The main purpose of VCOM is to provide a service for program-to-program communication in distributed application systems. A distributed application system, in this context, is a system consisting of at least two programs co-operating in order to perform a function. Normally, the co-operating programs are geographically separated, i.e. they run in different computers or environments. They may also run in the same computer, using VCOM as a tool for data transfer.

Processes using VCOM can do so in a connection-oriented or connection-less manner. Information distributed in a connection-less manner will be ’queued’ until the responding application becomes available and asks for information.

VCOM is also available in a client/server configuration. This makes it possible for the VCOM API to be used from applications on workstations without the need for the implementation of a full VCOM node on the workstation. The VCOM Client API attaches to a VCOM server within a VCOM node.

Translation between character sets based on operating environment and codepage are performed automatically. Applications programmers are not required to perform this function.