WCF And WF Given To Community
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Monday, 17 June 2019

Microsoft has handed Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) and Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) to the community in the form of the .NET Foundation.

The .NET Foundation, which has expanded since we first reported on it in April 2014, see .NET Goes Open Source, describes itself as being a forum for community and commercial developers to broaden and strengthen the future of the .NET ecosystem. WCF is being adopted under the name Core WCF.


WCF is a subset of the .NET Framework version of Windows Communication Foundation which was once hailed as one of the four pillars of .NET - WPF, WCF, WF and CardSpace.  It has been used to build .NET Core apps, including Windows UWP and ASP.NET 5. Microsoft made it open source back in 2015.

WF, Windows Workflow Foundation, started out as part of .NET, and was essentially a set of libraries for use with .NET. It was rewritten in 2010, and has consisted of an API and an in-process workflow engine that can be used to implement processes as workflows within .NET applications. It powers SharePoint workflows, PowerShell workflows, and Team Foundation Server build processes, among other uses.

The move to the .NET Foundation was preceded by the announcement at Microsoft Build 2019 that after Microsoft adds WinForms, WPF and Entity Framework 6 to .NET Core 3.0, there are no plans to add any more of the technologies from .NET Framework to .NET Core.  This means ASP.NET Web Forms, WCF, Windows Workflow, .NET Remoting and a number of other smaller APIs will not ever be added to .NET Core.
To provide at least WCF and WF with a home where they might continue being developed, the .NET Foundation has now adopted them.  WCF is being renamed as Core WCF.  The initial code has been donated from a WCF team member at Microsoft. Core WCF is not intending to be a 100% compatible port of WCF to .NET Core, but aims to allow porting of WCF code with only a change of namespace.  It will start by offering support for HTTP and TCP SOAP services on-top of Kestrel. The .NET Foundation is not guaranteeing 100% compatibility with .NET, giving the opportunity for improvements on the limitations of .NET Core. 

Meanwhile, Windows Workflow Foundation has been adopted by UIPath. Its name is being changed to Core WF. The project was started by a former Workflow team member and the .NET team has been working to make sure that all the source code is available to port Workflow.  The Core WF project only ports the WF runtime and ETW tracking provider to the .NET Standard, and the developers say much more work is needed before it can substitute for the .NET Framework version.



More Information

.NET Foundation


CoreWF On GitHub

Related Articles

Microsoft Open Sources WCF

.NET Goes Open Source 

MSBuild Engine Now Open Source

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Last Updated ( Monday, 17 June 2019 )