NetBIOS is a standard application programming interface in the personal-computing environment. NetBIOS is used for developing client/server applications. NetBIOS has been used as an interprocess communication (IPC) mechanism since its introduction. It is included with Windows 2000 to support legacy applications.

A NetBIOS client/server application can communicate over various protocols:

  • NetBEUI Frame protocol (NBF)
    NetBEUI is a NetBIOS-compatible transport. NBF was designed for small networks of 50 to 200 computers. Since NetBEUI has no networking layer, it is not routable. It is included with Windows 2000 to support legacy networks.

  • NetBIOS over TCP/IP (NetBT)
    Since NetBEUI is not routable, alternate means were created to transport it through routers. RFCs 1001 and 1002 defined methods by which NetBEUI can be transported in IP packets. With this technique, NetBEUI networks can be connected.

  • NWLink NetBIOS (NWNBLink)
    NetWare NetBIOS Link (NWNBLink) contains Microsoft enhancements to NetBIOS. The NWNBLink component is used to format NetBIOS-level requests and pass them to the NWLink component for transmission on the network.

NetBIOS uses the following components:

  • Netapi32.dll. Linked to the NetBIOS emulator to allow communication with TCP/IP, NetBEUI, and NWLink. It shares the address space of the NetBIOS user-mode application.

  • NetBIOS emulator. Provides the NetBIOS mapping layer between NetBIOS applications and the TDI-compliant protocols.

The Winsock APIs can also be used to access the NetBIOS protocols.

For more information about NetBIOS, see "NetBEUI" in the Windows   2000 Internetworking Guide .