Today we are releasing version 5.4.0 of WCF Data Services. As mentioned in the prerelease post, this release will be NuGet packages only. That means that we are not releasing an updated executable to the download center. If you create a new WCF Data Service or add a reference to an OData service, you should follow the standard procedure for making sure your NuGet packages are up-to-date. (Note that this is standard usage of NuGet, but it may be new to some WCF Data Services developers.)
If you haven’t noticed, we’ve been releasing a lot more frequently than we used to. As we adopted this rapid cadence, our documentation has fallen somewhat behind and we recognize that makes it hard for you to try out the new features. We do intend to release some samples demonstrating how to use the features below but we need a few more days to pull those samples together and did not want to delay the release. Once we get some samples together we will update this blog post (or perhaps add another blog post if we need more commentary than a gist can convey).
We have a number of investments planned in the “request pipeline” area. In 5.4.0 we have a very big set of hooks for reaching into and modifying data as it is being read from or written to the wire format. These hooks provide extensibility points that enable a number of different scenarios such as modifying wire types, property names, and more.
As promised in the 5.3.0 release notes, we now support instance annotations on Atom payloads. Instance annotations are an extensibility feature in OData feeds that allow OData requests and responses to be marked up with annotations that target feeds, single entities (entries), properties, etc. We do still have some more work to do in this area, such as the ability to annotate properties.
Also in this release, we have added APIs to the client to enable the reading of instance annotations on the wire. These APIs make use of the new deserialization/serialization pipelines on the client (see above). This API surface includes the ability to indicate which instance annotations the client cares about via the Prefer header. This will streamline the responses from OData services that honor the odata.include-annotations preference.
In this release we have bundled a few less-noticeable features that should simplify the transition between the Atom and (the new) JSON format. (See also the bug fixes below on type resolver fixes.)
In addition to the features above, we have included fixes for the following notable bugs:
We always appreciate your comments on the blog posts, forums, Twitterverse and e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). We do take your feedback seriously and prioritize accordingly. We are still early in the planning stages for 5.5.0 and 6.0.0, so feedback now will help us shape those releases.