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interprocess communication (IPC)

A capability supported by some operating systems that allows one process to communicate with another process. The processes can be running on the same computer or on different computers connected through a network.

IPC enables one application to control another application, and for several applications to share the same data without interfering with one another. IPC is required in all multiprocessing systems, but it is not generally supported by single-process operating systems such as DOS. OS/2 and MS-Windows support an IPC mechanism called DDE .

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