Starting other Apps from Network toolbox and vice-versa by URL Scheme

With the latest release of NetworkToolbox I introduced the possibility to use external apps as well as the opposite to use NetworkToolbox from other apps.

Some people contacted me and asked, what the heck does this mean and what is the purpose.

1.) External apps for NetworkToolbox

You all know the nice and useful selection-list that appears for instance, if you hit the […] button on an entry of a result list (e.g. a Network scan or Morpheus search).

This list offers you to use any other Tool of NetworkToolbox on the selected entry in the list. For instance, you can run a port scan on each entry of a Network scan or you can open the Browser tool after the port scan reveals an open port 80 etc.

For your convenience, the list highlights all entries that would make sense for a selected entry and even scrolls to those entries. For instance, if you selected a port 80 address, the HTTP tools will be highlighted.

Besides the Copy, Bookmark and E-Mail options in this selection-list the other entries range from Domain Infos until Trace route.

You can extend this list further by adding external apps in the settings section of the app.

This is useful, for instance, if you want to use your favorite remote access app from within NetworkToolbox.

To understand, how external apps can be started, you need to understand the term URL Scheme. This is basically the first part of a web address such as http://. In this case, http:// is the URL Scheme of Safari on your device. Other apps must not but can provide their own URL Schemes which will start a particular app when it’s being called. For instance, most popular VNC viewers are using the URL Scheme vnc://. To try this out, just open safari and instead of http://bing.com just type vnc://192.168.1.1 and see what happens. Maybe your VNC app will start. Of course, the URL Scheme and the parameters that need to be used after the URL Scheme highly depend on the app itself.

To learn how to integrate your favourite apps into NetworkToolbox, just open the “External Apps” section in the settings and press the (i) Info button.

2.) NetworkToolbox as external app

Also NetworkToolbox offers URL Schemes to other apps which is nettb://. You can use this to open and perform tests with almost any tool offered by NetworkToolbox (Further down you will find a list of parameters, offered by NetworkToolbox).

So how can this be useful ? I will give you an example:

If you want to perform certain tests on a regular basis let’s say a website crawl for a few websites let’s say to google.com, ign.com and amazon.com. For this, just open the built-in Notes app on your device and enter the following line by line:

nettb://crawl?host=google.com
nettb://crawl?host=ign.com
nettb://crawl?host=amazon.com

Now, press done and re-open the note. You will see that those lines have been converted to links. Once you tap on a link, NetworkToolbox will be opened to perform a web crawl on the given website.

Of course, the same way you can call NetworkToolbox from any app that offers the possibility to call external apps by URL Schemes.

List of URL Scheme nettb:// parameters:

shodan?search=text
morpheus?search=text
domain?host=address
ping?host=address
networkscan?from=address&to=address
portscan?host=address&ports=…
traceroute?host=address
telnet?host=address&port=nPort
ftp?host=address&port=nPort&username=username&password=pwd
ssh?host=address&port=nPort&username=username&password=pwd
sftp?host=address&port=nPort&username=username&password=pwd
httphead?host=address&port=nPort
http?host=address&port=nPort&username=username&password=pwd
crawl?host=address&port=nPort