Chapter 4. Playing Nice with Others: Native Code and COM Interoperability

All Microsoft Visual Basic .NET applications run within the common language runtime (CLR). This should not be news to anyone. The CLR provides what’s called a managed runtime environment, which offers a set of services, including garbage collection, to applications that run within that environment. In essence, the CLR is a kind of sandbox—it isolates Visual Basic .NET applications from native (unmanaged) applications that are running on the same computer system. It’s been said that no man is an island. That’s also true for a runtime environment such as the CLR—it cannot exist on its own. Applications that run in this environment must be able to communicate with the outside ...

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