1.原始问题：What are the differences between WCF and ASMX web services?
I am totally confused between WCF and ASMX web services. I have used a lot of web services in my earlier stage, and now there is this new thing introduced called WCF. I can still create WCF that function as a web service. I think there will be more stuff in WCF.
What are the differences between WCF and Web services? When should each one be used?
Keith Elder nicely compares ASMX to WCF here. Check it out.
Another comparison of ASMX and WCF can be found here – I don’t 100% agree with all the points there, but it might give you an idea.
WCF is basically “ASMX on stereoids” – it can be all that ASMX could – plus a lot more!.
- easy and simple to write and configure
- only available in IIS
- only callable from HTTP
WCF can be:
- hosted in IIS, a Windows Service, a Winforms application, a console app – you have total freedom
- used with HTTP (REST and SOAP), TCP/IP, MSMQ and many more protocols
In short: WCF is here to replace ASMX fully.
Check out the WCF Developer Center on MSDN.
Update: link seems to be dead – try this: What Is Windows Communication Foundation?
ASMX Web services can only be invoked by HTTP (traditional webservice with .asmx). While WCF Service or a WCF component can be invoked by any protocol (like http, tcp etc.) and any transport type.
Second, ASMX web services are not flexible. However, WCF Services are flexible. If you make a new version of the service then you need to just expose a new end. Therefore, services are agile and which is a very practical approach looking at the current business trends.
We develop WCF as contracts, interface, operations, and data contracts. As the developer we are more focused on the business logic services and need not worry about channel stack. WCF is a unified programming API for any kind of services so we create the service and use configuration information to set up the communication mechanism like HTTP/TCP/MSMQ etc
This is a very old question, but I do not feel that the benefits of ASMX have been fairly portrayed. While not terribly flexible, ASMX web services are very simple to use and understand. While WCF is more flexible, it is also more complex to stand up and configure.
ASMX web services are ready to stand up and add as a webservice reference as soon as you add the file. (assuming your project builds)
For the simple development workflow of
create webservice ->
run webservice ->
add webservice reference, an ASMX webservice has very little that can go wrong, not much that you can misconfigure, and that is it’s strength.
In response to those that assert that WCF replaces ASMX, I would reply that WCF would need to add a streamlined K.I.S.S. configuration mode in order to completely replace ASMX.
Example web.config for an ASMX webservice:
WCF completely replaces ASMX web services. ASMX is the old way to do web services and WCF is the current way to do web services. All new SOAP web service development, on the client or the server, should be done using WCF.
There’s a lot of talks going on regarding the simplicity of asmx web services over WCF. Let me clarify few points here.
- Its true that novice web service developers will get started easily in asmx web services. Visual Studio does all the work for them and readily creates a Hello World project.
- But if you can learn WCF (which off course wont take much time) then you can get to see that WCF is also quite simple, and you can go ahead easily.
- Its important to remember that these said complexities in WCF are actually attributed to the beautiful features that it brings along with it. There are addressing, bindings, contracts and endpoints, services & clients all mentioned in the config file. The beauty is your business logic is segregated and maintained safely. Tomorrow if you need to change the binding from basicHttpBinding to netTcpBinding you can easily create a binding in config file and use it. So all the changes related to clients, communication channels, bindings etc are to be done in the configuration leaving the business logic safe & intact, which makes real good sense.
- WCF “web services” are part of a much broader spectrum of remote communication enabled through WCF. You will get a much higher degree of flexibility and portability doing things in WCF than through traditional ASMX because WCF is designed, from the ground up, to summarize all of the different distributed programming infrastructures offered by Microsoft. An endpoint in WCF can be communicated with just as easily over SOAP/XML as it can over TCP/binary and to change this medium is simply a configuration file mod. In theory, this reduces the amount of new code needed when porting or changing business needs, targets, etc.
- Web Services can be accessed only over HTTP & it works in stateless environment, where WCF is flexible because its services can be hosted in different types of applications. You can host your WCF services in Console, Windows Services, IIS & WAS, which are again different ways of creating new projects in Visual Studio.
- ASMX is older than WCF, and anything ASMX can do so can WCF (and more). Basically you can see WCF as trying to logically group together all the different ways of getting two apps to communicate in the world of Microsoft; ASMX was just one of these many ways and so is now grouped under the WCF umbrella of capabilities.
- You will always like to use Visual Studio for NET 4.0 or 4.5 as it makes life easy while creating WCF services.
- The major difference is that Web Services Use XmlSerializer. But WCF Uses DataContractSerializer which is better in Performance as compared to XmlSerializer. That’s why WCF performs way better than other communication technology counterparts from .NET like asmx, .NET remoting etc.
Not to forget that I was one of those guys who liked asmx services more than WCF, but that time I was not well aware of WCF services and its capabilities. I was scared of the WCF configurations. But I dared and and tried writing few WCF services of my own, and when I learnt more of WCF, now I have no inhibitions about WCF and I recommend them to anyone & everyone.