How to write an application on top of AGL FRAMEWORK

Programming Languages for Applications

Writing an HTML5 application

Developers of HTML5 applications (client side) can easily create applications for AGL framework using their preferred HTML5 framework.

Developers may also take advantage of powerful server side bindings to improve application behavior. Server side bindings return an application/json mine-type and can be accessed though either HTTP or Websockets.

In a near future, JSON-RPC protocol should be added to complete the current x-afb-json1 protocol.

Two examples of HTML5 applications are given:

  • afb-client a simple “hello world” application template

  • afm-client a simple “Home screen” application template

Writing a Qt application

Writing Qt applications is also supported. Qt offers standard API to send request through HTTP or WebSockets.

It is also possible to write QML applications. A sample QML application [token-websock] is available:

Writing a “C” application

C applications can use afb-daemon binder through a websocket connection.

The library libafbwsc is provided for C clients that need to connect with an afb-daemon binder.

The program afb-client-demo is the C example that use libafbwsc library. Source code is available here src/afb-client-demo.c.

Current implementation relies on libsystemd and file descriptors. This model might be review in the future to support secure sockets and get rid of libsystemd dependency.

Handling sessions within applications

Applications should understand sessions and token management when interacting with afb-daemon binder.

Applications communicate with their private binder(afb-daemon) using a network connection or potentially any other connection channel. While the current version does not yet implement Unix socket, this feature might be added in the near future. Developers need to be warn that HTTP protocol is a none connected protocol and that using HTTP socket connection to authenticate clients is not supported.

For this reason, the binder should authenticate the application by using a shared secret. The secret is named “token” and the identification of client is named “session”.

The examples token-websock.qml and afb-client are demonstrating how authentication and sessions are managed.

Handling sessions

Bindings and other binder features need to keep track of client instances. This is especially important for bindings running as services as they may typically have to keep each client’s data separated.

For HTML5 applications, the web runtime handles the cookie of session that the binder afb-daemon automatically sets.

Session identifier can be set using the parameter uuid or x-afb-uuid in URI requests. Within current version of the framework session UUID is supported by both HTTP requests and websocket negotiation.

Exchanging tokens

At application start, AGL framework communicates a shared secret to both binder and client application. This initial secret is called the “initial token”.

For each of its client application, the binder manages a current active token for session management. This authentication token can be use to restrict the access to some binding’s methods.

The token must be included in URI request on HTTP or during websockets connection using parameter token or x-afb-token.

To ensure security, tokens must be refreshed periodically.

Example of session management

In following examples, we suppose that afb-daemon is launched with something equivalent to:

$ afb-daemon --port=1234 --token=123456 [...]

making the expectation that AuthLogin binding is requested as default.

Using curl

First, connects with the initial token, 123456:

$ curl http://localhost:1234/api/auth/connect?token=123456
  "jtype": "afb-reply",
  "request": {
     "status": "success",
     "token": "0aef6841-2ddd-436d-b961-ae78da3b5c5f",
     "uuid": "850c4594-1be1-4e9b-9fcc-38cc3e6ff015"
  "response": {"token": "A New Token and Session Context Was Created"}

It returns an answer containing session UUID, 850c4594-1be1-4e9b-9fcc-38cc3e6ff015, and a refreshed token, 850c4594-1be1-4e9b-9fcc-38cc3e6ff015.

Check if session and token is valid:

$ curl http://localhost:1234/api/auth/check?token=0aef6841-2ddd-436d-b961-ae78da3b5c5f\&uuid=850c4594-1be1-4e9b-9fcc-38cc3e6ff015
  "jtype": "afb-reply",
  "request": {"status":"success"},
  "response": {"isvalid":true}

Refresh the token:

$ curl http://localhost:1234/api/auth/refresh?token=0aef6841-2ddd-436d-b961-ae78da3b5c5f\&uuid=850c4594-1be1-4e9b-9fcc-38cc3e6ff015
  "jtype": "afb-reply",
  "request": {
  "response": {"token":"Token was refreshed"}

Close the session:

curl http://localhost:1234/api/auth/logout?token=b8ec3ec3-6ffe-448c-9a6c-efda69ad7bd9\&uuid=850c4594-1be1-4e9b-9fcc-38cc3e6ff015
  "jtype": "afb-reply",
  "request": {"status": "success"},
  "response": {"info":"Token and all resources are released"}

Checking on closed session for uuid should be refused:

curl http://localhost:1234/api/auth/check?token=b8ec3ec3-6ffe-448c-9a6c-efda69ad7bd9\&uuid=850c4594-1be1-4e9b-9fcc-38cc3e6ff015
  "jtype": "afb-reply",
  "request": {
     "status": "failed",
     "info": "invalid token's identity"

Using afb-client-demo

The program is packaged within AGL in the rpm libafbwsc-dev

Here is an example of exchange using afb-client-demo:

$ afb-client-demo ws://localhost:1234/api?token=123456
auth connect
ON-REPLY 1:auth/connect: {"jtype":"afb-reply","request":{"status":"success",
   "response":{"token":"A New Token and Session Context Was Created"}}
auth check
ON-REPLY 2:auth/check: {"jtype":"afb-reply","request":{"status":"success"},"response":{"isvalid":true}}
auth refresh
ON-REPLY 4:auth/refresh: {"jtype":"afb-reply","request":{"status":"success",
   "token":"8b8ba8f4-1b0c-48fa-962d-4a00a8c9157e"},"response":{"token":"Token was refreshed"}}
auth check
ON-REPLY 5:auth/check: {"jtype":"afb-reply","request":{"status":"success"},"response":{"isvalid":true}}
auth refresh
ON-REPLY 6:auth/refresh: {"jtype":"afb-reply","request":{"status":"success",
   "token":"e83b36f8-d945-463d-b983-5d8ed73ba529"},"response":{"token":"Token was refreshed"}}

After closing connection, reconnect as here after:

$ afb-client-demo ws://localhost:1234/api?token=e83b36f8-d945-463d-b983-5d8ed73ba529\&uuid=5fcc3f3d-4b84-4fc7-ba66-2d8bd34ae7d1 auth check
ON-REPLY 1:auth/check: {"jtype":"afb-reply","request":{"status":"success"},"response":{"isvalid":true}}

Same connection check using curl:

$ curl http://localhost:1234/api/auth/check?token=e83b36f8-d945-463d-b983-5d8ed73ba529\&uuid=5fcc3f3d-4b84-4fc7-ba66-2d8bd34ae7d1

Format of replies

Replies use javascript object returned as serialized JSON.

This object contains at least 2 mandatory fields of name jtype and request and one optional field of name response.


This is a template of replies:

   "jtype": "afb-reply",
   "request": {
      "status": "success",
      "info": "informationnal text",
      "token": "e83b36f8-d945-463d-b983-5d8ed73ba52",
      "uuid": "5fcc3f3d-4b84-4fc7-ba66-2d8bd34ae7d1",
      "reqid": "application-generated-id-23456"
   "response": ....any response object....

Field jtype

The field jtype must have a value of type string equal to “afb-reply”.

Field request

The field request must have a value of type object. This request object has at least one field named status and four optional fields named info, token, uuid, reqid.

Subfield request.status

status must have a value of type string. This string is equal to “success” only in case of success.


info is of type string and represent optional information added to the reply.

Subfield request.token

token is of type string. It is sent either at session creation or when the token is refreshed.

Subfield request.uuid

uuid is of type string. It is sent at session creation.

Subfield request.reqid

reqid is of type string. It is sent in response to HTTP requests that added a parameter of name reqid or x-afb-reqid at request time. Value returns in the reply has the exact same value as the one received in the request.

Field response

This field response optionally contains an object returned when request succeeded.

Format of events

Events are javascript object serialized as JSON.

This object contains at least 2 mandatory fields of name jtype and event and one optional field of name data.


Here is a template of event:

   "jtype": "afb-event",
   "event": "sample_api_name/sample_event_name",
   "data": ...any event data...

Field jtype

The field jtype must have a value of type string equal to “afb-event”.

Field event

The field event carries the event’s name.

The name of the event is made of two parts separated by a slash: the name of the name of the API that generated the event and the name of event within the API.

Field data

This field data if present holds the data carried by the event.