When to use which bindings in WCF

WCF comes with the number of built-in bindings and this article describes the pros and cons of each of these bindings. It will help you to choose appropriate bindings depending on your requirements and create endpoints for communicating with clients.

What is WCF Bindings?

WCF bindings decide how the Windows Communication Foundation service endpoint should communicate with clients. Each WCF service endpoint requires binding to be specified, if not set explicitly it uses default basicHttpBinding. It gives communication details and defines below things.

  1. Protocols: specifies what type of security can be used like a reliable messaging or transaction context.
  2. Encoding: specifies the type of message encoding like binary or text.
  3. Transport: specifies communication transport to be used like HTTP or TCP.

WCF Predefined Bindings

  1. basicHttpBinding

    basicHttpBinding is best when you have traditional ASMX(Active Server Methods) web services and needs to be replaced with WCF. It supports text as well as MTOM encodings and it does not support WS-* standards like WS-Addressing, WS-Security, and WS-ReliableMessaging.

    basicHttpBinding uses HTTP or HTTPS protocols. You can configure SSL for Transport Layer security with basicHttpBinding.

  2. WsHttpBinding

    This is secure and interoperable bindings use SOAP over HTTP. With WsHttpBinding messages are encrypted by default and achieve message level security. This binding supports reliability, transactions, and security over the internet. It supports HTTP or HTTPS protocols and text as well as MTOM encoding.

    The difference between basicHttpBinding and WsHttpBinding is WsHttpBinding does support WS-* standards like WS-Addressing, WS-Security, and WS-ReliableMessaging

  3. wsDualHttpBinding

    wsDualHttpBinding is best when you required bidirectional communication with the client. In some scenarios when client makes a call to WCF service after processing running request service has to call client application for example, updating shipment details to client application.

    This binding supports reliability, transactions, and security over the internet. It supports HTTP or HTTPS protocols and text as well as MTOM encoding. You can implement a Duplex message exchange pattern with wsDualHttpBinding.

  4. webHttpBinding

    webHttpBinding is best when you wish to implement a RESTful WCF service. This is secure and interoperable binding which sends information directly over HTTP or HTTPS without creating SOAP messages. It allows HTTP request to use plain old XML (POX) style messaging which reduces the message size on wire compare to SOAP messages.

  5. NetTcpBinding

    netTcpBinding is best when WCF service and its clients are in intranet infrastructure. As it supports only TCP protocol and not HTTP so service cannot be accessed over the internet.

    This is secure binding is used to send binary encoded SOAP messages within intranet computers. It supports reliability, transaction, and security. If you are using netTcpBinding and host WCF service in IIS, you need to make some settings on the system and IIS this article will help you with required settings.

  6. netNamedPipeBinding

    When your WCF service and its clients reside on the same computer netNamedPipeBinding is the best choice and gives the best performance over other bindings. This is secure bindings. Binary encoded SOAP messages are sent over named pipes.

    See how to implement netNamedPipeBinding in WCF services.

  7. netPeerTcpBinding

    netPeerTcpBinding is best when you require more security for peer to peer communication as netTcpBinding does not provide it. It is secure binding and supports TCP protocols.

  8. WsFederationHttpBinding

    It is secure and interoperable binding supports federated security. It supports HTTP and HTTPS transport protocols as well as text and MTOM encodings.

  9. NetMsmqBinding

    netMsmqBinding is best when you have to execute service operations in a queued manner. Service requests are placed in queue and executed one by one. With netMsmqBinding service operations will always be one way and do not return any response to client.

    This is interoperable bindings and can be used on existing MSMQ applications that use COM or Application Programing Interface(API)

In real time applications, you have to use multiple bindings for one service endpoint. For example internet applications should be able to access service through HTTP requests at the same time the back office application should be able to access service by netTcpBinding or netNamedPipeBinding to get performance benefits.

Speak your mind
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  • geeksarray user
    11/11/2013 03:09 PM tset

    It's good but need it from ground level

  • geeksarray user
    11/13/2013 09:32 AM Laxmikant

    we are glad to hear ... you like the article. We will surely consider your recommendation. This article is meant to be overview on WCF bindings. For detail using of those bindings you can browse other articles on geeksarray.com

  • geeksarray user
    12/21/2013 12:44 AM motdotnet

    Concise, and to the point. Thank you!

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