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InfoQ Homepage News WF and WCF Given to the Community

WF and WCF Given to the Community

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After years of uncertainty, Microsoft has made the decision to officially hand off control of Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) and server-side Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) to the community.

On Friday, the .NET Foundation announced that they are formally adopting WCF under the new name Core WCF. The intention is for Core WCF to reasonably close to the original WCF so code can be easily ported. However, it is not guaranteed to be 100% compatible. This allows them to work around the limitations of .NET Core and creates the opportunity to fix old issues that could not be touched due to compatibility constraints.

Since it isn’t a perfect replacement, CoreWCF will have its own namespace. The initial implementation will focus on the two most popular bindings, HTTP and TCP SOAP. There is a general call for volunteers, as a lot of work is still needed to get it into a production ready state.

A company known as UIPath has agreed to adopt Windows Workflow Foundation. Now offered under the name Core WF, it too is looking for developers to help prepare the .NET Core port for production use.

Windows Workflow Foundation and Windows Communication Foundation were originally released as part of .NET 3.0 in 2006. Though it received a major version number, it was really just an additional set of libraries for .NET 2.0. Also released at the same time were WPF and the now defunct Windows CardSpace.

While WPF and WCF remained largely stable over the years, Windows Workflow Foundation had a complete rewrite in 2010. The changes were so dramatic that WF was moved into a new namespace in order to reduce confusion.

In order to facilitate developing desktop/phone applications using Silverlight and later UWP, client-side WCF was ported to those platforms. This same code was later carried forward into .NET Core, allowing ASP.NET Core to read from external servers that exposed WS-* style services.

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