Understanding DCOM

Overview

Understanding DCOM cuts through the confusion, showing experienced Windows C++ developers exactly how to plan, build, and deploy distributed component applications. Discover how DCOM objects, proxy/stubs, servers, interfaces, and other elements fit together into a coherent whole. Learn the relationship of DCOM to COM, OLE, and competing technologies. Create COM classes, interfaces, connection points, and Singleton objects. Rubin and Brain demonstrate and compare all three leading approaches to DCOM development: ...
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Overview

Understanding DCOM cuts through the confusion, showing experienced Windows C++ developers exactly how to plan, build, and deploy distributed component applications. Discover how DCOM objects, proxy/stubs, servers, interfaces, and other elements fit together into a coherent whole. Learn the relationship of DCOM to COM, OLE, and competing technologies. Create COM classes, interfaces, connection points, and Singleton objects. Rubin and Brain demonstrate and compare all three leading approaches to DCOM development: using C++ and the Win32 API, MFC, and Microsoft's Active Template Library.
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Editorial Reviews

Bill Carmada
If you are a Windows C++ programmer venturing into component development with COM+ and Distributed COM, you can't do better than to start with Understanding DCOM by William Rubin and Marshall Brain. This book squeezes the mystery out of Microsoft's component architecture, revealing the surprisingly straightforward concepts and technologies beneath.

Rubin and Brain walk through every step of planning, building, testing and deploying component applications. You'll learn how everything fits together: objects, proxy/stubs, servers, clients, threading and more. You'll walk through the creation of COM classes, MIDL-based interfaces, connection points and Singleton objects-all with plenty of easy-to-use code examples.

You'll review the pros and cons of each major approach to developing with COM+: using C++ and the Win32 API; the "classic" Microsoft Foundation Classes; Microsoft's newer Active Template Library (ATL). You'll even take a look at how COM, DCOM and COM+ compare with alternatives like CORBA.

With the right teachers, COM+ is simpler than it looks. William Rubin and Marshall Brain are those teachers.

Bill Carmada @ Cyberian Express

Booknews
Explains to experienced C++ software developers how to plan, build, and deploy distributed component applications with Microsoft's Component Object Model. First deconstructs the model to its essentials as a system for building reusable components, then use examples and sample code to demonstrate how to implement and test applications. The CD-ROM contains a complete C++ OLE training module from CBT Systems. No bibliography. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780130959669
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 11/24/1998
  • Series: Prentice Hall Microsoft Technology Series
  • Edition description: BK&CD ROM
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 4.11 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
1 The Basics of COM 1
2 Understanding the Simplest COM Client 19
3 Understanding a Simple COM Server 27
4 Creating your own COM Clients and Servers 43
5 Understanding ATL-Generated Code 55
6 Understanding the Client and Server 67
7 An Introduction to MIDL 91
8 Defining and Using Interfaces 107
9 OLE Automation and Dual Interfaces 125
10 COM Threading Models 151
11 The COM Registry 167
12 Callback Interfaces 181
13 Connection Points 213
14 Distributed COM 229
15 ATL and Compiler Support 245
16 Other Topics 263
App COM Error Handling 277
Index 291
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Introduction

Preface
The goal of this book is to make COM and DCOM comprehendible to a normal person. If you have tried to learn COM and found its complexity to be totally unbelievable, or if you have ever tried to work with COM code and felt like you needed a Ph.D. in quantum physics just to get by, then you know exactly what this goal means. This book makes COM simple and accessible to the normal developer.

To meet the goal, this book does many things in a way that is much different from other books. Here are three of the most important differences:
  1. This book is designed to clarify rather than to obfuscate. The basic principles of COM are straightforward, so this book starts at the beginning and presents them in a straightforward manner.
  2. This book uses the simplest possible examples and presents them one concept at a time. Rather than trying to cram 116 concepts into a single 50 page example program, we have purposefully presented just one concept in each chapter. For example, chapter 2 shows you that you can create a complete, working, fully functional COM client with 10 lines of code. And when you look at it, it will actually make sense!
  3. This book is not 1,200 pages long. You can actually make your way through this entire book and all of its examples in a handful of days. Once you have done that you will know and understand all of the vocabulary and all of the concepts needed to use COM on a daily basis.

Think of this book as the ideal starting point. Once you have read this book, all of the COM articles in the MSDN CD and all of the information on the Web will be understandable to you. You will be able to expand your knowledgerapidly. You will have the perfect mental framework to allow you to make sense of all the details.

Each chapter in this book explains an important COM topic in a way that will allow you to understand it. Here is a quick tour of what you will learn:
  • Chapter 1: This chapter introduces you to the COM vocabulary and concepts that you need in order to get started.
  • Chapter 2: This chapter presents a simple, working COM client. The example is only about 10 lines long. You will be amazed at how easy it is to connect to a COM server!
  • Chapter 3: This chapter shows that you can create a complete COM server with the ATL wizard and about 6 lines of code. You can then connect client to server.
  • Chapter 4: The previous two chapters will stun you. They will demonstrate that you can create complete and working COM systems with just 15 or 20 lines of code. And you will actually be able to understand it! This chapter recaps so that you can catch your breath, and shows you some extra error-handling code to make problem diagnosis easier.
  • Chapter 5: This chapter delves into the code produced by the ATL wizard so that it makes sense.
  • Chapter 6: This chapter gives you additional detail on the interactions between client and server so that you have a better understanding of things like singleton classes and method calls.
  • Chapter 7: This chapter introduces you to MIDL and the IDL language.
  • Chapter 8: This chapter shows you how to use MIDL to pass all different types of parameters.
  • Chapter 9: This chapter shows you how to access your COM servers from VB and other languages.
  • Chapter 10: This chapter clarifies the COM threading models. If you have ever wondered about "apartment threads", this chapter will make threading incredibly easy!
  • Chapter 11: This chapter uncovers the link between COM and the registry so you can see what is going on.
  • Chapter 12: This chapter demystifies COM callbacks so you can implement bi-directional communication in your COM applications.
  • Chapter 13: This chapter explains connection points, a more advanced form of bi-directional communication.
  • Chapter 14: This chapter shows how to use your COM objects on the network and delves into a number of security topics that often get in the way.
  • Chapter 15: This chapter further clarifies ATL, smart pointers, import libraries and such.
  • Chapter 16: This chapter offers a collection of information on things like COM error codes and MFC support for COM.
  • Error Appendix: Possibly the most valuable section of the book, this appendix offers guidelines and strategies for debugging COM applications that don't work. COM uses a number of interacting components, so bugs can be hard to pin down. This chapter shows you how!

Read this book twice. The first time through you can load your brain with the individual concepts and techniques. The second time through you can link it all together into an integrated whole. Once you have done that, you will be startled at how much you understand about COM, and how easy it is to use COM on a daily basis!

For additional information, please see our web site at:
http://www.iftech.com/dcom

It contains an extensive resource center that will further accelerate your learning process.
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