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European WCF 4.5 Hosting - Amsterdam :: Improvement Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) in .NET 4.5

clock October 1, 2013 09:03 by author Scott

New versions of the Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) and Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) are available in the .NET Framework 4.5, which is included with Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8. The upgrades improve the developer experience and the manageability of applications built using the foundations, while adding new capabilities. Some benefits, such as WF performance improvements and WCF configuration simplification can be realized for existing applications without requiring developers to make modifications. However, a majority of the enhancements are most helpful when writing new code.

WF 4.5 Brings Better Designer, Versioning

WF offers a specialized programming environment for business processes, called workflows. WF 4.5 improves on the previous version, WF 4, while providing backward compatibility.

WF Simplifies Business Process Programming

WF consists of programming interfaces, design and debugging tools, and a runtime engine (which is separate from the common language runtime included with the .NET Framework) that enable the implementation and execution of workflow processes, reducing the amount of code a developer must write.

Workflows are specialized programs that automate custom, often long-running, business processes and enforce business rules in applications. Using software to automate workflows can relieve workers from having to perform repetitive and mechanical tasks, ensure that required procedures are consistently followed, and improve the reliability, tracking, and transparency of those procedures. Several Microsoft products, including SharePoint Server, Dynamics CRM, Dynamics AX, and Team Foundation Server employ WF for workflows.

Developers build workflows in WF by assembling groups of activities, which represent the tasks and logic that comprise a business process, using the WF visual designer which generates XAML script, or by writing C# or Visual Basic (VB) code. WF includes a base set of activities that help build the basic structure of workflows, such as control loops and parallel execution paths, and developers can write custom activities that execute code specific to an application's needs. Microsoft applications integrate with WF by offering custom activities that can be used in workflows to deliver product functionality (such as checking an item into a SharePoint document library).

WF 4.5 Improves on WF 4, Maintains Compatibility

WF 4.5 builds on WF 4, which was a major upgrade that wasn't entirely backward compatible with its predecessor, WF 3.5. Microsoft calls WF 4.5 an additive update, implying that it is fully backward compatible with WF 4. WF 4.5 and WF 4 cannot coexist in a Windows installation, since installing .NET 4.5 replaces .NET 4.

Enhancements in WF 4.5 continue on themes addressed in WF 4, such as simplified development and better performance, and include the following:

Contract-first development. WF is often used in combination with WCF to implement workflows that communicate with remote Web services. Contract-first development in WF automatically generates activity objects for existing WCF services, and developers can use these in the WF designer, reducing the work required to create workflows that use Web services.

C# expressions. Code expressions can be included within workflow activities for tasks such as creating output strings. Previously, only VB could be used to write these expressions (even within C# workflow projects), but now C# is supported as well.

More state machine support. A state machine defines a process that exists within one of multiple possible states until an event causes it to move to a different state. States can be revisited indefinitely, or the process can reach a final state. State machines can describe many types of processes, such as order fulfillment for businesses or chemical reactions for scientific research. WF 4.5 adds features for building state machines, including new activities, designer tools that reduce manual steps, and debugging capabilities.

Designer improvements. A graphical designer for building WF workflows is available in Visual Studio (VS), allowing developers to visually create workflows rather than defining them entirely within code (which is also supported). The WF 4.5 designer adds search features (although not replace), an outline view (similar to Word's Navigation pane), and a pan mode, which will help developers work with large workflows. The newest designer also allows annotations to be added to activities to assist search and enable better commenting of intended functionality. Auto-connect simplifies attaching new activities into a workflow, and auto-insert helps when placing an activity between two existing activities in a workflow.

The designer can also be hosted within other applications so that users don't need to run VS to work with workflows targeted for specific solution spaces, and so that users are limited to workflow elements that are relevant to an application domain. However, not all features available in the designer in VS are available when it is hosted elsewhere (for example, C# expressions and some search capabilities are not available).

Workflow versioning. Workflow processes are prone to revisions, but WF has not previously offered versioning support, leaving the task to developers and IT personnel. WF 4.5 introduces workflow identities, which allow the assignment of names and version numbers to workflow definitions. Multiple definitions can be deployed side by side, and running instances of a workflow can be identified by the definition they are using. This allows new workflow definitions to be deployed and used by new instances while old instances run to completion using an older definition. Further, a dynamic update feature allows existing instances to convert to a later workflow definition, provided the developer defines how the conversion should be handled.

Partial trust hosting. Previously, workflow code would have access to all permissions available to the host application, but in WF 4.5, workflows can run in a partially trusted AppDomain, limiting their capabilities to work with the system. Partial trust can reduce the security risk of using workflows obtained from third parties and can make using workflows safer in hosted multitenant deployments.

Better performance. VB expression support has been modified to deliver better runtime performance, which will improve the efficiency of workflows implemented with such expressions by upgrading to WF 4.5 without rewriting code.

WCF 4.5 Eases Configuration, Adds Communications Options

WCF provides developers with a message-oriented API that can be used to communicate over local networks or across the Internet using protocols such as HTTP, TCP, and Microsoft Message Queuing (MSMQ), reducing the amount of code and time required to integrate applications and enabling the implementation of service-oriented architectures.

The power of WCF is its ability to decouple a Web service's internal logic from the protocols used to send and receive messages, allowing either to be modified without affecting the other. The Web service logic is contained in the source code, while the communications protocol information is contained in a separate configuration file. This allows developers to create business logic and IT administrators to determine the best way to access that logic. The model also allows Microsoft to focus development on a single infrastructure and tool set that handles multiple messaging protocols, rather than developing separate solutions for each protocol.

WCF 4.5 aims to reduce configuration complexity and developer effort while improving performance and adding new communications options with enhancements that include the following:

Configuration file simplification. WCF uses XML-based configuration files to separate connection protocol information from code, but these files can be tedious to edit. Properties set to default values can be excluded in WCF 4.5 configuration files, shortening the files and reducing the complexity of working with them. Also, the VS XML editor now provides tooltips when working with a WCF configuration file to help developers understand elements and properties without opening separate documentation.

Asynchronous methods. .NET 4.5 has new elements that simplify the development effort required to write applications that perform tasks in parallel. Methods can be called asynchronously (so they run in a separate thread while the calling code path continues) with much less coding overhead than previously. WCF 4.5 supports methods that take advantage of the new .NET 4.5 asynchronous capabilities, helping developers create better performing WCF applications.

Portable libraries. A portable .NET Framework class library can run on different platforms such as Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and the Windows Store, eliminating the need to write multiple versions of code for tasks that run the same way on each platform. WCF 4.5 code (with some exceptions) can be used in portable class libraries, so an application's WCF code doesn't have to be rewritten for each platform.

Better message streaming. WCF 4.5 offers improved performance when messages are streamed by using asynchronous streaming, which allows process threads to be closed and reused while waiting on a response (previously, threads would hold system resources while waiting for a response). Also, performance is improved when messages are streamed by a service hosted in IIS, since ASP.NET will now send the message to WCF before the entire message is received (previously, ASP.NET would wait until the full message was received and buffered). This reduces memory usage and enables WCF to respond more quickly.

UDP and WebSocket bindings. WCF uses bindings to define how services communicate. Several binding types, such as HTTP, TCP, and MSMQ are included with WCF, and developers can define custom binding types for other communication mechanisms. WCF 4.5 adds bindings for UDP (which supports message broadcasting to multiple clients without soliciting a response) and WebSocket (which provides two-way TCP communication using HTTP or HTTPS ports with reduced overhead and better performance than HTTP).


European WCF 4.5 Hosting - Amsterdam :: IntelliSense for WCF Config file .NET 4.5

clock September 4, 2012 07:09 by author Scott

Now Visual studio 2011 is giving IntelliSense for WCF config files (App.config, Web.config). It is really good for .NET developer, previously when we developed WCF application; Application development is easy rather than configuration. Now in VS 2011 gives us IntelliSense in the Config file. Even we can also map contract.

In previous version of Visual Studio we did configuration via "
Edit WCF Configuration" wizard

In the below image we can set endpoint binding.

In the below image we can set service contract.


European WCF 4.0 Hosting - Amsterdam :: Creating WCF 4.0 Service and Hosting in IIS 7.5

clock May 22, 2012 11:02 by author Scott

This article will give step by step walkthrough

1. How to create a basic WCF 4.0 Service?

2. How to host WCF Service in IIS 7.5?

3. Hot to test service in a client.

Create WCF Service

Create WCF service. Open visual studio select new project and then from WCF tab select WCF Service application to create a new WCF service.

Delete the default code created by WCF from
IService1 and Service1.svc.cs

a. So delete the data contract

b. Modify the service contract as below. Just make one operation contract to return a string .


using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Runtime.Serialization;
using System.ServiceModel;
using System.ServiceModel.Web;
using System.Text;
namespace WcfService5
    public interface IService1
        string GetMessage();




using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Runtime.Serialization;
using System.ServiceModel;
using System.ServiceModel.Web;
using System.Text;

namespace WcfService5

    public class Service1 : IService1
        public string GetMessage()
            return "Hello From WCF Service ";

Leave the default configuration created by WCF.


<?xml version="1.0"?>
    <compilation debug="true" targetFramework="4.0" />
          <serviceMetadata httpGetEnabled="true"/>        
          <serviceDebug includeExceptionDetailInFaults="false"/>
    <serviceHostingEnvironment multipleSiteBindingsEnabled="true" />
    <modules runAllManagedModulesForAllRequests="true"/>

Host WCF Service in IIS 4.0

Open IIS

a. Open the command prompt in administrator mode. To do click on Start button then type RUN in search and then in Run window type inetmgr to open IIS .

Now you will have IIS open like below

b. Right click on Sites and then click Add Web Site

c. Now a window will open

Give any name of your choice as the site name. I am giving name here

Now click on
select and choose ASP.Net v4.0 from the drop down.

Now in the physical path section, we need to give physical path of the service. So to get the physical path of the service, right click on the WCF Service project in visual studio and click open project in windows explorer. Open the project in windows explorer and from address bar copy the path and paste that below. Or you can browse also. Just click on browse button and navigate to project folder of the WCF Service.

Now at the Binding section select HTTP. Give any port number. I am selecting the port as 4567

Do not give any name as host name. Leave it blank

Check the check box Start Web Site Immediately.

And now click OK on the window.

d. Now open visual studio command prompt in administrator mode. Right click and select as administrator

Type the below command

aspnet_regiis.exe /iru

You will get the message Finished Installing ASP.Net 4.0

e. Now go to
inetmgr, you would able to see the site you just created in previous step.

Publishing the WCF Service

Go back to WCF Service. Right click and select Publish

On clicking of publish a window will come.

Give a Service URL. You are free to give any Service URL here. Just make sure host name is geeting resolved. In stead of localhost you can give IP address or your machine name also.

Give the name of the site
HostedWcfService. We created this site in previous step.

Leave the credential inactive.

Now click on

You will get the message in bottom
publish succeeded

Browsing the service hosted in IIS

Inetmgr and right click on site HostedWcfService. Then from Manage Web Site select Browse option.

When you click on browse site will get open in browser

You will get the above error. Just in address bar append Service1.svc with the address to open the service in browser.


And in browser you will get the service up and running

So now you successfully created and hosted the WCF 4.0 service in IIS 7.5

Testing the Service at client

a. Create console application project

b. Right click and add the service reference.

c. Give in address the address of service hosted in IIS and click GO.

d. Call the service as below ,


using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Text;
using ConsoleApplication1.ServiceReference1;

namespace ConsoleApplication1

    class Program
        static void Main(string[] args)
            Service1Client proxy = new Service1Client();






European WCF 4.5 Hosting - Amsterdam :: WCF 4.5 Features

clock March 22, 2012 07:14 by author Scott

This post discusses the new features in WCF 4.5. There have been significant improvements in WCF 4.5 on configuration.

Simplifying the generated configuration file in client

A client configuration file is generated when you add a service reference in Visual Studio 2010. The configuration files in earlier version of WCF contained the value of every binding property even if it is a default value. In WCF 4.5 Configuration files contain binding properties that are set to non-default value.

Example of configuration file generated by WCF 3.0

Example of same configuration file generated by WCF 4.5

Single WSDL File

In earlier version of WCF, WSDL document specifies dependencies via xsd:import attributes. WSDL file generated by WCF looks as below

Some clients may not consume the above WSDL file generated from WCF earlier version. In WCF 4.5 there is a single WSDL file and no external references to schema types.

When you browse the service metadata file in WCF4.5 then you will see the below options

If you want the single WSDL file then you can use the second link which ending with ?singlewsdl

Multiple Authentication Support on single end point in IIS

Hosting the WCF Service is bit tricky. You will get an error message when your service endpoint authentication is not matching the IIS’s authentication types.

attribute is a new feature in WCF 4.5 which tells the service to inherit the authentication types from IIS host.

Now you can enable multiple authentication types in IIS

After enabling the authentication types in IIS then if you browse service’s WSDL file then you will see the below authentication types

WebSocket Support

Two new bindings have been added to support communication over a WebSocket transport.

NetHttpBinding and NetHttpsBinding

Streaming Improvements

Support for asynchronous streaming has been added to WCF. To enable asynchronous streaming, add the DispatcherSynchronizationBehavior endpoint behavior to the service host and set its AsynchronousSendEnabled property to true. You will get the scalability benefit when service sending streamed messages to multiple clients.

In earlier versions when you host WCF service on IIS, there were some around buffering the messages. When receiving a message for IIS hosted service which used to stream a message, would buffer entire message before sending it to WCF.

Now the buffering has been removed in .NET 4.5 and now IIS hosted WCF services can process the incoming stream before the entire message has been received.

More about the features can be read here


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