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WinHTTP: Under the Hood

A couple of weeks ago we took a look at WinINet.  Today, our focus shifts to WinHTTP.  The WinHTTP API is designed to provide client side HTTP services to server applications.  If you recall from our post, WinINet was designed as an HTTP API client platform that allowed the use of interactive message dialogs such as entering user credentials.  By contrast, WinHTTP’s API set is geared towards a non-interactive environment allowing for use in service-based applications where no user interaction is required or needed.  WinHTTP can be leveraged using either the Win32 API set or a COM interface.

WinHTTP version 5.1 is an OS-level component of Windows 2000 SP3 and later (except Datacenter Server), Windows XP SP1 and later and Windows Server 2003 SP1 and later. 

As with WinINet, WinHTTP leverages the underlying Sockets Interface and Emulator to access the network, as shown below.  WinHTTP is similar to WinINet – except that WinHTTP only provides the API’s to support the HTTP protocol.  Protocols such as Gopher and FTP are handled by WinINet[…]

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