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Registering Interfaces

This section presents a detailed discussion of the process of registering an RPC interface.

The information in this section is presented in the following topics:

Interface Registration Functions

Servers register their interfaces by calling the RpcServerRegisterIf function. Complex server programs often support more than one interface. Server applications must call this function once for each interface they support.

Also, servers can support multiple versions of the same interface, each with its own implementation of the interface's functions. If your server program does this, it must provide a set of entry points. An entry point is a manager routine that dispatches calls for a version of an interface. There must be one entry point for each version of the interface. The group of entry points is called an entry point vector. For details, see Entry-Point Vectors.

In addition to the standard function RpcServerRegisterIf, RPC also supports other interface registration functions. The RpcServerRegisterIf2 function extends the capabilities of RpcServerRegisterIf by enabling you to specify a set of registration flags (see Interface Registration Flags), the maximum number of concurrent remote procedure call requests the server can accept, and the maximum size in bytes of incoming data blocks.

The RPC library also contains a function called RpcServerRegisterIfEx. Like the RpcServerRegisterIf function, this function registers an interface. Your server program can also use this function to specify a set of registration flags (see Interface Registration Flags), the maximum number of concurrent remote procedure call requests the server can accept, and a security callback function.

The RpcServerRegisterIf, RpcServerRegisterIfEx, and RpcServerRegisterIf2 functions set values in the internal interface registry table. This table is used to map the interface UUID and object UUIDs to a manager EPV. The manager EPV is an array of function pointers that contains exactly one function pointer for each function prototype in the interface specified in the IDL file.

For information on supplying multiple EPVs to provide multiple implementations of the interface, see Multiple Interface Implementations.

The run-time library uses the interface registry table (set by calls to the function RpcServerRegisterIf, RpcServerRegisterIfEx, or RpcServerRegisterIf2) and the object registry table (set by calls to the function RpcObjectSetType) to map interface and object UUIDs to the function pointer.

When you want your server program to remove an interface from the RPC run-time library registry, call the RpcServerUnregisterIf function. After the interface is removed from the registry, the RPC run-time library will no longer accept new calls for that interface.

Entry-point Vectors

The manager entry-point vector (EPV) is an array of function pointers that point to implementations of the functions specified in the IDL file. The number of elements in the array corresponds to the number of functions specified in the IDL file. RPC supports multiple entry-point vectors representing multiple implementations of the functions specified in the interface.

The MIDL compiler automatically generates a manager EPV data type for use in constructing manager EPVs. The data type is named if-name_SERVER_EPV, where if-name specifies the interface identifier in the IDL file.

The MIDL compiler automatically creates and initializes a default manager EPV on the assumption that a manager routine of the same name exists for each procedure in the interface and is specified in the IDL file.

When a server offers multiple implementations of the same interface, the server must create one additional manager EPV for each implementation. Each EPV must contain exactly one entry point (address of a function) for each procedure defined in the IDL file. The server application declares and initializes one manager EPV variable of type if-name_SERVER_EPV for each additional implementation of the interface. To register the EPVs it calls RpcServerRegisterIf, RpcServerRegisterIfEx, or RpcServerRegisterIf2 once for each object type it supports.

When the client makes a remote procedure call to the server, the EPV containing the function pointer is selected based on the interface UUID and the object type. The object type is derived from the object UUID by the object-inquiry function or the table-driven mapping controlled by RpcObjectSetType.

Manager EPVs

By default, the MIDL compiler uses the procedure names from an interface's IDL file to generate a manager EPV, which the compiler places directly into the server stub. This default EPV is statically initialized using the procedure names declared in the interface definition.

To register a manager using the default EPV, specify NULL as the value of the MgrEpv parameter in a call to either the RpcServerRegisterIf, RpcServerRegisterIfEx, or RpcServerRegisterIf2 function. If the routine names used by a manager correspond to those of the interface definition, you can register this manager using the default EPV of the interface generated by the MIDL compiler. You can also register a manager using an EPV that the server application supplies.

A server can (and sometimes must) create and register a non-null manager EPV for an interface. To select a server application–supplied EPV, pass the address of an EPV whose value has been declared by the server as the value of the MgrEpv a parameter. A non-null value for the MgrEpv a parameter always overrides a default EPV in the server stub.

The MIDL compiler automatically generates a manager EPV data type (RPC_MGR_EPV) for a server application to use in constructing manager EPVs. A manager EPV must contain exactly one entry point (function address) for each procedure defined in the IDL file.

A server must supply a non-null EPV in the following cases:

  • When the names of manager routines differ from the procedure names declared in the interface definition
  • When the server uses the default EPV for registering another implementation of the interface

A server declares a manager EPV by initializing a variable of type if-name_SERVER_EPV for each implementation of the interface.

Registering a Single Implementation of an Interface

When a server offers only one implementation of an interface, the server calls RpcServerRegisterIf, RpcServerRegisterIfEx, or RpcServerRegisterIf2 only once. In the standard case, the server uses the default manager EPV. (The exception is when the manager uses routine names that differ from those declared in the interface.)

For the standard case, you supply the following values for calls to RpcServerRegisterIf, RpcServerRegisterIfEx, or RpcServerRegisterIf2:

  • Manager EPVs

    To use the default EPV, specify a null value for the MgrEpv a parameter.

  • Manager type UUID

    When using the default EPV, register the interface with a nil manager type UUID by supplying either a null value or a nil UUID for the MgrTypeUuid a parameter. In this case, all remote procedure calls, regardless of the object UUID in their binding handle, are dispatched to the default EPV, assuming no RpcObjectSetType calls have been made.

    You can also provide a non-nil manager type UUID. In this case, you must also call the RpcObjectSetType routine.

Registering Multiple Implementations of an Interface

You can supply more than one implementation of the remote procedure(s) specified in the IDL file. The server application calls RpcObjectSetType to map object UUIDs to type UUIDs and calls RpcServerRegisterIf, RpcServerRegisterIfEx, or RpcServerRegisterIf2 to associate manager EPVs with a type UUID. When a remote procedure call arrives with its object UUID, the RPC server run-time library maps the object UUID to a type UUID. The server application then uses the type UUID and the interface UUID to select the manager EPV.

You can also specify your own function to resolve the mapping from object UUID to manager type UUID. You specify the mapping function when you call RpcObjectSetInqFn.

To offer multiple implementations of an interface, a server must register each implementation by calling RpcServerRegisterIf, RpcServerRegisterIfEx or RpcServerRegisterIf2 separately. For each implementation a server registers, it supplies the same IfSpec a parameter, but a different pair of MgrTypeUuid and MgrEpv a parameters.

In the case of multiple managers, use RpcServerRegisterIf, RpcServerRegisterIfEx or RpcServerRegisterIf2 as follows:

  • Manager EPVs

    To offer multiple implementations of an interface, a server must:

    Please note that the server can also register with the default manager EPV.

  • Manager type UUID

    Provide a manager type UUID for each EPV of the interface. The nil type UUID (or null value) for the MgrTypeUuid a parameter can be specified for one of the manager EPVs. Each type UUID must be different.

Rules for Invoking Manager Routines

The RPC run-time library dispatches an incoming remote procedure call to a manager that offers the requested RPC interface. When multiple managers are registered for an interface, the RPC run-time library must select one of them. To select a manager, the RPC run-time library uses the object UUID specified by the call's binding handle.

The run-time library applies the following rules when interpreting the object UUID of a remote procedure call:

  • Nil object UUIDs

    A nil object UUID is automatically assigned the nil type UUID (it is illegal to specify a nil object UUID in the RpcObjectSetType routine). Therefore, a remote procedure call whose binding handle contains a nil object UUID is automatically dispatched to the manager registered with the nil type UUID, if any.

  • Non-nil object UUIDs

    In principle, a remote procedure call whose binding handle contains a non-nil object UUID should be processed by a manager whose type UUID matches the type of the object UUID. However, identifying the correct manager requires that the server has specified the type of that object UUID by calling the RpcObjectSetType routine.

    If a server fails to call the RpcObjectSetType routine for a non-nil object UUID, a remote procedure call for that object UUID goes to the manager EPV that services remote procedure calls with a nil object UUID (that is, the nil type UUID).

    Remote procedure calls with a non-nil object UUID in the binding handle cannot be executed if the server assigned that non-nil object UUID a type UUID by calling the RpcObjectSetType routine, but did not also register a manager EPV for that type UUID by calling RpcServerRegisterIf, RpcServerRegisterIfEx or RpcServerRegisterIf2.

The following table summarizes the actions that the run-time library uses to select the manager routine.

Object UUID of callServer set type for object UUID?Server registered EPV type? Dispatching action
NilNot applicableYesUses the manager with the nil type UUID.
NilNot applicableNoError (RPC_S_UNSUPPORTED_TYPE); rejects the remote procedure call.
Non-nilYesYesUses the manager with the same type UUID.
Non-nilNoIgnoredUses the manager with the nil type UUID. If no manager with the nil type UUID, error (RPC_S_UNSUPPORTEDTYPE); rejects the remote procedure call.
Non-nilYesNoError (RPC_S_UNSUPPORTEDTYPE); rejects the remote procedure call.

 

The object UUID of the call is the object UUID found in a binding handle for a remote procedure call.

The server sets the type of the object UUID by calling RpcObjectSetType to specify the type UUID for an object.

The server registers the type for the manager EPV by calling RpcServerRegisterIf, RpcServerRegisterIfEx or RpcServerRegisterIf2 using the same type UUID.

Note  The nil object UUID is always automatically assigned the nil type UUID. It is illegal to specify a nil object UUID in the RpcObjectSetType routine.

Dispatching a Remote Procedure Call to a Server-manager Routine

The following tables show the steps that the RPC run-time library takes to dispatch a remote procedure call to a server-manager routine.

A simple case where the server registers the default manager EPV, is described in the following tables.

Interface Registry Table

Interface UUIDManager type UUIDEntry-point vector
uuid1NilDefault EPV

 

Object Registry Table

Object UUIDObject type
NilNil
(Any other object UUID)Nil

 

Mapping the Binding Handle to an Entry-point Vector (EPV)

Interface UUID (from client binding handle)Object UUID (from client binding handle)Object type (from object registry table)Manager EPV (from interface registry table)
uuid1NilNilDefault EPV
Same as aboveuuidANilDefault EPV

 

The following steps describe the actions that the RPC server's run-time library take, as shown in the preceding tables, when a client with interface UUID uuid1 calls it.

  1. The server calls RpcServerRegisterIf, RpcServerRegisterIfEx, or RpcServerRegisterIf2 to associate an interface it offers with the nil manager type UUID and with the MIDL-generated default manager EPV. This call adds an entry in the interface registry table. The interface UUID is contained in the IfSpec a parameter.
  2. By default, the object registry table associates all object UUIDs with the nil type UUID. In this example, the server does not call RpcObjectSetType.
  3. The server run-time library receives a remote procedure code containing the interface UUID that the call belongs to and the object UUID from the call's binding handle.

    See the following function reference entries for discussions of how an object UUID is set into a binding handle:

  4. Using the interface UUID from the remote procedure call, the server's run-time library locates that interface UUID in the interface registry table.

    If the server did not register the interface using RpcServerRegisterIf, RpcServerRegisterIfEx, or RpcServerRegisterIf2, then the remote procedure call returns to the caller with an RPC_S_UNKNOWN_IF status code.

  5. Using the object UUID from the binding handle, the server's run-time library locates that object UUID in the object registry table. In this example, all object UUIDs map to the nil object type.
  6. The server's run-time library locates the nil manager type in the interface registry table.
  7. Combining the interface UUID and nil type in the interface registry table resolves to the default EPV, which contains the server-manager routines to be executed for the interface UUID found in the remote procedure call.

Assume that the server offers multiple interfaces and multiple implementations of each interface, as described in the following tables.

Interface Registry Table

Interface UUIDManager-type UUIDEntry-point vector
uuid1Nilepv1
uuid1uuid3epv4
uuid2uuid4epv2
uuid2uuid7epv3

 

Object Registry Table

Object UUIDObject type
uuidAuuid3
uuidBuuid7
uuidCuuid7
uuidDuuid3
uuidEuuid3
uuidFuuid8
NilNil
(Any other UUID)Nil

 

Mapping the Binding Handle to an Entry-point Vector

Interface UUID (from client binding handle)Object UUID (from client binding handle)Object type (from object registry table)Manager EPV (from interface registry table)
uuid1NilNilepv1
uuid1uuidAuuid3epv4
uuid1uuidDuuid3epv4
uuid1uuidEuuid3epv4
uuid2uuidBuuid7epv3
uuid2uuidCuuid7epv3

 

The following steps describe the actions that the server's run-time library take, as shown in the preceding tables when a client with interface UUID uuid2 and object UUID uuidC calls it.

  1. The server calls RpcServerRegisterIf, RpcServerRegisterIfEx, or RpcServerRegisterIf2 to associate the interfaces it offers with the different manager EPVs. The entries in the interface registry table reflect four calls of RpcServerRegisterIf, RpcServerRegisterIfEx, or RpcServerRegisterIf2 to offer two interfaces, with two implementations (EPVs) for each interface.
  2. The server calls RpcObjectSetType to establish the type of each object it offers. In addition to the default association of the nil object to a nil type, all other object UUIDs not explicitly found in the object registry table also map to the nil type UUID.

    In this example, the server calls the RpcObjectSetType routine six times.

  3. The server run-time library receives a remote procedure call containing the interface UUID that the call belongs to and an object UUID from the call's binding handle.
  4. Using the interface UUID from the remote procedure call, the server's run-time library locates the interface UUID in the interface registry table.
  5. Using the uuidC object UUID from the binding handle, the server's run-time library locates the object UUID in the object registry table and finds that it maps to type uuid7.
  6. To locate the manager type, the server's run-time library combines the interface UUID, uuid2, and type uuid7 in the interface registry table. This resolves to epv3, which contains the server manager routine to be executed for the remote procedure call.

The routines in epv2 will never be executed because the server has not called the RpcObjectSetType routine to add any objects with a type UUID of uuid4 to the object registry table.

A remote procedure call with interface UUID uuid2 and object UUID uuidF returns to the caller with an RPC_S_UNKNOWN_MGR_TYPE status code because the server did not call RpcServerRegisterIf, RpcServerRegisterIfEx, or RpcServerRegisterIf2 to register the interface with a manager type of uuid8.

Return Values

This function returns one of the following values.

ValueMeaning
RPC_S_OKSuccess
RPC_S_TYPE_ALREADY_REGISTEREDType UUID already registered

 

Supplying Your Own Object-inquiry Function

Consider a server that manages thousands of objects of many different types. Whenever the server started, the server application would have to call the function RpcObjectSetType for every one of the objects, even though clients might refer to only a few of them (or take a long time to refer to them). These thousands of objects are likely to be on disk, so retrieving their types would be time consuming. Also, the internal table that is mapping the object UUID to the manager type UUID would essentially duplicate the mapping maintained with the objects themselves.

For convenience, the RPC function set includes the function RpcObjectSetInqFn. With this function, you provide your own object-inquiry function.

As an example, you can supply your own object-inquiry function when you map objects 100–199 to type number 1, 200–299 to type number 2, and so on. The object inquiry function can also be extended to a distributed file system, where the server application does not have a list of all the files (object UUIDs) available, or when object UUIDs name files in the file system and you do not want to preload all of the mappings between object UUIDs and type UUIDs.

Related topics

RpcBindingFromStringBinding
RpcBindingSetObject
RpcNsBindingExport
RpcNsBindingImportBegin
RpcNsBindingLookupBegin
RpcObjectSetType
RpcServerRegisterIf
RpcServerRegisterIf2
RpcServerRegisterIfEx
RpcServerUnregisterIf
RpcServerUnregisterIfEx

 

 

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