value from our technology, we carry out the work with you to establish these integration points totally free of any charge as part of the Switch-On service we provide. We will generally carry out this work during your evaluation/trial period before you have to make any financial or contractual commitment to us our or service. The essential integration points include: -
  • Single-Sign-On (SSO) - We will integrate with your organisations directory service (Microsoft Active Directory or equivalent) using a secure industry strength open standard known as SAML 2.0, as a result your users get transparent login to Hornbill, no extra passwords to remember and maintain, your users identity access information remains in your own directory service
  • User Auto-Provisioning means there is no need to create user accounts manually on Hornbill. Instead, our system will be configured to auto-provision the authorised user accounts automatically upon their first login, transferring the configured identity information needed by Hornbill totally automatically. The auto-provisioning process is pretty much instantaneous and totally transparent to your users. We will also configure the system to automatically keep the user information in Hornbill properly synchronised with the information held within your directory service (Microsoft Active Directory or equivalent). Basically once configured ongoing data synchronisation and single-sign-on is completely automating and self-maintaining.
  • E-Mail Integration - We will configure and connect inbound and outbound e-mail features of Hornbill with your corporate or public e-mail system. We support the full range of standards based, industrial strength secure e-mail interoperability protocols - see Email Integration for more details
  • Guest Access Configuration - for customers using then Hornbill Guest access option, we will apply basic re-branding/style the guest access portal to ensure your customers see your organisations brand.
  • Business Process Automation & Orchestration - Using the powerful Business Process Engine to drive Automation and Orchestration with a wide range of Out of the Box and Codeless integrations.

Essential Application Integrations

Certain applications have specific integrations that should be applied in order to get the best value from the application. We also provide this Essential Application integrations totally free of any charge as part of the Switch-On service we provide for our customers. The current essential application integrations options include: -
  • Computer/Asset Data Import & Integration (*see note 1) - for organisations using Hornbill Service Manager for internal IT we will work with you to deploy our site integration connector for asset data imports which will populate our CMDB within Hornbill with computers, operating systems and installed software available within your discovery tool database.
  • Computer/Asset View (*see note 2) - if your browser based asset management/discovery tool is deployed, we will configure your Hornbill instance to include custom buttons/links to launch the asset-specific views of your deployed tool from within the appropriate asset views within Hornbill
NOTE 1: will provide integration on a best endeavour basis as we are dependant on the capabilities and actual deployment of the specific tool

Advanced Integrations

This category includes more complex and often customer-specific needs such as integration with other data sources or business systems that you might want to interoperate. Because of the undefinable nature of these requirements we would deliver the work needed to put these things in place through paid-for consulting services either directly through one of our integration partners. The ongoing support and maintenance of such integrations will be agreed with customers on a case-by-case basis. Advanced integrations include (but are not limited to) things like: -
  • Bespoke Automated Data Imports - we have a site deployable Data Import tool that will perform ETL (Extract-Transform-Load) operations, pulling data from various local sources such as AD/LDAP, SQL Databases and Flat Files, transform the data and MERGE into your Hornbill instance. Once configured these data imports can be scheduled to run on a regular basis to keep your data up to date.
  • Web Services API - the Hornbill platform exposes all functionality through a single unified and fully documented web services API. The API is an XML RPC-style request/response messaging scheme, with all inputs and outputs fully described by XML Schema and on-line browsable documentation. We also provide simplified language bindings allowing developers to easily integrate within projects built using JavaScript, PHP, C#.NET , Java and C++. You can view the full documentation for this API here
  • Web Hooks - the opposite to an API call, a web hook is a call from Hornbill to a web endpoint of your choosing. Most application actions on a Hornbill instance can trigger an action-specific event when an action is performed. Hornbill can be configured to call to a web end point passing the action-specific data to the web service. This is a very powerful mechanism that enables true, near real-time integration with other business systems. - Webhooks
  • Other Data Integration - we have a lot of flexibility in our systems design, each and every customers has their own fully isolated database so almost any type of data integration
  • Automated LDAP Import - We provide a system to import and update Co-Workers & Basic Users into Hornbill from your local LDAP without the need to open LDAP through your Firewall - AD User Import
  • Custom Domain using Reverse Proxy - You can access your Hornbill instance via your own custom domain by setting up your own reverse proxy Custom Domain using Reverse Proxy

Hornbill Open Integration Tools

We provide an ever expanding list of open-source tools for integrating and extending the Hornbill platform. We release these tools as open source tools under a very liberal open source licence (shown below). Our team here at Hornbill support many of these tools via our community channels and we encourage our customers and technology partners to get involved. These tools and examples provide a great resource for getting started with API/WebHook level integrations with our platform.

All of these tools are open source and are freely available in source code from our GitHub repository. Please also see our integration page for more details and documentation on specific tools that are in common use.

Hornbill GitHub Repository

Documentation & Links

User Import
Contact Import
Request Import
Asset Import
Power BI Reporting
  • Power BI Reporting - Used to enable Power BI administrators to use the Hornbill Reporting and Trending Engine APIs as Data Sources within Power BI reports and dashboards.
Orchestration and Automation

Integration Documents & Topics

Personal tools