Vinci Part #7 - "Internet Pack" for Delphi

When we started working on the Super HTTP Channel for Delphi, we soon realized that none of the TCP/IP socket wrappers we currently use were a good idea for the server part of the channel, as Indy, Synapse and BPDX all use one thread per connection – which would amount to 2 thread per client and wouldn’t scale very well.

What we had to do is write our own socket wrapper that would work 100% async, like the .NET code does, and still would scale properly. Our new socket class uses Begin/End pairs for every method that would be blocking and accept a callback as a parameter for when the data was available, the connection accepted or the socket was ready to send data. The actual implementation uses the portable “select” call on 64 sockets at once, keeping the thread usage down quite a lot. On top of that we wrote our own simple Http server class, using only async callbacks.

We didn’t tie the Super HTTP Channel to this socket implementation, however, instead we wrote an abstract implementation and a subclass that implements it based on the async IP code. So it’s always possible to implement it on top of alternative HTTP server implementations.

We’re considering the async socket and http layer to be the first step towards an “Internet Pack for Delphi” – although will be treating is a part of the RemObjects SDK, for now.

Carlo Kok

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