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WCF vs Web Services

CipherIS asked
I need to develop an API that will return data from a database.  Which is the best technology to use - WCF or Web Services?  Which is easier to build?  I need to keep security in mind.  

I've developed internal web services before but have not developed any WCF apps.

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Research & Development Manager
WCF is Microsofts replacement for DCOM, .NET remoting and legacy asmx web services, it provides a framework for developing and deploying interoperable services on the Windows platform.  It promotes SOA design principles and supports numerous transport and message protocols such as TCP, HTTP, Named Pipes, SOAP, JSON and REST.

WCF declares several system-providedbindings that document how communication between a service and consumer should be handled, such as transport protocol, message protocol and security.   Bindings such as netTcpBidning provide a means for securing communications at the transport or message level.  Securing the actual service, it can be used in conjunction with the MembershipProvider and RolesProvider classes.  Alternatively you can also roll your own binding configurations either entirely from scratch, or taking your preferred bits from the system-provided bindings.

System-provided bindings: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms730879.aspx

WCF services are not complex to build, there is however potentially a lot to learn if you wish to take full advantage of its potential.  There would be a learning curve for you initially (obviously), however, it will be to your benefit as you learn to develop reusable and scalable services.