Microsoft on the ATL Future / 微软谈ATL的未来 invited the Visual C++ Team for a week long slow chat answering questions about VC++’s Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.

What about the ATL future?

At this time, our recommendation is to use ASP.NET Web Services for developing web services. Going forward, Windows Communication Foundation in .NET 3.0 will be the preferred technology for developing SOAs. These managed frameworks provide a number of significant advantages over ATL Server, notably support for recent WS* standards, better inherent security, scalability support, and superior design-time experience. It’s very likely we will deprecate ATL Server technology in the Orcas release. I appreciate your comment about potentially opening up the technology via a plugin model or something similar, and this is something we will consider for a future release.

Since the current set of WS-* specs is multiple thousands of pages and the team that is writing the .Net stack to support this dwarfs the C++ team in size, we definitely cannot write a competing stack for native developers.
Since we ship full source for ATL, you can already add whatever functionality you require. It is true that the current architecture doesn’t allow a third party community to easily write orthogonal enhancements and compose them, but re-architecting ATL Server to enable this is not an investment we are likely to make.
Lastly, I do want to emphasize that to expose a web service through the .Net stack you only need to compile just the piece of code that does the actual exposing as managed code (C++/CLI is the easiest way to write the code so you can trivially integrate it with your existing application) and you can keep all the rest as native code.

The problem is that ATL Server would need so much work to be competitive with the managed frameworks, the VC++ teams has to ask itself: is it worth the expediture of resources to address just one of many issues? Or would it be wiser to spend those resources in another area of the product where we believe we can have a bigger impact on the success of our customers? We’re choosing the latter route here, of course. We understand and regret that decisions like this can be painful for the customers invested in the technology, but I believe it’s better to deliver the bad news honestly than for customers to not know where we stand.

I did say we were likely to deprecate ATL Server in Orcas. That’s pretty official if you ask me.
Just ATL Server. We are not considering deprecating all of ATL in Orcas — COM remains alive and well, despite what you may have heard.

Steve Teixeira
Group Program Manager
Visual C++

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