The External Data Lookup Feed is used to import structured data from other servers into one or more Tables, for one-off transfer, ad-hoc queries, or for periodic synchronisation. This is the most powerful method for inter-server integration.
The component works by importing information from an XML file (which include RSS feed and Atom feeds) into one or more records in a Table.
The XML file should be accessible via HTTP or HTTPS on a web server. Whilst this could be on the same server, it is normally an external server, often run by another party.
The component works by making a request – normally a GET request over HTTP – which contains the URL of the source, and optionally some querystring parameters. These parameters are often used to help authenticate you as being allowed to access the resource, and to specify which information should be returned. Simple feeds like RSS feeds may not require any parameters.
In response to the request an XML file will be returned, which the component will process.
Note: To see what the XML file looks like – useful for configuring the component if there is a lack of documentation – use your browser to browse to the feed, and then 'View Source' of the response. Different browsers will display this differently: Firefox produces a more readable display than Internet Explorer.
Configuring the External Lookup Data Feed
It is assumed you have already configured the Tables to receive the imported data. If you find you need to modify the Table structure to accommodate the import be sure to reload the External Lookup Data Feed component in your browser so it sees the new structure.
The component interface has two tabs, 'Configuration' and 'Test'. Scheduling is configured through its Behavior Editor.
- The Configuration tab contains the fields and dialogs to allow you to specify the configuration.
- The Test tab allows you to trigger an import, and will give you feedback on how many record were added and updated.
For detailed configuration documentation and advice see the pages on the right.
There are several ways to trigger the External Lookup Data Feed. Read more.