Windows Communication Foundation or WCF, also known as Microsoft WCF, is a framework that is used for building different types of service-oriented applications. With the help of WCF, users can send data as simple asynchronous messages easily from one endpoint of service to another. The service endpoint can function as a part of continuously available services that are hosted by the IIS or it may be a service that is hosted in a specific application. A client of some service can function as the endpoint which in turn requests the data from the service endpoint. Messages sent can include only a single character or term or a word sent as an XML file, or even as complex as a stream of high-end binary data.
There are a number of distinct features that are associated with Microsoft WCF. Some of them are listed below.
One of the distinct facets of using the Microsoft WCF is that it effectively allows you to come up with various service-oriented applications. The SOA or service-oriented architecture focuses on the dependency on web services for receiving and sending data. These services come with a general advantage of loosely-coupled and not hardcoded from a single application to another. Such loosely-coupled relationships indicate that any kind of client that is created on the platform can effectively connect to a service if all the vital contracts are perfectly met.
WCF perfectly supports all publishing service metadata that makes use of formats that are specified in the industry standards like XML Schema, WS-Policy, and WSDL. Such metadata can be implemented with automatically generated and configured clients to access WCF services. The service metadata can be published over HTTPS and HTTP or with the help of the standard called Web Service Metadata Exchange.
Multiple Message Patterns
The messages are usually exchanged in any one of the several patterns. The pattern that is most common is request/reply pattern, in which one endpoint puts a request for data from another second endpoint. This is followed by the reply sent by the second endpoint. Other patterns are also in use, such as the one-way message where a message is sent by one single endpoint without expectation of getting a reply. Another more complex pattern of the message is called duplex exchange pattern in which two endpoints work together to establish a single connection and then send the data smoothly back and forth, just like standard instant messaging applications.
Since WCF is created with the help of.NET Framework, the program also includes numerous code-friendly methods for supplying contracts that you want to effectively enforce. One such universal contract type is called a data contract. As you use a code for your service with Visual Basic or Visual C#, the best way to manage data is to create classes that can represent some fixed data entity with the properties belonging to such data entity. The WCF consists of a single comprehensive system that can be used for working with the data in an easy manner.