Handshaking in a protocol serves to initiate communication. This feature of protocols gives servers the opportunity to reject additional calls when the server is overloaded. This can help to avoid additional overload, a breakdown, or responses that are too slow. Unfortunately, protocols like HTTP do not support this. Therefore, the application has to mimic the functionality with, for instance, health checks. An application can signal that it is, in principle, reachable but has so much load at the moment that it is unable to handle further calls. Protocols that build on socket connections can implement these type of approaches by themselves.

Test Harness

A Test Harness can be used to find out how an application behaves in certain error situations. Those problems might be at the level of TCP/IP or, say, responses of other systems that contain an HTTP header but no HTTP body. Theoretically, something like that should never occur since the operating system or network stack should deal with it. Nevertheless, such errors can occur in practice and have dramatic consequences if applications are not prepared to handle them. A Test Harness can be an extension of the tests that are discussed in section 10.8.

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