Dell Boomi AtomSphere has both an "API Component" and a "Web Services Server Connector" for publishing web services.
What is the difference between these two seemingly similar features. When do I use one versus the other, or both?
The Web Services Server Connector
The "Web Services Server Connector" was available in Dell Boomi AtomSphere first and is described at the following link: Web Services Server connector. It is available as part of the AtomSphere Services Enablement feature available in certain editions.
The Web Services Server connector" is a listen-only connector that accepts SOAP and simple HTTP requests in real time and initiates AtomSphere processes.
Deploying a process that contains a "Web Services Server connector" to an atom will launch the web service and web server that will listen for requests or documents.
This is the simplest/default method of deploying a web service and can be used stand-alone without using the web service component described below.
The API Component
The "API Component" (formerly named Web Services Component) was introduced in Dell Boomi AtomSphere in June, 2014. It is described at the following link: API components. It is available as part of the API Management product for advanced web services management.
Advanced web service API management is an optional feature for enabling a web service publisher to expose versioned APIs for logical groups of web services in keeping with SOA best practices.
It provides more flexibility and more capability. You can build more robust web services beyond just using the "Web Services Server" connector.
In this context, a web service API consists of a set of REST and/or SOAP "endpoints". The different endpoints become unique/organized APIs that are implemented in AtomSphere in the Build tab as separate components and are then deployable as web service components. It is essentially a way of making more endpoints beyond just ws/soap or ws/simple (e.g. you can now define an endpoint such as ws/soap/api1 or ws/simple/hello/ etc... and then define operations in the web service server connector which will be appended to make a more unique request url...
You can customize the web service component's SOAP or REST API to have unique service names and namespaces
Once built, a web service component can be attached and deployed to Atoms or environments in the Deploy page in the same manner as process components.
AtomSphere automatically generates a WSDL for each deployed SOAP API.
Each endpoint must have an independently deployed linked process that uses a Web Services Server connector operation to listen for and act upon web service requests.
When you use the API Component, you will also use the Web Service Server Connector
To get started with using the API Component, see API Management Overview and Configuration Guide.