Click here to Skip to main content
Click here to Skip to main content
Go to top

Shared memory

, 28 Sep 2002
Rate this:
Please Sign up or sign in to vote.
Share variables in the shared memory across processes

Motivation

Sometimes you need to share some values across several processes. There are some ways, provided by system, but there is no simple way to share simple values like DWORDs or strings. And of course, synchronization is also required in this case.

Description of solution

I was inspired by PJ Naughter's solution, but I wanted more. I wanted structured shared memory, with variables, synchronization and wait functionality within it.

Internal structure

Variables are shared within an unnamed memory file. This 'file' (or better, block of memory) is allocated in the page file. It is not possible to create growable file of this type, but I did not require it. The internal structure of this memory is as follows:

DWORD
DWORD 
ValueHeader[0]
value 0 
ValueHeader[1]
value 1 
..............
ValueHeader[n]
value n

The first DWORD is the number of values within memory. The second DWORD is the memory size; it includes these two DWORDs too. ValueHeader is a structure defined as:

typedef struct _tagValueHeader {
	WCHAR wszValueName[VAR_NAME_LENGTH];
	DWORD dwLength; 
} ValueHeader;

Member wszValueName is value name, dwLength is length in bytes of the value, which follows this structure. As you can see, the actual value is stored as several bytes. There is no type checking of the value's type. It is not allowed access the variable directly. Instead of that, the class provides several methods to access values. It allows synchronized access, and it is possible to wait for value or memory changes.

CSharedMemory public class members

Construction and destructions
CSharedMemory
~CSharedMemory

General methods
GetMemName
IsCreated
GetMemSize
AmIFirst
GetLastError

Access control methods
SetSdMem
GetSdMem
SetSdSem
GetSdSem
SetSaEvent

Value management methods
AddValue
AddDwordValue
DeleteValue
ExistValue
GetVariablesCount
GetValueInfo

Value access methods
SetValue
GetValue

Wait methods
WaitForMemChange
WaitForValueChange
WaitForMultipleValuesChanges

Interlocked* methods
InterlockedIncrement
InterlockedDecrement
InterlockedExchange
InterlockedTestExchange
InterlockedCompareExchange
InterlockedExchangeAdd

Direct memory access methods
Read
Write

DEBUG methods
AssertValid
Dump

CSharedMemory::CSharedMemory

CSharedMemory(TCHAR *szName, DWORD dwSize = DEF_SHARED_SIZE, PINITMEMORY InitMemoryProcedure = NULL, void *pInitProcParam = NULL, LPSECURITY_ATTRIBUTES lpsaAttributes = NULL);

Remarks

Constructor for the class. It creates shared memory named szName, of dwSize< size. When you want initialize memory at the same place as you declare it, you can define an initializer function, defined as:

void InitMemory(CSharedMemory *pMem, void *pInitProcParam)

And you can pass its address to the constructor. This solution allows you write shorter code like:

...
CSharedMemory sh_mem("MemoryName",1024,InitMemory);
...

'Initialize' means, for example to add some variables. If you need to pass your own initialization value, then you can specify it in the pInitProcParam parameter. If you don't provide this value at the construction time, then constructor will pass NULL to your initializer function. lpsaAttributes defines access control rights and security attributes of the memory mapped file, semaphore and events created inside the CSharedMemory object. For more information see SECURITY_ATTRIBUTES.

CSharedMemory::~CSharedMemory

~CSharedMemory();

Remarks

Destructor for the class. It frees all allocated resources.

CSharedMemory::GetMemName

CString GetMemName(void);

Remarks

Returns name of the shared memory.

CSharedMemory::IsCreated

BOOL IsCreated(void);

Remarks

Returns TRUE if memory was successfully created.

CSharedMemory::GetMemSize

DWORD GetMemSize(void);

Remarks

Returns size of memory.

CSharedMemory::AmIFirst

BOOL AmIFirst(void);

Remarks

Returns TRUE, if caller was first, who created memory.

CSharedMemory::GetLastError

DWORD GetLastError(void);

Remarks

Returns a Win32 error code that describes the best last error inside a call made to the object.

CSharedMemory::SetSdMem

BOOL SetSdMem(SECURITY_INFORMATION SecurityInformation, PSECURITY_DESCRIPTOR SecurityDescriptor);

Remarks

This method sets the security descriptor for memory mapped file. If it fails, it returns FALSE, otherwise TRUE. Call CSharedMemory::GetLastError() to retrieve error code. See also SetKernelObjectSecurity().

CSharedMemory::GetSdMem

BOOL GetSdMem(SECURITY_INFORMATION RequestedInformation, PSECURITY_DESCRIPTOR pSecurityDescriptor, DWORD nLength, LPDWORD lpnLengthNeeded);

Remarks

This method gets the security descriptor of the memory mapped file. If it fails, it returns FALSE, otherwise TRUE. Call CSharedMemory::GetLastError() to retrieve error code. See also GetKernelObjectSecurity().

CSharedMemory::SetSdSem

BOOL SetSdSem(SECURITY_INFORMATION SecurityInformation, PSECURITY_DESCRIPTOR SecurityDescriptor);

Remarks

This method sets the security descriptor of the semaphore, which synchronizes access to shared memory. If it fails, returns FALSE, otherwise TRUE. Call CSharedMemory::GetLastError() to retrieve the error code. See also SetKernelObjectSecurity().

CSharedMemory::GetSdSem

BOOL GetSdSem(SECURITY_INFORMATION RequestedInformation, PSECURITY_DESCRIPTOR pSecurityDescriptor, DWORD nLength, LPDWORD lpnLengthNeeded);

Remarks

This method gets security descriptor of the semaphore, which synchronizes access to shared memory. If it fails, it returns FALSE, otherwise TRUE. Call CSharedMemory::GetLastError() to retrieve the error code. See also GetKernelObjectSecurity().

CSharedMemory::SetSaEvent

BOOL SetSaEvent(LPSECURITY_ATTRIBUTES lpsaAttributes);

Remarks:

This method sets internal variable to security attributes, which are used to protect internal events object. These events are used to 'wait' for changes in the memory or variable. If it fails, it returns FALSE, otherwise TRUE. Call CSharedMemory::GetLastError() to retrieve error code.

CSharedMemory::AddValue

BOOL AddValue(const TCHAR *szName, DWORD size, void *pDefaultData = NULL);

Remarks

This method adds new value named szName. It creates a new entry within memory and reserves space of size for new value. If it fails, returns FALSE, otherwise TRUE. You can use the last parameter to set its value after it is created. Call CSharedMemory::GetLastError() to retrieve the error code.

CSharedMemory::AddDwordValue

BOOL AddDwordValue(const TCHAR *szName, DWORD dwDefault = 0);

Remarks

Method adds new DWORD value named szName. It creates a new entry within memory and reserves space of size for new value. If it fails, it returns FALSE, otherwise TRUE. You can use last parameter to set its value after it is created. Call CSharedMemory::GetLastError() to retrieve the error code.

CSharedMemory::DeleteValue

BOOL DeleteValue(TCHAR *szName);

Remarks

This method deletes the value named szName from memory, it frees used space and freed memory is filled with zeros. If it fails, it returns FALSE, otherwise TRUE. Call CSharedMemory::GetLastError() to retrieve error code.

CSharedMemory::ExistValue

BOOL ExistValue(TCHAR *szName);

Remarks

This method returns TRUE, if variable szName exists within memory. If it fails, returns FALSE, otherwise TRUE. Call CSharedMemory::GetLastError() to retrieve the error code (when constructor failed, this method returns FALSE, but CSharedMemory::GetLastError() returns a different error code).

CSharedMemory::GetVariablesCount

DWORD GetVariablesCount(void);

Remarks

This method returns the number of values stored in the memory. If it fails, it returns FALSE, otherwise TRUE. Call CSharedMemory::GetLastError() to retrieve the error code.

CSharedMemory::GetValueInfo

BOOL GetValueInfo(DWORD dwIndex, ValueHeader *pVarInfo);

Remarks

This method copies value information of the format ValueHeader to memory pointed by pVarInfo. If it fails, returns FALSE, otherwise TRUE. Call CSharedMemory::GetLastError() to retrieve the error code.

CSharedMemory::SetValue

BOOL SetValue(TCHAR *szName, void *bData, DWORD dwLength);

Remarks

This method sets the variable named szName to value pointed to by bData. Length of the data at address bData is passed as the last parameter. It can be less then allocated length within shared memory. In this case the rest of the allocated buffer is filled with zeros. If it fails, it returns FALSE, otherwise TRUE. Call CSharedMemory::GetLastError() to retrieve the error code.

CSharedMemory::GetValue

BOOL GetValue(TCHAR *szName, void *bData, LPDWORD dwLength);

Remarks

This method retrieves thevalue of the variable szName. Data is stored at address bData. The length stored at bData is returned in dwLength. It is possible to pass in bData NULL, then the method returns in dwLength the required buffer length. If it fails, it returns FALSE, otherwise TRUE. Call CSharedMemory::GetLastError()to retrieve the error code.

CSharedMemory::WaitForMemChange

DWORD WaitForMemChange(DWORD dwMilliseconds = INFINITE);

Remarks

This method waits for any change in the structure of the shared memory. 'Change' means add or delete a variable. When you do not use variables, but direct access functions, then you can use this method to wait for the changes. For direct access see CSharedMemory::Read() or CSharedMemory::Write(). If it fails, it returns WAIT_FAILED value, see also WaitForSingleObject() .

CSharedMemory::WaitForValueChange

DWORD WaitForValueChange(TCHAR *szName, DWORD dwMilliseconds = INFINITE);

Remarks

This methods waits for changes of value. It also returns, when a variable is deleted. If it fails, itreturns WAIT_FAILED value, see also WaitForSingleObject().

CSharedMemory::WaitForMultipleValuesChanges

DWORD CSharedMemory::WaitForMultipleValuesChanges(CStringArray & str,BOOL bWaitForAll , DWORD dwMilliseconds =INFINITE );

Remarks

This methods waits for changes of values. It also returns when variables are deleted. You can choose to wait for change of one or several values. If it fails, it returns WAIT_FAILED value, see also WaitForMultipleObject().

All Interlocked* functions are described in the MSDN. Methods of CSharedMemory work the same way, except they return TRUE/FALSE as an indicator of success, and the return value of emulated functions is returned through a pointer (usually the last optional parameter).

CSharedMemory::InterlockedIncrement

BOOL InterlockedIncrement(TCHAR *szName, LPLONG plNewVal = NULL);

Remarks

See also InterlockedIncrement().

CSharedMemory::InterlockedDecrement

BOOL InterlockedDecrement(TCHAR *szName, LPLONG plNewVal = NULL);

Remarks

See also InterlockedDecrement().

CSharedMemory::InterlockedExchange

BOOL InterlockedExchange(TCHAR *szTargetName, LONG lNewVal, LPLONG plPrevValue = NULL);

Remarks

See also InterlockedExchange().

CSharedMemory::InterlockedTestExchange

BOOL InterlockedTestExchange(TCHAR *szTargetName, LONG lOldValue, LONG lNewValue, LPLONG plPrevValue = NULL);

Remarks

See also InterlockedTestExchange().

CSharedMemory::InterlockedCompareExchange

BOOL InterlockedCompareExchange(TCHAR *szTargetName, LONG lExchange, LONG lComperand, LPLONG plIntiVal = NULL);

Remarks

See also InterlockedCompareExchange().

CSharedMemory::InterlockedExchangeAdd

BOOL InterlockedExchangeAdd(TCHAR *szTargetName, LONG lIncrement, LPLONG plIntiVal = NULL);

Remarks

See also InterlockedExchangeAdd().

CSharedMemory::Read

BOOL Read(BYTE *pbData, DWORD dwLength, DWORD dwOffset = 0);

Remarks

This method reads dwLength bytes from offset dwOffset within memory. It is allowed to access shared memory this way only when it contains no variables. Method writes data at the address pbData. If it fails, it returns FALSE, otherwise TRUE. Call CSharedMemory::GetLastError() to retrieve the error code.

CSharedMemory::Write

BOOL Write(BYTE *pbData, DWORD dwLength, DWORD dwOffset = 0);

Remarks

Method writes dwLength bytes from pbData at the offset dwOffeset within the shared memory. It is allowed to access shared memory this way only when it contains no variables. If it fails, it returns FALSE, otherwise TRUE. Call CSharedMemory::GetLastError() to retrieve the error code.

CSharedMemory::AssertValid

void AssertValid(void);

Remarks

This methof performs a validity check on this object by checking its internal state.

CSharedMemory::Dump

void Dump(CDumpContext & dc);

Remarks

Dumps the contents of shared memory to a CDumpContext object.

Usage

I have provided a simple demo program to demonstrate usage of the CSharedMemory class. A shared block of the memory exists within the system until the last instance of the CSharedMemory class is destroyed. CSharedMemory is UNICODE enabled; it will work in UNICODE or ANSI programs. It is possible to share the same memory from both types of programs. CSharedMemory uses simple diagnostic functions from Helpers.h and Helpers.cpp

Demo program

CSHaredMemory demo program

The demo program provides an interface to the many methods of CSharedMemory, and you can use more instances of it to play with CSharedMemory and see how it works. It also demonstrates usage of the class.

History

  • 4 Dec 2001 - updated source code
  • 13 Jan 2001 - updated source code and new constructor
  • 24 Sep 2002 - new and improved functionality from Angela Aremu (AddDwordValue(), WaitForMultipleValuesChanges() and new parameter in AddValue())

Credits

License

This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here

Share

About the Author

Martin Ziacek
Software Developer (Senior)
United Kingdom United Kingdom
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

 
GeneralRe: Use CArchive with this class PinmemberMartin Ziacek30-Oct-02 23:41 
QuestionDoes it support non-MFC? Pinmemberjeasonzhao10-Mar-02 21:14 
AnswerRe: Does it support non-MFC? PinmemberMartin Ziacek11-Mar-02 7:32 
GeneralRe: Does it support non-MFC? Pinmemberjeasonzhao11-Mar-02 15:03 
GeneralRe: Does it support non-MFC? PinmemberBrankoL30-Aug-02 10:31 
GeneralLooks Great, But I Cant Compile .. PinmemberGarth J Lancaster24-Jan-02 13:50 
GeneralRe: Looks Great, But I Cant Compile .. PinmemberGarth J Lancaster24-Jan-02 16:40 
Well, looks like I did manage to answer my own question - sorry if anyone was inconvenienced by this ..
 
the solution was as per :-
 
add a "#include <afxmt>" in StdAfx.h (with all the other 'Afx' includes)
 
I wonder if there's a way of indicating 'Multithreading support required' when one is using the wizard to start building an MFC program, but its a moot point now ..
 
Garth Laugh | :laugh:
GeneralCallback in constructor PinmemberTim Lesher4-Dec-01 7:40 
GeneralRe: Callback in constructor PinmemberMartin Ziacek4-Dec-01 10:58 
GeneralRe: Callback in constructor PinmemberTim Lesher5-Dec-01 4:00 

General General    News News    Suggestion Suggestion    Question Question    Bug Bug    Answer Answer    Joke Joke    Rant Rant    Admin Admin   

Use Ctrl+Left/Right to switch messages, Ctrl+Up/Down to switch threads, Ctrl+Shift+Left/Right to switch pages.

| Advertise | Privacy | Mobile
Web02 | 2.8.140905.1 | Last Updated 29 Sep 2002
Article Copyright 2001 by Martin Ziacek
Everything else Copyright © CodeProject, 1999-2014
Terms of Service
Layout: fixed | fluid