How to create a connection

Learn how to create and accept connections with IceRPC.

Connections play a central role in IceRPC: you send a request to a service over a connection and later receive a response over the same connection. At the other end of this connection, IceRPC receives this request, hands it over to your service and later sends back the response returned by your service.

When an application creates a connection to a server, this connection is a "client connection". When a server accepts a connection from a client, this connection is called a "server connection".

Once a connection is established, there is no difference between a client and a server connection. You can make an invocation (send a request and receive the corresponding response) on a client connection or on a server connection with exactly the same API. Any connection, client or server, can also accept incoming requests and dispatch these requests to your services.

In C#, you create a client connection with the ClientConnection class or with the ConnectionCache class. For example:

using IceRpc;
await using var clientConnection = new ClientConnection(new Uri("icerpc://"));

ClientConnection's constructor specifies the address of the server, but does not actually establish the connection. The connection is established later on by an asynchronous call such as ConnectAsync or InvokeAsync:

// establishes the connection explicitly
await clientConnection.ConnectAsync();

This pattern where the constructor configures the new instance but does not actually run anything is common throughout IceRPC.

A client connection maintains a single active connection: a (client) connection connected to a server.

A connection cache maintains a map of server addresses to (client) connections. Each connection is connected to a different server. The connection cache helps locate and reuse these connections.

On the server-side, you accept server connections with an instance of the Server class. This server listens for and accepts new connections on its configured server address.

In C#, this is again a two-step process, where you first construct a Server and later call Listen:

using IceRpc;
// constructs and configures server
await using var server = new Server(...);
// starts listening for new connections

A server accepts connections and remembers which connections it accepted. This allows the server to shut down these connections when you shut down the server.

Was this page helpful?