AppFabric evolves the existing application server capabilities of Windows Server to make it easier to build, scale and manage Web and composite applications that run on Internet Information Services (IIS). For Web applications, AppFabric provides caching capabilities to provide high-speed access, scale, and high availability to application data These capabilities are based on the technology previously code named “Velocity.”
For composite applications, AppFabric makes it easier to build and manage services built using Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) and Windows Communication Foundation (WCF). These capabilities are based on the technology previously code named “Dublin.”
Introduction to AppFabric
The benefits of having service-based applications, often referred to as SOA, to create systems based on autonomous services have been articulated in several MSDN articles. WCF is the technology that enables this, and in turn has been integrated with other Microsoft developer technologies such as WCF Data Services, WCF rich Internet applications (RIA) services and WCF REST services. In .NET Framework 4, WCF has been deeply integrated with an improved WF runtime enabling you to build WCF services that are implemented with WF.
Whatever technology that you use to build and compose services together, you face challenges based on these questions:. “When building server applications what features of the platform can I take advantage of that light up my application and enable me to focus more on the business?” “Having built this application, where is the best place to test this, to run this in production, and how do I manage it?”
This post focuses on how Windows Server AppFabric, combined with the .NET Framework 4, addresses these challenges, with particular emphasis on WF services.
Depending on the architecture of your application, typically you build services focused on the middle tier. For example, WCF Data Services are suited for the data access tier and can be composed together with other services in the middle tier. For an overview of WF services in .NET 4, read the Aaron’s overview of WCF in .NET 4 on MSDN. In the middle tier, WF services are an ideal technology, since they are strongly focused on using declarative approaches for composing services for your business. For additional reading on WCF Services, David Chappell’s ‘The Workflow Way provides an excellent introduction to the topic.
Read the rest here, including a list of the key values that WF Services brings to service authoring!
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