What is software handshake?
Software handshake is a type of protocol that controls the transfer of data between two systems or devices. Software handshaking is used to control data transfer and, in many cases, improve the functionality of messaging between systems.
The most common type of software handshake involves data elements known as XON and XOFF. Systems can use these characters, which correspond to keyboard control keys, in data streams to mark the start and end points of a data transmission.
Experts contrast software handshaking with another type of data control called hardware handshake.
Hardware handshake uses physical systems to add protocols. For example, additional wires can carry communications tags. With the software handshake, this is achieved through additional digital elements such as XON and XOFF.
One of the disadvantages of software handshaking is that these additional bits of data require additional bandwidth. Problems can also arise if the XON and XOFF data elements are not intercepted by the receiving system. Software handshaking, on the other hand, makes sense when hardware handshaking is inconvenient for the physical facility involved in a project.