Manycom Socket Tools (MCST) is a middleware software built over the OS/400 TCP/IP socket interface. It is developed by Manycom Solutions for the IBM AS/400 system. It provides a very easy way to get your AS/400 applications to communicate with other TCP/IP socket applications in other systems through socket connections.
MCST includes both the client and server functions so that AS/400 applications can run in either role, if needed.
The applications communicate with each other on client/server bases: the client application is requesting a 'service' from the server application by sending a data message to it, and the server application serves the client by processing the data, and by responding with a return message, if needed.
For the client application, MCST provides a high-level API (Application Program Interface) to establish a socket connection to the desired IP address and IP port, send data to the socket, read data from the socket, and close the socket connection.
For the server application, MCST provides a high-level API to start to listen the desired IP port, accept the call from the client to establish a socket connection, receive data read from the socket, and send the response data to the socket.
MCST does not add any control codes or characters in the data message, so the partner application can be any application - e.g. Windows, UNIX, LINUX or AS/400 - using the TCP/IP socket communication of that system. The OS/400 socket interface used by the MCST follows the widely accepted BSD 4.3 socket specification.
MCST includes modules for both the client and server functions. If the partner system is also an AS/400 system, the socket communication of both the client and server applications can be handled with MCST.
Otherwise, a corresponding software or programming must be used on the partner side.
The applications using MCST can be written, for example, in RPG, C, CL, or COBOL. The application calls the specific MCST program with the parameter list defining the MCST socket operation (Init, Send, Receive, Query, Close, or End ) and the related values. The MCST programs take care of all the communications functions in the OS/400 socket interface, and return always the application the MCST return code, which shows if the requested operation was successful or not.
MCST can be used to build practically any kind of solutions, when there is a need to exchange data messages or transactions between applications. The data exchange takes place usually one-way from the client to the server, if the transaction is an update transaction. A two-way data exchange takes place, when a query transaction is requested where the client sends first the data (service request) to the server, and the server application then sends back the response data.
For more information of the MCST API interface and parameters, please refer to the MCST API description in the manual Manycom Socket Tools, Installation and User's Guide.