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InfoQ Homepage News Named Pipe Support added to Visual Studio Orcas

Named Pipe Support added to Visual Studio Orcas


The next version of Visual Studio will include named pipe support. Named pipes are the traditional way to handle inter-process communication in Windows. While largely replaced by TCP, they still have some advantages over other communication methods.

As the name implies, they are named. TCP ports are numeric, meaning that care must be taken to ensure two applications don't share the same port. With named pipes, it is easy to reduce the chance of collision by prefixing a company or application name to the pipe.

Like other files and resources, named pipes can also be secured using an access control list.

Anonymous pipes will also be supported. These are one-way pipes normally used to transfer data between a parent and child process. Unlike names pipes, they cannot be used over a network.

Generally speaking, TCP is much faster than pipes, especially when network speed is an issue. Microsoft recommends using TCP when communicating over slow LAN, WAN, or dial-up networks. When communication is occurring between processes on a single machine, pipes run in kernel mode and are extremely fast.


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