WSCF blue: Beta-1
WSCF-blue, the WCF successor to the popular WSCF (Web Services Contract First) tool is now available in its first beta release at CodePlex. I’m delighted to be a part of the team working alongside guys like Christian Weyer, Buddhike De Silva, Edward Bakker and Alex Meyer-Gleaves.
If you aren’t familar with the tool, basically WSCF provides tooling to approach web service development in a contract first manner, specifically WSDL/XSD first rather than code-first. WSDL is often the favored ‘neutral’ ground for specifications to be agreed on in large projects where interoperability is key between heterogenous technologies. It is also common to find that the WSDL for web services is the first thing to be discussed between an application development team and a service provider (in any development / integration project). So , having a tool that allows you to work with WSDL and XSD in a consistent, reliable manner without getting bogged down in the intricacies of WSDL and associated specifications is a must. WSCF aims to address the lack of tooling in this space (especially in the .NET world).
WSCF is a Visual Studio 2008 add-in that provides the following features
- A WSDL Wizard that allows the developer to step through the creation of a WSDL from one or more XSDs
- A DataContract Generator (similar to XSD.exe, XSDObjectGen.exe and Svcutil.exe) that generates the . NET equivalent of the XSD types
- A Service/endpoint stub (SVC) generator and
- A client proxy generator.
In the current beta release, the stand-alone Data Contract generation option is NOT available, but that is something we will be addressing as a priority and should be available in the RTM release. However, data contracts are generated as part of the service side stubs and client side stubs.
You can either install the MSI which makes the add-in available for an open solution (as the context menu for an XSD or WSDL) or if you are using the source version, you can debug the add-in directly using F5 which launches VS in the experimental hive as is normal for all add-ins.
I have been an regular user of WSCF since its ASMX days and found the quality of the code generated to be very high. We do hope you find that this tool goes some way toward addressing your needs with WCF development and are all keen to get feedback, bug reports and feature suggestions. With the number of project templates that are available for WCF (Web Site, Web Site -Remote IIS, WCF Class Library, WCF Service Application) and the rules that some of them have around structure, it has been quite a bit of work to get the features such as SVC generation sorted and I’m pretty sure that there will be other scenarios you are involved with where the tool needs improvement or enhancements.
Here are some other posts on the beta release by the other members of the team
- Next generation of a success story: WSCF.blue for WCF goes Beta 1
- WSCF.blue Beta 1 is out!
- WSCF blue – Are you doing contract first?
Keep an eye on the CodePlex space for information relating to the roadmap etc. Do check it out and let us know what you think of it.