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Microsoft KB Archive/103738

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Knowledge Base

Discussion of DCE CDS and RPC NSI

Article ID: 103738

Article Last Modified on 10/31/2006


  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1

This article was previously published under Q103738


The Microsoft remote procedure call (RPC) run-time library provides a set of name service APIs (all prefixed by "RpcNs") to enable RPC applications to access name service information. RPC servers can export names and associated binding information to a name service database through these APIs. And, using the same set of APIs, RPC clients can import server binding information.

The RPC library implements these APIs by accessing a name service database through the RPC run-time interface called the name service interface (NSI). This interface is used to access information stored by various name service providers, such as the RPC Locator or the DCE Cell Directory Service (CDS) service.

On Windows NT systems, the default RPC name service provider is the RPC Locator. The RPC Locator maintains a loosely consistent database that is strictly cached and volatile. An administrator can select an alternative RPC name service provider from Control Panel in the Network section. (DCE CDS is the only alternative supported in Windows NT version 3.1.)


  1. If the DCE CDS is configured as the RPC name service provider, a Windows NT server can export its binding information to the CDS, and a Windows NT client can access server binding information stored in the CDS. However, a DCE server has no way of exporting its binding information to the RPC Locator, nor can a DCE client access the Windows NT Locator in order to acquire server information.
  2. The Windows NT 3.1 RPC Locator does not support groups, that is, the group APIs (prefixed by "RpcNsGroup").

For additional information, see the Win32 SDK "RPC Programmer's Guide and Reference."

Keywords: kbnetwork KB103738