Friday 3 August 2012

Preferred Microsoft technologies for creating a Lightweight Service Bus - creating RESTful Services with the ASP.NET Web API

I'm starting with a new banking client next week and I thought it was time to make sure all my preferred technology choices are still the latest and greatest on the block.

This ongoing technology-revalidation process should be par for the course for any technology-based consultant. This is especially considering software framework release cycles of players like Microsoft have shortened from years to months.

One of the core components of this work for my new client is the development of a lightweight ESB as a "Clayton's" SOA layer (e.g. with limited discoverability). One of the key aims is towards optimising performance.

Obviously REST is the flavour of the moment as all the largest sites in the world (e.g. Twitter and Facebook) are fully on board with it. It is also the most performant and platform-agnostic approach to exposing services. I had to interact with Twitter heavily via REST for my previous client (a large media company).

Naturally, I would prefer to be creating RESTful services and returning JSON (or optionally XML) just like the largest sites in the world are doing in their APIs.

Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) is the preeminent technology in Microsoft .NET for producing web services. However, I found out that a few months ago, there was a complete consolidation of the leading frameworks for RESTful service creation in .NET:

"For several years now the WCF team has been working on adding support for REST. This resulted in several flavors of REST support in WCF: WCF WebHTTP, WCF REST Starter Kit, and then finally WCF Web API. In parallel the ASP.NET MVC team shipped support for building basic web APIs by returning JSON data from a controller. Having multiple ways to do REST at Microsoft was confusing and forced our customers to choose between two partial solutions. So, several months ago the WCF and ASP.NET teams were merged together and tasked with creating a single integrated web API framework. The result is ASP.NET Web API."

To this end, you should be considering first and foremost the ASP.NET Web API for your RESTful Service creation needs. For more details, see

For consumption of those RESTful services via the available client-side frameworks? Well that's another blog post altogether!

Till next time,

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