Introduction to WCF

Description and Concept of WCF (Window Communication Foundation). What is WCF? How WCF plays an important role in making commmunication between applications?
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WCF (Window Communication Foundation) is a solution for the developers to work in the distributing environment. WCF mainly for making the communication in between various applications. Before WCF, the technologies to make communication in between variousapplications were ASMX, .NET remoting, and COM+. WCF provides a common platform for all .NET communication.

WCF is a framework for developing, configuring, exposing, and hosting services. All service providers were agree on SOAP concept for making communication between applications before WCF. The idea of WCF is a combination of SOAP and web service.

There are two categories of classes in WCF.

  • Service model classes handle the configuration and validation.
  • Channel layer classes handle the things such as communication and data transformation.

WCF services expose functionality through one or more endpoints. Clients communicate with the service's endpoint. In configuring an end points there are three components required and these are as under:

  • Address
  • Binding
  • Contract

These three components are interrelated.

An address means an URL.

Binding tells to WCF runtime that  how your endpoint communicates.

Contracts mean it, give the information of working endpoints.

With the help of XML-based config. information we can configure an end point, programmatically using methods/properties, or with both, XML config files and some coding. WCF includes multiple usability avenues. For example, we can use WCF out of the box with little or no coding or elect to build custom implementations for all aspects of your service.

In making communication, channels play an important role, the WCF runtime detects the binding for creating the channels. The main task of channels is receiving and transforming the data. Data goes in one end of the channel, the channel operates on the data, and new data is dumped out from the other end of the channel.

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