Creating the Global Interface Table

Use the following call to create the global interface table object and get a pointer to IGlobalInterfaceTable:

hr = CoCreateInstance(CLSID_StdGlobalInterfaceTable,
                 (void **)&gpGIT);
if (hr != S_OK) {
  exit(0); // Handle errors here.


When creating the global interface table object using the preceding call, it is necessary to link to the library uuid.lib. This will resolve the external symbols CLSID_StdGlobalInterfaceTable and IID_IGlobalInterfaceTable.


There is a single instance of the global interface table per process, so all calls to this function in a process return the same instance.

After the call to the CoCreateInstance function, register the interface from the apartment in which it resides with a call to the RegisterInterfaceInGlobal method. This method supplies a cookie that identifies the interface and its location. An apartment seeking a pointer to this interface then calls the GetInterfaceFromGlobal method with this cookie, and the implementation then supplies an interface pointer to the calling apartment. To revoke the interface's global registration, any apartment can call the RevokeInterfaceFromGlobal method.

A simple example of using IGlobalInterfaceTable would be when you want to pass an interface pointer on an object in a single-threaded apartment (STA) to a worker thread in another apartment. Rather than having to marshal it into a stream and pass the stream to the worker thread as a thread parameter, IGlobalInterfaceTable allows you simply to pass a cookie.

When you register the interface in the global interface table, you get a cookie that you can use instead of passing the actual pointer (whenever you need to pass the pointer), either to a nonmethod parameter that is going to another apartment (as a parameter to ThreadProc through CreateThread) or to in-process memory accessible outside your apartment.

Care is required because using global interfaces places the extra burden on the programmer of managing problems such as race conditions and mutual exclusion, which are associated with accessing global state from multiple threads simultaneously.

COM provides a standard implementation of the IGlobalInterfaceTable interface. It is highly recommended that you use this standard implementation because it provides complete thread-safe functionality.

When to Use the Global Interface Table