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ipc over tcp/ip implementation

Posted on 2007-10-14
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
Hello experts.
I am looking for an open source/bsd licence solution for generic ipc over tcp/ip network.
the basic need are to exchange data between different parts of an distributed app.
I am using c / c++ windows sockets.
THanks.
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Question by:Iys
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OnegaZhang earned 1000 total points
ID: 20074024
At least there are 3 ways based on TCP/IP: CORBA, webservice, and plain socket. Here are some open source libraries that have friendly license.

Open source CORBA solution:  ACE/TAO  http://www.cs.wustl.edu/~schmidt/TAO.html

Open source webservice solution: Axis2/C   http://ws.apache.org/axis2/c/

Plain socket: boost.asio  http://asio.sourceforge.net/

To select the right one, you have to made the following tradeoff:
CORBA is heavier and faster than Webservice;
socket is lighter but requires more work, and complicated interface.
Webservice is lighter than CORBA, but a little bit slower since it is over HTTP and inefficient when transferring binary data and array.
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by:jkr
ID: 20074112
What exactly are you trying to communicate between the processes?
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by:Iys
ID: 20074354
lkr:
I want to communicate serialization of  C  structs and/or XML (with binary data encapsulated)
Webservices are too bloat for me.
I started to implement plain sockets on my own but thought that there may be an open source alternative.
asio sounds close.

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LVL 86

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by:jkr
ID: 20074512
For sending plain XML data, sockets IMO are the best solution - no protocol overhead, since the data is structured in itself. Check out http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms737889.aspx ("Complete Server and Client Code"), this is all you need to transfer XML data.

Regarding structs: That seems to be a perfect tasks for RPC, since you can use the struct definitions in IDL, thus enabing the MIDL compiler to generate all necessary marshalling code. Start reading at http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa378651.aspx ("Remote Procedure Call") where you will also find a link to samples and see also the tutorial at http://www.codeproject.com/internet/rpcintro1.asp ("Introduction to RPC - Part 1")
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by:itsmeandnobodyelse
itsmeandnobodyelse earned 1000 total points
ID: 20078007
>>>> since you can use the struct definitions in IDL,
>>>> thus enabing the MIDL compiler to generate all
>>>> necessary marshalling code.

If Webservices are too 'bloat' for you, I would recomment against using MIDL. IMO, it is that kind of interfaces which is making more problems than helping especially for use in C++ where the docs are poor and help is hard to get. Let alone that it is as proprietary as any piece of software can be at all.

Using plain sockets is indeed the most easiest way for passing structs. If different platforms are involved you need to care for alignment and endian. But even that can be done in a very transparent and straight forward approach, e. g. by converting each integer member via htonl to network order and back by ntohl when reading the members.

Regards, Alex

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by:Iys
ID: 20084872
itsmeandnobodyelse:
Do you know of any libraries which implement ipc over plain sockets ?.
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by:itsmeandnobodyelse
ID: 20084963
>>>> Do you know of any libraries which implement ipc over plain sockets ?
I've written my own libraries. But you may look at the following thread where someone asked the same question:

http:Q_20148723.html
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by:cup
ID: 20090505
I've always found that recovery from disconnection is a major problem with most of these packages.  Remove the ethernet cable and everything just freezes or falls over.  Plug it back in and the whole system comes back to life or falls over.

Whatever package you use, make sure you can recover from disconnections and reconnections.  It is always one of the last things to be tested (some project managers even remove it from the test spec).  I have yet to find a solution that is neat and simple.  It gives the customers a lot of confidence when code can recover from disconnections.

With Windows, unless it is a server, if the network cable is removed, it loses its IP address and everything just hangs, even when you have a recovery strategy.  You need to disable media sensing http://support.microsoft.com/kb/239924 to avoid that.

I don't really know if Unix or other OSs have the same problem.
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by:itsmeandnobodyelse
ID: 20091225
>>>> always found that recovery from disconnection
>>>> is a major problem with most of these packages.
It must not be. If checking with select before any read/accept a disconnection can be detected without timeouts. Same happens if setting the socket to non-blocking. I never had problems with that. But I've seen a lot of implementations which did not handle disconnection but only have error handling which makes a retry. Such a system rarely will recover in case of a disconnection.
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