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Inter-process communication

Inter-process communication (IPC) is the exchange of data between one process and another, either within the same computer or over a network. It implies a protocol that guarantees a response to a request. Examples are Unix sockets, RISC OS's messages, OS/2's named pipes, Microsoft Windows' DDE, Novell's SPX, Apple Macintosh's IAC and different forms of software componentry (CORBA, component object model ...).

Although IPC is performed automatically by programs, an analogous function can be performed interactively when users cut and paste data from one process to another using a clipboard.

This article was originally based on material from FOLDOC, used with permission. Update as needed.