DDE across a network

Posted on 1998-11-27
Last Modified: 2011-10-03
How do you specify a DDE link between two apps that are on different machines on a network?
Question by:microdrainage
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 2

Expert Comment

ID: 1447076
You can't. You have to use NetDDE through API calls.

By the way, use DCOM. Is much better and seldom unrecommended.


Author Comment

ID: 1447077
Thankyou, I know you have to use NetDDE. Does anybody know the neccessary calls to do this.

The only MS Knowledge Base article for this refers to using the NDdeShareAdd call but this doesn't appear to work anymore (the article was written for VB 1)

Expert Comment

ID: 1447078
I used to know when I programmed for 16-bit Windows. I will have a look at my old code and let you know if I find something.


LVL 13

Accepted Solution

Mirkwood earned 100 total points
ID: 1447079

HOWTO: Create a NetDDE Client and Server in Visual Basic

Last reviewed: August 24, 1998
Article ID: Q181946

The information in this article applies to:

•Microsoft Visual Basic Learning, Professional, and Enterprise Editions for Windows, version 5.0 •Microsoft Visual Basic Standard, Professional, and Enterprise Editions, 16-bit and 32-bit, for Windows, version 4.0


This article demonstrates how to use NetDDE to communicate with a Microsoft Visual Basic application on a remote computer. This article assumes that you are familiar with DDE communications and demonstrates creating both the client and server applications in Visual Basic.


In order to establish a link to a remote application, a DDE share must be created on the remote computer. A DDE share consists of a Share Name, Application name, and a Topic. Shares may be created and edited using the DDE Share Manager (DDESHARE.EXE), which may be found in the <WINNT\SYSTEM32> directory on NT 4.0. For Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows For Workgroups, the Network DDE Share Manager can be found in the Windows for Workgroups Resource Kit.

Creating the Visual Basic NetDDE Server

1.Start Visual Basic and create a new Standard EXE application. Form1 is created by default.

2.Place a Textbox (Text1) on Form1 and set the Text Property to "The DDE Server is Running."

3.Change the LinkMode Property of Form1 to "1 - Source."

4.Select Project1 Properties from the Project menu, select the Make tab, and then change the application title to DDESRV.

5.Compile and save the application and name it DDESRV.EXE.

6.Install the application on a computer on your network that you want to use as the Server.

Creating the DDE Share on the Server

1.Start the DDE Share Manager Application on the Computer designated as the Server. Select Run from the Windows Start menu, and then run DDESHARE.

2.Select "DDE Shares" from the "Shares" menu. A list of shares that have previously been set up will be displayed in the list box.

3.Click the "Add a Share" button.

4.Enter "DDETEST$" in the "Share Name" textbox.

NOTE: When creating the share name it is not necessary to place a trailing "$," although it is conventional to do so.

5.Enter the following values in the corresponding Application and Topic Text boxes:

                      Application Name              Topic Name
                     -------------------          ---------------
   oldstyle             DDESRV.DDE                    Form1
   newsytle             DDESRV.OLE                    Form1
   static               DDESRV                        Form1

   NOTE: The DDESHARE utility for WFW/WIN95/WIN98 only supports defining
   one Application and Topic name each. Use the static Application and
   Topic names from the list above.

6.Click OK to close the DDE Share Properties dialog.

IMPORTANT: Due to a bug in the DDE Share Utility, when exiting the DDE Share application, a new serial number is created for the Share but is not updated in the Trusted DDE Shares section of the registry; therefore, the next two steps are very important.

7.Select the DDETEST$ share in the list and click on the "Trust Share" button.

8.Make sure that "Initiate to Application Enable" is selected and then click the "SET" button.

9.Press OK on both open dialogs and then exit the DDE Share Utility.

Creating and Testing the Visual Basic NetDDE Client

1.Start a new Standard EXE project in Visual Basic. Form1 is created by default.

2.Add a CommandButton to Form1. Change the following properties:

   Name:     cmdConnect
   Caption:  Connect

3.Add a Text box to Form1 and name it txtData.

4.Paste the following code into the Declarations Section of Form1:

NOTE: Replace the <MACHINE NAME> with the appropriate computer name where the DDE SRV application will be running.

      Private Sub cmdConnect_Click()

         txtData.linkMode = vbLinkNone
         txtData.linkTopic = "\\<MACHINE NAME>\NDDE$|DDETEST$
         txtData.LinkItem = "Text1"
         txtData.LinkMode = vbLinkManual
      End Sub

5.Start the DDESRV application on the Network computer acting as the DDE Server.

6.Press the F5 key to run this client within the Visual Basic 5.0 IDE.

7.Click the Command button labeled "Connect" and note that the string "The DDE Server is Running" appears within the txtData Text Box.


For additional information, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

   ARTICLE-ID: Q114089
   TITLE     : Using the Windows NT NetDDE Share Manager

Featured Post

Industry Leaders: We Want Your Opinion!

We value your feedback.

Take our survey and automatically be enter to win anyone of the following:
Yeti Cooler, Amazon eGift Card, and Movie eGift Card!

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

When trying to find the cause of a problem in VBA or VB6 it's often valuable to know what procedures were executed prior to the error. You can use the Call Stack for that but it is often inadequate because it may show procedures you aren't intereste…
Background What I'm presenting in this article is the result of 2 conditions in my work area: We have a SQL Server production environment but no development or test environment; andWe have an MS Access front end using tables in SQL Server but we a…
Get people started with the process of using Access VBA to control Excel using automation, Microsoft Access can control other applications. An example is the ability to programmatically talk to Excel. Using automation, an Access application can laun…
This lesson covers basic error handling code in Microsoft Excel using VBA. This is the first lesson in a 3-part series that uses code to loop through an Excel spreadsheet in VBA and then fix errors, taking advantage of error handling code. This l…
Suggested Courses
Course of the Month5 days, 2 hours left to enroll

636 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question