COM Clients

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Go Up to Parts of a COM Application

Clients can always query the interfaces of a COM object to determine what it is capable of providing. All COM objects allow clients to request known interfaces. In addition, if the server supports the IDispatch interface, clients can query the server for information about what methods the interface supports. Server objects have no expectations about the client using its objects. Similarly, clients don't need to know how (or even where) an object provides the services; they simply rely on server objects to provide the services they advertise through their interfaces.

There are two types of COM clients, controllers and containers. Controllers launch the server and interact with it through its interface. They request services from the COM object or drive it as a separate process. Containers host visual controls or objects that appear in the container's user interface. They use predefined interfaces to negotiate display issues with server objects. It is impossible to have a container relationship over DCOM; for example, visual controls that appear in the container's user interface must be located locally. This is because the controls are expected to paint themselves, which requires that they have access to local GDI resources.

Delphi makes it easier for you to develop COM clients by letting you import a type library or ActiveX control into a component wrapper so that server objects look like other VCL components. For details on this process, see Creating COM Clients.

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