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Inter Delphi communication ways

Posted on 2013-05-15
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Last Modified: 2013-09-05
Hi delphi devs,

I'm looking for a way to let delphi programs communicate across the globe without the use of database.
I'm writing the programs in D2010 at the moment.

Basically i need to send a piece of text (integers, strings, etc) and the remote side has to send a similar response.

What resembles this idea most would be a user requesting a report by a certain time.
>> The app sends the name of the report, the destination folder of the report and the time it has to be delivered.
>> The backend app receives this info, prepares the report and places the report on that specifc folder

I'm looking for ideas, and some code of how the communication would work.
> I'm not looking for a full back-end communication framework ...

Something like this:
procedure Message(ReportName, DestFolder: string; DeliveryTime: TDateTime;
  var ReturnMessage: string);
begin
  ... your code ideas ...
end;

this requires 2 sides: the sending app code and the remote app code.

ideas with existing components (like Indy) are also welcome

I'll probably find a way myself, but asking a question here, may give more perspective and ideas.
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Question by:Geert Gruwez
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Expert Comment

by:aikimark
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Even though it is a bit bloated, XML is a fairly standard data exchange format.

You might also consider JSON or some other mark-up standard, such as YAML.  Most of these formats have less overhead.
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Assisted Solution

by:lomo74
lomo74 earned 250 total points
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I'd go with SOAP. It has a quite heavy overhead, but it allows function calls to run across the internet easily. Delphi also eases the process of creating client and server code through its wizard.
You can also develop client and server using different languages (I personally developed many applications mixing Delphi, C#, Java and PHP).
If bandwidth is an issue, JSON is a good lightweight alternative. More info here, along with links to Delphi JSON implementations.
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Expert Comment

by:Sinisa Vuk
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I see here multiple data to transfer. Main is report definition (description,title,column titles, some other info) and real data (two xml nodes). So I would go with custom xml (maybe with use of Indy or ICS) where part of it is allocated for report (first node) and other one for data. Data node will introduce as normal data XML with a fields description.
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Author Comment

by:Geert Gruwez
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i'm looking for the actual mechanism used for sending/receving the data between the apps
what the data format is and the interpretation of it is irrelevant at this point

i have used soap too.
It's probably my code, but this soap gets stuck every so often ...
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Expert Comment

by:aikimark
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If you want some assurances that the message will get through, use a mail protocol.  However, you should be able to do this with simple TCP.  Do not use UDP.

In order to make TCP work, you will need to get past firewalls.
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Expert Comment

by:mikelittlewood
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Hi Geert, Am i right in assuming you don't want a "middle man" in this, i.e. web services?
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Author Comment

by:Geert Gruwez
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no middle man, you'r right, just direct delphi to delphi communication

i know not to use UDP > delivery is not guaranteed
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Accepted Solution

by:
aikimark earned 250 total points
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In one system I designed, machines established TCP connections when they needed to talk to the server.  Indy components were used.  We used the machine name and a port number when specifying the TCP address.  We encrypted our data stream, since we couldn't be sure if someone was sniffing packets somewhere in the network.  We also included other message validation methods and a hash of the data to help ensure the integrity of communication.

Even though that was in a network, I don't see any reason you can't do something similar with TCP/IP.
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Author Comment

by:Geert Gruwez
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i don't need encryption
this is strictly a system internal to the company

security is taken care of by our network team
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Expert Comment

by:aikimark
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If you are communicating out on the Internet and not behind a company's firewall, all your data can be seen.
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Author Comment

by:Geert Gruwez
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i'm always going to be behind a company firewall with this
and i'm not going to repeat it a third time !

so stop giving those remarks about security
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Expert Comment

by:aikimark
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@Geert

When you stated "communicate across the globe", that does not imply that you are behind a firewall.

"i'm not going to repeat it a third time"
This is the first time you've stated your run-time configuration in this thread.  I won't mention security again.
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Author Comment

by:Geert Gruwez
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Author Closing Comment

by:Geert Gruwez
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closing ... again
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