32-bit Explorer shell programs simultaneously operating with 64-bit Explorer shell integration programs with 2008 R2 Terminal Server

Posted on 2011-10-30
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I have a program that works as a 32-bit Explorer shell integration.

a)Can I have it work somehow simultaneously with 64-bit Explorer shell integration programs on a 2008 R2 Terminal Server?

b) If some kind of third-party software would allow this that would work for us as well.

Note: we are also willing to look at having the 32-bit Explorer shell program work on its own and scrapping any 64-bit shell integration components if necessary.  
Question by:lineonecorp
    LVL 21

    Accepted Solution

    As I understand it, 64 bit code cannot call 32 bit code.  It should not be an issue to make 2 versions (32 and 64 bit).  This would allow you to have a native 64 bit version running along side the 32 bit version.  You should be able to make it from one set of source code and compile both versions from the one set of source.  When installing you would then have to install both.

    That is one approach.  Depending on the complexity of your project, you may want to remove the core of the functionality to a service and have both simply call the service.  

    I would need to know a lot more about your project in order to make a recommendation.

    Author Comment

    Sorry there is some confusion. The program is something we've acquired - we are not developing a 64 bit version of it and neither is the developer. The program integrates into the Explorer shell - so when you right click while in Explorer it shows up as an option similar to choices about wanting to zip a file, etc. We need to know if it's possible for a program like this to somehow have access to the 32-bit Windows Explorer shell while running on an OS that has the 64 bit shell - Windows 2008 R2 64-bit Terminal Services.  
    LVL 21

    Expert Comment

    Are you right clicking on a file to find the menu selection that the program provides?  Does the choice show up for a specific file type?

    Author Comment

    I'm talking about a program that integrates into the Explorer shell so that when you right click a file in Explorer it shows various options  e.g. Open, Open With, Scan with, Archive, etc. The program we have works fine for showing it as an option when you right click a file in Win32 but not in Win64.
    LVL 21

    Assisted Solution

    I did find a definitive answer.

    Not very far into the page you read:
    The 64-bit shell cannot load 32-bit Inproc shell extensions.

    I know it is not the answer you were looking for.  I did find links on how to write a shell extension that can be compiled for both 32 bit and 64 bit in case that might be of help down the road.  The examples I found are in Delphi XE2 as this is my personal tool of choice.  I am sure it could be done in the MS environment as well, but I have seen several articles indicating that using managed code (.NET) to handle this is NOT the way to go...

    Author Comment

    Thanks for the link. Let me read it over and do a little digging on it.

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