Published on July 24, 2014
Document processing The set of processing actions that a service can make available implements the following capabilities: 1. XML message schema validation (validate action) 2. XML message transformation (transform action) 3. Binary message transformation (binary transform action) 4. XML message filtering (filter action) 5. Digital signing and signature verification (sign and verify actions) 6. XML and binary message encryption and decryption (encrypt and decrypt actions) 7. Authentication, authorization and token exchange (AAA action) 8. Dynamic message routing based on content or protocol header (route action) 9. Message distribution to multiple endpoints (results action) 10. Retrieve additional data (fetch and results actions) 11. Connect directly to remote database servers (SQL action) 12. Scan messages for viruses (antivirus action) Phases of document processing A service has three high-level processing phases that must be performed for all requests and responses. 1. A service accepts an incoming request on the established front-side connection 2. The service processes the request 3. The service passes the request to the remote server over the backside connection On the response from the server to the client, the invocation of the phases is in reverse order. Client-side processing: It is important to understand that there is a significant amount of processing that occurs during client-side processing before the service begins to process the message. Client-side processing can reject the message before attempting any message processing. The DataPower appliance provides much of this processing out-of-box, such as schema validation and message processing. 1. As a request is submitted to the DataPower appliance, there could be many different services that can process incoming messages. However, only one service can receive a single request from the client. Therefore, there must be something in the configuration that decides which service will handle the request. The selection of which service is determined by the IP address-port
combination on which the service is configured to listen. For simplicity, assume that a service listens on a specific port for incoming requests. 2. After a service receives the incoming message, there is addition client-side processing applied. If the request is using SSL, client-side processing performs the specified level of SSL negotiation to establish the secured connection. The connection might include mutual authentication. Transport- level decryption of the data stream is also performed on requests sent over SSL. 3. After establishing the secured connection and decrypting the data stream (if applicable), client-side processing applies additional processing on the request, such as service-level monitoring (SLM), threat protection, attachment processing, message throttles, and URL rewriting. All of this processing is configurable in the service Processing policy in the DataPower service 1. The processing policy within a DataPower service is known as multistep processing. After a request passes client-side processing, the service can start to perform all the configured processing operations on the message. A processing policy is a list of rules that contain processing actions that can be applied to the message. 2. Actions are specific processing operations that are applied to a message, such as document format transformations, encryption and decryption, message signing, authentication, and so forth. As the request message passes through the processing policy, the actions are applied to the message in the defined sequence, producing a final message to be passed to server-side processing. Server-side processing 1. After the service processes the message, the request is almost ready to be passed to the server. 2. Before sending the message to the server, there might be additional required processing. This processing could be creating a new SSL connection, setting additional headers in the request, setting the protocol version to what the server expects, and so forth. For example, suppose an incoming request from the client uses HTTP 1.1, but the server supports only HTTP 1.0. Server-side processing would send the request to the server using HTTP 1.0. 3. The most important part of server-side processing is to sent the request to the server. The location of the server can be defined in one of two different ways:
a. If all requests that a service processes go to the same server, the configuration for that service uses a static back end. b. If some requests that a service processes go to one server and others go to another server, the configuration for that service uses a dynamic back end. 4. When the service configuration uses a dynamic back end, the processing policy determines which server receives the request at runtime. This decision can be based on metadata, such as protocol headers, URI, or the message content itself.
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