beginner question: is WCF needed?

Topics: General discussion
Aug 19, 2008 at 2:50 PM
My organization is investigating using both the Enterprise Library and the Smart Client Software Factory to develop our new platform.

 I have a question:  Will we be forced to create a WCF infrastructure to support it?  Does the Enterprise Library and/or  SCSF require it? 

If so, can we develop the first projects without it, and 'easily' add it later?  (Note that our initial platform is users running the programs on terminal servers, which will talk to SQL servers, so no web apps, no n-tier, etc).

I know a possible answer is 'depends', so if there is an easy answer to what situations require it (ie: the smart parts need to talk to each other asynchronously) I'd appreciate either a link to where I can look for the answers.

Thanks so much in advance,

Aug 19, 2008 at 7:07 PM
Edited Aug 19, 2008 at 7:07 PM
Though i am new to Enterprise Libary myself, i think the library cosists of best practises and patterns and solves common problems so that developers dont end up reinventing the wheel in every project. For example, logging is required in every project so one can use the Logging block of the EntLib and perform the logging without writing any code.

As far as your question is concered, not having done too much WCF, i think you are confusing the technologies a bit. WCF is basically, advance advance web services. WCF services will expose your business logic to the outside world (your windows apps). Now Enterprise library can be used behind the WCF layer to perform Data access, Exception Handling, Logging, caching etc. But the Enterprise library doesnt force you to use WCF. Its an architectural decision you must make. If you want the business logic alongside the gui then all the dll's can be placed on the client's machine along with the EXE.

Anyways, the way i see it is that Enterprise library does not force you to use WCF. Should you want to use WCF because of its benefits, then you can use enterprise library to do all the things i mentioned above.

Aug 19, 2008 at 8:04 PM
hello lou,

the answer in fact is "it depends"...but as an example: we are using scsf without wcf and we are talking to a SAP backend. we implemented our own integration module which we load through the profile catalog. in the future we want to replace it with a wcf implementation...the only hard thing to keep in mind is to keep the interfaces stable...

if you want more information, don't hesitate to contact me...