Messaging and named pipes are simple and easy ways to pass data from one machine to another. The named pipes, in particular, provide a wonderful way to transfer data in full duplex between not only processes but machines as well. Because both messages and named pipes work independently from network protocols, you are not limited to using them only on TCP/IP networks, as sockets are so limited.
A named pipe can transfer any text or binary data. This can be data obtained or created by a script, read from a file, or queried from a database. One of my original uses of the named pipe extension was to interface a series of Microsoft Access and FoxPro ODBC databases on one machine with a Web server on another machine.