Item type conversion

A deployment of i2 Analyze that includes the i2 Connect gateway can have multiple connector and gateway schemas, as well as an Information Store schema. In such a deployment, item types from different schemas can have similar names or purposes. i2 Analyze provides a way to convert between these types on the server, giving users a more consistent experience.

For example, two connector or gateway schemas might independently define "Person" item types, which might in turn be slightly different from a "Person" type defined in the Information Store schema. This kind of arrangement can have a number of consequences:

  • The existence of several item types with the same or similar names can be confusing for administrators and for users, who see records on their charts and item types in their palettes that look the same, but are not.
  • By the same token, the analytical tools in i2 Analyze and the Analyst's Notebook Premium desktop client do not consider records with similar-looking types to be equivalent for the purposes of comparison and other functions.
  • Only records that have types from the Information Store schema can be uploaded to the Information Store.

To address these problems, the i2 Connect gateway provides a dynamic type conversion service. At startup, the gateway builds a catalog of all the item types in all the schemas in the deployment. You can then create mappings from one item type to another, in the following combinations:

  • Connector schema type to Information Store schema type
  • Connector schema type to gateway schema type
  • Gateway schema type to Information Store schema type
  • Gateway schema type to gateway schema type (in a different gateway schema)

Type conversion mappings describe how the property values of source records that have a particular item type become the property values of target records that have a different item type.

For example, a gateway schema might define an entity type named "Person", with property types including "Forename" and "Surname". In the same deployment, the Information Store might also define an entity type named "Person", with property types including "First Name" and "Family Name". Provided that the property types in question have compatible logical types, you can create a mapping to change the type of any record with the gateway type so that it becomes a record with the Information Store type.

The effect of this type conversion mapping is that any record that would otherwise appear in search results or on the chart surface with the gateway type instead appears with the Information Store type. As a result, it can be compared directly with existing records in the Information Store, and can itself be uploaded to the Information Store if the user requires it.

Note: It is not mandatory to create mappings between item types. By default, records from connectors are copied to users' charts with their assigned entity or link types, without modification.