Multi-Threading And COM

Brian Long's comprehensive article from Issue 60 explains all you need to know about using mutliple threads safely and effectively in COM applications.

Most information concentrates on dealing with COM in simple, non-threaded applications. Very little information exists on the subject of multi-threaded COM applications for the Delphi developer (although see Reference 1). Sure enough, there is quite a lot of printed information on the subject for C++ developers, but that is not entirely surprising.

This article tries to overcome this lack of information and attempts to provide an understanding of the concepts, terminology and issues involved in multi-threaded COM programming. It does not try and teach you safe multi-threaded programming which warrants a separate examination. Instead it assumes you have an appreciation of the general issues of multi-threaded programming, such as the necessity to protect or synchronise access to resources accessible from more than one thread. If not, you should investigate Windows synchronisation primitives such as mutexes, semaphores, events, critical sections (for example in References 6 and 7) and the Delphi TMultiReadExclusiveWriteSynchronizer class.

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