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SOAP is an XML-based protocol for accessing web services over HTTP. It has some specification which could be used across all applications.
SOAP is known as the Simple Object Access Protocol, but in later times was just shortened to SOAP v1.2. SOAP is a protocol or in other words is a definition of how web services talk to each other or talk to client applications that invoke them.
SOAP was developed as an intermediate language so that applications built on various programming languages could talk easily to each other and avoid the extreme development effort.
In this SOAP Web services tutorial, you will learn-SOAP Introduction
In today’s world, there is huge number of applications which are built on different programming languages. For example, there could be a web application designed in Java, another in .Net and another in PHP.
One of the methods used to combat this complexity is to use XML (Extensible Markup Language) as the intermediate language for exchanging data between applications.
One of the methods used to combat this complexity is to use XML (Extensible Markup Language) as the intermediate language for exchanging data between applications.
Every programming language can understand the XML markup language. Hence, XML was used as the underlying medium for data exchange.
But there are no standard specifications on use of XML across all programming languages for data exchange. That is where SOAP software comes in.
SOAP was designed to work with XML over HTTP and have some sort of specification which could be used across all applications. We will look into further details on the SOAP protocol in the subsequent chapters.Advantages of SOAP
When developing SOAP based Web services, you need to have some of language which can be used for web services to talk with client applications. SOAP is the perfect medium which was developed in order to achieve this purpose. This protocol is also recommended by the W3C consortium which is the governing body for all web standards.
SOAP is a light-weight protocol that is used for data interchange between applications. Note the keyword ‘light.’ Since SOAP programming is based on the XML language, which itself is a light weight data interchange language, hence SOAP as a protocol that also falls in the same category.
SOAP is designed to be platform independent and is also designed to be operating system independent. So the SOAP protocol can work any programming language based applications on both Windows and Linux platform.
It works on the HTTP protocol –SOAP works on the HTTP protocol, which is the default protocol used by all web applications. Hence, there is no sort of customization which is required to run the web services built on the SOAP protocol to work on the World Wide Web.SOAP Building Blocks
The below diagram of SOAP architecture shows the various building blocks of a SOAP Message.
SOAP Message Building Blocks
The SOAP message is nothing but a mere XML document which has the below components.
An Envelope element that identifies the XML document as a SOAP message – This is the containing part of the SOAP message and is used to encapsulate all the details in the SOAP message. This is the root element in the SOAP message.
A Header element that contains header information – The header element can contain information such as authentication credentials which can be used by the calling application. It can also contain the definition of complex types which could be used in the SOAP message. By default, the SOAP message can contain parameters which could be of simple types such as strings and numbers, but can also be a complex object type.
A simple SOAP service example of a complex type is shown below.
Suppose we wanted to send a structured data type which had a combination of a “Tutorial Name” and a “Tutorial Description,” then we would define the complex type as shown below.
A Body element that contains call and response information – This element is what contains the actual data which needs to be sent between the web service and the calling application. Below is an SOAP web service example of the SOAP body which actually works on the complex type defined in the header section. Here is the response of the Tutorial Name and Tutorial Description that is sent to the calling application which calls this web service.SOAP Message Structure
One thing to note is that SOAP messages are normally auto-generated by the web service when it is called.
Whenever a client application calls a method in the web service, the web service will automatically generate a SOAP message which will have the necessary details of the data which will be sent from the web service to the client application.
As discussed in the previous topic of this SOAP tutorial, a simple SOAP Message has the following elements –
The Envelope element
The header element and
The body element
The Fault element (Optional)
Let’s look at an example below of a simple SOAP message and see what element actually does.
SOAP Message Structure
As seen from the above SOAP message, the first part of the SOAP message is the envelope element which is used to encapsulate the entire SOAP message.
The next element is the SOAP body which contains the details of the actual message.
Our message contains a web service which has the name of “Guru99WebService”.
The “Guru99Webservice” accepts a parameter of the type ‘int’ and has the name of TutorialID.
Now, the above SOAP message will be passed between the web service and the client application.
You can see how useful the above information is to the client application. The SOAP message tells the client application what is the name of the Web service, and also what parameters it expects and also what is the type of each parameter which is taken by the web service.SOAP Envelope Element
The first bit of the building block is the SOAP Envelope.
The SOAP Envelope is used to encapsulate all of the necessary details of the SOAP messages, which are exchanged between the web service and the client application.
The SOAP envelope element is used to indicate the beginning and end of a SOAP message. This enables the client application which calls the web service to know when the SOAP message ends.
The following points can be noted on the SOAP envelope element.
Every SOAP message needs to have a root Envelope element. It is absolutely mandatory for SOAP message to have an envelope element.
Every Envelope element needs to have at least one soap body element.
If an Envelope element contains a header element, it must contain no more than one, and it must appear as the first child of the Envelope, before the body element.
The envelope changes when SOAP versions change.
A v1.1-compliant SOAP processor generates a fault upon receiving a message containing the v1.2 envelope namespace.
A v1.2-compliant SOAP processor generates a Version Mismatch fault if it receives a message that does not include the v1.2 envelope namespace.
Below is an SOAP API example of version 1.2 of the SOAP envelope element.
The Fault message
When a request is made to a SOAP web service, the response returned can be of either 2 forms which are a successful response or an error response. When a success is generated, the response from the server will always be a SOAP message. But if SOAP faults are generated, they are returned as “HTTP 500” errors.
The SOAP Fault message consists of the following elements.
SOAP-ENV:VersionMismatch – This is when an invalid namespace for the SOAP Envelope element is encountered.
SOAP-ENV:MustUnderstand – An immediate child element of the Header element, with the mustUnderstand attribute set to “1”, was not understood.
SOAP-ENV:Client – The message was incorrectly formed or contained incorrect information.
SOAP-ENV:Server – There was a problem with the server, so the message could not proceed.
Example for Fault Message
An example of a fault message is given below. The error is generated if the scenario wherein the client tries to use a method called TutorialID in the class GetTutorial.
The below fault message gets generated in the event that the method does not exist in the defined class.
Failed to locate method (GetTutorialID) in class (GetTutorial)
When you execute the above code, it will show the error like “Failed to locate method (GetTutorialID) in class (GetTutorial)”SOAP Communication Model
All communication by SOAP is done via the HTTP protocol. Prior to SOAP, a lot of web services used the standard RPC (Remote Procedure Call) style for communication. This was the simplest type of communication, but it had a lot of limitations.
Now in this SOAP API tutorial, let’s consider the below diagram to see how this communication works. In this example, let’s assume the server hosts a web service which provided 2 methods as
GetEmployee – This would get all Employee details
SetEmployee – This would set the value of the details like employees dept, salary, etc. accordingly.
In the normal RPC style communication, the client would just call the methods in its request and send the required parameters to the server, and the server would then send the desired response.
The above communication model has the below serious limitations
Not Language Independent – The server hosting the methods would be in a particular programming language and normally the calls to the server would be in that programming language only.
Not the standard protocol – When a call is made to the remote procedure, the call is not carried out via the standard protocol. This was an issue since mostly all communication over the web had to be done via the HTTP protocol.
Firewalls – Since RPC calls do not go via the normal protocol, separate ports need to be open on the server to allow the client to communicate with the server. Normally all firewalls would block this sort of traffic, and a lot of configuration was generally required to ensure that this sort of communication between the client and the server would work.
To overcome all of the limitations cited above, SOAP would then use the below communication model
The client would format the information regarding the procedure call and any arguments into a SOAP message and sends it to the server as part of an HTTP request. This process of encapsulating the data into a SOAP message was known as Marshalling.
The server would then unwrap the message sent by the client, see what the client requested for and then send the appropriate response back to the client as a SOAP message. The practice of unwrapping a request sent by the client is known as Demarshalling.Practical SOAP Example
Now in this SoapUI tutorial, let’s see a practical SOAP example,
Probably one of the best ways to see how SOAP messages get generated is to actually see a web service in action.
This topic will look at using the chúng tôi framework to build an ASMX web service. This type of web service supports both SOAP version 1.1 and version 1.2.
ASMX web services automatically generate the Web Service Definition Language (WSDL) document. This WSDL document is required by the calling client application so that the application knows what the web service is capable of doing.
In our example, we are going to create a simple web service, which will be used to return a string to the application which calls the web service.
This web service will be hosted in an chúng tôi web application. We will then invoke the web service and see the result that is returned by the web service.
Visual Studio will also show us what the SOAP message being passed between the web service and the calling application.
The first pre-requisite to setup our Web service application which can be done by following the below steps.
Please ensure that you have Visual Studio 2013 installed on your system for this example.
Step 2) In this step,
Ensure to first choose the C# web template of chúng tôi Web application. The project has to be of this type in order to create SOAP services project. By choosing this option, Visual Studio will then carry out the necessary steps to add required files which are required by any web-based application.
Give a name for your project which in our case has been given as webservice.asmx. Then ensure to give a location where the project files will be stored.
Once done you will see the project file created in your solution explorer in Visual Studio 2013.
Step 3) In this step,
We are going to add a Web service file to our project
Step 4) Add the following code to your Tutorial Service asmx file.
This line of code provides a name for your web service file. This is an important step because it gives way for the client application to call the web service via the name of the web service.
Normally a class file is used to encapsulate the functionality of a web service. So the class file will have the definition of all the web methods which will provide some functionality to the client application.
Here [WebMethod] is known as an attribute which describes a function. The subsequent step creates a function called “Guru99WebService”, but with the inclusion of this step of adding a [WebMethod] attribute makes sure that this method can be invoked by a client application. If this attribute is not in place, then the method can never be called by a client application.
Here we are defining a function called ‘Guru99WebService’ which will be used to return a string to the calling client application. This function is a web service which can be called by any client application.
We are using the return statement to return the string “This is a Guru99 Web service” to the client application.
If the code is executed successfully, the following Output will be shown when you run your code in the browser.
The output clearly shows that the name of our web service is “Guru99 Web Service” which is the result of giving a name for our web service.
The above output,
It clearly shows that by invoking the web method, the string “This is a Guru99 Web service” is returned.
Visual Studio also allows you to view the SOAP message request and response which is generated when the above web service is called.
The SOAP request which is generated when the web service is called is shown below.
The first part of the SOAP message is the envelope element which is what was discussed in the prior chapters. This is the encapsulating element which is present in every SOAP message.
The SOAP Body is the next element and contains the actual details of the SOAP message.
The third part is the element which specifies that we want to call the service which is called ‘Guru99WebService.’
The first part of the SOAP message is the envelope element which is what was discussed in the prior chapters. This is the encapsulating element which is present in every SOAP message.
The SOAP Body is the next element and contains the actual details of the SOAP message.
The interesting part you will see now is the ‘string’ attribute. This tells the client application that the web service being called returns an object of the type string. This is very useful because if the client application which otherwise would not know what the web service returns.
SOAP is a protocol which is used to interchange data between applications which are built on different programming languages.
SOAP is built upon the XML specification and works with the HTTP protocol. This makes it a perfect for usage within web applications.
The SOAP building blocks consist of a SOAP Message. Each SOAP message consists of an envelope element, a header, and a body element.
The envelope element is the mandatory element in the SOAP message and is used to encapsulate all of the data in the SOAP message.
The header element can be used to contain information such as authentication information or the definition of complex data types.
The body element is the main element which contains the definition of the web methods along with any parameter information if required.
You're reading Soap Web Services Tutorial: What Is Soap Protocol? Example
Not to be confused with FTTP (Fibre To The Premises), FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. It is a classic protocol, first published as RFC 114 in 1971. Since the personal computer has been a thing, it’s been helpful. Or even necessary to be able to transfer files. In the modern world, we have multi-gigabyte USB thumb drives and multi-terabyte external hard drives. And cloud storage provides a range of storage capacities and feature sets for most use cases.
Before USB was standardized and some of the biggest cloud storage companies had even been founded, things were a bit different. In 1971 the floppy disk had just been invented, an invention that would quickly enable data transfer between devices. FTP allowed transfer over the network, though the internet wasn’t a thing yet.
FTP was so early that it didn’t even use TCP, as that hadn’t been standardized yet, either. Instead, it used NCP or the Network Control Protocol, the precursor to TCP/IP. This led to a particularly distinctive feature of FTP that has never been changed, the dual port system. NCP was a simple protocol.
So for bidirectional communication, it was essential to have two connections on two different ports, one to send and one to receive. Despite eventually being moved to use TCP/IP, which doesn’t have this requirement and can operate perfectly well with a single duplex port, the FTP standard was never updated and retains its pair of port numbers.Use of FTP
The two port numbers that FTP uses are 20 and 21. Port 21 is used for controlling and issuing commands, while port 20 is used to transmit the data. One of the core things that need to be arranged in a connection before transferring files is the use of active or passive mode. In active mode, the client requests a file. Then the server opens a data connection to the client. Both firewalls and NAT present a considerable problem because the incoming transmission from the FTP server is on a different port and so can’t be linked to the correct device easily.
To get around this issue, the passive mode can be used. In passive mode, when the user requests a file from the server, instead of directly attempting to connect to the client on a different port, the FTP server informs the client of the port to which it should connect and lets the client initiate the connection. This effectively solves the connection issue of active mode and offers no downside beyond a slight delay in the start of file transfers.
Technically, the server must agree with the client on sending data. However, only one mode is used. That’s image mode, also commonly referred to as binary mode. In image mode, each file is sent byte by byte. The alternative modes include translating the entire file into 8-bit ASCII, which is only suitable for text files.Authentication and Security
Being a particularly early protocol standard, you might not be surprised to hear that FTP isn’t particularly secure. FTP does offer username and password authentication. However, it doesn’t encrypt any communications, meaning that anyone in a MitM or Man in the Middle position can “listen” to the traffic “on the wire” and just read the username and password used to sign in.
FTP also offers an anonymous login feature, useful for open FTP servers, such as those used to provide software updates. In an anonymous login, the username anonymous is used. The server will then ask for an email address as a password, but any value is accepted. The lack of encryption also means that files are transmitted insecurely, so FTP isn’t ideal for use with sensitive documents.
Over time a range of extensions and alternatives have been proposed to add security to FTP. FTPS is the primary option. It extends FTP with an option to encrypt the authentication and file transfer process with TLS and is interoperable with standard FTP clients. SFTP, specifically SSH File Transfer Protocol, essentially offers the same functionality as FTP but over SSH, a secure communication protocol, which makes it incompatible with standard FTP clients and servers.Conclusion
FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. It’s an early client-server protocol for uploading and downloading files to and from an FTP server. FTP offers no security by default. While a username and password can be used, they are transmitted in plaintext, leaving them vulnerable to network sniffing. More recent extensions to FTP add the option to connect over TLS for security.
Browsers used to include an FTP client so that you could browse FTP servers directly without needing a separate client. In 2023, however, Chrome and Firefox dropped support for FTP, limiting support to discrete FTP clients. In the modern world, cloud storage solutions – and to a lesser extent, fast and spacious USB storage – have essentially replaced the use case for FTP by offering improved convenience, security, and speed.
What is ARP?
Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) is an important protocol of the network layer in the OSI model, which helps find the MAC (Media Access Control) address given the system’s IP address. The ARP’s main task is to convert the 32-bit IP address (for IPv4) to a 48-bit MAC address.
This protocol is mostly used to determine the hardware (MAC) address of a device from an IP address. It is also used when one device wants to communicate with some other device on a local network. The full form of ARP is Address Resolution Protocol.
In this networking tutorial, you will learn:How Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) works?
All OS in an IPv4 network keeps an ARP cache. When the host requests a MAC address to send a packet to another host in the LAN, it checks its ARP cache to check that the MAC address translation already presents.
Let us understand this concept with an example:
Hosta P resolves protocol address for host U for protocol messages from an application on P sent to U.
P does not resolve a protocol address for host U
By using the internet layer, host P delivers to host U by routing through T1 and T2.
Host P resolves the T1 hardware address.
Network layer on host P passes packet containing destination protocol address for U for delivery to T1
T1 delivers the packet to T2 which in turn forwards the packet to Host U.Important ARP terms:
ARP Cache: After resolving the MAC address, the ARP sends it to the cache stored in a table for future reference. The subsequent communications can use the MAC address from the table.
ARP Cache Timeout: It is the time for which the MAC address in the ARP cache can reside.
ARP request: Broadcasting a packet over the network to validate whether we came across the destination MAC address or not.
ARP response/reply: The MAC address response that the source receives from the destination aids in further communication of the data.Address Resolution Methods
Association between a protocol address and a hardware address is known as binding.
There are three techniques used for this purpose:
Table lookup – Bindings stored in memory with protocol address as the key. It uses the data link layer to check the protocol address to find the hardware address.
Dynamic–This type of network messaging method is used for “just-in-time” resolution. Data link layer sends message requests in a hardware address. destination responds.
Closed-form computation–In this method, a protocol address is based on a hardware address. Data link layer derives the hardware address from the protocol address.Types of ARP
Here are four types of Address Resolution Protocol, which is given below:
Let us learn them all in detail:
Types of ARPProxy ARP:
In the Proxy ARP method, Layer 3 devices can respond to ARP requests. This ARP type is configured router will respond to the target IP address and maps the router’s MAC address with the target IP address and sender when it is reached to its destination.Gratuitous ARP:
Gratuitous is another type of ARP request of the host. This type of ARP request helps the network to identify the duplicate IP address. Therefore, when an ARP request is sent by a router or switch to get its IP address, no ARP responses are received so that no other nodes can use the IP address allocated to that switch or router.Reverse ARP (RARP)
Reverse ARP, also now called RARP, is a type of ARP networking protocol which is used by the client system in a LAN to request its IPv4 address from the ARP router table. The network admin mostly creates a table in the gateway-router, which helps determine the MAC address to that specific IP address.Inverse ARP (InARP)
Inverse ARP is also called InARP, is a type of ARP used to find the nodes’ IP of addresses from the data link layer addresses. InARP is widely used for ATM networks frame relays where Layer 2 virtual circuit addressing acquired from Layer 2 signaling.ARP Header:
Hardware Type–It is 1 for Ethernet.
Protocol Type–It is a protocol used in the network layer.
Hardware Address Length–It is the length in bytes so that it would be 6 for Ethernet.
Protocol Address Length – Its value is 4 bytes.
Operation Code indicates that the packet is an ARP Request (1) or an ARP Response (2).
Senders Hardware Address – It is a hardware address of the source node.
Senders Protocol Address -It is a layer 3 address of the source node.
Target Hardware Address – It is used in a RARP request, which response impact both the destination’s hardware and layer 3 addresses.
Target Protocol Address – It is used in an ARP request when the response carries both layer 3 addresses and the destination’s hardware.Advantages of using ARP
Here are the pros/benefits of using ARP
If you are using ARP, then MAC addresses can easily be known if you know the IP address of the same system.
End nodes should not be configured to “know” MAC addresses. It can be found when needed.
ARP’s goal is to enable each host on a network that allows you to build up a mapping between IP addresses and physical addresses.
The set of mappings or table stored in the host is called ARP table or ARP cache.FAQ: ❓ What happens if an ARP request is made for a non-existing host?
If the several ARP requests are made for a non-existing host, it will increase time intervals between requests. Eventually, ARP gives up.⚡ What if a host sends an ARP request for its IP address?
The other machines respond (gratuitous ARP) as a normal ARP request. This helps to detect an IP address has already been assigned.Summary:
ARP protocol helps to find the MAC (Media Access Control) address given the system’s IP address.
Important ARP terms are: 1) ARP Cache 2)ARP Cache Timeout 3) ARP request 4) ARP response/reply
Three types of ARP resolution techniques are: 1) Table lookup 2) Dynamic 3) Closed-form computation.
Important ARP protocols are: 1) Proxy ARP 2) Gratuitous ARP 3) Reverse ARP 4) Inverse ARP.
The components of ARP header are 1)Hardware Type 2) Protocol Type 3) Hardware Address Length 4) Protocol Address Length 5) Senders Hardware Address 6) Senders Protocol Address 7) Target Hardware Address 8) Target Protocol Address.
What is SAP PI?
SAP PI (Process Integration) is an enterprise integration platform that provides seamless integration between SAP and non-SAP applications within the organization A2A (Application to Application) or even outside the organization B2B (Business to Business). It allows organizations to exchange information between internal softwares within the company and external systems outside the company.
The SAP PI full form is Process Integration.
What is SAP PO?
The SAP PO full form is Process Orchestration.Understanding SAP PI/PO with an Example
SAP PI connects different platforms like
SAP and Non-SAP systems
B2B and A2A Scenarios
Asynchronous and Synchronous Communications
Cross-component business process management
In this SAP PI/PO tutorial, we will learnWhy SAP PI/PO?
Prior to SAP PI, business would connect with each other through point-to-point communication. But this process is not used for multiple and complex processes. For smooth communication between multiple businesses, Mediated communication or Integration broker is used, and SAP PI adapts this system very well. It enables interconnection of a different process via a central location known as Integration Broker, unlike the point to point connection which is more like a spider web. The integration broker or server is an integral part of mediated communication consist of Java based Advanced Adapter Engine (AAE) and an integration engine for routing. Mediated communication is based on an integration broker which is executed by exchanging XML messages.
SAP PI PO Overview
Let see how SAP PI handles the XML messages by the help of Integration Broker. The exchange of data or message in SAP PI occurs in this four phases.
Message Transformation: During message exchange, it transforms the structure of the business data
Message Routing: Forwarding a message sent by a sender system to one or more receiver systems
Connectivity Adapters: Connecting the integration broker and receiver system, the adapter will transform the incoming message into an inbound message and later convert it to the format of the receiving system at the other end
Integration Processes: Cross component Business Process Management (ccBPM) consists of functions for enhanced service orchestration.
Next in this SAP PI tutorial, we will learn How SAP PI/PO works.How SAP PI/PO works
SAP PI performs three basic functions
Connect: SAP PI has an ability to integrate with all application regardless of whether it is an application from a 3rd party or from the SAP. It uses the adapter framework to integrate 3rd party solutions.
Co-ordinate: It can define a path/workflow for each business transaction that is integrated. It ensures that each message is correctly delivered from the source to the target destination
Communicate: It can translate files into any format whether an internal file format or any business to business integration standard.
Next in this SAP PO tutorial, we will learn about SAP PI PO architecture.SAP PI/PO Architecture
SAP PI/PO Architecture
SAP PI is not a single component responsible for the integration of SAP and Non- SAP application, but it is a cluster of components that together make SAP PI functional. This architecture of SAP PI or components is used during design time, configuration time and at run time. The various components of SAP PI includeSystem Landscape Directory:
It is a central information provider in a system landscape. SLD contains two types of information, “Component Information (Installable & Installed) and Landscape description.”Integration Builder:
It is a tool-set which contains a set of tools for accessing and editing integration objectsIntegration Repository:
To develop, design and maintain data types, message structures, mappings, interfaces, integration processes and integration scenarios independently of system landscape, integration repository is used.Integration Server:
It is a central processing engine of the PI. All messages are processed using this server.Central Monitoring:
With the help of this monitoring of PI domain is done, and “workbench” is the tool that is used for monitoring.Adapter Engine:
It acts as a connector to connect the integration engine to SAP systems and other systems.Message Processing Technique by PI:
To access data from SAP and Non-SAP application this technique is used. SAP PI uses an intermediate document like IDoc to Flat files to transfer their data.Design:
Process Integration (PI) uses integration repository to design message structureConfiguration:
Integration Directory (ID) is used to configure technical parameters for objects created in IR ( Integration Repository)Message Processing:
Once the IDOC is activated in SAP system, PI takes in charge and convert messages into XML format for its internal processingMessage Monitoring:
The messages can be monitored and traced using “Run Time Workbench”. This tool can be useful in monitoring sender and receiver adapters, Outgoing and Incoming messages, End to End monitoring of complete scenario and error traces.Connectivity: Proxy Framework & Adapter Framework Adapter Framework:
SAP PI connects with any external systems (SAP or Non-SAP) using the Adapter Framework. The adapter framework is based on the AS Java runtime environment and the connector architecture (JCA) version. The adapter framework consists of two default module chains if message processing is to be executed entirely within the adapter, default module chain for the adapter can be used.
One for the sender direction
One for the receiver direction
There are four types of Adapters used in SAP PI
File adapters: It exchanges files with external systems
JMS adapters: It communicates with a messaging system
SOAP adapters: It communicates with providers and clients of web services
JDBC adapters: It is an extended pack for SAP PI
Other interfaces supported by adapter framework are
Configuration Services ( API and Adapter metadata xsd)
Various service APIs provided by Adapter framework- Thread Manager, Transaction Manager)
Adapter framework includes a message audit log API. The API can be used for the technical trace and logging to write trace statements that describes the execution of the code.How adaptor framework works?
The data is received from the wire through a receive location that is listening for messages at certain protocol at a specified address
After the message is received by the receive location, a message is sent to the adapter. It creates a new BizTalk message, attaches the data stream to the message.
It adds any meta-data pertaining to the end-point over which the data was received and then the message is submitted to the message engine
Message engine sends the message to the receive pipeline where the data is transformed into XML, here the message sender is authenticated, a message is decrypted and the XML is validated
Next, the messaging engine published the message to the message box. The message box is a Microsoft SQL table containing messages to be processed
The messaging engine sends the message to either the orchestration or send port.SAP PI/PO Security
For messages, SAP PI provides the message level security for XI message protocol, for the SOAP adapter, for the RosettaNet protocol, for mail adapter, for the CIDX protocol and for connectivity with WSRM (Web Service Reliable Messaging) enabled systems. In SAP PI message level security enabled through the use of encryption, digital signature, SAML Assertion, Username token, Certificate token, etc. Authentication methods supported by WS infrastructure for transport level includes basic authentication (Password and Username), SAP assertion ticket, and HTTP over SSL.
Connecting Integration Server with WSRM (Web Service Reliable Messaging) Enabled System
To connect with WSRM enabled system you use a communication channel of adapter type WS.
You use a sender agreement with an assigned WS sender adapter to connect the Integration Server to a WS consumer
You use a receiver agreement with an assigned WS receiver adapter to connect the integration server to a WS providerBenefits of Security in SAP PI/PO
Permissions of the receiver application are checked against the original user
In the receiver system, a user can be audited
Dynamic configuration at the PI receiver channelNew Features in SAP PI/PO
The new features in SAP PI include
Centralized monitoring based on SAP solution manager.
Very large (binary) file to file transfer
IDOC ( Intermediate Document ) and HTTP adapters in AAE (Advance Adapter Engine)
User Centric perspective in the ESR
Interface and Mapping based message split on AAE
Time Out configuration per communication channel
Automated Transport for Schema Validation
Replacing Trex, user-defined message search
User Centric perspectives in the ESR
Add-on for SAP PI: Secure Connectivity add-on (SGTP Adapter, PGP module) & B2B add-ons (OFTP adapter, AS2 adapter, EDI separator, EDI XML converter etc.)Advantages of SAP PI/PO
In comparison to any other middleware product monitoring in SAP PI is better. It offers monitoring features like a message, performance, component monitoring and so on, all of which can be used to track and rectify the errors.
SAP PI supports various SAP components which are required while integrating with SAP PI
Adapters and mappings are good as compared with any other middleware product
Asynchronous and Synchronous communication is possibleSAP PI vs. BizTalk
SAP PI BizTalk
Mostly used only by SAP customers to enable SOAP-based integration
BizTalk is completely built on .Net, certified by Microsoft and SAP to Integrate with SAP directly without the need of any middleware
ESB product designed and implemented to integrate SAP systems with Non- SAP Systems
More generalized product, ability to integrate a variety of systems including SAP and other products
SAP PI has pre-delivered message monitoring system
SAP PI can do multiple data transfer
In SAP PI automation can be manual as well as scheduled
SAP uses net weaver portal solution
BizTalk uses MS SharePoint as a portal solution
SOA architecture paradigm for SAP is eSOA ( Enterprise Service Oriented Architecture)
SOA is on basis of .NET and BizTalk
SAP PI Base Engine is priced based on the overall processed message volume expressed in Gigabytes/month. SAP PI is free to use between SAP-to-SAP
MS BizTalk server is priced based on the server capacity. It has four different version Enterprise, Standard, Branch, and DeveloperWhen SAP PI/PO is not recommended in enterprise SOA (Service Oriented Architecture)
SAP PI is not recommended for synchronous communication as it will put a significant load on the infrastructure service for servicing asynchronous request
SAP PI is not recommended for UI driven scenarios if the backend is exposed as enterprise services
SAP PI is not needed for intermediation if a non-SAP backend like J2EE or .NET platform is exposing business services in a UI scenario
The Customer Segment Makes a Difference
Your SEO agency’s DNA will inform how you determine your client segments, whether based on geographies, size, or industry.
Also, according to the range of services you offer, you’ll know what clients don’t suit your needs – for instance, an early-stage startup won’t be a good SEO client for various reasons (lack of product-market fit, lack of budget, no SEO foundations to begin with etc.).
Furthermore, think about the difference in creating SEO value for a startup and an established ecommerce company with a few technical issues.
You can use a strategic tool like the business model canvas to start mapping your current client portfolio and determine who’s your ideal client profile, answering questions like:
Who are the customers?
Where are they in their growth stage?
What are their revenue streams?
Maybe you specialize in a specific vertical like medical SEO, lawyers SEO, B2B SaaS etc. Or perhaps you’re interested in focusing on online businesses only or enterprise only.
It’s also crucial to look into your agency’s history and analyze your failures in selecting clients and projects. You’ll remember the bad deals and the misaligned offers – map them and learn from them:
How were your profit margins for each one of them?
How many hours did you spend?
What other resources did you use?
What was the monthly recurring revenue?
How did all of the above affect your income?
Knowing who to refuse to secure specific pricing and not destabilize your policy is just as important as identifying your preferred client segment. That way, you don’t start negotiating from scratch every time a potential client contacts you.
After all, if it’s not a qualified lead, you must say no.Articulate the (Perceived) Value & Forecast It
After figuring out what clients you want to work with (those who make sense from a pricing point of view), you need a straightforward process to help them understand your value.
Even if you know your gross margin (the gap between your costs and your potential pricing) and your lead qualification principles, you must evaluate a rather uncertain input to make the formula complete – the perceived value of your agency’s services.
There are many possible variables in your qualified lead’s head: your brand, your referrals, other players in the market, other offers received, their history with other vendors, etc.
It’s hard to take all of them into account and it’s a slippery road, anyway.
It’s more efficient to establish a data-driven process through a reliable forecasting methodology. It will make a difference in your positioning and help you be transparent and trustworthy while bypassing the subjectivity inherent to perception.Translate SEO Results to Business Outcomes
In order to determine the relevant inputs that will impact the client’s business, you need to take into account:
The non-brand organic traffic that you can directly impact through the SEO campaign.
Search seasonality and the year-over-year trend of your targeted keywords.
The inertial traffic influenced by seasonality only (as if the website’s rankings would stand still).
The performance in time towards the visibility improvement target, whether linear or exponential.
Moreover, you’ll be able to highlight the difference in traffic with and without your proposed SEO campaign. This means you’ll also be able to calculate what the equivalent in PPC looks like – an objective number to anchor the price in.
Bringing in this external comparison will show the worth SEO brings, giving clients a chance to research and assess the projected outcome with a clear context in mind.Set the Right Price
With this equivalent at hand, you’ll not only create a trustworthy pitch, but you’ll also know the perceived value benchmark. Plus, you’ll be transparent from A to Z, an added value in terms of client relationship building.
Let’s say you have a client whose estimated Google Ads Value is $875,000 for the 12 months forecasted scenario. A $10,000 retainer may not sound as far-fetched anymore, considering this client must be a player in a highly competitive international market and the added conversions you can generate are no small feat.
Or maybe it’s a client with a $63,000 estimated Google Ads Value for the 12 months timeframe. Then, a $500-700 retainer seems more plausible – it’s probably an SMB within limited geography, needing help to raise the bar in their market.
No matter the client profile you want to serve at your agency, with this efficient use of search data you’ll be able to create realistic business scenarios that help dictate your pricing without the painful guesstimations.
Once again, you can make the point that SEO is an investment and the traffic you’re generating for the client is there to stay. There is a cumulative value that goes beyond the paid media results if you think long-term.
Plus, for accountability purposes, you can go one step further and set your SEO objectives following the forecasting benchmarks, thus having a reliable starting point to measure against.Monthly Retainers. One-Time Projects. Success Fees.
Considering the agency business model and that SEO is a long-term investment, the monthly recurring revenue (MRR) is the pricing that makes the most sense.
But the question of one-time projects will appear – should you or shouldn’t you accept them?
As with any clarification process, it depends on how your defined pricing policy integrates exceptions.
Sometimes, accepting a one-time deal can bring benefits if you consider:
Technical audits as a separate service.
It can also work if you feel there’s a distinct benefit to be gained.
Maybe it’s a new vertical you want to enter, or an experimental project your agency wants to explore. In these cases, you can agree on a 3-month project and set the expectations accordingly – no rigid results, but an experimental setup to pinpoint SEO potential.
Another added value for your SEO offers is the success fee. You should do it every time you start a collaboration. You’ll not only communicate confidence from the get-go, but you’ll add an extra layer of motivation for your team to deliver beyond the agreed-upon results.Do We Consider Competition?
The right price is mainly influenced by your costs, your profit margins, and your client profile. Yet, you should be aware of your agency’s competitors and their pricing policies, in order to see if they anchored the perceived value on a different scale.
If you find yourself on a different level than what the market is accustomed to, your positioning and perceived value play a major role in the final decision.
In business theory, this approach to pricing is called the value-based approach.
In an HBR article, A Quick Guide to Value-Based Pricing, you’ll find the following definition:
“Value-based pricing is the method of setting a price by which a company calculates and tries to earn the differentiated worth of its product for a particular customer segment when compared to its competitor.”
Now, with all of the inputs at hand, you’ll know how to set and explain the differentiated worth of your agency.Summary
Creating a pricing strategy that resonates with your agency’s business model can be a tough endeavor.
Analyzing cost, price, and perceived value, you get to think about all the components that keep the balance between your incentive to sell and the client’s incentive to buy:
The cost structure of your agency.
The customer segments that you want to cater to.
The customer profiles to whom you’ll say no.
The perceived value of your SEO services, calculated through a reliable and transparent forecasting method (making the case for the additional visits and conversions you can bring and how that might look in a PPC campaign by comparison).
SEOmonitor’s forecasting module highlights the Google Ads value equivalent, letting you see all the calculations down to a keyword’s level, for the sake of a transparent and valuable pricing decision (which you can present to your clients).
This is just one of the many solutions we’ve developed to help SEO agencies acquire, manage, and retain more customers.
Join us in our journey to bring more transparency to the SEO industry.
Types of Web Hosting Offered
Bluehost provides shared hosting, VPS, dedicated servers and WordPress hosting. It offers several plans for each, and its pricing is on par with competitors. Shared hosting is the least expensive, with dedicated servers and VPS sporting costs up to $200 per month. These hosting types differ from shared and WordPress hosting in that the company allocates separate servers for these customers.
Dedicated servers and VPS are best suited for large corporations that need higher storage and bandwidth than shared or WordPress hosting can provide. Also, because VPS and dedicated servers are private, there’s even higher uptime. These types of hosting are typically not necessary for standard small business websites. Shared and WordPress hosting are cost-effective options that cover the needs of most small businesses.Bluehost Pricing and Plans
Bluehost provides shared hosting plans at slightly lower rates than many of its competitors. It has four shared hosting plans: Basic, Plus, Choice Plus and Pro. The Basic plan is $2.95 per month, the Plus plan and Choice Plus plan are each $5.45 per month, and the Pro plan is $13.95 per month.
Keep in mind that this is all promotional pricing that was listed at the time of this review. The web hosting industry is a competitive space, and companies often display promotional pricing to attract new buyers. Bluehost does this, claiming the plans are reduced from $7.99, $10.99, $14.99 and $23.99 respectively. Often, web hosting promotional pricing is only valid for the first year or billing term, and then you’ll be charged the original rates upon renewal.
As with just about every business service, the longer you commit to Bluehost, the lower the monthly price. If you’re worried about getting hit with a higher rate when you need to renew your contract, make sure you address this with a member of the Bluehost sales team before you sign up.
You can read more about Bluehost’s additional fees in the terms of service. Some important fees to note involve registering or transferring a domain name. Bluehost offers a free domain name for the first year, but you may have to pay a yearly fee thereafter. This is a standard practice hosting companies use to attract new customers.
There are also some conditions for your 30-day money-back guarantee. If you cancel your subscription within the first three days of activation, you have the option to keep your domain name for a $15.99 fee. If you cancel after three days, you will be required to pay the $15.99 domain fee.
If you decide to cancel after the first 30 days, you are not entitled to a refund of any kind. Bluehost only refunds credit card payments.Bluehost Web Hosting Features
Bluehost’s shared hosting plans have solid features. Its pricing stands out, but the relatively low cost doesn’t undermine the services you get. The company’s transparency with listing the features in each plan is another benefit. Instead of digging for information, business owners can get a quick view of what the company has to offer and decide whether the services meet their needs. Many companies we reviewed provide this breakdown.
Storage and Bandwidth: Bluehost provides unlimited storage on its Plus, Choice Plus and Pro plans. Basic plan holders only have access to 50GB of SSD storage. The bandwidth is unmetered for all plans. Most hosting companies provide unlimited storage or unmetered bandwidth; however, these terms do not mean they’re infinite. Bluehost uses statistical analysis to define the average parameters each consumer must stay within each month. It monitors your usage and contacts you if you’re using more than the allocated amount. Some web hosting companies even suspend service until the usage declines. If you’re concerned about the level of bandwidth and storage you need, it’s be a good idea to talk to someone from the Bluehost sales team about it.
Security: Compared to other web hosting companies we reviewed, Bluehost provides limited security measures. It does offer site backups, restoration, resource protection and an SSL certificate on each of its plans, but some plans require you to pay extra for security features like SiteLock and CodeGuard. Bluehost doesn’t provide a lot of information on DDoS prevention, firewalls or other security measures. This is another good topic to discuss with the Bluehost sales team before you sign up.
Domain Transfer: Bluehost includes a free domain name with the activation of a shared hosting plan. This means when you sign up for the service, you won’t get hit with an additional fee to set up your domain name. If you sign up for other plans, you may not have access to a free domain name.Reputation and Customer Service
Bluehost is not an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau. This is concerning, as most companies have at least some kind of BBB score. Its parent company, EIG, has an A- rating but a lot of negative reviews. The company has also logged nearly 400 complaints. Compared to its competitors, these are negative marks. Bluehost has mixed positive and negative ratings elsewhere online, so it’s not clear how supportive its customer service is.
Bluehost offers support via phone and a live chat window. It also has a unique company blog that provides additional online resources for customers to learn more about web hosting services. Since Bluehost offers some desirable web hosting plans, it is worth testing out its customer support on your own to see how helpful it is.Limitations
The company does not have a good online reputation, lacking BBB accreditation and having racked up a flurry of negative reviews and customer complaints. Also, most web hosting companies provide a service-level agreement, which details the company’s uptime policy and any credits it provides for downtime or measures it will take to ensure its service. There is no SLA available from Bluehost.
Bluehost no longer offers cloud hosting plans to its consumers, instead focusing on its WordPress and shared hosting options for small businesses. Although cloud hosting may not always be the best web hosting type for small businesses, Bluehost removes the option altogether. If you are seeking cloud hosting, you’ll have to find another web hosting provider.
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