What is Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE)? An easy-to-understand explanation of the basic concepts of computer communication

Explanation of IT Terms

What is Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE)? An Easy-to-Understand Explanation of the Basic Concepts of Computer Communication

Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) is a mechanism that allows computer applications to communicate and exchange data with each other in real-time. It was introduced by Microsoft in the early 1980s as a way to facilitate communication between different applications running on the Windows operating system.

At its core, DDE is based on a client-server model, where one application acts as a client and the other as a server. The client application is responsible for initiating the communication and requesting data, while the server application responds to these requests by providing the required data.

One of the key advantages of DDE is its ability to establish a dynamic and interactive connection between two applications. This means that once the connection is established, any changes made in one application will be instantly reflected in the other, allowing for real-time data updates.

DDE relies on a series of predefined messages, called “DDE messages,” to facilitate the communication between applications. These messages include commands such as “Advise,” “Request,” and “Execute,” which are used to initiate data updates, request specific data, and execute commands within the server application, respectively.

One major application of DDE is in the field of automation and data processing. For example, it can be used to link data from a spreadsheet application to a charting application, where any changes made to the values in the spreadsheet will be automatically reflected in the chart. This allows for efficient and automatic updating of data visualizations and reports.

It is important to note that while DDE was widely used in the past, it has become less popular in recent years due to the emergence of newer and more efficient communication protocols, such as OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) and COM (Component Object Model). These newer protocols offer enhanced functionality and greater flexibility in terms of data exchange and application integration.

In conclusion, Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) is a mechanism that enables real-time communication and data exchange between applications. It allows for dynamic and interactive connections between different applications, facilitating efficient automation and data processing.

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