Category Archives: Software Development

SocketTools Native 64-bit Support

One of the most requested features for SocketTools 7 is native 64-bit support for Windows. Although most Windows installations today continue to be 32-bit, along with the vast majority of application software, there is no question that 64-bit platforms are growing in popularity. It’s estimated that approximately 50% of the Windows 7 installations are the 64-bit version, and virtually all desktop and laptop PCs sold in the past 5 years have 64-bit processors. Continue reading

Third-party Compilers

One of the questions that we often get about the SocketTools Library Edition is about support for other C/C++ compilers and third-party languages. As a collection of standard dynamic link libraries (DLLs), SocketTools can be used by virtually any programming language available for the Windows platform. The documentation is primarily focused around Visual C++ development because that’s what the majority of developers who use the Library Edition are working with, but it’s by no means limited to just Microsoft’s compilers. As long as your favorite language is capable of calling functions in the Windows API, you can use the SocketTools Library Edition. Continue reading

SocketWrench 6.0 Freeware Released

For hobbyist programmers who are interested in learning about Internet programming, we’ve released a free version of our popular SocketWrench ActiveX control. It has the standard features of our commercial product, but does not include support for secure connections or the Internet Server components. We’re offering this to developers as a way to both introduce our components, and help those who want to get started with an easy way to build Internet-enabled applications. Continue reading

The Secure Shell Protocol

One of the significant new features in SocketTools 6.0 will be support for the Secure Shell protocol, also known as SSH. As the name implies, this protocol provides a secure, encrypted connection between the local host and a remote computer, ensuring that third-parties cannot decipher any intercepted network traffic. Originally SSH was used primarily on UNIX based systems as a secure alternative to the insecure TELNET protocol, in which private information such as passwords would be sent as plain text over the network. SSH provides a high level of data integrity and confidentiality over insecure and public networks (e.g.: the Internet) and is widely supported a broad range of operating system platforms. The protocol itself is defined by a set of open standards, with RFC 4251 outlining the basic structure of the protocol, and other standards documents covering the different subsystems. Continue reading

Automating the Build Process

As a software developer, most of your time is spent creating, maintaining and debugging code. However, one of the aspects of development that is often overlooked is the actual build process itself. Of course, we all build projects from the IDE, but when it comes to production releases many developers — particularly those working on smaller projects — just follow the path of least resistance and do what is easiest at the time to get the product built and out the door. In the beginning, that often means manually compiling and copying files or creating a few batch files to do the job. The problem is, although that approach can be convenient at first, it is also prone to error and quickly becomes time consuming even for a small project. And the larger and more complex your build process becomes, managing multiple makefiles, batch files and scripts become even more unwieldy. Continue reading