I am pleased to announce the release of the WCF REST Starter Kit today on CodePlex. The folks on the WCF team have been working hard on this for several months and it is exciting to see it released.
WCF has always had, and will continue to have, great support for SOAP and WS-*. But Representational State Transfer, or "REST" is becoming popular these days in many circles and we want WCF to have great support for both web services programming models. Because of the extensibility of the WCF architecture, it turned out to be fairly straight-forward to support REST-style services as well, making WCF the one-stop shop for building services.
We introduced support for REST in .NET Framework 3.5, and enhanced it in SP1. But there were still lots of scenarios where we saw opportunities to simplify building REST-style services in WCF and so the team set out to make major strides in this area for WCF 4.0.
The REST Starter Kit is a preview of features that are being considered for WCF 4.0, released early on CodePlex so you can download it, look at the code, play with it, and give us feedback so we deliver the right REST features in WCF 4.0
We've spun up a new area of the WCF Dev Center focused on REST capabilities in WCF and especially the WCF REST Starter Kit: www.msdn.microsoft.com/wcf/rest. You can find everything you need here to learn about building RESTful services with WCF. There are links to download the Starter Kit from CodePlex, a White Paper and series of screencasts by Aaron Skonnard from Pluralsight on using the Starter Kit, overview documentation, release notes, and even hands on labs. We also have links to great background materials on the web for learning the history and motivation of REST.
In addition to helper objects that provide new functionality (such as caching and help pages for RESTful services) there are project and item templates to make it super easy to create your first RESTful service and get it up and running quickly. In fact, you can pretty much hit F5 on the auto-generated code and have a running service. Then you can watch Aaron's screencasts to understand what the code is doing and how to modify the code to customize the service to your requirements.
There are also more advanced samples in the kit you can use to learn more about REST. And this all runs on .NET Framework 3.5 SP1, so you can work with the Starter Kit with the bits we ship today.
All right, enough talk. Go download the WCF REST Starter Kit, give it a run, and let me know how you like it.