Distributed Component Object Model

Definition of Distributed Component Object Model

Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) is a Microsoft protocol that enables communication between software components across networked computers. It builds upon the Component Object Model (COM), which is a standard for creating and using software components in a single process. DCOM extends COM’s functionality by allowing these components to be used and interact over multiple computers within a network, facilitating distributed applications.


The phonetics for the keyword “Distributed Component Object Model” can be represented as:- Distributed: /dɪˈstrɪb.ju.tɪd/- Component: /kəmˈpoʊ.nənt/- Object: /ˈɒb.dʒɛkt/- Model: /ˈmɑ.dəl/Keep in mind that these phonetic transcriptions use the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) to demonstrate accurate pronunciation.

Key Takeaways

  1. Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) is a Microsoft technology that allows communication between software components, even if they reside on separate computers across a network.
  2. DCOM is an extension of the Component Object Model (COM), which enhances the level of integration, remote capabilities, and security in a distributed environment.
  3. Despite its benefits, DCOM has been largely superseded by newer technologies like .NET Remoting and Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) in more recent applications, due to their greater flexibility and better support for internet protocols.

Importance of Distributed Component Object Model

The Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) is an important technology term because it plays a crucial role in enabling software components to communicate with one another across different networked computers.

Developed by Microsoft, DCOM is an extension of the Component Object Model (COM), which facilitates the creation, use, and management of software objects within a single system.

DCOM allows these software objects to interact seamlessly over a network, extending the capabilities of object-oriented programming and promoting reusability, scalability, and efficient distribution of processing tasks within complex systems.

This technology has been the backbone of many distributed applications, maintaining a vital position in the electronic exchange of information and service-oriented architectures (SOAP, XML, etc.).


Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) is an integral technology that enables software components to communicate and work together across a network in a seamless, efficient manner. The primary purpose of DCOM is to establish a robust framework that simplifies the development of distributed applications, allowing developers to create applications that can perform tasks and execute functions on different computers, as though they were running on a single system.

By extending the Component Object Model (COM), DCOM expands the horizons of possibilities by incorporating remote procedure calls (RPCs) and ensuring communication between objects, regardless of their location on the network. In real-world applications, DCOM provides a multitude of benefits, ranging from improved scalability to better resource management.

For instance, large-scale software applications can leverage DCOM to distribute their workload across multiple servers, effectively enhancing overall system performance and reliability. Furthermore, DCOM ensures that software applications can efficiently tap into the resources and services provided by various components distributed within the network.

Ultimately, DCOM plays a crucial role in driving the development of cutting-edge, distributed enterprise applications that cater to the evolving needs of the modern business landscape.

Examples of Distributed Component Object Model

Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) is a Microsoft technology that enables software components to communicate directly over a network. It was first introduced as an extension of the Component Object Model (COM) to support remote procedure calls. Here are three real-world examples of applications using DCOM technology:

Microsoft Exchange Server: Microsoft Exchange Server is a widely used email, calendaring, and contact management server that relies on DCOM technology for several of its features. The server utilizes DCOM to communicate between its various components, services, and clients. This allows Exchange Server to provide seamless email and calendar functionality across different devices and platforms.

Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Systems: SCADA systems are extensively used in industrial automation for monitoring and controlling processes, equipment, and devices in real-time. DCOM-based frameworks like OPC (Object linking and embedding for Process Control) have been a critical part of many SCADA systems for enabling communication between different software components and hardware devices in a distributed network. The OPC servers work as a bridge between the OPC clients and hardware devices, using DCOM for secure data transfer and remote access capabilities.

Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator (MSDTC): Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator (MSDTC) is a Windows-based service that coordinates transactions across multiple servers to maintain data consistency in distributed applications. This service relies on the DCOM technology for communication between servers, enabling them to collaborate over a network during transaction processing.

FAQ: Distributed Component Object Model

1. What is the Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM)?

The Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) is a Microsoft technology that enables communication between software components across a network. It is an extension of the Component Object Model (COM), allowing the creation, manipulation, and communication of objects distributed across multiple computers.

2. How does DCOM work?

DCOM works by extending the COM model to support communication between different machines. It uses a client-server model, where clients request services from server objects running on remote computers. The DCOM infrastructure, called an Object Request Broker (ORB), handles the creation and management of remote objects and marshals the method calls between the client and remote objects.

3. What are the advantages of using DCOM?

Using DCOM provides several advantages, including scalability, flexibility, and ease of integration with existing systems. Its distributed nature allows applications to utilize resources efficiently across multiple computers and balance loads effectively. DCOM also integrates easily with Microsoft technologies and can take advantage of the existing Windows security infrastructure.

4. What are the drawbacks of DCOM?

Some drawbacks of DCOM include its dependency on Microsoft platforms, complexity, and potential security risks. DCOM is a Windows-specific technology, which may limit its use with other platforms. Additionally, configuring and managing DCOM can be complex due to the numerous configurations required for proper network communication. Lastly, DCOM communicates over a network, increasing the potential for security vulnerabilities if not properly configured and secured.

5. How does DCOM compare to other distributed object technologies?

DCOM is one of the several distributed object technologies, with alternatives such as CORBA and Java RMI. While DCOM is specific to Microsoft platforms, CORBA provides a platform-independent approach to distributed objects. Java RMI, on the other hand, is a Java-specific implementation with support for distributed objects. Each technology has its strengths and weaknesses, and the choice depends on factors like platform requirements, programming language, and desired features.

Related Technology Terms

  • Remote Procedure Call (RPC)
  • Object Serialization
  • Interface Definition Language (IDL)
  • Component Object Model (COM)
  • Distributed Computing

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