Saturday, March 06, 2010

Web Service Vs WCF (Window Communication Foundation)

Web Service Vs WCF (Window Communication Foundation)

WCF is a set of .NET Framework-based technologies for building and running services. WCF is the next step in the evolutionary path that started with COM, COM+, and MSMQ, and continues through .NET Remoting, ASMX, System.Messaging, and .NET Enterprise Services. WCF combines these technologies and offers a unified programming model for developing services using any CLR-compliant language.


ASP.NET Web Service



Slower compared to WCF

The main benifit of the design of the DataContractSerializer is better performance over XML serialization

File Extension

File extention is asmx

File extension is .svc

Data Transformation

To and from Data Transition is done through XML Serializer

DataContractSerializer is used for data transition

Webmethods vs DataContract Attributes

ASP.NET WebService uses Webmethods to to translate .NET FW types in to XML.

The WCF uses the DataContractAttribute and DataMemeberAttribute to translate .NET FW types in to XML.


Only Public fields or Properties of .NET types can be translated into XML.Only the classes which implement IEnumerable interface, ICollection interface can be serializable

Public/Private fields or properties of .NET types can be translated

IDictionary Interface class

Classes that implement the IDictionary interface, such as Hash table can not be serialized.

The DataContractSerializer can translate the Hash Table into XML. Hence using WCF we can even translate HashTable into XML

Know which fields /properties

XMLSerialization does not indicate the which fields or properties of the type are serialized into XML

DataCotratSerializer Explicitly shows the which fields or properties are serialized into XML

Exception handling

In ASP.NET Web services, Unhandled exceptions are returned to the client as SOAP faults.

In WCF Services, unhandled exceptions are not returned to clients as SOAP faults. A configuration setting is provided to have the unhandled exceptions returned to clients for the purpose of debugging.


public class Service : System.Web.Services.WebService
public string Demo(string strDemog)
return strDemo;


public interface ITest
string Demo (string strDemo);
public class Service : ITest
public string Demo(string strDemo)
return strDemo;

Learn more about WCF

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