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Microsoft KB Archive/100363

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HOWTO: How to Use Network DDE


The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Windows Software Development Kit (SDK) 3.1


With Windows for Workgroups, an application can use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) over a network (NetDDE).

When using normal DDE or DDEML in an application, the various fields were set up as follows (using Excel as an example):

  Excel             System     Topics 

However, to start a DDE conversation over the network, a client application must establish the DDE conversation with another machine by specifying the following strings for the application name and topic

   application:   \\machine-name\NDDE$
   topic:           share-name 

where the share name is defined in the [DDEShare] section of SYSTEM.INI. The default installation of Windows for Workgroups contains the following DDEShares:



To illustrate how to use NetDDE, ClipBook will serve as a server example.

The following are specifics about ClipBook:

   Title Bar Caption    = ClipBook Viewer,
   Executable File Name = Clipbrd.exe,
   DDE Application Name = clipsrv,
   DDE Share Name       = CLPBK$ 

To start a conversation with ClipBook from your application, use the following strings:

   APPLICATION             TOPIC        ITEM
   \\machine-name\NDDE$    CLPBK$     Topics 

Under normal DDE, this would be viewed as:

   \\machine-name    Clipsrv           System     Topics 

This will return a list of SHARED "objects" in the ClipBook. Now that you have a list of objects, the next step is to query the types of formats available. For example, assume that "$Test" was returned as an object. To find a list of formats, start a new conversation with ClipBook with the following parameters:

   APPLICATION             TOPIC           ITEM
   \\machine-name\NDDE$    $Test           FormatList 

This will return a list of the formats, each starting with the "&" symbol (for example, CF_TEXT will return "&Text").

Using the object name and format type, it is possible to make a connection to the server and return the contents of the topic. The last set of parameters is:

   APPLICATION             TOPIC           ITEM
   \\machine-name\NDDE$    $Test           &Text 

If your application wants to share information via NetDDE, use the ClipBook program or call one of the NetDDE application programming interfaces (APIs), which will create an entry in the [DDEShares] section of SYSTEM.INI. This procedure allows other users to access your information.

Additional query words: 3.10

Keywords : kbnetwork kbDDE
Issue type : kbhowto
Technology : kbAudDeveloper kbWin3xSearch kbSDKSearch kbWinSDKSearch kbWinSDK310

Last Reviewed: February 9, 2000
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