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Build Blackbaud FE NXT-Connected Apps in Mendix



Use CData Connect Cloud to create an OData feed for Blackbaud FE NXT and create custom apps in Mendix.

Mendix is a high-productivity app platform that allows you to build and maintain both mobile and web applications at-scale. When paired with CData Connect Cloud, Mendix provides instant, cloud-to-cloud access to Blackbaud FE NXT data for applications. This article demonstrates how to connect to a CData Connect Cloud data source from within Mendix.

CData Connect Cloud provides a pure cloud-to-cloud interface for Blackbaud FE NXT, allowing you to import data from live Blackbaud FE NXT data in Mendix — without replicating the data to a natively supported database. As you build web and mobile applications from within Mendix, CData Connect Cloud pushes all supported SQL operations (filters, JOINs, etc.) directly to Blackbaud FE NXT, leveraging server-side processing to return the requested Blackbaud FE NXT data quickly.

Configure Blackbaud FE NXT Connectivity for Mendix

Connectivity to Blackbaud FE NXT from Mendix is made possible through CData Connect Cloud. To work with Blackbaud FE NXT data from Mendix, we start by creating and configuring a Blackbaud FE NXT connection.

  1. Log into Connect Cloud, click Connections and click Add Connection
  2. Select "Blackbaud FE NXT" from the Add Connection panel
  3. Enter the necessary authentication properties to connect to Blackbaud FE NXT.

    Blackbaud Financial Edge NXT uses the OAuth authentication standard. To authenticate using OAuth, you will need to create an app to obtain the OAuthClientId, OAuthClientSecret, and CallbackURL connection properties.

    See the Getting Started guide in the CData driver documentation for more information.

  4. Click Create & Test
  5. Navigate to the Permissions tab in the Add Blackbaud FE NXT Connection page and update the User-based permissions.

Add Blackbaud FE NXT OData Endpoints in Connect Cloud

After connecting to Blackbaud FE NXT, create OData Endpoints for the desired table(s).

  1. Navigate to the OData page and click Add to create new OData endpoints
  2. Select the Blackbaud FE NXT connection (e.g. FinancialEdgeNXT1) and click Next
  3. Select the table(s) you wish to work with and click Confirm

With the connection and OData endpoints configured, you are ready to connect to Blackbaud FE NXT data from Mendix.

Build a Blackbaud FE NXT-Connected App

With OData endpoints added to Connect Cloud, you can build an app in Mendix with live access to Blackbaud FE NXT data.

Downloading the OData Metadata File

When creating a connection in Mendix, the connection flow requires a Data Source Contract File. Follow these steps to download the OData metadata file for CData Connect Cloud using curl, a command line tool:

  1. Open a command-line window for your operating system. On Windows, open the start menu, type cmd, and press the Enter key to open a command prompt. On macOS and Linux, open a Terminal window.
  2. To check if curl is installed on your system, type curl -help and press the enter key. If it is not installed, install it from the curl website.
  3. Issue the following curl command, replacing USER with your CData Connect Cloud username and PAT with the PAT you generated above: curl -u USER:PAT https://cloud.cdata.com/api/odata/service/$metadata -o metadata.xml
  4. Locate the metadata.xml file that the curl command created and move it to an accessible location.

Connecting to CData Connect Cloud in Mendix

Follow these steps to establish a connection from Mendix to CData Connect Cloud:

  1. Login to Mendix and open the Data Hub page.
  2. In the Register a Data Source section, select OData.
  3. Upload the metadata.xml file from the steps above and click Next.
  4. Enter your desired values for Data Source Name and Data Source Version. In the Data Source Relative Path field, enter /api/odata/service and click Next.
  5. On the Application information page, click Register a new application.
  6. Enter a name in Application Name and select a technical owner (by default, this is the user who is currently logged in).
  7. Click Next. In the Environment Name field, enter a desired name (for example, CData Connect Cloud). In the Environment Location field, enter https://cloud.cdata.com and select the appropriate Environment Type (e.g. Production), depending on what is needed.
  8. Click Done! to create your connection.

You can now use your connection in Mendix Studio Pro to easily create applications with access to live Blackbaud FE NXT data.

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