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For the sake of all the lost sheeps looking for information on setting up development environment for Windows Communication Foundation, understanding its overall architecture and learning the basics of WCF. I've compiled some very brief definitions to some of the common questions and it's accompanied resources that might get you going.

About WCF:
1. What is WCF and when will it be released?
As it's name imply, WCF is Microsoft's version of All-In-One communication package, servicing all your Web Services/WS-*/WSE, MSMQ, .Net Remoting, COM+ and what have you. As of this time in writing, it'll be shipped together with .Net 3.0, not together with VS2005. It has to be installed separately in order to work.

2. Why use WCF?
Because it'll help to expand your business and solves fundamental business issues with ease by providing an unified model for developing communication and transaction critical applications. 

3. Will it work with BizTalk?
BizTalk and WCF works in the same domain, in the sense that though very different products by themselves, they both address SOA issues within an enterprise environment. Hence naturally they will work together but not without some work at this point of time. In the next release of BizTalk they ought to work seamlessly via adaptors.

3. How will WCF be hosted?
Either through Windows Activation Service (WAS - in Vista), IIS (XP and W2k3) or any normal desktop services or application.


About Development Environment:
1. What is required for WCF development?
You'll need VS2005, Windows SDK (if you're on XP or W2k3) and Extensions for WCF (CTP as of now)

2. Samples, tutorials and guides
There're some tutorials in the internet and MSDN on how to build the simplest WCF application and a book (Programming Indigo) that will help you kickstart.

Vista Developer Center
.Net Framework WCF

About Architecture:
1. What's WCF's architecture like
WCF's is basically made up of 4 major layers. They are Contracts, Service runtime, Messenging and finally Activation and Hosting. More information can be found here.

MSDN Conceptual Overview


Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 10:42 AM BizTalk Server , BPM , .Net , Architecture , Connected Systems | Back to top

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