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

  • The xMatters Agent combines the script-running capabilities of the Integration Builder with an "always on" communication mechanism for exchanging information with xMatters On-Demand
  • Initial configuration (and subsequent updates to the xMatters Agent) requires that you log into the host machine, but is substantially less complex than the Integration Agent.
  • Setting up and configuring the 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?

The Integration Agent currently supports some functionality that we're still working to add 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 if critical to you, then you might need to use the Integration Agent.

Also, the xMatters Agent supports only outbound integrations at the moment. If your local system can reach out from behind the firewall and you don't need the inbound request buffering, you can use the Integration Builder to configure an inbound integration. If your system can't reach out or you need the request buffering, you need to use the Integration Agent.

However, 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 or methods 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 it will eventually be replaced entirely by the xMatters Agent, if you decide to use the Integration Agent.