April 2000

Windows 2000: Asynchronous Method Calls Eliminate the Wait for COM Clients and Servers

Windows 2000 is the first version of COM to support asynchronous method calls, which permit clients to make nonblocking calls to COM objects and objects to process incoming calls without blocking the calling threads. COM clients benefit from asynchronous method calls because they can continue working while waiting for outbound calls to return. Objects benefit because they can queue incoming calls and service them from a thread pool. Our SieveClient and SieveServer sample apps demonstrate how to create and use asynchronous clients and servers in COM-based distributed applications. Jeff Prosise

The Future of Visual Basic: Web Forms, Web Services, and Language Enhancements Slated for Next Generation

The plans for the next version of Microsoft Visual Basic include three major improvements: Web Forms, Web services, and object-oriented language enhancements. Web Forms will let veteran Visual Basic users develop Web-based applications as easily as they design standalone apps today. Through a SOAP interface, Web services will let you deploy programmable modules anywhere that can be reached by a URL. In addition, several key object-oriented language enhancements, including inheritance, polymorphism, and overloading, will make Visual Basic code as flexible as C++. Joshua Trupin

Scripting Windows: Windows Management Instrumentation Provides a Powerful Tool for Managing Windows with Script

The new Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) technology for Windows 2000, Windows NT 4.0, and Windows 98 provides powerful scripting technology that can be used to administrate Windows-based systems. With WMI, you can create scripts to simplify management of devices, user accounts, services, networking, and other aspects of your system. This piece will introduce you to WMI and the WMI Scripting Object Model, taking a look at the available objects, methods, and properties. Along the way, you'll see how these elements can be used to create system management scripts. Alan Boshier

Which Framework Should You Use?: Building ActiveX Controls with ATL and MFC

Currently MFC and ATL represent two frameworks targeted at different types of Windows-based development. MFC represents a simple and consistent means of creating standalone apps for Windows; ATL provides a framework to implement the boilerplate code necessary to create COM clients and servers. The two frameworks overlap in their usefulness for developing ActiveX controls. We'll take a look at both frameworks as they apply to creating ActiveX controls-highlighting strengths and weaknesses, and walking through the process of creating a control-so you can determine when you might want to use one framework or the other. George Shepherd

Software Driving Software: Active Accessibility-Compliant Apps Give Programmers New Tools to Manipulate Software

Active Accessibility was developed to allow people with disabilities to work on PCs-it's used in magnifiers, screen readers, and tactile mice. It can also be used to create applications that drive other software, and its ability to emulate user input is particularly well suited to the design of testing software. Starting from the basics of Active Accessibility, this article leads you through the development of a software testing application. You'll see how this testing application interacts with common controls and other UI elements, then processes the resulting WinEvents. Dmitri Klementiev

Using Server-Side XSL for Early Rendering: Generating Frequently Accessed Data-Driven Web Pages in Advance

Dynamic data-driven pages have become the basis of many cutting-edge Web sites. Early render systems can provide better performance and maintainability for data-driven Web sites by generating frequently accessed pages that contain less-volatile information ahead of time. We'll show you an example of a server-side solution that uses Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) to merge data and layout information into HTML that is compatible with just about any modern Web browser. Using these techniques to render Web pages early can reduce the load on your database back end and increase performance for your users. Paul Enfield

New Directions in Redirection: Microsoft Internet Information Services 5.0 Provides Two New Methods

Internet Information Services (IIS) 5.0 provides several enhancements to its support for ASP-based Web development, including two new server-side redirection methods: Server.Transfer and Server.Execute. Rather than redirecting requests with a round-trip to the client, these new methods can be used to transfer requests directly to an ASP file without ever leaving the server. While this functionality doesn't replace the Response.Redirect method used by IIS 4.0, you can take advantage of it to implement better application flow control mechanisms and to handle errors more efficiently. The different redirection options are described, along with some tips and tricks for implementing them on your own site. Ram Papatla

Editor's Note: Welcome to the future of MSJ and MIND-Part II

Flux: Let's start a 3D revolution

Douglas Boling

New Stuff: Resources for Your Developer Toolbox

Theresa W. Carey

Web Q&A: Windows Script Host, Dropdown Menus, ASP-to-HTML, and More

Robert Hess

Cutting Edge: Exchanging Data Over the Internet Using XML

Dino Esposito

Serving the Web: Working with MTS, ASP, and Visual Basic

Ken Spencer

Bugslayer: Windows 2000 and LDR Messages, A COM Symbol Engine, Finding Bloated Functions, and More

John Robbins

Visual Programmer: Adding Your Own AppWizard to Visual C++

George Shepherd

Win32 Q&A: New C++ Classes for Better Resource Management in Windows

Jeffrey Richter

C++ Q&A: Initializing C++ Class Members and Incorporating the Places Bar in your MFC Apps

Paul DiLascia

MSDN Update: News this Month from MSDN

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