What's the difference between an adapter service and a flow service?

I’m new to WebMethods and trying to get used to the concepts and terms. A basic question – what is the difference (if any) between a flow service and an adapter service? Seems like adapter has to do with db connections but not sure if one service is a superset of the other.


In layman term, adapter service is a service that is configured to use predefined operations available to a particular endpoint, eg MQ, JDBC, SAP or Salesforce.

For flow service, it’s just something like java service that you can further include multiple steps in it.


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Hi Tony,

please have a look at the “Working With Designer” as well as the “Service Development Help” Guides.
Additional information can be found in the “Installation and Users” Guides for the adapters in question.

In Flow service you can do BRANCH, LOOP, REPEAT, MAP (Transformers) and INVOKE as well as building some sort of Try-Catch by using SEQUENCEs (also good for grouping steps which should be executed together).
Adapter Services can be invoked here, but as they are bound to specific partner systems using specific connection parameters/libraries they should not be used as standalone services.