December 2000

COM+ and Windows 2000: Ten Tips and Tricks for Maximizing COM+ Performance

There are many tricks to getting the most out of COM+, and this article offers the author's top 10. The tips cover the importance of transaction processing, the use of the COM+ catalog, and the design of three-tier distributed systems. Writing components using the correct threading model, knowing when to use compensating transactions, and the importance of stress testing early in the process also make the list. Other indespensible suggestions emphasize the importance of recognizing where an object's state is located, choosing appropriate authentication levels for COM+ applications, using Queued Components correctly, and implementing object pooling. David S. Platt

Garbage Collection-Part 2: Automatic Memory Management in the Microsoft .NET Framework

The first part of this two-part article explained how the garbage collection algorithm works, how resources can clean up properly when the garbage collector decides to free a resource's memory, and how to force an object to clean up when it is freed. The conclusion of this series explains strong and weak object references that help to manage memory for large objects, as well as object generations and how they improve performance. In addition, the use of methods and properties for controlling garbage collection, resources for monitoring collection performance, and garbage collection for multithreaded applications are covered. Jeffrey Richter

Active Scripting APIs: Add Powerful Custom Debugging to Your Script-Hosting App

Active Scripting is a powerful tool for adding advanced features such as macro capabilities to custom applications. This creates a need for integrated debugging services for new features added with scripting. To address this need, Microsoft has provided a set of COM interfaces for developing debugging services from within the Active Scripting framework. This article illustrates how to use the debugging services published within the Active Scripting framework to create a full-featured script debugger that can provide a multitude of debugging actions including setting breakpoints, call stack viewing, variable browsing, immediate-window viewing, thread enumeration, and application enumeration. Mike Pellegrino

Visual Basic: Inspect COM Components Using the TypeLib Information Object Library

The built-in Object Browser in Visual Basic, like other component browsers such as OLE View and XRay, is one of the more useful tools. But an even better tool would be customizable. You can build your own type library browser using the TypeLib Information Object Library (TLI), a set of COM objects designed to allow programmers to browse type libraries programmatically. This article explains type libraries and the TLI object model, and shows how to use the collections to get information about objects, leading to the creation of a custom type library explorer. Jason Fisher

ActiveX and Visual Basic: Enhance the Display of Long Text Strings in a Combobox or Listbox

The combobox and listbox controls in Visual Basic have no built-in support for displaying text strings that are too long to fit in the visible area of either control. This article describes several techniques to improve the readability of long strings in each control. The first technique uses tooltips to display a combobox or listbox item. The other techniques, which use various Windows APIs, include adding a horizontal scrollbar for a listbox and determining the necessary width of the longest string given the font attributes of the text. The required steps are described for both comboboxes and listboxes. John Calvert

MMC: Designing TView, a System Information Viewer MMC Snap-in

Windows 2000 provides remote management tools running in the Microsoft Management Console (MMC), but if you're running Windows NT 4.0 you can create your own remote management tools by writing an MMC snap-in. This article walks through the development of a distributed process management utility, TView, which is similar to Process Viewer or Task Manager. The tool consists of an MMC snap-in, a COM+ component, and a kernel-mode driver. The DCOM interface, TView's access to system processes and information, and debugging of TView are discussed in detail. Tom Boldt

Editor's Note: The New Meets the Old

New Stuff: Resources for Your Developer Toolbox

Theresa W. Carey

Web Q&A: Client-side Cookies, Unchecking Checkboxes, Toolbar, WebBrowser Control, and More

Robert Hess

Cutting Edge: Element Behaviors in Internet Explorer 5.5

Dino Esposito

House of COM: Is COM Dead?

Don Box

.NET Column: Type Fundamentals

Jeffrey Richter

Bugslayer: Improving Runtime Performance with the Smooth Working Set Tool-Part 2

John Robbins

C++ Q&A: Sending Messages in Windows, Adding Hot Keys to your Application

Paul DiLascia

MSDN Update: News this Month from MSDN

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