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Features and Usage of target system adapters

Where do I get more details about the adapters and their functionality implemented?

I am in the learning phase and I am wondering what functionality an adapter can provide. My expectation is that an adapter is a facade / interface to the target system and implements at least the functionality create, modify, delete, query (read).

So if I want to read information from the target system during a to target system pass, for example to check if an object or attribute already exists in the target system, is there a way to query the target system using the adapter or do I have to create an extension? I have read in one blog about reading LDAP systems with Java Script but never found something like sending a query to the adapter to read the target system.

Next thing would be what are the return values of an adapter, is there any standard or a set of documented error messages? I would expect when sending a create (add) command to the target system the adapter returns a status and an unique identifier I can store on the identity to allow simple identification of the new created object. This seems not to be the case. Do adapters encapsulate any special logic (i mean not business logic but target system specific logic to handle technical features)

Thanks

Thomas

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