Simultaneous Access to Multiple Transport Protocols
In order to provide simultaneous access to multiple transport protocols, the
architecture has changed for Windows Sockets 2. With Windows Sockets 1.1, the
DLL that implements the Windows Sockets interface is supplied by the vendor of
the TCP/IP protocol stack. The interface between the Windows Sockets DLL and the
underlying stack was both unique and proprietary. Windows Sockets 2 changes the
model by defining a standard service provider interface (SPI) between the
Windows Sockets DLL and protocol stacks. In this way, multiple stacks from
different vendors can be accessed simultaneously from a single Windows Sockets DLL.
Furthermore, Windows Sockets 2 support is not limited to TCP/IP protocol stacks as
it is in Windows Sockets 1.1.
The Windows Open System Architecture (WOSA) compliant Windows Sockets 2
architecture is illustrated as follows:
Windows Sockets 2 Architecture
With the Windows Sockets 2 architecture, it is not necessary, or desirable,
for stack vendors to supply their own implementation of WS2_32.DLL, since a
single WS2_32.DLL must work across all stacks. The WS2_32.DLL and compatibility
shims should be viewed in the same way as an operating system component.
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