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The future of COM

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  • User profile image
    Rossj

    COM Lives!!!!

    Clemens Vasters wrote:

    Yes, I'm completely not kidding. We've got an open position for a Program Manager to own COM+, DCOM, RPC, the WCF/COM Integration, System.EnterpriseServices and all the future goodness that we're going to stick into Longhorn Server and future versions of Windows to keep COM going and make it increasingly integrated with all the goodness that we're working on for the future of distributed systems in the years to come. COM dead? Pfft.


    It's dead. It's alive. It's dead. It's alive.

  • User profile image
    Massif

    I thought COM was done, not dead, but done.

    It appears it may not be.

  • User profile image
    rcardona

    Run away, very fast.

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    harumscarum

    Great. I was thinking everything was moving to javscript and html Smiley

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    rhm

    While Microsoft is still supporting development in C++, they'll still need to provide COM versions of their APIs. In the case that a component is managed code, that interop is provided by the framework, but since it appears very little managed code made it into Vista in the end, there are bound to be new COM interfaces springing up to cover the new functionality.

  • User profile image
    ClemensV

    Precisely. There are tons of apps using COM and we still keep doing work on it. Not "1000 people adding features" kind of work, but there's most certainly stuff that that needs to be done. WCF ships a COM moniker, by the way Wink

  • User profile image
    Raghavendra_​Mudugal

    Having now... Chocolate Chip Cookies... In the name of "COM" Thanks for that <a href... Smiley

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    littleguru

    The king is dead, long lifes the king. Tongue Out

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    BlackTiger

    COM is still VERY alive! And will be for many years. There is no alternatives for COM. Remoting? Remoting sucks. Remoting is actually dead product. WCF? It's too different to be "COM replacement", they are in paralell to each other.

    If you stumbled and fell down, it doesn't mean yet, that you're going in the wrong direction.
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    cheong

    Actually, if any large scale application supports scripting (especially VBScript), COM is the way to go. So I'm not seeing it dead in foreseeable future. Smiley


    Recent Achievement unlocked: Code Avenger Tier 4/6: You see dead program. A lot!
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  • User profile image
    ClemensV

    DCOM is a wire protocol, COM is the programming model and runtime. The distinction you are making is not very useful and hasn't been for the better part of the last 10 years, littleguru.

    To the rest of the discussion...

    Remoting isn't dead and neither is COM. The level of future investment in both technologies will be proportional to how widely they are being used and respecting the WCF is the strategic technology foundation.  That means that Remoting is in maintenance mode, but it's not dead. It's the primary technology to talk between appdomains in .NET apps and a core part of the .NET Framework.

    Remoting isn't and was never meant to be a replacement for COM and therefore the "better or worse" discussions or even "conclusions" don't make much sense. In terms of features Remoting doesn't even get close to COM (or WCF for that matter), because we never built it out to become a replacement. It's an easy way to serialize objects and get them (or references to them) across a communication link. That's it.

    And, Black Tiger, for the vast majority of distributed systems use-cases, WCF is indeed a very complete replacement for COM these days. Ever since MTS and then in COM+ we have promoted a set of usage patterns for COM that is (un-)surprisingly close to today's web services model. With JITA you decouple client and server instancing (default model for WCF), you should best not pass objects by reference, etcetc.

    In terms of performance WCF is in striking distance from Enterprise Services/COM+. We're not beating it in all scenarios, but we've got good reasons to hope that we'll eventually do beat it in a future revision of WCF.

    I concur with littleguru's summary that WCF is the way to go, going forward. Not only do I concur, I happen to have very strong evidence that that's the way to go. I work on the team owning ALL of those technologies (COM, Remoting, WCF) that I just mentioned. Big Smile

    Cheers
    Clemens

  • User profile image
    littleguru

    BlackTiger wrote:
    COM is still VERY alive! And will be for many years. There is no alternatives for COM. Remoting? Remoting sucks. Remoting is actually dead product. WCF? It's too different to be "COM replacement", they are in paralell to each other.


    COM per se is only for one computer. What you speak about is called DCOM or distributed COM.

    Not all think the way you do:

    .NET Remoting article wrote:
    In the past interprocess communication between applications was handled through Distributed COM, or DCOM. DCOM works well and the performance is adequate when applications exist on computers of similar type on the same network. However, DCOM has its drawbacks in the Internet connected world. DCOM relies on a proprietary binary protocol that not all object models support, which hinders interoperability across platforms. In addition, have you tried to get DCOM to work through a firewall? DCOM wants to communicate over a range of ports that are typically blocked by firewalls. There are a ways to get it to work, but they either decrease the effectiveness of the firewall (why bother to even have the firewall if you open up a ton of ports on it), or require you to get a firewall that allows support for binary traffic over port 80.


    And also bigger companies think that remoting is way better than DCOM.

    DCOM has still its place in the IT world, and will have it for quite a long time in the future. But that doesn't mean that new technologies can't compete with it Wink

    Remoting is not completely dead! It's in in maintaince mode... WCF is the way to go and can replace remoting; you just need to configure it in the right way!

  • User profile image
    littleguru

    ClemensV wrote:
    DCOM is a wire protocol, COM is the programming model and runtime. The distinction you are making is not very useful and hasn't been for the better part of the last 10 years, littleguru.

    ...


    Hi Clemens! Thanks for correcting me! I always thought that DCOM is the whole architecture and not just the wire protocol! I thought it comes also with new classes and stuff.

    It's cool to see Microsofties (who are involved in the technology) joining the discussions and enlighten us Smiley

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