Simple ØMQ TCP client

A server doesn't have much sense without a client. So here I complete the previous post, where we wrote a simple ØMQ TCP echo server, with its companion client.

Since they work in a team, they should respect the same conventions. Messages are expected to be array of characters (sort of C-string but without the terminator), and a empty message could be sent to shut down the server.

Here is the C++ code I have written, below a few notes on it:
try
{
   zmq::context_t context(1); // 1

   std::cout << "Connecting to echo server" << std::endl;
   zmq::socket_t socket(context, ZMQ_REQ); // 2
   socket.connect("tcp://localhost:50013"); // 3

   std::stringstream ss; // 4
   ss << "Hello ";
   for(int request_nbr = 0; request_nbr != 10; ++request_nbr)
   {
      ss << request_nbr;
      std::string message(ss.str());

      {
         zmq::message_t request((void *)message.c_str(), message.length(), NULL); // 5

         std::cout << "Sending " << message << std::endl;
         socket.send(request); // 6
      } // 7

      {
         zmq::message_t reply; // 8
         socket.recv(&reply); // 9

         std::cout << "Received ";
         std::for_each((char*)reply.data(), (char*)reply.data() + reply.size(),
            [](char c){ std::cout << c;}); // 10
         std::cout << std::endl;
      } // 11
   }

   zmq::message_t request(0); // 12
   socket.send(request);
   std::cout << "Sending empty message and terminating" << std::endl;
} // 13
catch(const zmq::error_t& ze)
{
   std::cout << "Exception: " << ze.what() << std::endl;
}
1. As we have done for the server, as first thing we create a zmq::context_t object, so that its constructor calls zmq_init().
2. We create a socket - internally zmq_socket() is called - specifying ZMQ_REQ as type. This is the request side of a request/reply pattern.
3. A call to zmq::socket_t::connect, resolved to zmq_connect(), to establish a connection to the server - notice that we specify the TCP/IP address (here localhost) and the port.
4. For giving a bit of variety, the message is built from a stream.
5. A zmq::message_t is built, using the data in the stringstream. The constructor, in this case, calls zmq_msg_init_data(). Notice that the data is not copied to message_t, just the passed pointer is used - so you should be very careful using this method. By the way, the third parameter, here a NULL, is a pointer to the function that is called by the dtor, to cleanup the data, if required. Here we want to leave the job to stringstream.
6. The message is sent through the socket to the server. The C-API function called is zmq_send().
7. Here the message goes out of scope, its dtor is called, and through it zmq_msg_close().
8. The default ctor is called for zmq::message_t, that resolves in a call to zmq_msg_init().
9. The call to zmq::socket_t::recv() shields a call to zmq_recv().
10. The data message is not a proper C-string, since it is not '/0' terminated. So I can't dump it to the standard output console without doing some job on it. Usually it should be a good idea to create a std::string out of it, like this:
std::string feedback((char*)reply.data(), (char*)reply.data() + reply.size());
But here we won't have any other use in that string after printing it, so why not having a bit of fun using a std::for_each() algorithm coupled with a lambda function instead?
11. As in (7), zmq_msg_close() is called by the message_t dtor.
12. We create and send a zero-sized message, to terminate the server.
13. Here a couple of destructors are called. The socket one, that calls zmq_close(), and the context one, that calls zmq_term().

I wrote this post while reading the official Z-Guide. A fun and useful reading indeed.

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