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From "Boyle Owen" <>
Subject RE: Detecting download success/failure from server?
Date Fri, 02 Aug 2002 12:02:56 GMT
HTTP uses TCP/IP which is a protocol in which the transmission of data is acknowledged. It
works like this:

- Apache generates HTTP frame containing data
- HTTP frame is passed down to TCP/IP
- TCP/IP layer sends data to remote client and awaits acknowledgement
- Client acknowledgement received at TCP/IP layer
- TCP/IP passes ackowledgement up to HTTP
- Apache records transfer as "200 OK".

So the apache status code 200 is really the proof that the data went correctly. Note that
it includes a filesize for further checking...

HTTP is a client-server architecture and the browser (your customer) is the client. The protocol
only works one-way, i.e. the client makes requests of the server. The server cannot initiate
activity at the client (such as asking if it received a file).


Owen Boyle

>-----Original Message-----
>From: James Green []
>Sent: Freitag, 2. August 2002 13:45
>Subject: Detecting download success/failure from server?
>Hi all,
>Got an interesting dilemma. We're developing a Apache/PHP 
>based solution
>that will involve a mobile phone (using WAP initially) 
>connecting to our
>server using an encoded GET URI (e.g. 
>which will be picked up by PHP, checked for validity, and then send the
>mobile phone product (e.g. a midi) to their phone. Question 
>is, how do we
>tell if the phone successfully received the product?
>We currently get several enquiries per day saying that products didn't
>arrive (although using an entirely separate system), and we 
>want to avoid
>the support costs involved with these new services, thus being able to
>remove the download option immediately after confirming the 
>download really
>was received.
>We believe a 200 response code is issued upon Apache being 
>able to send the
>data requested. However AIUI this doesn't mean the client got 
>the data. It's
>also been suggested that as PHP sends the object file, at the 
>end we code an
>update to our database saying it was sent, however again we 
>can't know it
>was received.
>Our current theory is to check the length of the transmission in the
>access.log, but we're not sure if that is conclusive either.
>It's sorta like a pay-per-view thing, we're just not sure how to avoid
>"please resend" pleas from customers.
>If anyone has any suggestions, please speak up. Many thanks in advance.
>James Green
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