New Open Source Project: Windows Communication Foundation

The newest work-in-progress WCF that's targeting .NET Core is now being open sourced on GitHub.

Early last week, The .NET Foundation announced that Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), the Microsoft unified programming model for building service-oriented apps, is now an open source project.

This version of WCF targets .NET Core 5, which is the small optimized runtime based on ASP.NET 5. According to a blog post from WCF Project Lead Ron Cain, the release candidate version of Visual Studio 2015 that debuted during the Build conference at the beginning of May "supports the ability to use WCF in both Universal Windows and ASP.NET 5 applications." Any updates to WCF moving forward, he said, would be to developing that version, and will also be extended to support Linux and Mac at some point.

"Right now the WCF project builds on Windows, but .NET Core offers the potential for it to run on OS X and Linux," said Martin Woodward, executive director of the .NET Foundation, in a blog post.

Currently, the following WCF libraries are available in the Windows Store:

  • ServiceModel.Primitives
  • ServiceModel.Http
  • ServiceModel.NetTcp
  • ServiceModel.Duplex
  • ServiceModel.Security
Cain's blog also lists several bindings, transport-level bindings, message-encoding binding elements, and a number of other features that are in development, as well as known issues. WCF is on GitHub.

"WCF was big news back in the days when SOAP was new and everyone was expecting it to become the norm," wrote Mike James, an editor at "Today WCF looks over complex for many tasks and it is mostly important to existing projects that were inspired by SOAP in the early days. Of course having WCF available for mobile apps might make a difference." 

The .NET Foundation is an independent organization that manages quite a few open source projects. While it stresses its independence, a number of members of its board and advisory council are employed at Microsoft and have been past executives within Microsoft ranks.

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