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Topic: 14 Top differences between WCF or Windows Communication Foundation and WebService

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User: dhiraj5079 Post Date: 03 Feb 2012 10:52

14 Top differences between WCF or Windows Communication Foundation and WebService

Main Content:
1.Hosting: Webservice can be hosted in IIS while WCF can be hosted in

    IIS,Self-hosting,Windows service,windows activation service etc.

    Thus WCF is more flexible and useful than webservice.

  2.Binding: Webservice supports only http binding while WCF supports

    HTTP,TCP,MSMQ Bindings etc.Again due to this reason WCF is more flexible

    than Webservice.

  3.Duplex communication: Web service supports one way and request response operations

    while WCF supports one way ,request response and

    Duplex communication as well.

    In a client server scenario a duplex WCF service is a service

    where the server can send messages to the client

    without the client requesting them.

    In the scenarios when an event taking place on the server

    should send a message to your client we should use Duplex WCF service.

    For example a third party application sending message to your

    service and your service must inform itas client

    after receiving third party message.


  4.Serialization : In web service System.Xml.serialization is used for

    serialization while in WCF System.Runtime.Serialization   

    namespace ( DataContractSerializer  class) is used for serialization.

    This serializatiobn used in WCF gives better performance.

    System.Xml.serialization is called XML serialization

    while System.Runtime.Serialization namespace ( DataContractSerializer  class for WCF)

    that works like Binary serialization.


  A.Binary serialization is faster than XML serialization

    because Binary serialization writes raw data but XML serialization

    needs formatting of data as per XML.

  B.In binary serialization All members will be serialized

    but in  XML serialization Only Public fields or Properties can be Serialized

    Also in XML serialization Only the classes which implement

    IEnumerable interface can be Serialized.

  5.Encoding : Web service supports mainly XML and Custom Encoding

    but WCF supports XML,Custom and Binary Encoding as well.

    An Encoding is a set of rules to present messages on the wire.

    In other words Encoding is a process of

    converting a message into an array of bytes.

    Encoding should not be confused with serialization

    Serialization defines how the .NET object maps to XML,

    while Encoding defines how the XML is written out to a stream of bytes

  6.Class Attribute : In web service the attribute used for service class is

    [WebService] while in WCF the attribute used for

    service class is [ServiceContract]

  7.Logging :WCF has an integrated Logging mechanism

    that enables us to log traces without writing code for it.

    Web service does not have this facility.

    changing the configuration file settings in WCF provides logging functionality.

    To use Integrated logging mechanism of WCF you need

    to enable message logging in WCF and enable ASP.NET tracing.

  8.Method Attribute :In web service the attribute used for service method is

    [WebMethod] while in WCF the attribute used for

    service method is [OperationContract]

  9.Security :WCF has more security options than web service

    The options for securing ASP.NET Web services

    are those for securing any IIS application but the options for securing

    WCF applications are independent from the facilities of IIS because

    it had to cater to other (tcp ,mamq and of course http) protocol

    other than http from security perspective

    so WCF has all the security options of webservice

    and additionally it has other security options

    of other type of hosting and or underlying implementation(tcp msmq etc).

    Also for mostly used bindings WCF provides default security

    which can be trusted like message security on WSHTTPbinding.



  10.Performance:WCF is faster than ASP.NET Web Services

     Because The DataContractSerializer(Binary like) used in WCF has better performance advantages

     over XML serialization used in webservice so WCF service is faster than ASP.NET webservice


  11.Transaction :WCF supports Atomic Transactions while Webservice does not

     support atomic transaction. WS-Atomic protocol is used to handle transactions in WCF

     Using this protocol different WCF services hosted

     on different servers togather can participate in transaction.

  12.Session :WCF can maintain Session easily while

     in webservice lots of code has to be written for that.

     Below is a sample WCF class with Required Session Mode

     [ServiceContract(Namespace="", SessionMode=SessionMode.Required)]

      public interface ICalculatorSession



  13.Exception Handling :

    Web services Unhandled exceptions are returned to the client as SOAP faults.

   WCF Services unhandled exceptions are not returned to clients as SOAP faults.

   We need to do a configuration setting for the unhandled exceptions

   to  return to clients for debugging.


   14.AJAX and JSON Support:WCF provides AJAX and JSON(java script object notation)

      integration support but web service does not have it.

       Thus WCF services can expose operations to AJAX clients.

       AJAX clients are Web pages running Javascript code and

       accessing these WCF services using HTTP requests


This is 14 Top differences between WCF or Windows Communication Foundation and WebService

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