Chapter 11. Customizing Windows Communication Foundation

Stating that Windows Communication Foundation is extensible would be a gross misrepresentation of its capabilities. It should be fairly obvious by now that the extensible characteristics of WCF are what make it a strong distributed application platform.

The list of features and classes that can be extended is impressive, including topics such as security, the ServiceHost, bindings, the channel layer, and many others. One could probably fill a small book on nothing more than extending WCF. However, I don't have that kind of time. I have a deadline to meet. But you get the drift, so this chapter focuses on three topics that provide the developer some great options for extending WCF.

This chapter discusses the following WCF extensibility topics:

  • ServiceHost/Service Model layer

  • Channel layer

  • Bindings

When talking about extending WCF, there are really only two major layers:

  • The application layer

  • The channel layer

The "glue layer" is the bindings because the application layer doesn't know about the channel implementations. Therefore, bindings are discussed last.

Extending ServiceHost and Service Model Layer

At the root of Windows Communication Foundation is the Service Model layer. Chapter 3 spoke somewhat about the service model, defining what it is and what it is comprised of. However, the WCF Service Model layer has the responsibility of grabbing incoming messages off of the wire (channel), converting them to method invocations, and, if ...

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