Lecture Notes for Client-Server Interfaces

7 February 2002 - Clients


  1. simpler than servers - one request-response, non privileged access

  2. not simpler - recovery from failures

  3. where's that server - well known or discovered - flexibility (no hardwiring addresses), cost (don't broadcast over wans), anycasting (property based choice)

  4. what address format - domain names or ip addresses; only ip addresses exist

  5. domain name translation - given a domain name, get the associated ip address; gethostbyname()

  6. there's a similar problem with ports - getservbyname(); but what are the service names; /etc/services, ypcat services, rfc 1700

  7. don't forget the byte ordering

  8. protocol numbering - getprotobyname(); I've never used this

  9. the client algorithm for tcp

    1. create a socket

    2. find a local port number - not usually necessary; let the operating system pick

    3. picking the ip address - multi-homed hosts; a good choice requires routing information; let the os do it

    4. connect to the server - resolve the local endpoint if necessary

    5. communicate - send() and recv() are like read() and write() except for an options argument; oob data

    6. and remember when reading server data - tcp doesn't respect message boundaries; keep reading until you've got enough

    7. close - don't forget duplex traffic

  10. the client algorithm for udp

    1. about the same as tcp

    2. connecting to the server isn't necessary, but convenient - can use read() and write(); otherwise, must give the server endpoint

    3. data transfer is message oriented - easier

    4. partial closing isn't as useful - no shut-down handshake

    5. however, don't forget to deal with best effort delivery - lost packets, corrupted packets, out of order packets, duplicated packets; this is hard to do well.


This page last modified on 12 February 2002.