Holy cow, I wrote a book!
A customer designed a system which uses shared memory.
Specifically, for each database file, they create a corresponding
shared memory block of, say,
Multiple clients which connect to the same database file use
the same shared memory block.
Naturally, if two processes each access the same database file,
each process will map the shared memory block into their respective
The question arose regarding what happens if one process
connects to the same database file twice.
Will the two calls to MapViewOfFile
share the same address space, or will each one allocate a separate
chunk of address space?
Win32 makes no guarantees what will happen.
All that you can be sure of is that the memory will be mapped
into your address space, and you will get a pointer to it,
and when you're done, you call UnmapViewOfFile.
Whether the two calls return the same pointer is unspecified.
In fact, Windows 95 returned the same pointer,
whereas Windows NT returns a different pointer.
We saw this earlier when we intentionally
mapped the same shared memory block multiple times,
and observed somebody actually taking a dependency on this behavior
in order to effect
the strangest way of detecting Windows NT.
Don't take a dependency on this behavior;
who knows, maybe a future version of Windows NT will
consolidate multiple mappings in order to conserve address space.
If you want force this consolidation behavior, you'll have to
roll it yourself,
say with a lookup table of active mappings and a reference count.