Ice Touch
Ice Touch is ZeroC's implementation of Ice for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Ice Touch allows you to seamlessly integrate iPhones with enterprise applications, taking full advantage of the multi-platform and multi-language support of Ice.

With Ice Touch, writing networked applications for iOS devices no longer requires low-level socket programming or complex debugging of ad-hoc protocols.

Overview

The iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch are terrific platforms for mobile applications. However, for devices with such extensive networking features, the iOS SDK provides surprisingly little assistance to developers who are creating networked applications. All that changes with Ice Touch.

With a fully-featured implementation of the Ice run time and protocol, Ice Touch makes it easy to develop networked applications for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. High-level and easy-to-use APIs, neatly integrated with Objective-C and the Cocoa framework, let you focus your efforts on application development instead of wasting your time writing complex low-level networking code.

With minimal effort, you can integrate iOS devices into existing enterprise applications. Security is built right in, offering SSL support for authenticating applications and encrypting communications. Ice Touch effectively allows iOS applications to fully participate in your enterprise infrastructure, whether the device is operating inside the firewall and communicating via WiFi, or outside the firewall using the cellular network. Together with Ice for Android, mobile developers can now extend the reach of their Ice applications to two of the most advanced handsets on the market today.

To demonstrate how Ice Touch helps developers build mobile applications with capabilities equivalent to traditional desktop applications, the Ice Touch distribution includes an iOS client for remotely querying and manipulating a relational database (see screenshot). With a Java-based Ice server accessing a SQL database via JDBC, this application provides a simple but realistic introduction to enterprise development with Ice and Ice Touch.

Among the features that make Ice Touch ideally suited to building mobile applications are a compact network protocol that uses bandwidth efficiently and an asynchronous programming model that enables your program to maintain a responsive user interface. With support for two-way communication between iPhone applications and back-end services, Ice Touch helps you build the highly interactive applications that users expect.

The Ice Touch distribution also includes a fully-functional iPhone client for ZeroC's chat system. This client makes extensive use of the asynchronous invocation model and serves as an invaluable resource for iOS developers.

Another demo shows you how to use the iPhone as a router for Ice requests, so the iPhone can forward Ice requests received on its Wi-Fi interface via the 3G network, and vice versa.

Like all of ZeroC's products, Ice Touch is available with complete source code under the terms of the GNU General Public License, so download your copy today and find out what Ice Touch can do for you.

Feature Highlights

  • Simple and intuitive Objective-C language mapping
  • Complete support for all Slice types, so Ice Touch applications can take full advantage of your existing Slice interface definitions
  • Thread-safe run time for building multi-threaded applications
  • Support for TCP, SSL, and UDP
  • Synchronous and asynchronous invocation models
  • Server-side support, so applications running on iOS devices can act as servers
  • Dynamic invocation, which applications can use to construct and parse Ice messages on the fly
  • Support for push applications via bidirectional connections, so enterprise servers can invoke operations on objects implemented by the iPhone, even in the presence of firewalls
  • Full interoperability with existing Ice applications, written in any supported language and running on any supported operating system
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