A quick guide to DLLs and device drivers
Some of the terminology in computer hardware and operating systems can be a bit confusing. In particular what makes certain components talk to other programs and where things are stored? This is a quick guide to DLLs and device drivers.
A DLL known as Dynamic Link Library helps user to know how Microsoft stores and shares all the library resources. These are then shared between other programs. DLLs are necessary because they have things like code, data, and resources that help run the layers between the GUI (Graphic User Interface) and GDI (Graphic Device Interface interfaces). A GDI has codes that send commands to the GUI.
Every time a user wants to do something such as run a program it sends an executable file or .EXE that being stored in the DLL (Dynamic Link Library) between the interfaces so that the command is sent. Most early Windows Operating Systems required DLL’s for this translation. One of the benefits of this is that it allows for modularity which means that an older hardware system can accept newer software because the code in the DLL can translate it.
All file formats that are the same are in same libraries and are referred to as resources. The calling between libraries is the actual “linking” and all of this are being done in run time so that it appears seamless to the user. For example, OCX that calls up Active X controls are all stored in one library for quick linking. DLLs also manage the memory usage for these translations.
A similar translation component is a driver. Otherwise known as a device driver and it is a piece of software that the operating system requires communicating with any types of hardware attached to the computer. Device drivers are specifically designed for the hardware they support based on the type of Operating System. A driver tells the operating system on how to talk to the device through the main processor.
Most hardware components such as printer need a specific piece of the processing ability. The driver grabs the request of the device and tells the processor where to go. It then transmits to the device so that it will function properly. It allows translation of information between the device and the processor.
Device drivers are typically included with the new hardware device when purchased. However, they are usually available on a vendor website as well. These include the updates of the drivers which increase functionality or provide additional security.
Downloadable drivers have made it easier to add new features to computers. For example, a wireless card in the computer may be updated with a higher level of security.
DLLs (Dynamic Link Libraries) and drivers are both critical to support the hardware that consumers add to their computer systems. It is important that the operating system should be able to talk to any new devices or features added. These enable those abilities and users to stay on abreast of advancement in their technology.