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Launch Services - ETL Transformation as a WebService

Posted by csochor on January 17, 2011

Transformations on CloverETL Server can be run by users in a very simple way by using just a web browser and a correct link. When a user click on the link, a transformation is triggered on the Server and requested data are generated. These data can be in several different formats as Excel spreadsheet, CSV file, XML, or HTML. One can even place a form on the web page that serves as a source for parameters for the transformation.

In this blog post, I will demonstrate how Launch Services can be used from user point-of-view. The next part will show how Launch Services can be configured.

Each installation of CloverETL Server contains a sandbox named default that has many examples of Launch Services in. So you can immediately experiment with all the examples described below. If you do not have a licensed version of CloverETL Server, you can use an online server demo running at

Example 1 – Glossary

There is a database with economic terms which is updated everyday on our online demo server. You can put a web form on a web page where user enters an unknown term and press the execute button. A request is sent to the server where CloverETL transformation is run, then matching and similar terms are returned and displayed as an HTML page.

Note: This example is using HTTP POST request. However, Launch Services can handle also GET requests. So you can place anywhere a normal URL that would link to an explanation of a specific term. Format of such link is: <server-url>/launch/<launch-service-name>?<paramenter-name>=<parameter-value>, e.g.:

etl transformation webservice

Example 2 – Mountains

There is a database with the highest mountains on Earth with their heights. User enters an elevation above sea-level and hits an enter key. Excel sheet is then displayed listing all mountains with the given minimal elevation.

Note: It is necessary to provide credentials to trigger Launch Services (using HTTP basic authentification). A transformation may depend on a logged user or a group, the user belongs to. It is thus possible to configure the service in such a way that it will run under one URL but returned data format will depend on a specific user (e.g. users will get results in an Excel sheet, but one specific user can receive results as CSV file).

etl transformation webservice

Example 3 – Mountains Upload

Launch Service can accept also a file containing data as a parameter. These data can be inserted to the server database or can be used for a transformation run. As a variation to the previous example, it is possible to submit a file with a list of highest mountains that is used for a selection.

etl transformation webservice

Example 4 – Everest Ascents

Though input fields are of text type, Launch Services can parse them, according to how they are configured, into other data types as integer, real, date, boolean etc. They can have specific formats and locale settings, even different for each user. If a user enters data in a wrong format, he is alerted and CloverETL transformation can then receive only correct, parsed data.

In our example, we have a list of mountain climbers that reached Mount Everest without using an oxygen mask. Launch Service enables you to select a climber by date of the first ascent, gender, number of successful ascents, and nationality.

etl transformation webservice

Example 5 – Scripting

Up to now, we have been accessing Launch Services from a web browser. However, they can be easily used also from other systems. It is possible to access a given URL through any application supporting HTTP protocol as wget on Unix. You could write a script downloading all women that climbed Mount Everest and sending them to a given email address:

wget --user clover --password clover -q -O - http://localhost:8080/clover/launch/ascents-everest?sex=F | tail -n +2 | cut -f 1 | mail -s "Ladies on Everest"

Example 6 – Client Library

The last possibility how to call Launch Services is via a Java library This package will come handy if you need to integrate Launch Service with your Java application or if you need to trigger Launch Service from a command line with more parameters than wget allows for.

If you need to run Launch Service called acents-everest running on a server http://localhost:8080/clover as a user clover and all results save to a folder acents-everest-result, you can use this command:
java -jar cloverETL-server-client.jar acents-everest -u http://localhost:8080/clover -l clover -p clover -o acents-everest-result

Read the part two: Launch Services - Configuration

Data integration software and ETL tools provided by the CloverDX platform (formerly known as CloverETL) offer solutions for data management tasks such as data integration, data migration, or data quality. CloverDX is a vital part of enterprise solutions such as data warehousing, business intelligence (BI) or master data management (MDM). CloverDX Designer (formerly known as CloverETL Designer) is a visual data transformation designer that helps define data flows and transformations in a quick, visual, and intuitive way. CloverDX Server (formerly known as CloverETL Server) is an enterprise ETL and data integration runtime environment. It offers a set of enterprise features such as automation, monitoring, user management, real-time ETL, data API services, clustering, or cloud data integration.