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Issue 4.3


IP*Works Secure Tunnel

Issue: 4.3 (January/February 2006)
Author: Brian Rathbone
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 4,297
Starting Page Number: 8
Article Number: 4303
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Many REALbasic developers have bemoaned the SSLSocket class' inability to listen in secure mode, and, while REAL Software may add this functionality in the future, an interim solution is highly desirable. Enter IP*Works Secure Tunnel from /n Software Inc., which allows you to almost instantly add SSL capabilities to your REALbasic developed server applications.

Setup is quick and painless, and you do not need to make any changes to your server application whatsoever, which means that existing non-secure clients can continue to connect to your server if you desire. In order to take advantage of the new SSL functionality, however, you will need to make some minor changes to your client applications. Simply change your TCPSocket classes to SSLSockets and set their connection type to 2 -- that's it. When secure clients connect to your server, though, they will need to connect to the IP of the IP*Works Secure Tunnel server rather than connecting directly to your original server. You could, of course, leave your existing TCPSockets in place and add SSLSockets for a new secure connection option, which may be desirable in certain instances.

It is also possible to limit your server to secure connections only by means of firewall configuration. Just point the inbound connections to the IP*Works Secure Tunnel server and block outside connections to the original server, and the Secure Tunnel server will proxy the incoming connections to the internal IP of your original server.

While this functionality alone is enough to justify the cost, IP*Works Secure Tunnel doesn't stop there. You can allow connections to multiple incoming servers using a single IP*Works Secure Tunnel server, TLS connections are supported, 128-bit and 40-bit connections are supported, and you can even SSL enable your FTP servers! Digital Certificates are supported for server authentication, and you can specify as many client certificates as you need.

You can operate the server in application mode, or it can run as a native Windows service, allowing for easy data center integration. IP*Works Secure Tunnel offers logging and filtering capabilities that can even make use of your own custom filtering DLLs. Windows 95/98 can be used to host your IP*Works Secure Tunnel server, though there are some special setup instructions that must be obtained from /n Software's customer support department. Windows ME, NT4 (SP4+), 2000, XP, and 2003 do not require these special instructions.

IP*Works Secure Tunnel can run in plain text mode for debugging and testing purposes, which can help make troubleshooting a painless process by allowing you to bypass SSL completely while still connecting through the IP*Works Secure Tunnel server. And for those who wish to try before you buy, a limited 30-day trial version is available. The trial version is limited to a single concurrent connection.

It is a rare product indeed that offers this much functionality and can still be integrated in under an hour -- truly outstanding. So, if you find yourself pining for SSL support that can be added to your existing or upcoming servers, look no further. /n Software Inc. has your solution.

End of article.