I couldn't resist. I've created a TCP socket-based distribution
provider . Like we've been discussing, it's client->server
only, and so clients cannot export services (and servers cannot
import services), but unlike the other example impls using tcp
that I'm aware of, it supports multiple remote calls via a single
connection, and it supports multiple remote services exported via
a single socket listener. It also supports the OSGi R7 async
remote services and the other R7 features (intents, configurable
timeout, etc). And it just uses ServerSocket and Socket classes,
so there's a chance it will work in your target environment (if
the environment allows non-known apps to make direct socket
connections with an unknown...not JDBC, not http, etc protocol.
Of course it's not done and fully tested yet, but I did get signs
of life this evening.
On 7/26/2018 10:52 AM, Scott Lewis wrote:
On 7/26/2018 1:41 AM, Peter Hermsdorf wrote:
Am 21.07.2018 um 00:11 schrieb
the mapping is done, who/what does the mapping?..and how is it
done? It seems to me that's the problematic case. Does it
map both IP address and port, or just IP address? Do you
know if it's using NAT or some other tech?
Typically mapping is only done for the ip addresses. Actually i
can't tell exactly how it's done. Probably it's custom to every
Are there other services on this net...e.g. a web
server...that are working properly with the addressing
properties that you are looking for? If so, how is that
done? A reverse proxy or load balancing hw or ?
services that work that way are JDBC connections to oracle
databases. They don't care if you reach them by hostname or the
one ip address or the other ... ;)
Given the smiley, I'm not sure if you are joking but here's the
rub: JDBC connections are point-to-point (strict
client-server)...and so the addressing is relatively simple.
Part of its simplicity is that it creates isolation between
clients, but with DB connections that's generally what you want.
However, the ECF generic provider...and some of the
others...provides a group model, where every process (clients and
server) can both export and import remote services as opposed to
server-export and client-import only.
Just to explain a little more: In a group model (i.e. ECF
container), every process in the group has to
a) have a unique identity;
b) agree (membership) to use the same ID to refer to the same
So in the three group members case:
Serverid -> ecftcp://some.name:3333/server
Client1id -> 1
Client2id -> 2
When the two clients connect to this server, all three processes
receive the IDs of the other two processes...i.e. Server gets 1,
2, Client1 gets serverid, 2; and Client2 gets serverid and 1.
Note that if the Client1 serverid != Client2 serverid (i.e. the
clients are on different networks) then it violates b above.
This seems to be your situation with the generic provider.
All I'm saying is that the introduction of NAT, firewalls,
proxies, VPNs, etc changes the addressing. This is less of a
problem for client-server communication because there are only two
processes 'aware' of each other instead of a group.
When I wrote the generic provider (originally > 14 years ago),
the addressing introduced by NAT, VPN, etc wasn't nearly as
prevalent. I *could* have introduced some additional
connection/group join protocol to associate some separate/unique
name (uuid, etc) with the server ip address, so that clients
didn't use some.name:3333. However, at that time I didn't
anticipate it would be necessary, and so I didn't do that...using
the (guaranteed unique) some.name:3333 to both identify the
process and client uses to connect to the server. In retrospect
it would have been nice if I did, but OTOH given the complexity
involved in doing it in the 'general case' I'm kind of glad I
It's possible that a new/extended generic container could be
created that had this additional protocol to have connected
clients use a non-ip-based name for the server in the group. It
would probably be necessary, however, to first understand what the
name mapping was doing for a given network topology (i.e. your
customer) at least if one was interested in keeping the 'group'
nature (i.e. not be 'strict client-server' at the service
As we've been discussing, another option is to use a strict
client-server topology rather than a group, and use or create a
distribution provider based upon a strict client-server model.
See below for more comments about this.
1) currently we only use "strict" client->server setup, but:
i could image use-cases where it could be useful if the server
could import services from the clients to realize something like
push information to the client from the server (without polling
etc) - but that's probably another story...
Indeed it is :).
having a strict client->server works for your services,
then I would suggest you try the either the JaxRSRemoteService
providers  which are based upon HttpService (jetty server
usually). It still seems to me that you would need a reverse
proxy like nginx to expose the same server to access via
multiple IP addresses/networks, and I'm not sure if that's
possible on your target network, but nginx is frequently used
2) i don't think it's a good idea to switch to a http based
communication - performance wise. i would like to stick with a
binary transportation layer rather than have http protocol
overhead (remember my kryo serialization implementation)... and
we don't have a use case where other services/participants would
benefit from a http based communication...
we have a jetty on server side, but it has nothing to deal with
the osgi remote services - just provides some jax-rs rest
Given that you already have a jetty server working in this
topology, perhaps it would be worth it to give it a try with the
JaxRSProvider...and see how the performance is for a test
service. I understand the concern about performance with
http...especially if you are sending lots of messages. However,
as you know jetty/websockets, caching proxies, hw, etc., etc have
improved the performance of http under many usage scenarios so
maybe it will be less of a problem than you think.
Another thought: Once you were confident that a strict
client-server model would get you want you want in terms of
connection, you could create a simple
websocket-or-regular-socket-based distribution provider based upon
your Kyro serialization provider  or at least starting from
that. With Photon I've tried to make it easier to create new
distribution providers (more/more useful abstract classes).
There are a other providers at  that you could model from (e.g.
Chronicle, grcp, etc) or just use a simple socket connection based
upon the trivial provider .
You can also combine multiple distribution providers if you need
to (i.e. some services with JaxRS, others with a
custom-socket-based distribution provider for others).
3) switching to a different provider is an option, if there is
"no" performance problem and this "connection" issue would be
solved. additional infrastructure for
translating/mapping/proxying is a problem and is at the end no
real option.... from my point of view that's the job of the
underlying tcp/ip network...
That would be very nice, but unfortunately these days with NAT,
VPN, etc we are not dealing with just one tcp/ip network :).
Because of the many questions regarding how the network mapping
etc. is done i would like to describe another scenario which
shows the same problem, but is probably better reproducible:
Thanks, this is helpful.
Use virtualbox on your host machine and install a virtual
machine (e.g. running linux). let's name it server1. deploy a
service with the generic provider on server1. the service will
bind to the local network interface and use the local name of
the linux machine: server1. that means e.g. the endpoint ID is
in virtualbox on the host machine configure a port mapping from
port 3282 into the virtual machine with the same port 3282.
from a network perspective you are now able to reach the service
in the linux box from your host machine using tcp
if you now start a service consumer on your host machine which
uses the endpoint ecftcp://localhost:3282/server or the real
hostname of the host machine e.g.
ecftcp://scotts-machine:3282/server you will get a succesful
tcp/ip connection between client and server, but (of course) the
service import is not working because of the different endpoint
Right. See explanation above for why this is the case with a
group model/generic distribution provider.
So, if you can give up the group model and the ability to export
services from peers...and it sounds like you can...then you should
be able to give one of the JaxRSProviders a try.
If tcp is needed for your required performance, then to be safe, I
would suggest trying a very very small Java application to create
a socket connection, read and write a few bytes and make sure that
your target network will allow such client-server comm, as many
VPN networks limit traffic by port and/or protocol, etc. This is
one reason it's so hard for me or anyone to create a 'general'
socket provider that will work on any VPN, NAT, network, etc.
They can be configured in ways that will allow some things (e.g.
odbc, http over specific ports) and not allow others (e.g. socket
comm over port xxxx).
If the Java socket app works in your target environment then I
would suggest creating a very simple new distribution provider
starting with the trivial provider . If you decide to do this
I can/will help and would welcome it, but for full-effort on it I
would need some additional arrangement.
i need a solution for that without adding local hostname
entries, dns changes and additional servers or infrastructure ;)
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