Middleware, Windows NT and Visual Basic

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    I need to describe a system that I no longer remember very well and I could use some help inserting some plausible names where my memory and knowledge fail. This is like a design problem. If my verb tense is confusing let me say this is a solution that was done but the details are gone so I am creating a plausible scenario as if we were designing it today.
    Its 1997 or so. A Windows NT 4 box has a vision system written in C that evaluates widgets going by on a conveyor. (I’ll call this NT box the Vision system). The vision system’s C program has APIs that are accessible from Visual Basic. A programmer will write a Visual Basic program to read about a half dozen floats from the C program’s API and then make these available to DDE clients (other NT 4 boxes). In other words this Visual Basic program will be a DDE server and its data originates from the C program.
    My question is can you describe in moderate detail any plausible scenario in which values stored in a C program (which is designed with the proper APIs) would be accessed by a Visual Basic Program back in 1997? I need to know the names of the middleware and messaging components that could have been used (just chose the most plausible ones).

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