WCF - Features


WCF - Features

  • It allows extensive control over the messaging functions of an application.
  • The features of WCF(Windows Communication Foundation) are:

Service Orientation :

  • WCF follows WS Standards and hence it enables to generate Service-oriented Architecture (SOA) based applications. 
  • The service oriented are generally loosely-coupled and so the client based on one platform can contact a service associated with a different platform.

Interoperability :

  • WCF implements modern industry standards for Web service interoperability. 
  • For more information about the supported standards see Interoperability and Integration concepts.

Multiple Message Patterns:

  • Messages in WCF network are exchanged in one of the below patterns: 
    • Request/reply pattern – An endpoint requests data from another endpoint and waits till it receives a response.
    • One-way pattern – An endpoint sends a message without waiting for a response. 
    • Duplex-exchange pattern – Two endpoints establish links to send data in either way.

Service Metadata:

  • WCF publishes metadata over HTTP/HTTPS via WSDL, XML Schema and WS-Policy. 
  • The metadata can be used by the clients for accessing and configuring WCF services. 

Data Contracts:

  • Data contracts manages data in the form of classes.
  • The data is represented as entity along with properties. 
  • WCF service automatically creates the metadata of the defined data.

Security:

  • SSL or WS-Secure Conversation methods are applied to ensure privacy and authenticity of the messages. 

Multiple Transports and Encodings:

  • WCF allows messages transfer over TCP named pipes, MSMQ and standard HTTP. 
  • The messages are securely transferred after encryptions using:
    • Optimized binary format with MTOM(Message Transmission Optimization Mechanism)  standards or
    • Custom encoding.

Reliable and Queued Messages:

  • Reliable messaging is a reliable messaging source (called the source) transfers messages reliably to a reliable messaging destination (called the destination).
  • Reliability is ensured in WCF via WS-Reliable Messaging and MSMQ.

Durable Messages:

  • A durable message pattern saves the exchanged data in database and hence can be retrieved in case of disruption. 

Transactions:

  • WCF allows three transaction models: 
    • WS-Atomic Transactions, 
    • APIs in System.Transactions and 
    • Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator.

AJAX and REST Support:

  • WCF extend its support to data formats including:
    • REST is an evolving Web 2.0 technology. 
    • "plain" XML data 
    • ATOM (a popular RSS standard), and 
    • JavaScript Object Notation (JSON).

Extensibility:

  • WCF architecture has various endpoint to customize the service behavior.