Via Don: the December 2006 release of the Web Service Software Factory is now available! This is a major new release that supports building services with Windows Communication Foundation (WCF). Don (ever so eloquently) lists his highlights as:
- WSDL-first support. This feature definitely wasn't the most challenging to include, but I still love it. I've spent a lot of time over the years monkeying around with WSDL files. The fact that Service Factory has a single recipe (wizard) that will take a single WSDL and generate the service interface, service implementation, binding configuration (config file), and all of the associated DataContracts/XmlSerializable types is just freakin' sweet. You have to see it even if you don't define all your contracts in WSDL first.
- Versioning guidance. This is a favorite of mine because ... well, I wrote it haha. No, seriously ... it's no secret this is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I have labeled the topic "emerging guidance" in the Service Factory documentation because I want to gather more evidence from customers that this approach is actually working for them before I propose we call it a "proven practice". I have spoken with a number of customers who have taken this approach and it is working well for them. I haven't spoken to anyone it didn't work for, but I'd love to hear from you. If you're interested in reading or sharing, I've also posted the topic on my blog here. Personally, I think the "strategy" section of the guidance is still weak on content, but more on that in the "futures" section of this post. I also plan to do a webcast on it.
- WCF Code analysis. This one turned out to be the sleeper feature - we didn't expect this to turn out so sweet. As you may know, FxCop has been integrated into Visual Studio 2005 under the name Code Analysis. Well, we took all of the same rules that used to be the Security Analyzer back in the WSE days and converted them all to code analysis rules. They also work against the code AND the config files (something FxCop hasn't done historically). I know, pretty sweet, huh? Well, when we showed this to the WCF team, they asked if we could include some of the rules that they fire at run-time so they could be run at design-time (like the ones that make sure all the binding stuff is consistent). "Sure", we said. So there are about a dozen of them too ... and it's all integrated into Visual Studio ... even if you're not using Service Factory.
- Recipe runner. Okay, now I'm cheating a little. This isn't actually a feature ... and it's not really included in Service Factory. One thing we learned while building the July release was that testing GAX recipes is feakin' hard. Well, harder than it should be. So the team took a couple of months at the beginning of this version to get it right. The result is something we call RecipeRunner. Those of you who are creating your own recipes or heavily modifying the ones we provide will really like this if you care about testing, which you should. We'll be making it available on the community site in the near future.
In addition, a Visual Basic version of July 2006 (ASMX) release is now available for your VBing pleasure. We hope you enjoy these releases - and come join the party at the Service Factory Community too!