Posted by: Michael Hennessy | December 3, 2005

WSCF And Biztalk….and Indigo…um “WCF”

As we’ve been developing our Web-Service API for the SimplePost service at SmashFly, we’ve come across some interesting development scenarios that are more tricky than one would think. To start off, we were looking to create a web-service that was as clean and cross platform independant as possible. As anyone who does .NET ASMX web-service development can tell you, .NET does NOT do a great job of creating a service interface that is user friendly to other develoment tools. What it does do is greatly simplify the SOAP web-service creation for .NET developers who are looking to quicky and easily setup services that will be called by other .NET web-services.

Once you go beyond .NET though, things quickly breakdown. This has driven the creation of “Contract First” web-service design…with the idea of creating your messages, and service contracts very explicitly, so as to ensure maximum interop with any platform. That’s the direction we went with at SmashFly because that’s really the best way to make a service that works for the masses. There are a few tools out there such as thinktecture’s WSCF VS.NET 2003 add-in tool that will walk you through the process and actually create the WSDL file for you. However, it’s current incarnation only works with vs.net 2003…and SimplePost is built on .NET 2.0. Therefore for version 1.0, we’ve written our WSDL interface from hand, which really isn’t a big deal, but we are looking to the future and the WCF (Windows Communication Foundation) technology, formerly known as Indigo. One thing we want you, the developers, to know, is that we full range of API solutions from the most basis REST HTTP GET, to the WSE 3.0 advanced security services.

With WCF, we feel that we’ll be building on a communication service platform that will take us far into the future, and will enable us to build the most reliable, secure, and easy to implement posting service you could ask for.

We are nearing our first API rollout, which should be available in 2 weeks time. The initial service will support 6 boards, with 3 of them being the larger mainstream boards of Monster, CareerBuilder, and HotJobs. We will now be actively adding new boards to the platform, which you’ll be able to start taking advantage of without making a single API change. If you have any questions, suggestions or comments related to the service, please send me an email at pmidleton@smashfly.com. We are constantly looking to improve the service in terms of usefullness and ease of use, and your feedback is very important to us. Stay tuned for more!

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