Posts Tagged ‘IIS’

Windows Server AppFabric – Where the Party is at for .NET 4 WCF Declarative Workflow Services

2011/02/05 Leave a comment

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I don’t think I’ve been so excited about a new server technology since DCOM. Windows Server AppFabric (codename “Dublin”) is one of the latest server apps that makes deploying, hosting, persisting, managing and distributing .NET WCF services (particularly WCF declarative workflow varieties) rather simple.

…AppFabric is able to perform magic and route incoming  TCP, named-pipes or MSMQ to the service even though it resides in IIS

Some would say AppFabric is arguably just an add-in for IIS.  Though true in some respects that would be a little unappreciative of the full aspects of AppFabric.  For one thing – in exactly the same way that WCF declarative workflows encapsulate service interfaces, classes and code; AppFabric encapsulates

  • WCF hosting and transports
  • configuration
  • service and workflow tracking
  • service control

Plus there’s other uber goodies such as:

  • Workflow hibernate-to-database
  • Distributed Object Cache
  • Dynamic Scaling
  • PowerShell support

In addition some would point out that IIS has had the ability to host WCF services for some time – true; but I would point out that usually it required that the service be locked into the http xxx binding meaning stiff bickies for devs such as myself who would like to use some of the rather splendid features that IIS offers but would rather a different transport like named pipes, TCP or MSMQ. <insert cliché here>

But AppFabric solves all that because now although the service is technically hosted in IIS – it is not limited to just http for AppFabric is able to perform magic and route incoming  TCP, named-pipes or MSMQ to the service even though it resides in IIS.  Wonderful!

So now in WCF-WF .NET 4 we do not necessarily have to worry about coding service interface and classes explicitly; we no longer have to worry about writing a hosting application or what underlying transport to use[1]


  1. Features and Capabilities
  2. Scalable, Long-Running Workflows with Windows Server AppFabric
  3. Deploying a WCF Service to AppFabric
  4. Building a declarative WCF service using Workflow Foundation 4 and Content Based Correlation

[1] though WCF arguably always did this, AppFabric takes it to the next level

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