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Beginning Microsoft® Visual Basic® 2008 by Bryan Newsome, Thearon Willis

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Chapter 21. Distributed Computing with Windows Communication Foundation

With the release of the .NET Framework 3.0, came Windows Communication Foundation (WCF). WCF was the integration of distributed technologies like web services, MSMQ, and .NET Remoting into the same framework. WCF creates a baseline so all of your distributing programming is similar. Now, developers can use all of these technologies without having to completely learn each of them as new. This chapter focuses on the web.

In this chapter, you will:

  • Get an overview of SOAP, the method used to exchange data with web services

  • Build a web service

  • Get an overview of WCF

  • Learn how to build WCF services and learn how to consume them

What Is a Web Service?

When you use the Internet, the two things you most likely use it for are sending (and receiving) e-mail and surfing the Web. These two applications are, by far, the most popular uses of the Internet.

However, from time to time as Internet usage grows, new technologies and applications that have the potential to change forever the way you use the Internet are released. In recent times, Napster was a commercial product that grew from nothing to ridiculously huge in a very short space of time. (In fact, the rate of growth of Napster, until the various court decisions that clipped its wings took hold, was far in excess of the rate of growth of the Web itself!) Naturally, its fall from grace was just as fast.

Building upon the success of the World Wide Web as you know it today, web ...

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