The Boost.Asio library is intended for programmers using C++ for systems
programming, where access to operating system functionality such as networking
is often required. In particular, Boost.Asio attempts to address the following
Portability. The library should support,
and provide consistent behaviour across, a range of commonly used operating
Scalability. The library should allow,
and indeed encourage, the development of network applications that scale
to hundreds or thousands of concurrent connections. The library implementation
for each operating system should use the mechanism that best enables this
Efficiency. The library should support
techniques such as scatter-gather I/O, and allow protocol implementations
that minimise data copying.
Model Berkeley sockets. The Berkeley sockets
API is widely implemented and understood, as well as being covered in much
literature. Other programming languages often use a similar interface for
Ease of use. Lower the entry barrier for
new users by taking a toolkit, rather than framework, approach. That is,
try to minimise the up-front investment in time to just learning a few
basic rules and guidelines. After that, a library user should only need
to understand the specific functions that are being used.
Basis for further abstraction. The library
should permit the development of other libraries that provide higher levels
of abstraction. For example, implementations of commonly used protocols
such as HTTP.
Although the current incarnation of Boost.Asio focuses primarily on networking,
its concepts of asynchronous I/O can be extended to include other operating
system resources such as files.