Identifying Communication Between Processes

By: Jesse Miller

A process is a running instance of a program. The communication between the processes at run time within the same computer or over a network is called the inter process communication. To allow the inter process communication, special techniques and mechanisms are used.

Working of your brain is an example of inter process communication within human body. A medium is required for communication between various processes. Similarly, computer programs need some mechanism for communication.

Process can use the available memory of the system to communicate with each other, but memory is completely managed by the operating system.
A process will be allotted some part of the available memory for execution by the operating system. Each process will execute in its own unique user space.

The operating system will not allow the memory allotted for one process to overlap with the memory allotted for another process. To allow communication between various processes with a unique address space, the operating system`s kernel acts as the communication channel.

Whenever an application is started in OS, the system starts a process and executes your application. These processes use resources such as memory, objects, and kernel. Each process contains at the least one thread.

To make other tasks run or to open up other applications through your application, those tasks will belong to the Win32 process running on a collection of multiple threads.

In .NET, threads execute in an application domain is created. Several instantiations of an application can exist on the same machine at a given time, and each has its own application domain. An application domain enables application isolation by acting as a container for application state.

In .NET threads execute in an application domain. A thread in one process cannot be invoking a method in a thread that belongs to another process. In .NET, however, threads can cross the application domain boundaries, and a method in one thread can call a method in another application domain.

The application domain is a logical process inside a physical process.
The execution of a process and running your code within it is usually the domain and choice of the operating system.

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There are many complex situations and issues that the operating system has to handle while maintaining an active process.
The main purpose of the application domain is to isolate your applications from the other current/temporary applications. Multiple Application domains run on a single process.

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