With the release of Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5, the Windows Communications Foundation (WCF) has been extensively revamped for the new tools available in VS2008 to make it easier than ever to produce and consume web services on the Microsoft Net platform.
Essential Windows Communications Foundation For .NET Framework 3.5 has been written by three Microsoft experts from the Microsoft Technology Center in Boston. Their speciality is helping customers improve their technical skills by applying WCF and related technologies. Their goal is to help you do the same.
The intention is not for you to read cover to cover, but if you are new to WCF then you will want to study the first chapter and work with the examples. Then you can work with the following chapters as they each cover a major feature set of WCF. Essential Windows Communications Foundation For .NET Framework 3.5 is 608 pages and divided into 13 chapters and an appendix.
Chapter 1, "Basics," begins with the basics of building and consuming WCF services. The authors discuss and demonstrate how to implement different types of interfaces and why you would want to work with each. You should, by the end of this chapter be able to produce and consume services using WCF. Chapter 2, "Contracts," discusses the three primary contracts that are available via WCF. Service, data, and message contracts and how they relate to the outside world. A contract is a description of the messages that are passed to and from the service endpoints. The service endpoints are what implement the specific code.
Chapter 3, "Channels," covers channels and channel stacks. The channel model architecture is the foundation for all WCF communications between the clients and services. The channel is what all messages pass though to and from WCF applications. Channels layered together are the channel stack. Chapter 4, "Bindings," shows how to configure the communications stack to use exactly the protocols that you need. Bindings are preconfigured channel stacks and represent wire agreements between a client and a server. This chapter lists out the twelve bindings used for communications and describes the use of each.