Intra2net AG

Usage example

In this example we create two packages using the autotools:

Example server program and client library

The procedure to export (input for the code generator - libt2n-codegen): t2nexample.cpp:
First the procedure to export is defined. It is marked for export with the attribute macro LIBT2N_EXPORT. In this example the procedure throws an exception if the input string is "throw". The exception is passed back to the client transparently. Otherwise some text is appended and returned.
// include automatically generated code
#include "t2nexample_common.hxx"

LIBT2N_EXPORT std::string testfunc(std::string str) 
{
    // exceptions derived from libt2n::t2n_exception are passed to the client transparently
    if (str=="throw")
        throw libt2n::t2n_runtime_error("throw me around");
    return str+", testfunc() was here";
}
Required includes go into the group header file: t2nexample.hxx:
All includes required to get the declarations of the types used by the procedures to export go into the group header file. libt2n uses boost for serialization. This means all types involved in a remote procedure call must be boost serializable. In this example we only use std::string provided by <string> and boost already provides serialization for std::string in the boost/serialization/string.hpp header file.
#include <string>
#include <boost/serialization/string.hpp>
The server program: server.cpp:
We have to provide the main entry point for the server program. In this example we use a local socket and the server program simply waits until a request is received which then is handled by the generated code directly. We use a libt2n::group_command_server to handle the requests. Each libt2n::group_command_server is tied to one command group. Which source file exports it's functions into which command group is defined in the Makefile (see below).
#include <signal.h> 

#include <socket_server.hxx>
#include <command_server.hxx> // for group_command_server

// the automatically generated server side code (cmd_group_t2nexample class)
#include "t2nexample_server.hxx"

int main(int argc, char** argv)
{
    // don't kill the server on broken pipe
    signal(SIGPIPE, SIG_IGN);

    // create local socket server (a.k.a "unix domain socket")
    // if you want to to create a tcp/ip server you pass the port to the constructor
    // (for details take a look at the socket_server class documentation)
    libt2n::socket_server ss("./socket");
    libt2n::group_command_server<cmd_group_t2nexample> cs(ss);

    // handle requests
    while(true)
        cs.handle();

    return 0;
}
Using autoconf and automake to build a example server program and a client library.
In the configure.in(.ac) we check for libt2n using the LIBT2N_CHECK m4 macro provided by libt2n.
Writing the Makefile.am isn't difficult either. We have to list the command groups used. For each command group we have to list the C++ source files with the procedures to export. For each group we build a client library by listing the generated client code (group_client.cpp) in a corresponding libtool library target. The .pc file for the library is generated automatically. The sources of the server program must include the generated server code (group_server.cpp), the file with the main entry point and of course the procedure definition.
Build and install the package
To build and install the package we first have to create the configure script and the other help scripts of the autotools by running autoreconf.
 autoreconf -f -i && ./configure && make install
 

Client using the library

Using the library is as simple as using any other library using pkg-config (the pkg-config .pc file is created automatically by the included Makefile snippet)

We only have to check that the library is installed
The Makefile.am needs nothing special
The client program: client.cpp:
The example client first connects to the local socket. The connection is passed to the constructor of the generated class. To call the remote procedure the "testfunc" method is called. The example first passes "throw" to the remote procedure which will result in a exception to be thrown which is passed back to the client and thrown on the client side again. In the example the exception is caught and it is checked whether the string returned by what() is correct. If so a second remote procedure call is made and its return value is checked. Only if both tests succeed the program will exit with a status value indicating success.
// for socket_client_connection
#include <socket_client.hxx>

// include generated library header
#include "t2nexample_client.hxx"

int main(int argc, char** argv)
{
    // use a local socket (a.k.a "unix domain socket")
    // if you want to connect to a tcp/ip server you pass the port and server name to the constructor
    libt2n::socket_client_connection sc("./socket");
    // this generated class has a method for each of our exported procedures
    cmd_group_t2nexample_client cc(&sc);

    bool throwok=false;

    // exceptions are passed back to the client transparently
    try
    {
        // call the remote procedure (we pass "throw" to cause a exception to be thrown)
        cc.testfunc("throw");
    }
    catch(libt2n::t2n_runtime_error &e)
    {
        throwok=(std::string(e.what())=="throw me around");
    }

    // call remote procedure and check the return value is correct
    return ( throwok && ( cc.testfunc("hello") == "hello, testfunc() was here" ) )
        ? EXIT_SUCCESS : EXIT_FAILURE;
}
Build and install the package
 autoreconf -f -i && ./configure && make install
 
Test
To test whether it works we first start the server that creates a socket 'socket' in the current working directory. Then we run the client and print "ok" if it exited with a status value indicating success.
$ cd /tmp
$ file socket
socket: cannot open `socket' (No such file or directory)
$ libt2n-example1-server &
[1] 7711
$ file socket
socket: socket
$ libt2n-example1-client && echo ok
ok
$ kill %1
$ rm socket
 

The Client-Wrapper

The interfaces can be called directly in the way outlined above. But this means you have to take care of connection errors between client and server at each call, possibly try to reconnect and so on. Libt2n provides the Client-Wrapper to ease this. It is a way to select a error handling strategy once and use it automatically for all calls invoked through the Wrapper. Tough error-handling is the common usecase, the Client-Wrapper could be used to execute any user-provided code before and after a call to the server is made.

The other feature that the Client-Wrapper provides is a connection-singleton. T2n (currently) only offers single-threaded servers. So if you use methods of a T2n-server in a program, you usually only want to maintain one common connection to this server - even if it is accessed from different parts/modules/classes/... of your program. The Client-Wrapper is initialized with a libt2n::ConnectionWrapper.

This libt2n::ConnectionWrapper takes the error-handling strategy (e.g. reconnect-then-throw) and everything needed to establish a connection (e.g. socket name or host and tcp-port) as parameters. A connection is established at the first actual request to the server and re-used for following requests. You don't need to pass around client-handles and the like to your classes or methods, finding the right wrapper is done via the global singleton created for each server-interface initialized for the wrapper.

This example shows how to use the Client-Wrapper:

// for a wrapped socket connection
#include <socket_wrapper.hxx>

// include generated library header
#include "t2nexample_client.hxx"

// define a type for more conveniant access
typedef libt2n::T2nSingletonWrapper<cmd_group_t2nexample_client> wraptype;

// static object which keeps the wrapper-singleton
template<>
std::auto_ptr<wraptype> wraptype::SingletonObject = std::auto_ptr<wraptype>();

// static object which keeps the connection
template<>
std::auto_ptr<libt2n::ConnectionWrapper> wraptype::WrappedConnection =
    std::auto_ptr<libt2n::ConnectionWrapper>();

int main(int argc, char** argv)
{
    // tell the client-wrapper how to contact the server if a connection is requested
    wraptype::set_connection(std::auto_ptr<libt2n::ConnectionWrapper>
        (new libt2n::ReconnectSocketWrapper("./socket")));

    // execute a function via t2n. The wrapper will open a connection to the server if none
    // exists or try to reconnect if the existing one doesn't answer
    std::cout << t2n_exec(&cmd_group_t2nexample_client::testfunc)("hello") << std::endl;

    return EXIT_SUCCESS;
}

The details of the Client-Wrapper can be found in the libt2n::T2nSingletonWrapper, but beware, the code is full of ugly templates and template-construction-defines.


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