Microsoft Open Sources WCF
Written by Mike James   
Friday, 22 May 2015

A new version of WCF that targets .NET Core has been donated to the family of .NET Foundation open source projects.

It's 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. The new version currently supports the same API surface available for Windows 8.1 Store apps. It is used to build .NET Core apps, including Windows UWP and ASP.NET 5. These client libraries are suitable for mobile devices or on mid-tier servers to communicate with existing WCF services.

By targeting .NET Core, WCF now has the opportunity for much wider reach across PCs, laptops, mobile devices, Xbox, HoloLens etc. It can also be ported to other operating systems since it runs on .NET Core, which is adding support for Linux and OS X.

WCF targets the .NET Core framework which is designed to support multiple computer architectures and to run cross-platform. Right now the WCF project builds on Windows, but .NET Core offers the potential for it to run on OS X and Linux. The WCF team are working to make this a reality and to keep up to date as platform support for .NET Core grows, but if you want to help they want contributions especially around improving and testing the platform support.

The repo on GitHub contains the following library components: 

  • System.ServiceModel.Primitives. Provides the common types used by all of the WCF libraries.

  • System.ServiceModel.Http. Provides the types that permit SOAP messages to be exchanged using Http (example: BasicHttpBinding).

  • System.ServiceModel.NetTcp. Provides the types that permit SOAP messages to be exchanged using TCP (example: NetTcpBinding).

  • System.ServiceModel.Duplex. Provides the types that permit 2-way ("duplex") exchanges of messages. This library is currently under construction and not yet fully functional.

 

  • System.ServiceModel.Security. Provides the types that support additional security features. This library is currently under construction and not yet fully functional.


As already mentioned the open source version is a subset of the API available on the Windows desktop, and it supports the library profiles already available for building WCF apps for the Windows Store.  These profiles are primarily client-based, making them suited for mobile devices or on mid-tier servers to communicate with existing WCF services.

Of course WCF was big news back in the days when SOAP was new and everyone was expecting it to become the norm. What happened was the most programmers adopted JSON based REST. Today WCF looks over complex for many tasks and it is mostly important to existing projects that were inspired by SOAP in the early days. Of course having WCF available for mobile apps might make a difference.  

Of the remaining four pillars of .NET that are not open source I doubt we will see WPF open sourced and CardSpace/InfoCard is a canceled project. So will WF be the next to be open sourced? It could well be as it is best described as another "also ran" and so ripe for disposal in the best way possible.

 

netfoundationlogo

 

More Information

The .NET Foundation

WCF on GitHub

WCF Client is Open Source

Related Articles

.NET Goes Open Source 

MSBuild Engine Now Open Source

 

 

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Last Updated ( Friday, 22 May 2015 )