Table Of Contents


Agnos is a cross-language, cross-platform, lightweight RPC framework with support for passing objects by-value or by-reference. Agnos is meant to allow programs written in different languages to easily interoperate, by providing the needed bindings (glue-code) and hiding all the details from the programmer. The project essentially servers the same purpose as existing technologies like SOAP, WSDL, CORBA, and others, but takes a minimalistic approach to the issue at hand.

Unlike the aforementioned technologies, which tend to require integration with web servers, using verbose XML-based protocols on top of textual transports (HTTP), often also requiring complex topologies (such as name servers for registering objects, etc.) – Agnos is designed to be simple, efficient, and straightforward, allowing for direct communication between two ends using a compact binary protocol. You can read more about Agnos.

Key Features

  • Interoperate between python, C#, java, and C++
  • Cross-platform
  • Operates locally or over a network, using sockets directly, or over HTTP
  • srcgen generates IDL from special comments within your source code – only a single place to edit!
  • Lightweight, speedy, and efficient
  • Library Mode - connect to a spawned server process in one line of code
  • Released under the Apache License

For the full list, see features and future plans.

Getting Started

If you’re ready to go, check out our Documentation page.


To demonstrate what we mean by easy, efficient, and straightforward, here’s a simple IDL that defines a remote file access service:

<service name="RemoteFiles">
    <enum name="FileMode">
        <member name="R" />
        <member name="W" />

    <class name="File">
        <attr name="name" get="yes" set="no" />
        <method name="close" type="void" />
        <method name="read" type="buffer">
            <doc>read up to 'count' bytes from the file. an empty string means EOF</doc>
            <arg name="count" type="int32" />
        <method name="write" type="void">
            <doc>writes 'data' to the file</doc>
            <arg name="data" type="buffer" />

    <func name="open" type="File" />
        <arg name="filename" type="string" />
        <arg name="mode" type="FileMode" />

This should be pretty obvious: this IDL defines an enum (FileMode), a class (File) with a single attribute and the three methods, and a function (open) that returns File instances.

Using this service from python, for instance, couldn’t get easier. Just run

$ agnosc -t python remotefiles.xml

to generate the language bindings (which will be named, and then

import RemoteFiles_bindings as RemoteFiles

conn = RemoteFiles.Client.connect("somehost", 12345)

f ="/tmp/foo", RemoteFiles.FileMode.W)
f.write("hello kitty\n")

Implementing the service is a little lengthy, naturally, but very trivial too. To see how that’s done, check out the demo.