Today we are releasing updated NuGet packages and tooling for WCF Data Services 5.6.0. This is an alpha release and as such we have both features to finish as well as quality to fine-tune before we release the final version.

You will need the updated tooling to use the portable libraries feature mentioned below. The tooling installer is available from the download center.

What is in the release:

Visual Studio 2013 Support

The WCF DS 5.6.0 tooling installer has support for Visual Studio 2013. If you are using the Visual Studio 2013 Preview and would like to consume OData services, you can use this tooling installer to get Add Service Reference support for OData. Should you need to use one of our prior runtimes, you can still do so using the normal NuGet package management commands (you will need to uninstall the installed WCF DS NuGet packages and install the older WCF DS NuGet packages).

Portable Libraries

All of our client-side libraries now have portable library support. This means that you can now use the new JSON format in Windows Phone and Windows Store apps. The core libraries have portable library support for .NET 4.0, Silverlight 5, Windows Phone 8 and Windows Store apps. The WCF DS client has portable library support for .NET 4.5, Silverlight 5, Windows Phone 8 and Windows Store apps. Please note that this version of the client does not have tombstoning, so if you need that feature for Windows Phone apps you will need to continue using the Windows Phone-specific tooling.

URI Parser Integration

The URI parser is now integrated into the WCF Data Services server bits, which means that the URI parser is capable of parsing any URL supported in WCF DS. We are currently still working on parsing functions, with those areas of the code base expected to be finalized by RTW.

Public Provider Improvements

In the 5.5.0 release we started working on making our providers public. In this release we have made it possible to override the behavior of included providers with respect to properties that don’t have native support in OData v3. Specifically, you can now create a public provider that inherits from the Entity Framework provider and override a method to make enum and spatial properties work better with WCF Data Services. We have also done some internal refactoring such that we can ship our internal providers in separate NuGet packages. We hope to be able to ship an EF6 provider soon.

Known Issues

With any alpha, there will be known issues. Here are a few things you might run into:

  • We ran into an issue with a build of Visual Studio that didn’t have the NuGet Package Manager installed. If you’re having problems with Add Service Reference, please verify that you have a version of the NuGet Package Manager and that it is up-to-date.
  • We ran into an issue with build errors referencing resource assemblies on Windows Store apps. A second build will make these errors go away.

We want feedback!

This is a very early alpha (we think the final release will happen around the start of August), but we really need your feedback now, especially in regards to the portable library support. Does it work as expected? Can you target what you want to target? Please leave your comments below or e-mail me at mastaffo@microsoft.com. Thank you!