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For other uses, see IPC.
In computer science, inter-process communication or interprocess communication (IPC) refers specifically to the mechanisms an operating system provides to allow the processes to manage shared data. Typically, applications can use IPC, categorized as clients and servers, where the client requests data and the server responds to client requests. Many applications are both clients and servers, as commonly seen in distributed computing.
IPC is very important to the design process for microkernels and nanokernels, which reduce the number of functionalities provided by the kernel. Those functionalities are then obtained by communicating with servers via IPC, leading to a large increase in communication when compared to a regular monolithic kernel. IPC interfaces generally encompass variable analytic framework structures. These processes ensure compatibility between the multi-vector protocols upon which IPC models rely.
An IPC mechanism is either synchronous or asynchronous. Synchronization primitives may be used to have synchronous behavior with an asynchronous IPC mechanism.
Table of contents
- Remote procedure call interfaces
- Platform communication stack
- Operating system communication stack
- Distributed object models
Different approaches to IPC have been tailored to different software requirements, such as performance, modularity, and system circumstances such as network bandwidth and latency.
Remote procedure call interfaces
Main article: remote procedure call
Platform communication stack
- Java's Remote Method Invocation (RMI)
- ONC RPC
- XML-RPC or SOAP
- Message Bus (Mbus) (specified in RFC 3259) (not to be confused with M-Bus)
- .NET Remoting
The following are messaging, and information systems that utilize IPC mechanisms but don't implement IPC themselves:
Operating system communication stack
- KDE's Desktop Communications Protocol (DCOP) - deprecated by D-Bus
- OpenWrt uses ubus[openwrt.org] micro bus architecture
- MCAPI Multicore Communications API
- SIMPL The Synchronous Interprocess Messaging Project for Linux (SIMPL)
- 9P (Plan 9 Filesystem Protocol)
- Distributed Computing Environment (DCE)
- ZeroC's Internet Communications Engine (ICE)
- Enduro/X Middleware
- Enlightenment_(software) E16 uses eesh as an IPC
The following are platform or programming language-specific APIs:
Distributed object models
- Apple Computer's Apple events, previously known as Interapplication Communications (IAC)
- ARexx ports
- Enea's LINX for Linux (open source) and various DSP and general-purpose processors under OSE
- The Mach kernel's Mach Ports
- Microsoft's ActiveX, Component Object Model (COM), Microsoft Transaction Server (COM+), Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM), Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE), Object Linking and Embedding (OLE), anonymous pipes, named pipes, Local Procedure Call, MailSlots, Message loop, MSRPC, .NET Remoting, and Windows Communication Foundation (WCF)
- Novell's SPX
- POSIX mmap, message queues, semaphores, and shared memory
- RISC OS's messages
- Solaris Doors
- System V's message queues, semaphores, and shared memory
- Linux Transparent Inter Process Communication (TIPC)
- OpenBinder Open binder
- QNX's PPS (Persistent Publish/Subscribe) service
The following are platform or programming language specific-APIs that use IPC, but do not themselves implement it:
- Libt2n for C++ under Linux only, handles complex objects and exceptions
- PHP's sessions
- Distributed Ruby
- Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA)
- Electron's asynchronous IPC, shares JSON objects between a main and a renderer process
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