Network Support

Uniface supports TCP/IP for basic network communication and TLS/SSL for secure communication over a network or the internet. Each Uniface installation includes network connectors for both protocols, and you can configure the connections between clients and servers to use either connector, depending on your security requirements.

In a typical Uniface application, client components run on a local device (desktop, browser, or mobile) and connect to a central server to access data and remote components. The server hosts the Uniface Router, which is responsible for receiving client requests on designated ports, and establishing the physical connections to Uniface Servers, which in turn perform the requested action (executing an operation, retrieving data from a database, and so on). For more information, see Uniface Application Middleware , Uniface Router , and Uniface Server.

Each client may have multiple connections which go to different Uniface Servers. These are logical connections, and each logical connection may pass over several physical connections:

  • Between Uniface client and Uniface Router
  • From Uniface Router to Uniface Server
  • From a shared Uniface Server to Uniface Router, or
  • Between an exclusive Uniface Server and the Uniface client

Uniface supplies the following network connectors to provide physical connections:

  • The TCP connector provides network connectivity via the TCP/IP protocol. It handles the physical connection for the TCP/IP and TLS protocols, but does not itself provide a secure connection. It supports both the TCP4 (IPv4) and TCP6 (IPv6) versions of the TCP/IP protocol.

    When the TCP connector is used, all connections use the same connector configuration. For more information, see TCP Connector.

  • The TLS connector adds a security layer to the TCP connector. It provides an encrypted network connection between the Uniface Router and its Uniface Servers and client applications, using the Transport Layer Security (TLS/SSL) protocol.

    When the TLS connector is used, it is possible to specify different connector configurations depending on the security requirements, so the TLS connector supports multiple connections with different security settings. For more information, see TLS Connector.

TLS connections carry extra overhead compared with TCP connections—the initial connection takes longer to establish, and all data has to be encrypted and decrypted. Depending on your security requirements, you can choose to use the TCP connector for some connections and the TLS connector for others.

For example, you will probably want to use the TLS connector for connections between a Uniface client that connects to a Uniface Router behind a firewall, but you could use the TCP connector for connections between the Uniface Router and Uniface Server running on the same host.