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Reading from a Mailslot

The process that creates a mailslot can read messages from it by using the mailslot handle in a call to the ReadFile function. The following example calls the GetMailslotInfo function to determine whether there are messages in the mailslot. If messages are waiting, each is displayed along with the number of messages remaining to be read.

A mailslot exists until the CloseHandle function is called for all open server handles or until all server processes that own a mailslot handle exit. In both cases, any unread messages are deleted from the mailslot, all client handles to the mailslot are closed, and the mailslot itself is deleted from memory.


#include <windows.h>
#include <tchar.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <strsafe.h>

HANDLE hSlot;
LPTSTR SlotName = TEXT("\\\\.\\mailslot\\sample_mailslot");

BOOL ReadSlot() 
{ 
    DWORD cbMessage, cMessage, cbRead; 
    BOOL fResult; 
    LPTSTR lpszBuffer; 
    TCHAR achID[80]; 
    DWORD cAllMessages; 
    HANDLE hEvent;
    OVERLAPPED ov;
 
    cbMessage = cMessage = cbRead = 0; 

    hEvent = CreateEvent(NULL, FALSE, FALSE, TEXT("ExampleSlot"));
    if( NULL == hEvent )
        return FALSE;
    ov.Offset = 0;
    ov.OffsetHigh = 0;
    ov.hEvent = hEvent;
 
    fResult = GetMailslotInfo( hSlot, // mailslot handle 
        (LPDWORD) NULL,               // no maximum message size 
        &cbMessage,                   // size of next message 
        &cMessage,                    // number of messages 
        (LPDWORD) NULL);              // no read time-out 
 
    if (!fResult) 
    { 
        printf("GetMailslotInfo failed with %d.\n", GetLastError()); 
        return FALSE; 
    } 
 
    if (cbMessage == MAILSLOT_NO_MESSAGE) 
    { 
        printf("Waiting for a message...\n"); 
        return TRUE; 
    } 
 
    cAllMessages = cMessage; 
 
    while (cMessage != 0)  // retrieve all messages
    { 
        // Create a message-number string. 
 
        StringCchPrintf((LPTSTR) achID, 
            80,
            TEXT("\nMessage #%d of %d\n"), 
            cAllMessages - cMessage + 1, 
            cAllMessages); 

        // Allocate memory for the message. 
 
        lpszBuffer = (LPTSTR) GlobalAlloc(GPTR, 
            lstrlen((LPTSTR) achID)*sizeof(TCHAR) + cbMessage); 
        if( NULL == lpszBuffer )
            return FALSE;
        lpszBuffer[0] = '\0'; 
 
        fResult = ReadFile(hSlot, 
            lpszBuffer, 
            cbMessage, 
            &cbRead, 
            &ov); 
 
        if (!fResult) 
        { 
            printf("ReadFile failed with %d.\n", GetLastError()); 
            GlobalFree((HGLOBAL) lpszBuffer); 
            return FALSE; 
        } 
 
        // Concatenate the message and the message-number string. 
 
        StringCbCat(lpszBuffer, 
                    lstrlen((LPTSTR) achID)*sizeof(TCHAR)+cbMessage, 
                    (LPTSTR) achID); 
 
        // Display the message. 
 
        _tprintf(TEXT("Contents of the mailslot: %s\n"), lpszBuffer); 
 
        GlobalFree((HGLOBAL) lpszBuffer); 
 
        fResult = GetMailslotInfo(hSlot,  // mailslot handle 
            (LPDWORD) NULL,               // no maximum message size 
            &cbMessage,                   // size of next message 
            &cMessage,                    // number of messages 
            (LPDWORD) NULL);              // no read time-out 
 
        if (!fResult) 
        { 
            printf("GetMailslotInfo failed (%d)\n", GetLastError());
            return FALSE; 
        } 
    } 
    CloseHandle(hEvent);
    return TRUE; 
}

BOOL WINAPI MakeSlot(LPTSTR lpszSlotName) 
{ 
    hSlot = CreateMailslot(lpszSlotName, 
        0,                             // no maximum message size 
        MAILSLOT_WAIT_FOREVER,         // no time-out for operations 
        (LPSECURITY_ATTRIBUTES) NULL); // default security
 
    if (hSlot == INVALID_HANDLE_VALUE) 
    { 
        printf("CreateMailslot failed with %d\n", GetLastError());
        return FALSE; 
    } 
    return TRUE; 
}

void main()
{
   MakeSlot(SlotName);

   while(TRUE)
   {
      ReadSlot();
      Sleep(3000);
   }
}


The following is the output that is displayed when this example is run with the mailslot client shown in Writing to a Mailslot.

Waiting for a message...
Waiting for a message...
Contents of the mailslot: Message one for mailslot.
Message #1 of 2

Contents of the mailslot: Message two for mailslot.
Message #2 of 2

Waiting for a message...
Contents of the mailslot: Message three for mailslot.
Message #1 of 1

Waiting for a message...
Waiting for a message...
Waiting for a message...
^C

 

 

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