Bond is a cross-platform framework for working with schematized data. It supports cross-language de/serialization and powerful generic mechanisms for efficiently manipulating data. Bond is broadly used at Microsoft in high scale services.
C++ C# Haskell CMake Python PowerShell
Latest commit 0c88b25 Feb 24, 2017 @chwarr chwarr committed with lalo [c# epoxy] Fix TLS example for IPv6 localhost
Before, we were only listening on IPv4 loopback. If "localhost" resolves
to [::1], we couldn't connect. Now, we listen on both of the default
IPv4 and IPv6 loopback addresses.

The Bond logo: a stylized glue gun

Build Status Bond.CSharp NuGet package


Bond is an open source, cross-platform framework for working with schematized data. It supports cross-language serialization/deserialization and powerful generic mechanisms for efficiently manipulating data. Bond is broadly used at Microsoft in high scale services.

We are also introducing the Bond Communications framework--known as Bond Comm--which allows for remote process communication. This framework is the successor to an internal framework that is used by several large services inside Microsoft. We have now released versions of Bond Comm for C# and C++. Consult the C# manual and the C++ manual for more details on Bond Comm's usage and capabilities. Note that the wire format should be considered firm at this point but the APIs and implementation are still evolving so Bond Comm is still considered "pre-1.0".

Bond is published on GitHub at

For details, see the User's Manuals for C++, C# and Python, and the documentation of the compiler tool and library.

For a discussion how Bond compares to similar frameworks see Why Bond.


The Bond repository uses Git submodules and should be cloned with the --recursive flag:

git clone --recursive

In order to build Bond you will need CMake (3.1+), Haskell (ghc 7.4+ and cabal-install 1.18+) and Boost (1.58+). The core Bond C++ library can be used with C++03 compilers, although Bond Comm, Python support, unit tests and various examples require some C++11 features. (Note: Boost 1.59 may not work with Bond Comm due to some bugs in that version of the Boost ASIO library).

Following are specific instructions for building on various platforms.


Bond can be built with Clang (3.4+) or GNU C++ (4.7+). We recommend the latest version of Clang as it's much faster with template-heavy code like Bond.

Run the following commands to install the minimal set of packages needed to build the core Bond library on Ubuntu 14.04:

sudo apt-get install \
    clang \
    cmake \
    zlib1g-dev \
    ghc \
    cabal-install \
    libboost-dev \

cabal update
cabal install cabal-install

In the root bond directory run:

mkdir build
cd build
cmake ..
sudo make install

The build directory is just an example. Any directory can be used as the build destination.

In order to build all the C++ and Python tests and examples, a few more packages are needed:

sudo apt-get install \
    python2.7-dev \
    libboost-date-time-dev \
    libboost-test-dev \

cabal install happy

Running the following command in the build directory will build and execute all the tests and examples:

make --jobs 8 check

(The unit tests are large so you may want to run 4-8 build jobs in parallel, assuming you have enough memory.)


Install Xcode and then run the following command to install the required packages using Homebrew (

brew install \
    cmake \
    ghc \
    cabal-install \
    boost \

(boost-python is optional and only needed for Python support.)

Update the cabal package database and install happy (only needed for tests):

cabal update
cabal install happy

Bond can be built on OS X using either standard *nix makefiles or Xcode. In order to generate and build from makefiles, in the root bond directory run:

mkdir build
cd build
cmake ..
sudo make install

Alternatively, you can generate Xcode projects by passing the -G Xcode option to cmake:

cmake -G Xcode ..

You can build and run unit tests by building the check target in Xcode or by running make in the build directory:

make --jobs 8 check

Note that if you are using Homebrew's Python, you'll need to build boost-python from source:

brew install --build-from-source boost-python

and tell cmake the location of Homebrew's libpython by setting the PYTHON_LIBRARY variable, e.g.:

cmake .. \


Build Status

Install the following tools:

If you are building on a network behind a proxy, set the environment variable HTTP_PROXY, e.g.:

set HTTP_PROXY=http://your-proxy-name:80

Update the cabal package database:

cabal update

Now you are ready to build the C# 4.0/4.5 version of Bond. Open the solution file cs\cs.sln in Visual Studio and build as usual. The C# unit tests can also be run from within the solution.

To build the .NET Core version of Bond, run the build script. The -Test switch is used to run the unit tests as well.

.\cs\dnc\build -Test

The C++ and Python versions of Bond additionally require:

You may need to set the environment variables BOOST_ROOT and BOOST_LIBRARYDIR to specify where Boost and its pre-built libraries for your environment (MSVC 12 or MSVC 14) can be found, e.g.:

set BOOST_ROOT=D:\boost_1_58_0
set BOOST_LIBRARYDIR=D:\boost_1_58_0\lib64-msvc-14.0

The core Bond library and most examples only require Boost headers. The pre-built libraries are only needed for unit tests and Python support. If Boost or Python libraries are not found on the system, then some tests and examples will not be built.

In order to generate a solution to build the C++ and Python versions with Visual Studio 2015 run the following commands from the root bond directory:

mkdir build
cd build
set PreferredToolArchitecture=x64
cmake -G "Visual Studio 14 2015 Win64" ..

Setting PreferredToolArchitecture=x64 selects the 64-bit toolchain which dramatically improves build speed. (The Bond unit tests are too big to build with 32-bit tools.) This variable works for Visual Studio 2013 or 2015. For Visual Studio 2012 set the following environment variable instead:

set _IsNativeEnvironment=true

Instead of cmake you can also use cmake-gui and specify configuration settings in the UI. This configuration step has to be performed only once. From then on you can use the generated solution build\bond.sln from Visual Studio or build from command line using cmake:

cmake --build . --target
cmake --build . --target INSTALL

In order to build and execute the unit tests and examples run:

cmake --build . --target check -- /maxcpucount:8


Interested in contributing to Bond? Take a look at our contribution guidelines to get started.