Pass Data between separate exe's

Posted on 2001-06-07
Last Modified: 2013-11-13
I currently am passing data between two exe via temporary files that I create.  I would like to eliminate the need for the temporary files and pass the data in memory.  Is this possible? If so, how would I begin.  A small sample of two exe's sending data back and forth on the same PC would be appreciated.
Question by:dorinda
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Expert Comment

ID: 6166233
There are three methods that come to mind to pass data between two applications.  SendMessage with WM_COPYDATA, which requires subclassing to get notification of the incomming message.  Memory mapped files which allow for sharing of memory between two apps.  And last, an AX EXE server.  The AX EXE can be accomplished with native VB code.  If you've done some subclassing SendMessage is probably the simplest.  Have you ever done any subclassing/api?
LVL 51

Expert Comment

by:Ryan Chong
ID: 6166266
LVL 51

Expert Comment

by:Ryan Chong
ID: 6166269
Hi, here is another one from MSDN:

HOWTO: Pass String Data Between Applications Using SendMessage

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Expert Comment

ID: 6166409

Or how about plain old DDE, or IP sockets.

Both are widely documented, compatible with other apps, applicable in local and networked environments and free with VB.
LVL 51

Expert Comment

by:Ryan Chong
ID: 6166434
then you can try Winsock or MSComm Control to handle this.

Expert Comment

ID: 6166436
Errr,  Winsock is OK, but MSComm ???
LVL 51

Expert Comment

by:Ryan Chong
ID: 6166455
As my slight comment, MSComm Control can be use to transmit data via its serial post.

From MSDN:
The MSComm control provides serial communications for your application by allowing the transmission and reception of data through a serial port.

I'd create some protocols using MSComm control to receive and transfer data when i was in college. So that's my opinion about using MSComm but it could be a bad solution..

Expert Comment

ID: 6166496

OK, I was lead astray - by the original request to pass data between apps - as it seems a bit over the top to use 2x serial ports to talk between two apps on the same machine!

Let's fall-back to the other alternatives DDE & Sockets

Tally-Ho !

Accepted Solution

glass_cookie earned 100 total points
ID: 6166733

I've got the code to pass data from 1 app to another from the same PC using winsock but I forgot where I found it.  Email me at and I'll pass you the code.

That's it!

glass cookie : )

Expert Comment

ID: 6167265
If one of your exes is ActiveX exe (server) and another is standard exe(client) you can pass your data from client to server and backwards as parameters in methods and properties. It works well with simple data types and arrays of fixed and varying length.
Here is an example:
Server exe has a class named C1
which has method getArray which returns data from server
as an array of varying length:

Public Sub getArray(A() as long,  UboundA as long)
'UboundA  - Upper index of array A
UboundA =10
redeem A(UboundA )

for i=1 to UboundA
'  .... Initializing of array A
next i
end sub
Client then makes call:
dim P() as long
dim n as long


and then it gets data in P
To send data from client is even more simple.
LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 6167863

Author Comment

ID: 6168990
I like the winsock sample from glass_cookie.
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Expert Comment

ID: 6171441

Please Copy / Paste the code if you will.. <smile>>

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