Chapter 3. Understanding Windows Communication Foundation

On the surface, Windows Communication Foundation seems a bit daunting. If you understand WSDL (Web Service Description Language) and web services, grasping the concept of WCF may be less of a task, but if you are not familiar with WSDL/web services, understanding Windows Communication Foundation might seem a bit overwhelming based on what you have read so far, given its multiple layers and many components. A look underneath the hood would expose an API consisting of hundreds of classes.

The beauty of WCF, however, comes from the simplicity of its programming and service models. Although the underlying foundation of WCF is quite large, WCF is built on the .NET Framework and it therefore takes advantage of programming languages and a platform that you already know. Even better, to write WCF services you only need to know how to use a fraction of those many classes.

The best way to learn how to build Windows Communication Foundation services is to jump in with both feet and actually build one. This chapter does just that. After digging into the WCF programming model and service model, the last part of this chapter allows you to begin slinging code and building a WCF service.

This chapter covers the following topics:

  • WCF programming model

  • Installing WCF

  • Building a WCF service

WCF Programming Model

In all my reading on this great technology, I read over and over about the "WCF Programming Model," yet nowhere does it explain, or define, ...

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