Nicholas Allen's Indigo Blog

Windows Communication Foundation From the Inside

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  • Blog Post: Multiple Site Bindings

    A WCF application in IIS is a service page that is hosted under a site. You can assign different bindings to the site that describe the protocols through which the site can communicate. It’s possible to assign multiple protocols to a single site by specifying bindings that have different protocol schemes...
  • Blog Post: HTTPS Host Name for IIS

    The configuration of an IIS site includes the ability to associate a host name with a particular site definition. For HTTP traffic this allows multiple web sites to be hosted at the same IP address and port, with the true domain name of the site mapped using the host name header. For example, if you...
  • Blog Post: Network Tracing Betas

    Two frequently used network diagnostic tools have gotten beta updates this week. Network Monitor is an adapter level capture program that can record and analyze protocol traces. If you join the Connect beta program for Network Monitor 3 you can get access to the latest Network Monitor 3.4 beta release...
  • Blog Post: Rolling Your Own Status

    I’m trying to use an HTTP method that has defined a private protocol for status code. What can I do if the HttpStatusCode class doesn’t have the necessary value? The HttpStatusCode enumeration contains predefined constants for the status codes described by the HTTP 1.1 standard. Here you can take...
  • Blog Post: Legacy Created, Obsoleted, and Destroyed Before Shipping

    As far as I can tell there has never been a description of what the mysterious LegacyExtendedProtectionPolicy property is for that appeared on the HTTP and TCP transports and is now slowly in the process of disappearing. In the small number of places it appeared the property has been marked as obsolete...
  • Blog Post: Fix for HTTP Configuration Errors using WebScriptEnablingBehavior

    I've sufficiently recovered from running the last week-long series covering fixes for WCF to do another one. This week I'll again be covering fixes for WCF that may be hard to find and explaining the details behind each problem. When using the WebScriptEnablingBehavior to create an AJAX service,...
  • Blog Post: ASP.NET MVC 2 Released for Visual Studio 2008

    Ok, a release of ASP.NET MVC 2 coming soon turned out to mean coming extremely soon. I had been holding off talking about the ASP.NET MVC 1 to ASP.NET MVC 2 migration tool until it was done and that ended up being much closer to the release than I expected when I wrote the article. MVC is a model...
  • Blog Post: Fix for Partially Trusted Clients using Windows Authentication

    This week I'll be running a series covering fixes for WCF that may be hard to find and explaining the details behind each problem. Connection sharing is a performance optimization to pool HTTP connections between multiple calls. Ordinarily, connections are not allowed to be shared if they use Windows...
  • Blog Post: Fix to Allow Customizing the Status Code when Validation Fails

    This week I'll be running a series covering fixes for WCF that may be hard to find and explaining the details behind each problem. This next fix is actually to add a new feature when writing a UserNamePasswordValidator. A UserNamePasswordValidator gives you a callback method called Validate that...
  • Blog Post: Fix for HTTP Startup Hang

    WCF uses the http.sys kernel-mode http driver on most platforms to receive HTTP messages. The kernel-mode driver allows different services to share the same port for HTTP communication and, when running in IIS, allows messages to be received while the service is dormant. The http.sys driver is configured...
  • Blog Post: Using Polling Duplex Scaled Out

    Tomasz Janczuk has posted another example using the HTTP polling duplex channel in Silverlight to build pub-sub style applications. This sample addresses the use of polling in a scaled-out configuration . The solution employed is to move the server queue of messages from in-memory state to a shared...
  • Blog Post: Guide to the WCF REST Starter Kit Preview

    We've got a new article up on MSDN by Aaron Skonnard that covers the most recent preview release of the WCF REST Starter Kit. The download for REST expands on the capabilities we added in Orcas for building web services with REST protocols with features such as project templates, extensions to WCF, and...
  • Blog Post: Deciphering HTTP Server API Error Codes

    If you’ve tried using the HttpListener API to build a web server, then you may have noticed that many runtime errors come back as wrapped Win32 errors rather than different exception types. Since HttpListener doesn’t say what specific Win32 errors might occur and the underlying HTTP Server API mostly...
  • Blog Post: Labor Day 2009 and an HTTP Question

    Today is a US national holiday, which generally means I don’t put up a post due to the drastically reduced number of readers. Here’s a look ahead at some of the topics coming this week though: Final part of the series on named pipes My notes on HTTP listener error codes A look at the WCF...
  • Blog Post: Polling Duplex Sample with Silverlight 3

    Tomasz Janczuk has posted a sample using the HTTP polling duplex binding in Silverlight to build a pub-sub application . The HTTP polling duplex binding uses long polling to provide duplex communication over HTTP. HTTP long polling is a decently resilient and standards compliant duplex technique that...
  • Blog Post: What Will Be New in Networking for Beta 2

    The NCL team has released their list of new networking features for .Net framework 4 beta 2 . A partial summary of the features is: Opening socket connections using the DNS name of the machine Opening socket connections for IPv4 and IPv6 simultaneously Using SSL for authentication only ...
  • Blog Post: Load Balanced Web Service Bindings

    What options can I use with WSHttpBinding to make it friendlier to load balancing? The primary difficulty encountered when using WSHttp with a load balancer is that WSHttp is easy to configure to produce application-level sessions between the client and service. Many load balancers support the...
  • Blog Post: Testing Services with HTTPS

    How do I setup a test environment for a service that is using HTTPS? Certificate validation fails because the test machine doesn’t have the right machine name. Included in the definition of a certificate is the fully qualified domain name that you gave to the certificate authority when the certificate...
  • Blog Post: Binary Http Binding

    Do I need IIS7 to use binary with HTTP for WCF? No, all you need is a custom binding because we don’t include a standard binding with that configuration out of the box. Here’s a quick example of putting binary and HTTP together with either code or configuration: BinaryMessageEncodingBindingElement...
  • Blog Post: Tripping over Missing Servers

    A common complaint is that the first call on a client object takes some disproportionately large amount of time, usually ten seconds or more, while successive calls are instantaneous. There are many reasons why this might happen so there's no generic resolution for this problem. Sometimes it is caused...
  • Blog Post: Debugging HTTP with Replay

    It's often useful when analyzing a failure to create a carefully controlled environment that reproduces the issue reliably. Using a controlled environment allows you to test hypotheses about the issue while eliminating some of the effects of random chance from the observations that you're making. Capturing...
  • Blog Post: Default Content Type

    Why doesn't WCF recognize a request without a Content-Type header? An HTTP message that contains a body is supposed to include a Content-Type header that describes the body format. An indication of the body format is crucial to processing the message because the message might mean very different...
  • Blog Post: MTOM Boundary Markers

    What is the string "--uuid:…" doing embedded in MTOM messages? That string is a boundary marker that separates one part of the message from another. This scheme of separating message parts using a unique string is common to many types of multipart messages and is sometimes referred to as the MIME...
  • Blog Post: Improving Hosted HTTP Request Scaling

    A few months ago Wenlong Dong announced an improvement to HTTP request scalability when WCF is hosted in IIS. In order to take advantage of the improvement you need the combination of IIS7 or later and Orcas SP1 installed. Since this isn't the ubiquitous configuration yet, you need to follow the instructions...
  • Blog Post: SVC Script Maps

    What registration in IIS is responsible for processing SVC files? There are two parts to the registration. One part is related to ASP.NET and the other part is related to WCF. The ASP.NET part is that the ASP.NET ISAPI has to be a service extension for IIS. The WCF part is that the HTTP handler has...
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