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WCF Channel for Intra Process Communication


WCF is awesome technology. I think it is the second most important technology an enterprise .NET developer should learn today. The first being LINQ (which is far easier to learn).

With great power and flexibility comes some cost. WCF has to build the channel, proxies, etc etc. (You thought I was going with the Spiderman quote, didn't you?)

This cost is worthy if you are talking across physical boundaries. But a lot of teams are using WCF now just to talk to services that happen to be hosted on the same machine. There is an interprocess binding called netNamedPipeBinding that will use Named Pipes to communicate through memory instead of the wire, with a service hosted on the same machine.

That's great. But what if you want to communicate with a service hosted in the same app domain without having to jump out and back in? The Null channel adapter covers this scenario.

This is very useful if you have different WF workflows running on the same box that need to communicate with each other.

I had heard about this at the Summit, and I am glad Roman Kiss put so much effort into this. His article (link above) on codeproject goes in depth into how this works, and when you would use it.

This just shows the power and extensibility of the WCF APIs.


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