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Difference Between Web Service and WCF

Web Service vs WCF

The difference between Web Service and WCF service is that WCF service is a more efficient replacement for the technologies of Web Service from Microsoft. The WCF is capable of functioning more effectively and efficiently than what was considered Web service traditionally.

Web Service
In using Web Service, the user needs to know how to receive and send Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) messages. SOAP is a Web protocol which uses XML and HTTP for data description and data transport respectively. XML and HTTP are standard-based technologies which are used in encoding and transmitting application data.

Users do not need to know about any platforms or languages or object models used for the service. Only knowing about the SOAP protocol is enough. Web Service is thus an application logic which is programmed to be accessed via Web protocols which are standard. Web Services are accessed over HTTP and are useful and functional in a stateless environment. It uses an XmlSerializer.

WCF Service
The full name of WCF is Windows Communication Foundation. It is used for developing service-oriented applications. WCF helps in sending data from one service endpoint to another service endpoint as messages. The endpoint could be either a service client who requests data from the endpoint, or it could be part of a service which is continuously available by hosts like IIS, or the endpoint could be a service of an application. The messages sent can be single characters, words, or complex binary data.

WCF Service uses a DataContractSerializer which provides better performance than the XmlSerializer used for Web services. The advantages of WFC are that the Web services provided by WCF have a broader communication spectrum. There is higher portability and flexibility in doing things by the WCF Web Service. The reason behind this is that the communication can be carried out over Soap/XML as well as over TCP/Binary. They are more flexible because these services can be hosted in varied applications like IIS, Managed Window Service, WAS, etc.

Theoretically, less codes are required by WCF while changing or porting targets, business needs, etc. Some of the main features of WCF Service is extensibility, service orientation, multiple message patterns, security, interoperability, multiple transports and encodings, service metadata, queued and reliable messages, AJAX and REST support, etc.

Summary:

1.Web Service uses XmlSerializer while WCF uses DataContractSerializer.
2.Web Service use XML and HTTP for data description and data transport respectively while WCF communicates over Soap/XML as well as over TCP/Binary.
3.WCF is a recent, more efficient, and more effective replacement for the technologies of Web Service from Microsoft.


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