NDIS supports the following connection-oriented drivers:
Integrated miniport call manager (MCM) driver
Connection-oriented miniport driver
The following figure shows a configuration of connection-oriented clients, a call manager, and a miniport driver.
The following figure shows a configuration of connection-oriented clients and an integrated MCM driver.
A connection-oriented miniport driver controls one or more network interface cards (NICs) and provides an interface between connection-oriented protocol drivers (connection-oriented clients and call managers) and the NIC hardware.
For a summary of connection-oriented operations performed by a connection-oriented miniport driver, see Connection-Oriented Operations Performed by Miniport Drivers.
A call manager is an NDIS protocol driver that provides call setup and tear-down services for connection-oriented clients. A call manager:
Uses the send and receive capabilities of a connection-oriented miniport driver to exchange signaling messages with network entities, such as network switches or remote peers.
Supports one or more signaling protocol drivers. For a summary of connection-oriented operations performed by a call manager, see Connection-Oriented Operations Performed by Call Managers.
An integrated MCM driver is a connection-oriented miniport driver that also provides call manager services to connection-oriented clients. An MCM driver has the following characteristics:
An MCM driver provides the same connection-oriented services to clients as a call manager that is paired with a connection-oriented miniport driver; however, the call manager-to-miniport driver interface is internal to the driver and therefore opaque to NDIS.
Multiple call managers and MCM drivers can coexist in the same environment.
Each call manager or MCM driver can support multiple signaling protocol drivers.
For a detailed comparison of MCM drivers and call managers, see How an MCM Driver Differs from a Call Manager.
A connection-oriented client:
Uses the call setup and tear-down services of a call manager or MCM driver.
Uses the send and receive capabilities of a connection-oriented miniport driver or an MCM driver to send and receive data.
Can provide its own network and transport-layer services to a higher-layer application at its upper edge.
Uses the services of a call manager and a connection-oriented miniport driver, or it uses the services of an MCM driver at its upper edge.
Can be an adaptation layer, that resides between an old protocol and connection-oriented NDIS.
Such adaptation layers use call management services to establish underlying connections but hide the connection-oriented nature of this interface from the connectionless protocols above it.
Note The definition of a connection-oriented client's upper-edge interface is beyond the scope of the NDIS documentation. If a client serves as an adaptation layer, its upper-edge interface is defined by the protocol that it adapts to connection-oriented NDIS.
For a summary of connection-oriented operations performed by a connection-oriented client, see Connection-Oriented Operations Performed by Clients.