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» The BlueBox 2X

The BlueBox is an HTTP tunneling technology that allows clients to connect from behind firewalls and proxies, when a socket connection is not available. This is a typical scenario for corporate offices, schools and other institutions where the network traffic is limited to a few selected services.

The BlueBox enables players under restricted network configurations to play and enjoy fast multiplayer apps and games with minor performance loss. All SmartFoxServer clients based on TCP sockets can take advantage of the BlueBox without any code change.

Behind the scenes the BlueBox uses an HTTP tunnel by wrapping the SmartFoxServer protocol into HTTP requests, which in turn allows to pass through firewalls and most proxies.

Additionally the BlueBox uses a sophisticated approach to eliminate the need for continuous polling, improving overall performance and reducing latency when compared to standard polling-based solutions. Finally the client API provide the developer with the ability to fine tune the server response times, allowing near real-time performance!

The BlueBox plugs into the server engine directly, saving lots of resources and allowing for better scalability of HTTP connections.

» How to use the BlueBox

The BlueBox service depends on the HTTP server provided with SmartFoxServer 2X, which is active by default and therefore there's no extra step required to have this feature ready to work. As soon as the server is running any client will be able to connect both via the default TCP port (9933) or BlueBox (port 8080).

The only requried settings are located on the client side, in the external client config file or via the equivalent ConfigData object.

<SmartFoxConfig>
	<!-- Mandatory Settings -->
	<ip>192.168.0.16</ip>
	<port>9932</port>
	<zone>Test</zone>
	<!-- End Mandatory Settings -->
	
	<debug>true</debug>
	
	<httpPort>8080</httpPort>
	<useBlueBox>true</useBlueBox>
	<blueBoxPollingRate>500</blueBoxPollingRate>
	
</SmartFoxConfig>

The last three settings in the XML above are specific to the BlueBox:

» Recommended settings

By default SFS2X uses the following ports:

In order to provide the best connectivity options to your clients you should use TCP ports that are usually not filtered by firewalls. Our recommendation is to use ports 80 (HTTP) and 443 (HTTPS) where possible (e.g. if there isn't another http server in the machine already running).

If you are under Unix/Linux/MacOSX this will require that the server runs with root privileges.

NOTE: The BlueBox failover mechanism applies only for TCP based clients. Websocket clients are not supported.

» Monitoring the BlueBox

The connections handled by the BlueBox maintain a special session used by the enclosing HTTP protocol. You can monitor these sessions from the AdminTool by launching the BlueBox Monitor module.

Additionally the BlueBox process logs specific usage data under the SFS2X/logs/bluebox/ folder.