Protocol-Independent Multicast and Multipoint
Windows Sockets 2 provides a generic method for utilizing the multipoint and
multicast capabilities of transports. This generic method implements these
features just as it allows the basic data transport capabilities of numerous
transport protocols to be accessed. The term multipoint is used hereafter to refer to
both multicast and multipoint communications.
Current multipoint implementations (for example, IP multicast, ST-II, T.120,
and ATM UNI) vary widely. How nodes join a multipoint session, whether a
particular node is designated as a central or root node, and whether data is exchanged
between all nodes or only between a root node and the various leaf nodes
differ among implementations. The WSAPROTOCOL_INFO
structure for Windows Sockets 2 is used to declare the various multipoint
attributes of a protocol. By examining these attributes, the programmer knows what
conventions to follow with the applicable Windows Sockets 2 functions to
setup, utilize and teardown multipoint sessions.
Following is a summary of the features of Windows Sockets 2 that support
- Two attribute bits in the WSAPROTOCOL_INFO structure.
- Four flags defined for the dwFlags parameter of the WSASocketfunction.
- One function, WSAJoinLeaf, for adding leaf nodes into a multipoint session
- Two WSAIoctl command codes for controlling multipoint loopback and establishing the scope
for multicast transmissions. (The latter corresponds to the IP multicast
time-to-live or TTL parameter.)
The inclusion of these multipoint features in Windows Sockets 2 does not
preclude an application from using an existing protocol-dependent interface, such
as the Deering socket options for IP multicast.
See Multipoint and Multicast Semantics
for detailed information on how the various multipoint schemes are
characterized and how the applicable features of Windows Sockets 2 are utilized.
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