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Create jobified client and server

In the workflow Creating a minimal client and server, the client should look like this code example.

note

Before reading this workflow, review how the C# Job System works.

Create a Jobified Client#

Create a client job to handle your inputs from the network. As you only handle one client at a time, use IJob as your job type. You need to pass the driver and the connection to the job to handle updates within the Execute method of the job.

struct ClientUpdateJob: IJob
{
public NetworkDriver driver;
public NativeArray<NetworkConnection> connection;
public NativeArray<byte> done;
public void Execute() { ... }
}
note

The data inside the ClientUpdateJob is copied. If you want to use the data after the job is completed, you need to have your data in a shared container, such as a NativeContainer.

You may want to update the NetworkConnection and the done variables inside your job as you may receive a disconnect message. Verify you can share the data between the job and the caller. In this case, use a NativeArray.

note

You can only use blittable types in a NativeContainer. In this case, instead of a bool you need to use a byte, as its a blittable type.

In your Execute method, move over your code from the Update method that you have already in place from ClientBehaviour.cs and you are done.

You need to change any call to m_Connection to connection[0] to refer to the first element inside your NativeArray. The same goes for your done variable, you need to call done[0] when you refer to the done variable. See the following:

public void Execute()
{
if (!connection[0].IsCreated)
{
// Remember that its not a bool anymore.
if (done[0] != 1)
Debug.Log("Something went wrong during connect");
return;
}
DataStreamReader stream;
NetworkEvent.Type cmd;
while ((cmd = connection[0].PopEvent(driver, out stream)) != NetworkEvent.Type.Empty)
{
if (cmd == NetworkEvent.Type.Connect)
{
Debug.Log("We are now connected to the server");
var value = 1;
var writer = driver.BeginSend(connection[0]);
writer.WriteUInt(value);
driver.EndSend(writer);
}
else if (cmd == NetworkEvent.Type.Data)
{
uint value = stream.ReadUInt();
Debug.Log("Got the value = " + value + " back from the server");
// And finally change the `done[0]` to `1`
done[0] = 1;
connection[0].Disconnect(driver);
connection[0] = default(NetworkConnection);
}
else if (cmd == NetworkEvent.Type.Disconnect)
{
Debug.Log("Client got disconnected from server");
connection[0] = default(NetworkConnection);
}
}
}

Update the client MonoBehaviour#

When you have a job, you need to verify that you can execute the job.

Complete changes to ClientBehaviour:

  • Change m_Done and m_Connection to type NativeArray
  • Add a JobHandle to track ongoing jobs
public class JobifiedClientBehaviour : MonoBehaviour
{
public NetworkDriver m_Driver;
public NativeArray<NetworkConnection> m_Connection;
public NativeArray<byte> m_Done;
public JobHandle ClientJobHandle;
public void OnDestroy() { ... }
public void Start() { ... }
public void Update() { ... }
}

Start method#

void Start () {
m_Driver = NetworkDriver.Create();
m_Connection = new NativeArray<NetworkConnection>(1, Allocator.Persistent);
m_Done = new NativeArray<byte>(1, Allocator.Persistent);
var endpoint = NetworkEndPoint.LoopbackIpv4;
endpoint.Port = 9000;
m_Connection[0] = m_Driver.Connect(endpoint);
}

The Start method looks pretty similar to before, the major update here is to verify you create your NativeArray.

OnDestroy method#

public void OnDestroy()
{
ClientJobHandle.Complete();
m_Connection.Dispose();
m_Driver.Dispose();
m_Done.Dispose();
}

For the OnDestroy method, dispose all NativeArray objects. Add a ClientJobHandle.Complete() call. This ensures your jobs complete before cleaning up and destroying the data they might be using.

Client Update loop#

Finally update your core game loop:

void Update()
{
ClientJobHandle.Complete();
...
}

Before you start running your new frame, check that the last frame has completed. Instead of calling m_Driver.ScheduleUpdate().Complete(), use the JobHandle and call ClientJobHandle.Complete().

To chain your job, start by creating a job struct:

var job = new ClientUpdateJob
{
driver = m_Driver,
connection = m_Connection,
done = m_Done
};

To schedule the job, pass the JobHandle dependency that was returned from the m_Driver.ScheduleUpdate call in the Schedule function of your IJob. Start by invoking the m_Driver.ScheduleUpdate without a call to Complete, and pass the returning JobHandle to your saved ClientJobHandle.

Pass the returned ClientJobHandle to your own job, returning a newly updated ClientJobHandle.

ClientJobHandle = m_Driver.ScheduleUpdate();
ClientJobHandle = job.Schedule(ClientJobHandle);

You now have a JobifiedClientBehaviour that looks like this.

Create a Jobified Server#

The server side is pretty similar to start with. You create the jobs you need and then you update the usage code.

Consider this: you know that the NetworkDriver has a ScheduleUpdate method that returns a JobHandle. The job as you saw above populates the internal buffers of the NetworkDriver and lets us call PopEvent/PopEventForConnection method. What if you create a job that will fan out and run the processing code for all connected clients in parallel? If you look at the documentation for the C# Job System, you can see that there is a IJobParallelFor job type that can handle this scenario

note

Because you do not know how many requests you may receive or how many connections you may need to process at any one time, there is another IJobPrarallelFor job type that you can use namely: IJobParallelForDefer.

struct ServerUpdateJob : IJobParallelForDefer
{
public void Execute(int index)
{
throw new System.NotImplementedException();
}
}

However, you cannot run all of your code in parallel.

In the client example above, you begin by cleaning up closed connections and accepting new ones, which cannot be done in parallel. You need to create a connection job.

Start by creating a ServerUpdateConnectionJob job. Pass both the driver and connections to the connection job. Then you want your job to "Clean up connections" and "Accept new connections":

struct ServerUpdateConnectionsJob : IJob
{
public NetworkDriver driver;
public NativeList<NetworkConnection> connections;
public void Execute()
{
// Clean up connections
for (int i = 0; i < connections.Length; i++)
{
if (!connections[i].IsCreated)
{
connections.RemoveAtSwapBack(i);
--i;
}
}
// Accept new connections
NetworkConnection c;
while ((c = driver.Accept()) != default(NetworkConnection))
{
connections.Add(c);
Debug.Log("Accepted a connection");
}
}
}

The code above should be almost identical to your old non-jobified code.

With the ServerUpdateConnectionsJob done, implement the ServerUpdateJob using IJobParallelFor:

struct ServerUpdateJob : IJobParallelForDefer
{
public NetworkDriver.Concurrent driver;
public NativeArray<NetworkConnection> connections;
public void Execute(int index)
{
...
}
}

There are two major differences compared with the other job:

  • You are using the NetworkDriver.Concurrent type, this allows you to call the NetworkDriver from multiple threads, precisely what you need for the IParallelForJobDefer. Secondly,
  • You are now passing a NativeArray of type NetworkConnection instead of a NativeList. The IParallelForJobDefer does not accept any other Unity.Collections type than a NativeArray (more on this later).

Execute method#

The only difference between the old code and the jobified example is that you remove the top level for loop that you had in your code: for (int i = 0; i < m_Connections.Length; i++). This is removed because the Execute function on this job will be called for each connection, and the index to that a available connection will be passed in.

public void Execute(int index)
{
DataStreamReader stream;
Assert.IsTrue(connections[index].IsCreated);
NetworkEvent.Type cmd;
while ((cmd = driver.PopEventForConnection(connections[index], out stream)) !=
NetworkEvent.Type.Empty)
{
if (cmd == NetworkEvent.Type.Data)
{
uint number = stream.ReadUInt();
Debug.Log("Got " + number + " from the Client adding + 2 to it.");
number +=2;
var writer = driver.BeginSend(connections[index]);
writer.WriteUInt(number);
driver.EndSend(writer);
}
else if (cmd == NetworkEvent.Type.Disconnect)
{
Debug.Log("Client disconnected from server");
connections[index] = default(NetworkConnection);
}
}
}

You can see this index in use in the top level while loop:

while ((cmd = driver.PopEventForConnection(connections[index], out stream)) != NetworkEvent.Type.Empty`
note

You are using the index that was passed into your Execute method to iterate over all the connections.

You now have two jobs:

  • The first job is to update your connection status:
    • Add new connections.
    • Remove old or stale connections.
  • The second job is to parse NetworkEvent on each connected client.

Update the server MonoBehaviour#

Access your MonoBehaviour and start updating the server.

public class JobifiedServerBehaviour : MonoBehaviour
{
public NetworkDriver m_Driver;
public NativeList<NetworkConnection> m_Connections;
private JobHandle ServerJobHandle;
void Start () { ... }
public void OnDestroy() { ... }
void Update () { ... }
}

The only change made in your variable declaration is adding a JobHandle to keep track of your ongoing jobs.

Start method#

You do not need to change your Start method as it should look the same:

void Start ()
{
m_Connections = new NativeList<NetworkConnection>(16, Allocator.Persistent);
m_Driver = new NetworkDriver.Create();
var endpoint = NetworkEndPoint.AnyIpv4;
endpoint.Port = 9000;
if (m_Driver.Bind(endpoint) != 0)
Debug.Log("Failed to bind to port 9000");
else
m_Driver.Listen();
}

OnDestroy method#

You need to remember to call ServerJobHandle.Complete in your OnDestroy method so you can properly clean up code:

public void OnDestroy()
{
// Make sure we run our jobs to completion before exiting.
ServerJobHandle.Complete();
m_Connections.Dispose();
m_Driver.Dispose();
}

Server update loop#

In your Update method, call Complete on the JobHandle. This forces the jobs to complete before you start a new frame:

void Update ()
{
ServerJobHandle.Complete();
var connectionJob = new ServerUpdateConnectionsJob
{
driver = m_Driver,
connections = m_Connections
};
var serverUpdateJob = new ServerUpdateJob
{
driver = m_Driver.ToConcurrent(),
connections = m_Connections.ToDeferredJobArray()
};
ServerJobHandle = m_Driver.ScheduleUpdate();
ServerJobHandle = connectionJob.Schedule(ServerJobHandle);
ServerJobHandle = serverUpdateJob.Schedule(m_Connections, 1, ServerJobHandle);
}

To chain the jobs, you want to follow this process: NetworkDriver.Update -> ServerUpdateConnectionsJob -> ServerUpdateJob.

Start by populating your ServerUpdateConnectionsJob:

var connectionJob = new ServerUpdateConnectionsJob
{
driver = m_Driver,
connections = m_Connections
};

Then create your ServerUpdateJob. Remember to use the ToConcurrent call on your driver, to verify you are using a concurrent driver for the IParallelForJobDefer:

var serverUpdateJob = new ServerUpdateJob
{
driver = m_Driver.ToConcurrent(),
connections = m_Connections.ToDeferredJobArray()
};

The final step is to verify the NativeArray is populated to the correct size. This can be done using a DeferredJobArray. When executed, it verifies the connections array is populated with the correct number of items that you have in your list. When runnning ServerUpdateConnectionsJob first, this may change the size of the list.

Create your job chain and call Scheduele as follows:

ServerJobHandle = m_Driver.ScheduleUpdate();
ServerJobHandle = connectionJob.Schedule(ServerJobHandle);
ServerJobHandle = serverUpdateJob.Schedule(m_Connections, 1, ServerJobHandle);

In the code above, you have:

  • Scheduled the NetworkDriver job.
  • JobHandle returned as a dependency on the ServerUpdateConnectionJob.
  • The final link in the chain is the ServerUpdateJob that needs to run after ServerUpdateConnectionsJob. In this line of code, there is a trick to invoke the IJobParallelForDeferExtensions. m_Connections NativeList is passed to the Schedule method, which updates the count of connections before starting the job. It will fan out and run all ServerUpdateConnectionJobs in parallel.
note

If you are having trouble with the serverUpdateJob.Schedule(m_Connections, 1, ServerJobHandle); call, you may need to add "com.unity.jobs": "0.0.7-preview.5" to your manifest.json file, inside the /Packages folder.

You should now have a fully functional jobified server.

You can download all examples from here.