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Input and Output Adapters (Legacy Model)

Input and output adapters were introduced in an earlier version of StreamInsight. Though they have been superseded by the current development model, they are still available for developers who are maintaining legacy code. This section provides information on this legacy model. For more information about the current development model, see Developer's Guide (StreamInsight).

Adapters translate and deliver incoming and outgoing event streams to and from the StreamInsight server. StreamInsight provides a highly flexible adapter SDK that enables you to build adapters for your domain-specific event sources and output devices (sinks). Adapters are implemented in the C# programming language and stored as assemblies. The adapter classes are created as templates during design time, registered in the StreamInsight server, and instantiated in the server during run time as adapter instances.

An input adapter instance accepts incoming event streams from external sources such as databases, files, ticker feeds, network ports, sensors, and so on. The input adapter reads the incoming events in the format in which they are supplied and translates this data into the event format that is consumable by the StreamInsight server.

You create an input adapter to handle the specific event sources for your data source. If the event source produces a single event type only, the adapter can be typed. That is, it can be implemented to emit events of one particular event type. With a typed adapter, all instances of the adapter produce the same fixed payload format in which the number of fields and their types are known in advance. Examples of such events are ticker feed data or sensor data emitted by a specific device. If your event source emits different types under different circumstances, that is, the events might contain different payload formats or the payload format might not be known in advance, implement an untyped adapter. With an untyped (generic) adapter, the event payload format is provided to the adapter as part of a configuration specification at query bind time. Examples of such sources include CSV files that contain a varying number of fields where the type of data stored in the file is not known until query instantiation time, or an adapter for SQL Server tables where the events produced depends on the schema of the table. It is important to note that, at runtime, a single adapter instance, whether typed or untyped, always emits events of one specific type. Untyped adapters provide a flexible implementation to accept the specification of event type at query bind time, rather than defining the event type at the time the adapter is implemented.

You create an output adapter to receive the events processed by the StreamInsight server, translate the events into a format expected by the output device (sink), and emit the data to that device. Designing and creating an output adapter is similar to designing and creating an input adapter. Typed output adapters are designed against a specific event payload, whereas untyped output adapters are supplied with the event type only at runtime when the query is instantiated.

For more information, see Creating Input and Output Adapters. The core adapter API provides the maximum flexibility to implement against any event source or event sink. In addition, StreamInsight supports event sources and sinks at a higher level of abstraction that implement the IObservable or IEnumerable interfaces. For more information, see Using Event Sources and Event Sinks (StreamInsight).

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