sendto (Windows CE 5.0)

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This function sends data to a specific destination.

int sendto(SOCKET s,const char FAR* buf, int len,int flags,const struct sockaddr FAR* to,int tolen);


  • s
    [in] Descriptor identifying a possibly connected socket.
  • buf
    [in] Buffer containing the data to be transmitted.
  • len
    [in] Length of the data in the buf parameter.
  • flags
    [in] Indicator specifying the way in which the call is made.
  • to
    [in] Optional pointer to the address of the target socket.
  • tolen
    [in] Size of the address in the to parameter.

Return Values

If no error occurs, this function returns the total number of bytes sent, which can be less than the number indicated by len. If an error occurs, a value of SOCKET_ERROR is returned, and a specific error code can be retrieved by calling WSAGetLastError.

The following table shows a list of possible error codes.

Error code Description
WSANOTINITIALISED A successful WSAStartup call must occur before using this function.
WSAENETDOWN The network subsystem has failed.
WSAEACCES The requested address is a broadcast address, but the appropriate flag was not set. Call setsockopt (Windows Sockets) with the SO_BROADCAST parameter to allow the use of the broadcast address.
WSAEINVAL An unknown flag was specified, or MSG_OOB was specified for a socket with SO_OOBINLINE enabled.
WSAEINTR The socket was closed.
WSAEINPROGRESS A blocking Winsock call is in progress, or the service provider is still processing a callback function.
WSAEFAULT The buf or to parameter is not part of the user address space, or the tolen parameter is too small.
WSAENETRESET The connection has been broken due to keep-alive activity detecting a failure while the operation was in progress.
WSAENOBUFS No buffer space is available.
WSAENOTCONN The socket is not connected (connection-oriented sockets only).
WSAENOTSOCK The descriptor is not a socket.
WSAEOPNOTSUPP MSG_OOB was specified, but the socket is not stream style such as type SOCK_STREAM, out of band (OOB) data is not supported in the communication domain associated with this socket, or the socket is unidirectional and supports only receive operations.
WSAESHUTDOWN The socket has been shut down. It is not possible to call sendto on a socket after shutdown has been invoked with how set to SD_SEND or SD_BOTH.
WSAEWOULDBLOCK The socket is marked as nonblocking and the requested operation would block.
WSAEMSGSIZE The socket is message-oriented, and the message is larger than the maximum supported by the underlying transport.
WSAEHOSTUNREACH The remote host cannot be reached from this host at this time.
WSAECONNABORTED The virtual circuit was terminated due to a time-out or other failure. The application should close the socket because it is no longer usable.
WSAECONNRESET The virtual circuit was reset by the remote side executing a hard or abortive close. For UDP sockets, the remote host was unable to deliver a previously sent UDP datagram and responded with a "Port Unreachable" ICMP packet. The application should close the socket because it is no longer usable.
WSAEADDRNOTAVAIL The remote address is not a valid address, for example, ADDR_ANY.
WSAEAFNOSUPPORT Addresses in the specified family cannot be used with this socket.
WSAEDESTADDRREQ A destination address is required.
WSAENETUNREACH The network cannot be reached from this host at this time.
WSAETIMEDOUT The connection has been dropped because of a network failure or because the system on the other end went down without notice.


This function is used to write outgoing data on a socket. For message-oriented sockets, care must be taken not to exceed the maximum packet size of the underlying subnets, which can be obtained by using getsockopt (Windows Sockets) to retrieve the value of socket option SO_MAX_MSG_SIZE. If the data is too long to pass atomically through the underlying protocol, the error WSAEMSGSIZE is returned and no data is transmitted.

The to parameter can be any valid address in the socket's address family, including a broadcast or any multicast address. To send to a broadcast address, an application must have used setsockopt (Windows Sockets) with SO_BROADCAST enabled. Otherwise, sendto will fail with the error code WSAEACCES. For TCP/IP, an application can send to any multicast address.

If the socket is unbound, unique values are assigned to the local association by the system and the socket is then marked as bound. An application can use getsockname (Windows Sockets) to determine the local socket name in this case.

The successful completion of a sendto call does not indicate that the data was successfully delivered.

The sendto function is typically used on a connectionless socket to send a datagram to a specific peer socket identified by the to parameter. Even if the connectionless socket has been previously connected to a specific address, the to parameter overrides the destination address for that particular datagram only. On a connection-oriented socket, the to and tolen parameters are ignored, making sendto equivalent to send.

For the sockets Using IP (Version 4)

To send a broadcast (on a SOCK_DGRAM only), the address in the to parameter should be constructed using the special IP address INADDR_BROADCAST (defined in Winsock2.h), together with the intended port number. It is generally inadvisable for a broadcast datagram to exceed the size at which fragmentation can occur, which implies that the data portion of the datagram (excluding headers) should not exceed 512 bytes.

If no buffer space is available within the transport system to hold the data to be transmitted, sendto will block unless the socket has been placed in a nonblocking mode. On nonblocking, stream-oriented sockets, the number of bytes written can be between 1 and the requested length, depending on buffer availability on both the client and server systems. The select or WSAEventSelect function can be used to determine when it is possible to send more data.

Calling sendto with a len of zero is permissible and will return zero as a valid value. For message-oriented sockets, a zero-length transport datagram is sent.

The flags parameter can be used to influence the behavior of the function invocation beyond the options specified for the associated socket. The semantics of this function are determined by the socket options and the flags parameter. The following table shows the value that is used with the bitwise OR operator to construct the flags parameter.

Value Description
MSG_DONTROUTE Specifies that the data should not be subject to routing. A Windows Sockets service provider can choose to ignore this flag.


OS Versions: Windows CE 1.0 and later.
Header: Winsock2.h.
Link Library: Ws2.lib.

See Also

getsockname (Windows Sockets) | getsockopt (Windows Sockets) | recv | recvfrom | select | send | setsockopt (Windows Sockets) | shutdown | socket (Windows Sockets) | WSAEventSelect | WSAGetLastError | WSAStartup

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