Using the Generic Input Data Link
The Generic Input Data Link allows you to push data into Tracking Server using generic text data. The data accepted by Generic Input Data Link falls into two categories: XML data and CSV data. The XML data format is not an XML document, but a series of text values surrounded by XML tags. The XML format is described in detail in the section XML Data Format for the Generic Input Data Link. The CSV data format is a series of text values separated by a delimiter (which is usually a comma). The CSV format is described in detail in the section CSV Data Formats for the Generic Input Data Link.
The Generic Input Data Link is capable of receiving data from an outside source either through a TCP socket connection or through UDP packets. The differences between these transport protocols is described in the section Transport Protocols for the Generic Input Data Link.
Before using the Generic Input data link, you will need to set up your third-party data source. The data source must first make a connection to the correct server and port. When you have finished sending data, you will need to close the connection from the third-party data source side.
Creating a New Generic Input Data Link Connection
From the Start menu, start Tracking Server Manager.
If the server status indicator in the lower left corner is red, click File > Start Server to start Tracking Server.
- Click the Data Links tab.
- Double-click the Generic Input data link in the list. The Generic Input Data Link Properties dialog box appears. Click on the green button in the upper left corner to create a new connection. If this is the first time you are configuring the Generic Input Data Link, a default connection will be created for you.
You can also modify the properties of an existing connection by selecting it from the list on the left side of the dialog box and following the steps below.
- Enter a name for your new connection in the Name text box.
- In the Port text box, type the number of the port you want the data link to listen to. The default port setting is 5555.
- Choose a transport protocol for the new connection. Click either TCP Server, TCP Client, or UDP in the Transport Protocol panel of the dialog box.
If you choose TCP Client, the Hostname/IP field will become enabled, where you can type the name or IP address of the machine hosting the server.
- Choose a text format for the new connection. Click either XML or CSV in the Text Format panel of the dialog box.
- If you chose CSV as the text format, then the Text Format Options become available. Enter the characters that will represent field delimiters in the Field delimiter text box. Enter the characters that will represent the end of messages in the End of message text box.
If you chose XML as the text format, then these options do not apply and will be invisible.
- Click Apply.
- Your new connection appears in the list of connections on the left side of the dialog box. Make sure the connection is checked if you want it to run.
- Click OK to close the Generic Input Data Link Properties dialog box.
- On the Data Links tab in Tracking Server Manager, select Generic Input and click the Start Data Link button to start the Generic Input Data Link. The Data Link Status field updates to indicate that the data link is running.
Data will now be able to stream into Tracking Server through the Generic Input Data Link connection you have created.