Exposing data through a “feed” on the Web isn’t a new idea. A machine-readable format that can push or pull data to or from a client application so that users can receive updated information about their favorite websites has been around for many years. In fact, over the past few years, this capability has solidified into something so ubiquitous that not only do bloggers and news sites expose feeds of their data, but many websites do as well (even my airline has a feed I can subscribe to for news and fare information).
In this chapter, we’ll cover how you can use WCF 3.5 to build feeds. You may not be building the next great blogging engine, but feeds are so mainstream today that enterprises are now adopting them to expose internal data that you might not think of as classic feed data. Now that every browser has a feed reader, feeds can be an important tool in your toolbox for building your systems, even if you aren’t building commercial websites or blog engines.
If you haven’t had a lot of exposure to feeds, I highly recommend opening your favorite browser and search engine and searching on “web feeds” or “RSS and Atom,” which will likely turn up some pretty lively sources of information regarding the history and current use of feeds. Use your browser or download a feed reader (just search for “feed reader” to find one), and try it out before reading the rest of this chapter.
Let’s dive right into how to use the Web Programming ...