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Thread: How do you design a network protocol?

  1. #1

    How do you design a network protocol?

    I've been looking up past papers for my Networks exam coming up, and I've come across this question:

    "An application is being developed that allows the exchange of information about events. Currently it is believed that the information to be exchanged about an event is its title, location, start date, end date and a description of the focus of the event.

    Design a protocol (message types and structure of messages) for this application that will allow a search for an event to be sent and a response of details of any matching events to be returned to the requester. The search request should allow a search pattern for any information field to be given. As the information to be associated with an event could change in the future, your protocol should include support for extensibility. (5 marks)"

    Now, I'm not entirely sure what it means by 'design a protocol' - does the question want me to include protocol encapsulation where each layer adds/removes another header to the message, or does it want me to write about an example session similar to SMTP or POP3, or is it simply asking for a set of rules to define the communication between the sender and the receiver?

    Any help would be much appreciated.
    Thanks for read ::::::

  2. #2
    Technical Fellow
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Hi and welcome,

    The first person I would ask is my Instructor/Teacher/Professor.

    That being said, it is a very vague description of what is required. With m first reading, all it seemed like was a Search function which could be handled easily within SQL.

    Second reading, it looks like it may be an event data retrieval system, still much like a Search function but over the Internet etc.

    All in all, to this programmer of 35+ years, the specification outline is far too vague to be certain of the actual requirements. I personally would not launch into a design based on the little information as you could spend hours going down one of probably fifteen false paths.

    Now the cynic inside me suggests that the academic who set the task is looking for an outline to claim as his/her own for the next faceplant or twiddle (GAK!) to make his/her fortune as an Internet mogul.

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