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Elektor Messenger Service

Status: Proposal
September 6, 2012

A web-access is a very valuable feature for remote- and automation-projects like the ElektorBus. So you can control your own electronics and get data from all over the world (just need a computer or smartphone and LAN/WLAN-Access). This project describes how devices with WLAN/LAN-access can interact by sending short messages over the web (machine-to-machine-communication). Such devices could be PCs, Android-smartphones/tablets or microcontroller-based circuits with a web-module. All these devices act like web-clients, sending and receiving messages to or from a webserver with connected database (we say "uploading" and "downloading" messages to or from that server). The webserver offers a so-called webservice. Such a webservice is a web-application running on a webserver, not offering HTML-pages for a browser, but a HTTP-based interface where other programs can communicate with. In this case, we use the SOAP-protocol for communication. The webserver offers some functions, for uploading and downloading messages. The project describes a set of functions (API) which can be used for such a Messenger-Service ("Elektor Messenger Service"). For security reasons, you have to login first before you can upload or download messages. The API also offers functions for that.
Because SOAP is a common WWW-protocol, there are many programming languages and frameworks which offers libraries for that purpose. So one can program own Messenger-Clients and even Messenger-Servers in the programming language of his choice. Just use the API and every other Messenger-Client is able to communicate with you.

Current status:
For testing purpose, I implemented a Messenger-Server in C# (.NET) and a Messenger-Client, also in C# (.NET). We are currently working on a Messenger-Server, implemented in PHP. We will offer the sourcecode in the future, so readers can establish their own Messenger-Server (on an own physical server or a hosted server). But that's not all.
We plan to get a Messenger-Server running dedicated for all Plus-Subscription-Members. All these members will have space for 32 Messenger-messages on our server, which are actually 256 bytes long - so Elektor will offer some space in the "Cloud" for his members!
Some clients will follow, e.g. for Android-Smartphones in connection with the Andropod bridge PCB. The ElektorBus-Software for PC and Android will also be able to upload and download such messages, so the ElektorBus will get access to the web.
An Elektor article will follow.

Specs of the API (with the functions to upload and download and login). The specs are currently in German. 

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