Announcing WCF Express Interop Bindings

[This article was contributed by the AppFabric team.]

Today, we are pleased to further simplify the WS-* interop challenge by providing the WCF Express Interop Bindings Extension for Visual Studio 2010, launched at wcf.codeplex.com. This new extension enables WCF developers to avoid much of the formerly needed guesswork to configure a WCF service to connect with the top Java platforms via the known WS-* specifications, by creating custom interoperable WCF bindings on demand, building on settings described in the WS-* interop white papers.

When we shipped .NET 4, we asked you to send us your top concerns about WCF interop with Java. You’ve shared your thoughts, wishes and complaints. I am glad to report that we’ve taken your feedback to heart and are delivering on it. The most mentioned concern was reducing the complexity of configuration needed to enable .NET WCF interop with Java. Since WCF allows for all sorts of knobs to be turned, configuring an interoperable WCF service has never always been easy. 

Until now, the bindings in WCF provided a wide range of interoperable and non-interoperable options to establish connections. Developers burned the midnight oil too many times, perusing various reports from WS-I, or huddling in  online forums figuring out the required interop settings. Java web services, mostly relying on policy based configurations, proved tricky for .NET WCF developers to configure their services and clients. .NET Developers needed to configure security settings, algorithms, policies in  various bindings elements in an often time consuming manner, resulting in a challenge larger than necessary.

We took the first step towards simplifying interop with Java by releasing a series of white papers  outlining settings required for security interop with IBM WebSphere and Oracle WebLogic and Metro, along with various guidance on interop with Java datatypes and SAP.

Today, we are taking the second step in releasing this extension that simplifies interop with the leading java middleware platforms:

image

Simply select your platform of choice, the options of  Reliable Messaging, Security, MTOM, and the extension generates a complete WCF service, configured with a dynamically generated binding that works right out of the with box with the Java platform of your choice. This extension is the best interop solution for the novice and intermediate WCF developer. Advanced developers can further customize the pre-defined settings that we have tested with the leading Java platforms for their own use. What required hours and days before is now doable in mere minutes! 

The extension is provided as an open source project at wcf.codeplex.com amongst other projects by the WCF Team.  Download the source code and the binary here.

We will be publishing a series of walkthroughs on codeplex helping you establish quick interoperable services. The first of which is here.

Feel free to customize this extension for your own enterprise use, and share your feedback on how this might evolve to cover more scenarios.

Thanks,

Abu Obeida Bakhach

Interoperability Program Manager