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Three Free Tools for WCF Development

For the developer working with Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), Visual Studio provides almost all the tools that you need. Where Visual Studio doesn't have what you want, however, CodePlex often does. Some of the free tools on CodePlex include:

wscf.blue:This Visual Studio add-in is the latest version of thinktecture's "contract first" development tool. In contract first development you begin by defining your service's operations and, from that specification, generate a code skeleton. http://wscfblue.codeplex.com/

WCFProxyGenerator: Another Visual Studio add-in, this tool extends the generation of the client-side to provide additional error handling, particularly around managing your channels. http://wcfproxygenerator.codeplex.com/

WCFMock: Speaking of testing, if you want to build your WCF service using a Test Driven Development (TDD) methodology you'll need some way to test your interactions with the WebOperationContext and OperationContext helper classes (you're probably using them when getting or setting HTTP status codes, for instance). WCFMock provides a way to mock those classes for testing. http://wcfmock.codeplex.com/

Not all WCF tools are free, however. If you're looking for something more capable than the WCF Test Client, you might want to check out WCFStorm. http://www.wcfstorm.com

About the Author

Peter Vogel is a system architect and principal in PH&V Information Services. PH&V provides full-stack consulting from UX design through object modeling to database design. Peter tweets about his VSM columns with the hashtag #vogelarticles. His blog posts on user experience design can be found at http://blog.learningtree.com/tag/ui/.

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