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Thursday, 7 June 2012

WCF Interview Questions and Answers

What is WCF?


Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) is an SDK for developing and deploying services on Windows. WCF provides a runtime environment for services, enabling you to expose CLR types as services, and to consume other services as CLR types.

WCF is part of .NET 3.0 and requires .NET 2.0, so it can only run on systems that support it.

What is service and client in perspective of data communication?


A service is a unit of functionality exposed to the world.

The client of a service is merely the party consuming the service.

What is address in WCF and how many types of transport schemas are there in WCF?


Address is a way of letting client know that where a service is located. In WCF, every service is associated with a unique address. This contains the location of the service and transport schemas.

WCF supports following transport schemas

HTTP
TCP
Peer network
IPC (Inter-Process Communication over named pipes)
MSMQ

The sample address for above transport schema may look like

http://localhost:81
http://localhost:81/MyService
net.tcp://localhost:82/MyService
net.pipe://localhost/MyPipeService
net.msmq://localhost/private/MyMsMqService
net.msmq://localhost/MyMsMqService

What are contracts in WCF?


In WCF, all services expose contracts. The contract is a platform-neutral and standard way of describing what the service does.

WCF defines four types of contracts.


Service contracts

Describe which operations the client can perform on the service.
There are two types of Service Contracts.
ServiceContract - This attribute is used to define the Interface.
OperationContract - This attribute is used to define the method inside Interface.

[ServiceContract]

interface IMyContract

{

[OperationContract]

string MyMethod( );

}

class MyService : IMyContract

{

public string MyMethod( )

{

return "Hello World";

}

}




Data contracts

Define which data types are passed to and from the service. WCF defines implicit contracts for built-in types such as int and string, but we can easily define explicit opt-in data contracts for custom types.

There are two types of Data Contracts.
DataContract - attribute used to define the class
DataMember - attribute used to define the properties.

[DataContract]

class Contact

{

[DataMember]

public string FirstName;



[DataMember]

public string LastName;

}



If DataMember attributes are not specified for a properties in the class, that property can't be passed to-from web service.

Fault contracts

Define which errors are raised by the service, and how the service handles and propagates errors to its clients.


Message contracts

Allow the service to interact directly with messages. Message contracts can be typed or untyped, and are useful in interoperability cases and when there is an existing message format we have to comply with.

Where we can host WCF services?


Every WCF services must be hosted somewhere. There are three ways of hosting WCF services.

They are

1. IIS
2. Self Hosting
3. WAS (Windows Activation Service)

For more details see http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb332338.aspx

What is binding and how many types of bindings are there in WCF?


A binding defines how an endpoint communicates to the world. A binding defines the transport (such as HTTP or TCP) and the encoding being used (such as text or binary). A binding can contain binding elements that specify details like the security mechanisms used to secure messages, or the message pattern used by an endpoint.

WCF supports nine types of bindings.

Basic binding

Offered by the BasicHttpBinding class, this is designed to expose a WCF service as a legacy ASMX web service, so that old clients can work with new services. When used by the client, this binding enables new WCF clients to work with old ASMX services.

TCP binding

Offered by the NetTcpBinding class, this uses TCP for cross-machine communication on the intranet. It supports a variety of features, including reliability, transactions, and security, and is optimized for WCF-to-WCF communication. As a result, it requires both the client and the service to use WCF.


Peer network binding

Offered by the NetPeerTcpBinding class, this uses peer networking as a transport. The peer network-enabled client and services all subscribe to the same grid and broadcast messages to it.


IPC binding

Offered by the NetNamedPipeBinding class, this uses named pipes as a transport for same-machine communication. It is the most secure binding since it cannot accept calls from outside the machine and it supports a variety of features similar to the TCP binding.


Web Service (WS) binding

Offered by the WSHttpBinding class, this uses HTTP or HTTPS for transport, and is designed to offer a variety of features such as reliability, transactions, and security over the Internet.


Federated WS binding

Offered by the WSFederationHttpBinding class, this is a specialization of the WS binding, offering support for federated security.


Duplex WS binding

Offered by the WSDualHttpBinding class, this is similar to the WS binding except it also supports bidirectional communication from the service to the client.


MSMQ binding

Offered by the NetMsmqBinding class, this uses MSMQ for transport and is designed to offer support for disconnected queued calls.


MSMQ integration binding

Offered by the MsmqIntegrationBinding class, this converts WCF messages to and from MSMQ messages, and is designed to interoperate with legacy MSMQ clients.

For WCF binding comparison, see http://www.pluralsight.com/community/blogs/aaron/archive/2007/03/22/46560.aspx

What is endpoint in WCF?


Every service must have Address that defines where the service resides, Contract that defines what the service does and a Binding that defines how to communicate with the service. In WCF the relationship between Address, Contract and Binding is called Endpoint.

The Endpoint is the fusion of Address, Contract and Binding.

2 comments:

anish mounish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Abhinav Ranjan Sinha said...

Thanks @Anish

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