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The NetBIOS Interface

[Netbios is not supported on Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, and subsequent versions of the operating system]


A Windows-based application can use the Network Basic Input/Output System (NetBIOS) interface to communicate with applications on other computers in a network. The NetBIOS interface provides commands and support for the following services:

  • Network name registration and verification
  • Session establishment and termination
  • Reliable connection-oriented data transfer
  • Unreliable connectionless data transfer (datagram)
  • Protocol and adapter monitoring and management

The NetBIOS interface exposes an explicit set of commands that are submitted through a structure known as the network control block (NCB). An application can issue NetBIOS commands over any protocol that supports the NetBIOS interface.

Note  The Netbios interface is provided on versions of Windows prior to Windows Vista primarily for existing legacy applications that use IBM NetBIOS 3.0 and need to be ported to Windows. New applications and applications not requiring compatibility with NetBIOS should use other interfaces, such as mailslots, named pipes, RPC, sockets, or distributed COM to accomplish tasks similar to those supported by NetBIOS. These interfaces are more flexible and portable than NetBIOS.



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Build date: 7/2/2010

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