System Services

This section contains the reference for the system APIs and services offered by Windows for desktop apps. These include the traditionally available services for:

  • The Component Object Model (COM).
  • File compression.
  • Dynamic-link libraries.
  • Memory management.
  • Power management.
  • The creation and coordination of multiple threads of execution.
  • The development of service applications.
  • Windows messaging.
  • Obtaining Windows system information.
  • The Help API.

In this section

Topic Description
COM is a platform-independent, distributed, object-oriented system for creating binary software components that can interact. COM is the foundation technology for Microsoft's OLE (compound documents) and ActiveX (Internet-enabled components) technologies.
COM+ is an evolution of Microsoft Component Object Model (COM) and Microsoft Transaction Server (MTS). COM+ builds on and extends applications written using COM, MTS, and other COM-based technologies. COM+ handles many of the resource management tasks that you previously had to program yourself, such as thread allocation and security. COM+ also makes your applications more scalable by providing thread pooling, object pooling, and just-in-time object activation. COM+ also helps protect the integrity of your data by providing transaction support, even if a transaction spans multiple databases over a network.
Activity Coordinator
The Activity Coordinator API coordinates execution of deferrable tasks on a system. Deferrable tasks are those tasks which don’t need to be run immediately. They can defer their execution to a time when the system is in a desired state where running the task does not interfere with other ongoing work.
Compression API
The Compression API exposes the Windows MSZIP, XPRESS, XPRESS_HUFF, and LZMS compression algorithms. This enables developers of Windows applications to manage versions, service, and extend the exposed compression algorithms.
Distributed Transaction Coordinator
Guide and reference documentation for system administrators and developers using the Distributed Transaction Coordinator (DTC).
Provides information about the PowerShell cmdlets provided with Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator (MSDTC) for diagnostics.
Provides information about the PowerShell cmdlets provided with Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator (MSDTC) for management.
Dynamic Link Libraries
How to create and manage DLLs.
Help API
The Help API allows the opening of help catalogs and the retrieval of help content items.
Interprocess Communications
How to use mailslots and pipes.
Kernel Transaction Manager
How to use transacted file and registry operations, or define transactions for other resources.
Memory Management
Core memory management services.
MultiPoint Services
Server role that allows multiple users to simultaneously use the same computer, such as in a classroom environment.
Operation Recorder
Operation Recorder enables applications to speed up operations that repeatedly access the same file data by exposing the Windows prefetching mechanism as a public interface.
Power Management
Core power management services.
Processes and Threads
How to create and manage processes and threads.
Remote Desktop Services
How to programmatically interact with Remote Desktop Services.
How to create and manage services.
How to coordinate multiple threads of execution.
Windows Desktop Sharing
Windows Desktop Sharing is a multiple-party screen-sharing technology. Key scenarios include remote assistance, real-time collaboration and conferencing, and video communication.
Windows Notification Framework
Documents the functions (and function callback prototypes) used to detect and possibly repair an application after a setup or migration has occurred.
Windows Subsystem for Linux
Reference information for the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) programming interfaces.
Windows System Information
How to programmatically access the registry and key system configuration and version information.