CONSOLE APPLICATION : VBFileMappingServer Project Overview



File mapping is a mechanism for one-way or duplex inter-process communication
among two or more processes in the local machine. To share a file or memory,
all of the processes must use the name or the handle of the same file mapping

To share a file, the first process creates or opens a file by using the
CreateFile function. Next, it creates a file mapping object by using the
CreateFileMapping function, specifying the file handle and a name for the
file mapping object. The names of event, semaphore, mutex, waitable timer,
job, and file mapping objects share the same name space. Therefore, the
CreateFileMapping and OpenFileMapping functions fail if they specify a name
that is in use by an object of another type.

To share memory that is not associated with a file, a process must use the
CreateFileMapping function and specify INVALID_HANDLE_VALUE as the hFile
parameter instead of an existing file handle. The corresponding file mapping
object accesses memory backed by the system paging file. You must specify
a size greater than zero when you use an hFile of INVALID_HANDLE_VALUE in a
call to CreateFileMapping.

Processes that share files or memory must create file views by using the
MapViewOfFile or MapViewOfFileEx function. They must coordinate their access
using semaphores, mutexes, events, or some other mutual exclusion technique.

The VB.NET code sample demonstrates creating a file mapping object named
"Local\SampleMap" and writing a string to the file mapping. Because the Base
Class Library of .NET Framework 2/3/3.5 does not have any public classes to
operate on file mapping objects, you have to P/Invoke the Windows APIs as
shown in this code sample.


The following steps walk through a demonstration of the file mapping sample.

Step1. After you successfully build the VBFileMappingClient and
VBFileMappingServer sample projects in Visual Studio 2008, you will get the
applications: VBFileMappingClient.exe and VBFileMappingServer.exe.

Step2. Run VBFileMappingServer.exe in a command prompt. The application will
create a file mapping object of a specified size that is backed by the system
paging file. Its name is "Local\SampleMap".

 The file mapping (Local\SampleMap) is created

Next, the application maps a view of the file mapping into the address space
of the process, and writes a string to the view.

 The file view is mapped
 This message is written to the view:
 "Message from the first process."

Step3. Run VBFileMappingClient.exe in another command prompt.
VBFileMappingClient opens the file mapping object "Local\SampleMap", maps
the same view of the file mapping into its address space, and read the string
written by the first process from the view.

 The file mapping (Local\SampleMap) is opened
 The file view is mapped
 Read from the file mapping:
 "Message from the first process."

Step4. Press ENTER in both command prompts to close VBFileMappingServer and

Sample Relation:

(The relationship between the current sample and the rest samples in
Microsoft All-In-One Code Framework

VBFileMappingClient -> VBFileMappingServer
VBFileMappingServer creates the file mapping named "Local\SampleMap" and
writes a string to it. VBFileMappingClient reads the string from the file

Code Logic:

1. Create a file mapping named "Local\SampleMap" by P/Invoking

2. Map a view of the file mapping into the address space of the current
process by P/Invoking MapViewOfFile.

3. Write a string to the file view.

4. Unmap the file view (UnmapViewOfFile) and close the file mapping object


MSDN: Creating Named Shared Memory