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Communication Layer


Because the Veriquant Framework is written entirely in .Net managed code there is nothing to stop developers from incorporating standard web services into the Framework mix. This is essential for interfacing with information sources beyond the Framework’s own tiers, as does the Veriquant medFramework. But for communication within the Framework’s tiers we gain by avoiding even the fastest of the remote procedure call technologies, binary remoting, let alone text-based web services.


For data to be sent over the wire it must first be arranged into a stream of bytes to be marched in single file, packaged in such a way as to allow the receiver to unpack the data into discrete rows, columns or objects. The more packaging is required, the more effort, time and resources the packaging department will consume, the more bandwidth and time will be burned over the wire, and the more time and effort the receiver will expend splitting out the stream into intelligible units. The text-based protocols (such as JSON and XML) used by prevailing web technologies lard their data streams with fifty to eighty percent packaging. The Veriquant Framework streams, by contrast, contain about five percent packaging. That means the Framework enjoys at least a ten-fold advantage in packaging, transmission, and unpackaging speed and efficiency. We send our messages on a postcard; the rest of the industry sends that postcard in a heavily-taped shoebox full of popcorn.


We gain a further advantage by sending data elements such as integers, dates and Boolean values in their native types rather than first converting them to text, as with XML and JSON. This further saves space and conversion overhead. The effort that it takes conventional applications to treat all data types as strings degrades their performance.


The Framework communication layer also encrypts all data streams.


It can also transfer files from server to client, from client to server and from client to client.


Our experience has shown SOAP (XML-wrapped procedure calls) to be an order of magnitude slower for similar work. To give some concept of speed, tens of database requests and responses per second can fly between the server and a single process running on a modestly-powered client computer over a typical three-megabit DSL connection, generating low network, CPU and database utilization.


The Veriquant Framework architecture is well positioned to interact with Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) environments, if not, in certain cases, actually replacing them. One or more Veriquant Framework servers could broker requests to disassociated SOA services, coordinate messages between them and repackage requests and responses to and from client computers. Bulky text-based message exchanges typical of SOA would occur entirely behind the corporate firewall, to give way to the Framework optimized binary communication protocol to and from Framework clients in distant locations.


Because Framework servers natively retain state, including authentication credentials, they could reduce the need for the constant re-authentication that often occurs with individual web service requests.


In sum, Framework communication is simple, fast, robust, efficient and flexible. It offers performance and programmatic advantages difficult or impossible within traditional web services and other forms of remote procedure invocation. It escapes the clunky and bulky world of human text transport protocols and outperforms most, if not all, competing technologies.


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