WCF designer revisited: Efforts on the way, not coming as part of any product yet

Damir recently posted about a WCF designer, or rather that there is no WCF designer yet and it does not seem to be on the immediate roadmap for Orcas / Visual Studio 2008.

Let me look deeper into the promise of the WCF designer..

Chris Smith said in early 2006 he is working on the WCF designer experience. But what are the actual developments we actually see?

1. VS 2005 extensions for .NET Framework 3.0 (WCF & WPF) & VS 2008 ("Orcas")

The "Visual Studio 2005 extensions for .NET Framework 3.0 (WCF & WPF)" have been referred to as "WCF designer" in the blog post "Introducing the <DataContract>" by Thom Robbins. Those features will be available in Visual Studio 2008 (codename: Orcas). They might not "deserve" the name though when comparing with what people actually might expect when hearing "WCF designer".

2. Patterns & Practices: Service Factory

There is speculation that the "Service Factory" from Patterns&Practices will basically contain or be what people will then call "WCF designer". Currently the recent developments are available at Codeplex, check out the newer builds. Check out the Service Factory Blogs.As of the time of the posting though, this does NOT work with Orcas yet.

Taken from Don Smith's blog post "First Service Factory v3 Community Drop" here are two pictures of what to expect

Service Contract Designer

Data Contract Designer

There are newer builds available already.

3. Community effort: DSLFactory Utilities

Last but not least I want to point your attention to the efforts of the French speaking community http://dslfactory.org/. Check out codeplex here: http://www.codeplex.com/DslFactoryUtilities.

They posted how it can look like:

The WCF Designer

This is synchronized with code.

The WCF Designer

Not bad at all!

Not part of any product yet

We see various efforts underway inside Microsoft and inside the community, but there is no product yet that will ship anything WCF designer-like. Please note that "Service Factory" is something "unsupported" as long as it resides in "Patterns&Practices" and does not count as a product.

 I hope this overview gets you started on the quest for the WCF designer :)

Posted Jun 07 2007, 02:19 AM by Andreas Erben
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