The syntax and the semantics of the information exchanged between two communication systems is managed by the presentation layer of the OSI Model.
Before going through the design issues in the presentation layer, some of its main functions are:
- Translation –
It is necessary that the information which is in the form of numbers, characters and symbols needs to be changed to the bit streams. The presentation layer handles the different encoding methods used by different machines .It manages the translation of data between the format of network requires and computer.
- Encryption –
The data encryption at the transmission end as well as the decryption at the receiver end is managed by the presentation layer.
- Compression –
In order to reduce the number of bits to be transmitted, the presentation layer performs the data compression. It increases efficiency in case of multimedia files such as audio, video etc.
Design issues with Presentation Layer :
- Standard way of encoding data –
The presentation layer follows a standard way to encode data when it needs to be transmitted. This encoded data is represented as character strings, integers, floating point numbers, and data structures composed of simple components. It is handled differently by different machines based on the encoding methods followed by them.
- Maintaining the Syntax and Semantics of distributed information –
The presentation layer manages and maintains the syntax as well as logic and meaning of the information that is distributed.
- Standard Encoding on the wire –
The data structures that are defined to be exchanged need to be abstract along with the standard encoding to be used “on the wire”.
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