By Don Box

Written by way of a number one COM authority, this targeted publication unearths the essence of COM, supporting builders to actually comprehend the why, not only the how, of COM. realizing the incentive for the layout of COM and its dispensed facets is important for builders who desire to transcend simplistic purposes of COM and develop into really powerful COM programmers, and to stick present with extensions, equivalent to Microsoft Transaction Server and COM+. field examines COM from the point of view of a C++ developer, delivering a well-known body of connection with ease you into the subject.

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Unfortunately, over time, the number of versioned DLLs present on the end-user's system could conceivably exceed the number of actual client applications due to poor software configuration practices. Simply examining the system directory of any computer that has been in use for more than six months would reinforce this. Ultimately, this versioning problem is rooted in the compilation model of C++, which was not designed to support independent binary components. By requiring client knowledge of object layout, C++ introduces a tight binary coupling between the client and object executables.

This weakness can be addressed by modeling the two abstractions as two distinct entities and C++ classes. By defining one C++ class to represent the interface to a data type and another C++ class as the data type's actual implementation, the object implementor can theoretically modify the implementation class's details while holding the interface class constant. All that is needed is a way to associate the interface with its implementation without revealing any implementation details to the client.

Once one overcomes the issues related to linking, one now has to deal with the far more problematic area of incompatibilities related to the generated code. For all but the simplest language constructs, compiler vendors often elect to implement language features in proprietary ways that render objects "untouchable" by code generated by any other compiler. Exceptions are a classic example of such a language feature. A C++ exception thrown from a function compiled with the Microsoft compiler cannot be caught reliably by a client program compiled with the Watcom compiler.

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