DropPoints are software agents that enable the Flowgear cloud to access to on-premise data sources.
Flowgear ensures that data transmitted via a DropPoint is:
compressed - because the data is typically text (or XML or JSON), a 10:1 ratio is common
encrypted - DropPoints ensure security by using WebSockets and HTTPS for communication
recoverable - data transport uses application-level transaction chunking and packet acknowledgement to enable recovery of data when Internet connectivity has been disrupted.
Because the payload is compressed, the effective latency is very low. For transaction volumes of tens of thousands of transactions per month, the latency won't be an issue. For volumes of hundreds of thousands of transactions, you might do more data manipulation at the site via a Script Node, for example.
DropPoints are used in the following scenarios:
The data source (such as an SQL database) is not exposed through the company firewall to the Internet
The Flowgear Node being used requires a DropPoint (some ERP’s for example require software that runs on the server in order to integrate with them)
The API for the service or product being integrated is not a web API (eg. a COM service)
The required data source is exposed to the Internet but not in a secured manner (eg. exposed as HTTP and not HTTPS).
If you have two on-premise systems at the same site exchanging data, the data will round-trip via Flowgear.