Recent user group – WCF

Last week, I attended a session @ VDNUG, detailing WCF (Windows Communication Foundation) within .NET 3.0.

The presenter was Juval Lowy from IDesign – who is a regional director of Microsoft in Silicon Valley, and has written a number of books – and considered by Microsoft to be a “software legend”.

I was pretty keen to hear him speak – and ended up learning a few things !

WCF is so much more than just extended Web Services or Remoting – it’s a “new C#” as Juval was stating. Simply need to add a few attributes to a C# class, and you have many, many increased capabilities – useful in many areas.

Logging, instrumentation (PerfMon), tracing, transactions, thread concurrent management, queueing, security, and so on.

So many aspects of Service Oriented Architectural design that can be problematic – including threading and asynchronous programming.

He demonstrated how the default behaviour of WCF was sooo useful – by adding an attribute, so override the default behaviour (no thread management) – and had cross-thread exception.

I’m pretty sure the new DuoCore processors, and simply having the need for asynch and disconnected systems will be ehnaced greatly with WCF.

A question was asked about performance – and he admitted that YES – it’s slower than non-WCF code, but the productivity for developers is so much better.

He drew an analogy to the C++ vs COM era – slower, but much easier & reduced time/effort. And then COM vs .NET – same again – slower, but much easier – and now with faster processors.

It’s always a trade-off – performance vs productivity (as he said) – and you will most often (be forced to) choose the productivity aspect. Yep – I agree.

Another question was asked about if the same could be achieved in VB (as he’d been calling it “the new C#“) – his answer was “Yes – now go write your specs with these crayons”

I had to laugh – and only wish that other back-yard coder’s & tinker’ers were there to hear that one ! “OK then, so it’s the new .NET, yes ?!!? Not just C#.”

Seems to me that only VB dev’ers seem to continue the battle for VB vs C# – the rest of us just “get on it with the job at hand”. And not whinge about the differences (!)

Juval was in town to teach the Readify Master ClassGraeme Elliott from Microsoft had attended – and posted about the new WCF Coding Standard and here.

Sorry to those who missed it – I have a demo CD with lots of examples & eBook (sample chapter of his new book). I will hopefully delve more into those, and blog some more.


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