Adaptive Communication Environment

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ADAPTIVE Communication Environment (ACE)
Stable release 6.3.3 / September 17, 2015 (2015-09-17)
Development status Active
Written in C++
Type object-oriented C++ classes Framework for Network
Website The ADAPTIVE Communication Environment (ACE)

The Adaptive Communication Environment (often referred to as ACE) is an open-source framework used for network programming. It provides a set of object-oriented C++ classes designed to help address the inherent complexities and challenges in network programming by preventing common errors.[1]


ACE was initially developed by Douglas C. Schmidt during his graduate work at the University of California, Irvine. Development followed him to the Washington University in St. Louis where he was employed. ACE was released by WU's Distributed Object Computer (DOC) group as open source software. Development continued as part of the Institute for Software Integrated Systems (ISIS) at Vanderbilt University.[2]


ACE provides a standardized usage for operating system/machine specific features. It provides common data types and methods[3] to access the powerful but complex features of modern operating systems. These include: inter-process communication, thread management, efficient memory management, etc.

It was designed to be portable and provide a common framework. The same code will work on most Unixes, Microsoft Windows, VxWorks, QNX, OpenVMS, etc., with minimal changes.[4] Due to this cross-platform support, it has been widely used in the development of communication software. Some of the successful projects that have used ACE includes: Motorola Iridium satellites, Boeing Wedgetail's Australian airborne early warning & control (AEW&C) system, and others.[5]

ACE used software design patterns.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ C++ Network Programming, Volume 1, Schmidt and Huston, Addison Wesley Professional, 2001
  2. ^ ACE Programmer's Guide, The: Practical Design Patterns for Network and Systems Programming, Huston, Johnson and Syyid, Addison Wesley Professional, 2003
  3. ^ Wrapper Facade, A Structural Pattern for Encapsulating Functions within Classes, Schmidt,, access October 22, 2008
  4. ^ Porting ACE to a New OS,, accessed Oct. 22, 2008
  5. ^ ACE and TAO Success Stories,, Accessed Oct. 22, 2008
  6. ^ Pattern-Oriented Software Architecture, Volume 2, Schmidt et al., Jon Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2000

External links[edit]