ASP.NET Core gRPC for WCF Developers

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Mark Rendle - Chief Technical Officer - Visual Recode

Miranda Steiner - Technical Author


Maira Wenzel - Sr. Content Developer - Microsoft


gRPC is a modern framework for building networked services and distributed applications. Imagine the performance of Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) NetTCP bindings, combined with the cross-platform interoperability of SOAP. gRPC builds on HTTP/2 and the Protobuf message-encoding protocol to provide high performance, low-bandwidth communication between applications and services. It supports server and client code generation across most popular programming languages and platforms, including .NET, Java, Python, Node.js, Go, and C++. With the first-class support for gRPC in ASP.NET Core 3.0, alongside the existing gRPC tools and libraries for .NET 4.x, it's an excellent alternative to WCF for development teams looking to adopt .NET Core in their organizations.

Who should use this guide

This guide was written for developers working in .NET Framework or .NET Core who have previously used WCF, and who are seeking to migrate their applications to a modern RPC environment for .NET Core 3.0 and later versions. More generally, if you are upgrading, or considering upgrading, to .NET Core 3.0, and you want to use the built-in gRPC tools, this guide is also useful.

How you can use this guide

This is a short introduction to building gRPC Services in ASP.NET Core 3.0, with particular reference to WCF as an analogous platform. It explains the principles of gRPC, relating each concept to the equivalent features of WCF, and offers guidance for migrating an existing WCF application to gRPC. It's also useful for developers who have experience with WCF and are looking to learn gRPC to build new services. You can use the sample applications as a template or reference for your own projects, and you are free to copy and reuse code from the book or its samples.

Feel free to forward this guide to your team to help ensure a common understanding of these considerations and opportunities. Having everybody working from a common set of terms and underlying principles helps ensure consistent application of architectural patterns and practices.