Like most modern operating systems, Microsoft Windows
supports shared libraries
, collections of code which can be used by multiple processes while only being loaded once into memory. Windows terms its shared libraries Dynamic-link libraries
Most core Windows functionality is contained within Native Applications
and a set of DLLs, which together implement the various subsystems under which code can run (Win32
, Microsoft Windows Services for UNIX
(SUA), Virtual DOS machine
, etc.).Each subsystem defines and implements a large number of functions, or Application programming interfaces
(APIs),which programs running under the subsystems can call.These APIs are exported by, and in many cases implemented in,one or more DLLs specific to the subsystem.
Many other DLLs exist within Windows as components of specific programs or services that are provided with the operating system, andthird-party programs or services added to the system can come with DLLs of their own as well.These are not considered library files, as they are not (in general) callable by other applications, and are not discussed here.
The library files in this section are not used directly by most programs; however, they do help implement functions in other libraries that are so used.
is Windows' Hardware Abstraction Layer
, or HAL.The HAL implements a number of functions that are implemented in different ways bydifferent hardware platforms, which in this context, refers... Read More