Windows Communication Foundation Big Picture

When I say that I work on the Windows Communication Foundation team, a lot of people ask me the deep and piercing question:


"What's that?"


Sometimes I try to prompt them with the former codename 'Indigo', figuring that they just haven't heard the latest renaming news.  This is usually followed by some awkward silence until I launch into a description of the evidently more famous technology also coming together at the same time: Avalon.  Who knew that people were so excited about having their close buttons rendered in 3D?  It's not so bad when your parents don't know what you're working on, but it stings a little when even people at Microsoft haven't heard about this exciting technology.


WCF is a delicious concoction of XML, network technologies, SOAP, Web Services standards, and a special blend of essential oils extracted from Don Box.  If you have a program written with managed code, and you need that program to talk with another program, then WCF may be the right technology for you.  Do you consider any of these attributes important?








Easy development

Long-term support


If so, then think about using WCF for your communication needs.


WCF is a technology that is shipping in the Vista timeframe.  However, WCF also targets running on the XP and 2003 Server platforms as long as you've got the 2.0 .NET Framework installed.  If you're too impatient to wait for Vista, then you can start using WCF today, starting with the January CTP release.


All of my discussions over the next several weeks will deal with the preview releases.  As we get closer to shipping the magical Version 1.0, I'll also talk about the design changes we've been making along the way.


Next time: Hello World, Part 2