AFTN- Webserver Gateway
QSSWebServer allows the specification of a set of AFTN Addresses (or partial
addreses) that indicate a database query. When an internet browser client
submits a form containing one of these 'Query' addresses, the HTTP session is
locked pending a reply from the AFTN database. When the reply has been received
from the AFTN message centre, it is formatted as an HTML page and dispatched
back to the internet client. A special Messages Waiting form can also be used to force the browser to seek unsolicited AFTN messages at regular intervals.
The Web Client is presented with an Index Page of available forms from which to choose an appropiate message entry template.
It is expected that the most likely use of QSSWebServer is to receive Flight Plans and AIS Bulletin requests from small scale air operators that have no direct AFTN connection.
(Hover over Tab Page Names to switch Tab Pages)
QSSWebServer is a RFC2616 compliant HTTP web server and requires a permanent Internet connection using a registered domain name and static IP address. Once started, QSSWebServer listens for HTTP requests on port 80 (can be changed) and requires no operator intervention. A log file is generated tracing all incoming and outgoing HTTP messages.
Regular users can apply to their AFTN Centre for a registered
AFTN Origin address. This becomes their username and allows them to establish an
authentication password for subsequent use. Casual users are allocated
one of 26 GUEST origin addresses which survive only for a single
Configuration allows each registered user, and the guest user group, to be restricted to a set of destination AFTN addresses (or partial Addresses).
QSSWebServer automatically creates HTML forms from MM2000 AFTN Workstation forms created by the AFTN Centre administration. These forms, when displayed in a browser, behave in a very similar fashion to standard MM2000 Workstation forms. Characteristics include data validation, default data, F1 key field help, and picklists. Even the numeric + key dispatches the form just as MM2000 does. An Index Page page is automatically created from all available forms.
CONNECTION TO THE AFTN
QSSWebServer utilizes the companion product QSSSerial to connect to any ICAO compliant AFTN Message centre using a dedicated serial RS232 asynchronous line at any speed from 1200 to 9600 baud, ITA5 or TCP/IP LAN.
SENDING AFTN MESSAGES
A client using a standard browser, selects the appropriate form from the Form Index Page, enters the AFTN address for the recipient, completes the form and submits either with the SEND button or the Numeric + key. QSSWebServer will validate the data received according to the rules specified in the MM2000 version of the same form and either, return for correction if a error is found, or, reformat as a standard AFTN message and forward to the AFTN message centre. The client gets acknowledgement by the redisplay of the Form Index page.
SENDING DATABASE QUERY MESSAGES
Queries to an Aviation Database are recognised by the AFTN address in the message. In this case, QSSWebServer waits for the reply message from the AFTN centre before responding to the client. The reply message (or messages) are converted to HTML and returned to the clients browser as a response.
RECEIVING AFTN MESSAGES
The form index allows the display of a MESSAGES WAITING page which checks QSSWebServer at intervals for AFTN messages addressed to the user ORIGIN address. Any unsolicited AFTN messages are immediately displayed.