Named pipes are similar to anonymous pipes, except they have a unique name. Typically, a server process creates a named pipe with a known name, and other client processes connect to this pipe simply by specifying the name. The key benefit of named pipes is that unrelated processes can use them, even from over the network. All a process needs is the name of the pipe, possibly the name of the host server, and sufficient security to open it. This makes named pipes suitable for simple communication between a server and many clients.
Named pipes can be created only by Windows NT. Windows 95/98 can create a client connection to an existing named pipe, but can’t create a new named pipe.
Creating and using named pipes is a complex subject and beyond the
scope of this book. However, an example using named pipes can be
found in Chapter 18. The
win32pipe module supports all pipe operations
supported by Windows. For further information on named pipes, please
see the Windows SDK documentation or one of the pipe samples that
comes with the Python for Windows Extensions.