Basel, CH – June 2015

Communication Server

Communication Server


Softproviding Communication Server is a software component providing the possibility to exchange data between parties in a heterogeneous environment using various communication protocols. Such parties can include but are not limited to Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC), Device Gateway Applets (DGA), Device Gateway Communicators (DGC), Remote Application Framework (RAF), SAP systems, etc.


The main purpose served by Communication Server is acting as a fail-safe gateway between different subsystems, usually PLCs and components of Softproviding products running in SAP systems, applications running on end-user terminals and communicating with such peripheral instruments as scales and barcode scanners. For instance, if a PLC sends a data packet (telegram) to Communication Server (e.g. using Web Services or raw TCP/IP protocol), the Communication Server will parse it and, based on the information contained in the telegram, queue it for further transmission to an SAP system (using RFC protocol) and a DGC (using Softproviding proprietary Netbeam protocol), which in its turn will forward the telegram to a DPS-RAF application running in a designated RAF Client. If either of the recipients is not available at the moment of transmission, the telegram remains in the dedicated queue and will be delivered to the recipient as soon as the latter goes online ‒ exactly in the same order, thus ensuring no data loss or mishmash.


In another scenario, a Softproviding Meat application running in an SAP system makes an RFC call to the Communication Server, which will convert received data, set up a telegram and forward it to the PLC, using, for instance, Softproviding proprietary Netcom protocol. If the PLC does not respond or does not confirm integrity of the telegram, Communication Server will continue sending until the telegram is successfully delivered.


Last but not least, Communication Server provides rich logging functionality of all its actions. The log files are written in plain text and can be easily examined either using an ordinary text viewer or specialized Softproviding analyzer tools helping to localize communication issues and simplifying processes of testing and debugging.