Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Web services vs WCF (Windows Communication Foundation) services

When we are talking about WCF and Web Services, are we talking about the same thing? The answer is NO. Today I will be explain the differences between these two and the advantages that WCF has over Web services.

ASP.NET provides .NET Framework class libraries and tools for building Web services, as well as facilities for hosting these services within Internet Information Services (IIS) while WCF provides .NET Framework class libraries, tools and hosting facilities for enabling software entities to communicate using any protocols, including those used by Web services.

WCF supports more protocols for transporting messages than Web services. Web services only support sending messages using the HTTP. WCF supports sending messages using HTTP, as well as the TCP, Named Pipes, and Microsoft Message Queuing (MSMQ). Most importantly, WCF can be extended to support additional transport protocols.

Since Web Services use standard XML, they are platform-independent and language-independent. They don't care about the consuming application as long as they are calling the Web services over HTTP. WCF can be hosted only under the Windows environment, but it can be consumed by clients of different languages and different platforms.

Another significant thing is a WCF service can have one or more WCF endpoints, so one address for each end point. But a Web service can have only one address at one point at a time.

For more information,
   Migrating ASP.NET Web Services to WCF
   Multiple endpoints -WCF

Happy Coding.

Regards,
Jaliya