The xMatters Agent and Integration Agent

When working with applications behind a firewall, xMatters offers two solutions: the xMatters Agent and the xMatters Integration Agent.

Both the xMatters Agent and the Integration Agent can update systems that are located behind a firewall. However, each one has its own advantages and limitations.

Which one should I use?

The xMatters Agent is a successor to the Integration Agent, and is designed to replace it with management and integration capabilities that are easier to use.

  • The xMatters Agent combines the script-running capabilities of Flow Designer with an "always on" communication mechanism for exchanging information with xMatters.
  • Initial configuration steps (and subsequent updates to the xMatters Agent) require that you log into the host machine, but it is substantially less complex to set up and maintain than the Integration Agent.
  • You can configure Flow Designer custom steps so they can run on the xMatters Agent.
  • Setting up and configuring integration scripts can be performed entirely within the Integration Builder, by those users with the appropriate permissions.

We encourage you to use the xMatters Agent for new integrations, rather than the Integration Agent, if at all possible.

So why would I use the Integration Agent?

Some functionality in the Integration Agent is still being added to the xMatters Agent (such as buffering inbound requests from your system to xMatters and using Integrated Properties to query information to use in the xMatters user interface). If this functionality is critical to you, then you might need to use the Integration Agent.

However, the codebase for the Integration Agent is no longer being updated or maintained; there will be no further releases or enhancements, and any future vulnerabilities or issues won't be addressed. Existing Integration Agent installations are still supported, but we highly recommend that any new instances use the xMatters Agent if at all possible.

Furthermore, given that it was originally designed for use with our on-premise offering, the Integration Agent suffers from a couple of drawbacks:

  • Initial configuration can be relatively complex, and may require a different approach than the latest and greatest integrations built using the Integration Builder.
  • Any subsequent modification to Integration Agent-based integrations or the configuration itself requires the developer or system admin to log into the host machine to make changes.
  • The Integration Agent communicates by polling at regular intervals to forward any inbound integration requests to xMatters, and to check for outbound integration requests waiting to be executed on the Integration Agent.

Keep these limitations in mind, and the fact that the Integration Agent will eventually be replaced entirely by the xMatters Agent, if you decide to use it.