Nicholas Allen's Indigo Blog

Windows Communication Foundation From the Inside

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  • Blog Post: Where UDDI Went

    UDDI is a standardized enterprise repository for cataloging web services and other modules according to geography, organizations, or other categorization schemes. A common use for UDDI is service discovery among a set of trusted nodes. If you've been using UDDI Services with Windows Server 2003 or...
  • Blog Post: Bob Muglia Talks Distributed Systems and Silverlight

    TechCrunch talked to Bob Muglia a few months ago covering cloud computing, distributed systems, and Silverlight programming. Bob is the president of the Server and Tools business here at Microsoft that produces all of these technologies. There's a long transcript available for the whole piece with a...
  • Blog Post: PDC 2009 Plans

    Several new PDC sessions were published recently including one session that I'll be delivering. Application Server Extensibility with Microsoft Project Code Name “Dublin” and Microsoft ASP.NET 4 by Nicholas Allen ASP.NET 4 and “Dublin” provide new application hosting, tracking, and persistence...
  • Blog Post: Using Managed Services Engine for Virtualization

    It’s been a year since I last talked about the Managed Services Engine, which is a prebuilt solution for virtualizing web services through metadata inspection and message routing. Since then they’ve released two more CTPs, the most recent one being the May 2009 CTP. Managed Services Engine...
  • Blog Post: Reading Configuration from a Repository

    Can I use a centralized configuration repository in a distributed WCF application? Yes, configuration is something that’s abstracted from the service or client logic in WCF although replacing the implementation behind that abstraction can be quite a bit of work. The System.Configuration system that...
  • Blog Post: Code or Config

    How do I decide what parts of my service to specify in code? Should I support changing all of the settings in configuration? The split between code and configuration comes from a difference in roles and responsibility for a service. If your job is to both write and take care of a service, then these...
  • Blog Post: Building Cloud Services

    Aaron Skonnard has an article in the April edition of MSDN Magazine on building applications with .Net Services . .Net Services are a service implementation for the Azure cloud platform that will be the most familiar to programmers who have built WCF services, workflow services, or BizTalk services in...
  • Blog Post: Talking about Services

    Joel Reyes is an evangelist on the public sector team that writes occasional articles covering different Microsoft services technologies. Here's a sample of some of them that you might enjoy. Building services using ASP.NET: Routing , MVC Building services using ADO.NET Building...
  • Blog Post: Stefan Tilkov on REST

    Stefan is a skeptic about SOAP protocols and advocates REST as a way of reaching the goals of service-oriented application design. This conference presentation is Stefan talking about the principles of REST for an hour and the benefits of applying REST to distributed systems.
  • Blog Post: Future of Correlation

    One of the topics that you'll hear a lot about for asynchronous and decoupled programming in WCF 4.0 is correlation. Correlation is a relationship between one message and another message or one message and a piece of state. With synchronous programming, you may not always think about the correlations...
  • Blog Post: Hosted Service Shutdown

    I've talked a bit in the past about the tradeoffs of using IIS to host your service applications. In order to use IIS as a host, you must give up some level of control about how your application functions. This is similarly true with any other host you might imagine, even if we use host in a broader...
  • Blog Post: Waiting for Ready Channels

    When I create a channel to a service, how do I know when the service is ready to process the data for that channel? A channel doesn't really know what the service is doing. The service might be actively processing the data being sent over the channel. Or, the service might not. There is a constant...
  • Blog Post: Help with Security Programming

    Security programming today tends to contain large amount of plumbing code to handle the modeling, management, and evaluation of identities. An identity is the basis of many common security operations, such as authentication, personalization, authorization, and access control. There are a variety of different...
  • Blog Post: Architect Insight Conference Talks

    Slide decks are available from the Architect Insight Conference 2008 held in the UK at the end of April. These talks are fluffier than ones that I normally point to and since you only have the slides and not the audio, I recommend picking a few based on their titles and trying them out quickly to...
  • Blog Post: Naming Contracts for Versioning

    Some tips for building support for versioning into the naming of data contracts. First, the primary route for versioning should be through the namespace part of the contract rather than the member name part of the contract. Versioning the contract through member names tends to leak across the service...
  • Blog Post: Improving Web Services Security Beta Guide

    The WCF Security Guide content that I've mentioned a few times before is now done with early drafts and has been rolled up into a beta release of the full book. There's a ton of content in the real thing on top of what you've been seeing in the drafts. You can download the beta of the full security...
  • Blog Post: Managed Services Engine June CTP

    I'm a big fan of using service virtualization to solve a variety of problems with developing and managing web services. The Managed Services Engine is a solution built on top of WCF to supply a repository-based runtime and management tool for service virtualization. I hope to someday put the solutions...
  • Blog Post: Avoid Exceptions in Faults

    FaultException supports both an untyped variant, for when you don't have any particularly interesting detail to provide, and a typed variant, for when you do. Don't use a subclass of Exception as the type of a typed FaultException. Here's why. When you use a typed FaultException, you are creating...
  • Blog Post: When to Use Remoting

    One of the things that happens when a new technology framework is introduced with new patterns and best practices is that people wonder what's going to happen with the frameworks that they use today. When WCF was announced a few years ago, users of Remoting were asking this question a lot. The answer...
  • Blog Post: Local Settings and Policy

    You have talked in the past about how a service has both local settings and settings that are shared through policy. How can I transmit all settings through policy to the client? The two types of settings are clearly distinguishable. Shared settings are required to have agreement between the...
  • Blog Post: BeginInvoke Bugs

    A delegate is a special type that can be bound at execution time to a method invocation. Normally you'd think of method invocations as being synchronous, but delegates can be executed either synchronously in the obvious way or asynchronously by introducing an extra thread of execution. An asynchronous...
  • Blog Post: Optimizing MSMQ

    How can I speed up message processing when using MSMQ with WCF? For small gains, it is generally possible to eke out a few percentage points of performance by tuning parameters and settings according to the application domain knowledge you have. For large gains, you are likely going to have to think...
  • Blog Post: Throttling Sessions

    How do I push back against clients that are tying up the external connections of my service? The amount of service connection resources used by the client can be thought of as a product of two dimensions. The first dimension is the number of connections that the client has open. The second dimension...
  • Blog Post: SSL and System Time

    A few days ago I decided to upgrade my home machine from 1 GB of RAM to 2 GB. I've been running Vista at home since last summer and it occasionally gets cranky when it runs out of memory. After the usual problems of fiddling with hardware, everything seemed to be working. Except, Windows Update couldn...
  • Blog Post: Tuning Contracts for Performance

    I have a service contract with a few operations that take large inputs and do a lot of processing. If I configure the service quotas with small values to prevent too many of the expensive operations from happening at once, then the overall throughput is very bad. If I configure the service quotas with...
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