Many applications consume and expose COM interfaces as their object models today. And .NET has tools such as tlbimp, tlbexp and COM Interop support for RCWs and CCWs to help integrate managed code with COM objects. In addition, there are also a number of options in C++ unavailable to other languages such as C# or VB. Some mechanisms are simpler to code, while others provide deeper control over aspects such as data and interface marshaling, custom interface support and performance tuning. What are these options and when do I use them? What conveniences does Visual C++ provide to "go deep" but retain the simplicity of a tool like tlbimp? What goes on under the hood that I need to be aware of when I provide my own interface wrapping, and why might I do this? How is the COM apartment model honored when I recompile as managed code? What AppDomain and threading issues should I be aware of and how do I avoid any pitfalls? What is the fine-print surrounding areas like using interface sinks, object lifetime control, and COM capabilities in mixed or pure images? If you expose or consume COM interfaces in your C/C++ applications today and need to know your options moving forward in .NET then this chat is for you.

September 2, 2004
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