The “is Remoting dead?” question keeps popping up in forums and mailing lists inside and outside of Microsoft. Earlier this week the discussion came up again somewhere, so for the benefit of everyone, here’s what I wrote in the reply email to that “Is Remoting dead?” question – slightly edited for privacy protection:


Nothing is “dead” until it doesn’t ship anymore and then subsequently becomes unsupported. The long-proclaimed-dead COM is very much alive and kicking and there’s even work being done underneath on MS RPC. Remoting is the technology used to communicate across AppDomains within the same process that’s baked into the .NET Framework. As such, it’s very much alive.

Does it have any great & bright future in terms of being a distributed systems technology for communicating across the network and will see any significant investments? No. Our strategic technology for building distributed systems is the Windows Communication Foundation.

Our guidance has been – for the last few years – that you use Web Services (ASM/WSE) by default for whenever you cross a network boundary and if you happen to need features from Enterprise Services or cannot use IIS as your application host, you use ES instead. If you need reliable, durable communication you use MSMQ. Remoting you’d typically only use in cases where you need a more or less convenient way get CLR typed data across a TCP socket – tightly-coupled, non-interoperable, limited security needs, limited scale.

If you choose Remoting, you should avoid client-activated objects, marshal-by-ref, delegates, events and direct access to fields and/or properties. All that will not only make a later migration easier, but is also a good recipe to avoid the most common distributed object system disaster scenarios.

Lastly, this is not so much a matter of opinion as one of reading and understanding what we’ve been saying for quite a while.


What this says is that Remoting isn’t dead. It’s there, it’s part of the .NET Framework and I don’t see anybody pulling it out. At the same time, I also don’t see scores of people spending a lot of time putting more stuff into it. It is what it is.  And as I wrote in that email, this is not a matter of personal opinion or taste or a wild guess – that is simply the definitive story.