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Elektor Messenger Service

Status: Proposal
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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.

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

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