Common WCF Interview Questions to Prepare for in 2023 - IQCode

Introduction to WCF

WCF, also known as Windows Communication Foundation, is a Microsoft technology used for building distributed and interoperable applications. It allows for communication through various means, including MS messaging queuing, remote access, and services. It also provides the ability to communicate with non-Microsoft applications and .NET programs and offers hosting across operating systems. WCF services can be hosted in IIS, self-hosted or activated through the Windows Activation Service. This technology combines several existing .NET technologies, making it a versatile tool for developers.


// No code provided in this section.

P: WCF is a Microsoft technology that enables developers to build distributed applications that can communicate through various means, including remote access, services, and MS messaging queuing. It is also interoperable with non-Microsoft applications and .NET programs. Hosting services are available across all operating systems, and WCF services can be hosted in IIS, self-hosted, or activated through the Windows Activation Service. WCF is a versatile tool that combines various existing .NET technologies.

WCF Interview Questions for Freshers

1. Why should one use WCF services?

Answer: WCF services are a great tool for developers because they allow for communication between distributed systems, both on the same network and over the internet. It offers reliable messaging, security, and scalability. Additionally, WCF services can be hosted in different environments, making them easily adaptable to different development needs.

Benefits of Windows Communication Foundation (WCF)

WCF provides numerous benefits, including the ability to develop distributed and loosely-coupled systems, improved reliability, and security. It also offers support for multiple protocols and integration with other frameworks.

Some specific advantages of WCF are:

1. Interoperability: WCF allows different systems to communicate with each other, even if they are developed using different technologies.

2. Flexibility: WCF supports multiple protocols and can be configured to meet the specific needs of the application.

3. Scalability: WCF provides options for managing the load on the server and can handle large amounts of data.

4. Security: WCF includes built-in security features to protect against unauthorized access to data.

5. Integration: WCF integrates well with other frameworks and technologies, such as Microsoft BizTalk Server and Windows Workflow Foundation.

Overall, WCF is a powerful framework that enables developers to create robust and flexible distributed systems, while ensuring the security and reliability of their applications.

WCF Features

The Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) provides the following features:

  1. Interoperability: WCF enables interoperability between services regardless of the platforms or technologies used to create them.
  2. Multiple Message Patterns: WCF supports several messaging patterns such as request-response, one-way, and duplex.
  3. Multiple Transports and Encodings: WCF supports multiple transports such as HTTP, TCP, and MSMQ, and encoding formats such as SOAP and REST.
  4. Security: WCF provides several security options such as message encryption, message signing, transport-level security, and federated security.
  5. Fault Handling: WCF supports fault contracts to define and handle errors in a consistent and unified manner.
  6. Extensibility: WCF provides a flexible and extensible model that enables developers to add custom features and behaviors to their services.


public interface IMyService
    string MyMethod();

public class MyService : IMyService
    public string MyMethod()
        return "Hello World!";

// Host the service
public class Program
    static void Main(string[] args)
        using (ServiceHost host = new ServiceHost(typeof(MyService)))
            Console.WriteLine("The service is ready.");

Core Components of Windows Communication Foundation (WCF)

// The core components of WCF are:

1. Service class: It is a class that defines the operations provided by the service.

2. Endpoint: It is a connection point where clients can access the service.

3. Address: It is the location of the service.

4. Binding: It is used to define how clients can communicate with the service.

5. Contract: It is a collection of all the operations that the service provides.

6. Hosting Environment: It provides the infrastructure necessary to host the service.

7. Message: It is a unit of communication between the client and the service.

8. Channel: It is responsible for transporting messages between the client and the service.

9. Dispatcher: It is responsible for forwarding messages from the channel to the appropriate service endpoint.

10. Proxy: It is a client-side object that provides the same interface as the service.

11. Serializer: It is responsible for converting data into a format that can be transmitted over the wire.

Difference between WCF and Web Services

WCF (Windows Communication Foundation) and Web Services are both used for creating distributed applications that can communicate over a network. However, there are some differences between the two:

  • Technology: WCF is a more recent technology than Web Services and is a part of the .NET Framework, while Web Services are based on standards such as SOAP, XML, and HTTP.
  • Protocol Support: WCF supports multiple protocols such as HTTP, TCP, Named Pipes, and MSMQ, while Web Services are restricted to HTTP and HTTPS protocols.
  • Encoding Formats: WCF supports several encoding formats such as text, binary, and message, while Web Services typically use XML as the encoding format.
  • Compatibility: WCF is backward-compatible with ASMX (ASP.NET Web Services), while Web Services are not forward-compatible with WCF due to the differences in the underlying technologies.
  • Security: WCF supports more advanced security features such as message encryption and authentication, while Web Services typically use SSL for secure communication.
  • Performance: WCF is generally considered to be faster and more efficient than Web Services, especially when using binary encoding and TCP protocols.

Overall, both WCF and Web Services have their own advantages and disadvantages and the choice between the two depends on the specific requirements of your application.

// Sample code to illustrate the use of WCF to create a web service

Explanation of WCF Contract

The WCF contract specifies the set of operations that can be performed by a client on a WCF service. It defines the interface between the client and the service and includes information like method signatures, return types, parameters, and exceptions.

There are several types of WCF contracts, including:

1. Service Contract: Defines the operations that can be performed by a client on a service. 2. Fault Contract: Specifies the exceptions that can be thrown by a service and provides information on how they should be handled by the client. 3. Data Contract: Defines the data structures that are passed between the client and service.

In order to create a WCF service, one must define one or more contracts and implement them in the service code. The contracts are exposed to the client through an endpoint, which specifies the address, binding, and contract information.

Overall, the WCF contract is a crucial part of building a WCF service as it defines the communication protocol between the client and service and ensures that both sides are able to communicate effectively.

Types of Contracts in WCF

In WCF, there are four types of contracts:

1. Service Contract - Defines the operations that a service provides and its associated data types. 2. Operation Contract - Specifies a method in a service contract with its parameters and return type. 3. Data Contract - Describes the structure of data exchanged between the client and the service. 4. Message Contract - Defines the structure of SOAP messages exchanged between the client and the server.

Ways to Host a WCF Service

In .NET Framework, you can host a WCF service in different ways. Few of the most popular ways are:

  1. Self-Hosting: The WCF service can be hosted in an application, such as a Windows service or console application.

  2. IIS Hosting: The WCF service can be hosted in Internet Information Services (IIS).

  3. Windows Process Activation Service (WAS) Hosting: In this hosting, the Windows Process Activation Service (WAS) serves as a mediator between the WCF service and the HTTP/HTTPS traffic.

  4. Windows Azure Hosting: The WCF service can be hosted in Windows Azure environment.

  5. Self-Hosting using Windows Service: The WCF service can be hosted in a Windows Service.

Code Tag:

public interface IMyService

public class MyService : IMyService

using (ServiceHost host = new ServiceHost(typeof(MyService)))
    // Add a new endpoint using default binding and the contract
    host.AddServiceEndpoint(typeof(IMyService), new BasicHttpBinding(), "http://localhost:8000/MyService");

    // Enable metadata exchange
    ServiceMetadataBehavior smb = new ServiceMetadataBehavior();
    smb.HttpGetEnabled = true;

    // Start the service

Concurrency Management

Concurrency management refers to the techniques and tools used to handle multiple processes or threads simultaneously. In a system with multiple threads or processes, concurrency ensures that they can run simultaneously without interfering with each other.

Concurrency management is crucial in multi-user systems where many users are performing different tasks. It ensures that multiple users can access and modify data at the same time without causing inconsistencies or errors.

Concurrency management techniques include locking mechanisms, transaction management, thread synchronization, and multi-version concurrency control. These techniques ensure that different threads or transactions do not interfere with each other and that data is consistent and accurate.

Overall, concurrency management is an essential aspect of modern software systems and is necessary for ensuring the efficient and reliable function of programs in multi-user environments.

Understanding WCF Service Endpoints

In the context of Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), endpoints can be thought of as the communication channels through which clients can access the services provided by the server. Each endpoint represents a combination of an address, a binding, and a contract.

The address specifies the location of the endpoint, such as a URL or an IP address. The binding specifies the communication protocol and message encoding used by the endpoint, such as HTTP or TCP and XML or JSON. The contract specifies the operations exposed by the endpoint, along with their input and output parameters.

WCF allows for the creation of multiple endpoints for a single service, each with a distinct combination of address, binding, and contract. This provides flexibility in how clients can access the service, allowing for variations such as different transport protocols or security settings.

Isolation Levels in WCF

In Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), the following isolation levels are provided:

1. Serializable – This level ensures that the transactions occurring concurrently appear to be executed sequentially.

2. Repeatable Read – This level ensures that the transactions occurring concurrently appear under the same snapshot at all times.

3. Read Committed – This level ensures that the transactions occurring concurrently appear under the most recent snapshot at all times.

4. Read Uncommitted – This level ensures that the transactions occurring concurrently can read uncommitted changes made by other transactions.

5. Chaos – This level doesn't ensure any consistency among transactions and can lead to unexpected results.

6. Snapshot – This level provides a transactionally consistent database environment while allowing concurrent execution of read operations.

Note: It's important to choose the appropriate isolation level based on the requirements of the application. Choosing a higher isolation level ensures transactional consistency but can significantly impact performance.

Definition of Service Proxy

A service proxy is an intermediary between a client and a server that acts like an API, receiving requests and returning responses on behalf of the server. It provides a layer of abstraction and security, allowing clients to communicate with the server without exposing sensitive information or internal server details. In essence, a service proxy is a gateway that manages traffic flow, filters requests and responses, and provides additional services such as caching and load balancing.

Tracing in WCF

Tracing in Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) is a feature that allows developers to track and log the status of their applications during runtime. By enabling tracing, developers can gain insights into the behavior of their applications, detect errors and debug issues.

WCF comes with built-in tracing functionality that can be customized as per the specific requirements of the application. The tracing can be enabled in the configuration file of the application.

WCF tracing can help in several ways:

- It helps in identifying communication-related issues such as message loss, timeouts, and serialization errors.

- It helps in identifying performance-related issues such as bottlenecks and latency.

- It helps in providing insights into how the application is behaving in different scenarios.

- It helps in detecting security-related issues such as authentication and authorization failures.

Overall, WCF tracing is a powerful tool that can help developers in ensuring the smooth functioning of their applications and delivering high-quality software to their clients.

Understanding Security Implementation

Security implementation refers to the process of integrating security measures into a system or application to protect it from unauthorized access, misuse, modification, or destruction of data by individuals or entities with malicious intent. This process involves identifying potential security threats, analyzing the risks, and implementing appropriate security controls to address them.

In software development, security implementation involves incorporating security features into the design and development of an application. This may include implementing access control measures, encryption, authentication processes, and other security technologies.

Security implementation is an essential aspect of cybersecurity, as it helps to safeguard data and systems from a wide range of threats, including hackers, viruses, and other forms of cybercrime. It is also crucial for ensuring compliance with industry regulations and standards, such as HIPAA, PCI DSS, and GDPR, which require organizations to implement specific security measures to protect sensitive data.

Three Types of Transaction Managers Supported by WCF

In WCF, there are three types of transaction managers that are supported which are as follows:

1. CommittableTransaction

: It is used to manage a transaction using a transaction scope.

2. DependentTransaction

: It is used to manage a subordinate transaction within a transaction already managed by a different transaction manager.

3. TransactionFlow

: It is used to manage the propagation of transactions across different service endpoints.

Definition of SOA

SOA stands for Service-Oriented Architecture. It is a software design and architectural pattern that involves the use of services to support the development of applications. In SOA, services are self-contained, modular units of functionality that can be reused across different applications and platforms. This approach promotes the loose coupling of services and provides greater flexibility and scalability in software development.

Ways to Create a WCF Client

In .NET, there are several ways to create a Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) client:

  1. Using the Add Service Reference dialog box in Visual Studio: This is the most common way of creating a client and is easily accessible via the "Add Service Reference" option in the right-click context menu of a project in Visual Studio.
  2. Using the SvcUtil.exe command-line utility: This allows developers to generate clients and service proxies without relying on Visual Studio.
  3. Manually creating a client: In this approach, developers manually create the client by implementing the necessary interfaces and generating the endpoint binding programmatically.
  4. Using the ChannelFactory class: This provides a simple way to create clients and is useful in scenarios where the client needs to be created dynamically at runtime.

Each of these methods has its own strengths and weaknesses, and the choice of which one to use largely depends on the specific requirements of the application.

WCF Interview Questions for Experienced


in WCF provide a consistent way to manage changes to a set of related resources.

Understanding Instance Management

Instance management refers to the process of creating, starting, stopping, and deleting instances of a software application. An instance is a single occurrence of an application that is running on a server or virtual machine. Proper instance management ensures that resources are utilized efficiently, and the application performs optimally. It also involves monitoring the performance of the instances and scaling them as needed to meet changing demand. Effective instance management is essential for ensuring the seamless operation of applications and minimizing downtime.

Instance Modes in WCF

WCF (Windows Communication Foundation) supports three instance modes which determine the lifetime of service instances. These instance modes are as follows:

1. PerCall

: In this mode, a new service instance is created for each client request. Once the request is completed, the instance is discarded.

2. PerSession

: In this mode, a single service instance is created for each client session. The instance remains active as long as the session is open and is destroyed when the session closes.

3. Single

: In this mode, a single service instance is created and shared by all clients. The instance remains active until the service host is closed.

Namespace Required for Accessing WCF Service

The namespace that is especially required to have access to the WCF service is "System.ServiceModel". This namespace provides classes and interfaces that are used to create and consume WCF services. To use the WCF service, the client application must reference this namespace and create a channel to communicate with the service.

Explanation of WCF Binding

WCF (Windows Communication Foundation) is a framework for building and developing connected applications. WCF binding is a configuration that determines how clients communicate with the WCF service over the network. It defines the communication protocols, message encoding, transport protocols, and security settings for a WCF service endpoint. There are various types of WCF bindings available such as BasicHttpBinding, NetTcpBinding, WSHttpBinding, NetNamedPipeBinding, and more. Each binding has its unique features, performance, and scalability. The WCF binding can be configured in the web.config or app.config file of the WCF service.

Types of Binding Available in WCF

In WCF, there are several types of bindings available for communication between clients and services. Here are some of the most commonly used types:

1. BasicHttpBinding: This binding is used for basic SOAP-based communication and is compatible with ASP.NET web services.

2. NetTcpBinding: This binding is used for high-performance scenarios where both the client and service are on a Windows network.

3. WSHttpBinding: This binding supports features such as reliable messaging, transactions, and security, and is based on WS-* standards.

4. NetNamedPipeBinding: This binding is used for communication between WCF services on the same machine.

5. WSDualHttpBinding: This binding supports duplex communication, where both the client and service can send messages to each other.

6. Custom Binding: This binding allows you to configure a binding using a combination of transport, encoding, and protocol elements according to specific requirements.

Choosing the right binding for your WCF service depends on various factors such as performance, security, and compatibility with client applications.

Explaining Data Contract Serializer

The Data Contract Serializer is a service that is used in the .NET framework to serialize and deserialize .NET objects to XML (and vice versa). It is part of the Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) and is used to enable communication between different systems by allowing messages to be exchanged in XML format.

The Data Contract Serializer is used to specify the structure and format of data that is exchanged between different systems. It allows developers to define the shape of the data in terms of objects, properties, and data types, and to specify how the data is serialized and deserialized.

The serializer is used to convert .NET objects to XML format, which can be transmitted over a network, stored in a file, or otherwise exchanged between systems. It supports a variety of data types, such as string, integer, and date, as well as more complex types like arrays, lists, and custom objects.

Overall, the Data Contract Serializer is an essential tool for any developer working with the .NET framework and WCF, as it allows for easy communication between different systems through the use of XML serialization and deserialization.

WCF Address Formats

WCF supports three different address formats:

  • HTTP addresses (http://)
  • Net.TCP addresses (net.tcp://)
  • Message Queuing (MSMQ) addresses (net.msmq://)

These address formats can be configured in the endpoint address property of a WCF service. The choice of address format will depend on the specific requirements of the application and the network environment.

Understanding WCF Throttling

WCF (Windows Communication Foundation) is a framework for building distributed systems. Throttling is one of the important features in WCF which allows controlling the amount of resources used by a service.

WCF throttling can be categorized as:

1. Instance throttling: Limits the number of instances of a service that can be created at a particular time. This ensures that the service does not overload the server and keeps a balance between performance and resources used.

2. Concurrent throttling: Controls the maximum number of client requests that can be processed simultaneously. This helps in managing the number of requests and avoids server overload.

3. Message throttling: Limits the number of messages that can be processed simultaneously. This feature is useful in balancing the performance of a service with the available server resources.

In conclusion, throttling is an essential feature in WCF that helps maintain the performance of a service by controlling the use of resources.

What is Streaming?

Streaming refers to the process of transmitting or receiving media content, such as audio or video, over a network. It allows users to access media content in real-time without completely downloading the file. The content is played while it's still being downloaded, which results in a smoother playback experience as compared to traditional download methods. Popular streaming services include Netflix, Hulu, and Spotify, among others.

The Goal of Transport-Level Security in WCF

Transport-Level Security (TLS) is designed to secure the transportation of data over a network. In WCF, the goal of TLS is to provide a secure communication channel between the client and server, protecting the data in transit from unauthorized access. TLS can be enabled for a WCF service by configuring the transport security settings in the service endpoint. This ensures that all data sent between the client and server is encrypted and authenticated, providing a higher level of security for sensitive information.


MEPS stands for Messaging Exchange Patterns, which define the types of exchanges that can occur between communicating parties. In WCF, MEPS are classified into four categories:

1. One-Way: In this pattern, the client sends a message to the service and does not wait for a response. It is a fire-and-forget model.

2. Request-Reply: It is a synchronous communication pattern where the client sends a message to the service and waits for a response. The service processes the request and sends the response back to the client.

3. Duplex: It is a bidirectional communication pattern where both the client and server can send messages to each other. This pattern requires a persistent connection between the client and server.

4. Streaming: It is used for transferring large amounts of data over a network. In this pattern, the data is sent in smaller chunks, and the client and service can process the data while it is being transferred.

Understanding these messaging exchange patterns enables developers to choose the most appropriate pattern for their WCF applications.

What is WCF Data Service?

WCF Data Service is a platform for creating services that allow users to access and manipulate data through a standard interface, such as OData. It is a framework used to build and consume data services using RESTful APIs. WCF Data Service can be used to expose data from different sources like databases, models or any custom data source as a service.

Exception Handling in WCF

There are several ways to handle exceptions in WCF:

1. FaultException: This is the recommended way to handle exceptions in WCF. It allows you to define a custom fault contract for your service, which can then be used to communicate error information back to the client.

2. IErrorHandler: This interface provides a way to centralize exception handling in WCF. You can implement this interface to create a custom error handler for your service.

3. Global.asax: You can also handle exceptions in WCF by using the Application_Error event in Global.asax file.

4. Try/Catch: The traditional way of handling exceptions with try/catch blocks can also be used in WCF. However, it is not recommended.

It is important to handle exceptions properly in WCF to ensure that all error information is communicated to the client. This will help to ensure that the client can take appropriate action when an error occurs.

Explanation of the term "Impersonation"

Impersonation refers to an act of pretending to be someone else in order to deceive, defraud, or mislead others. In the context of cybersecurity, impersonation typically refers to a type of attack where an attacker pretends to be a legitimate user by stealing their credentials or by utilizing social engineering tactics.

Once the attacker has gained access to the user's account, they can carry out malicious activities without being detected. This can include sending spam emails, stealing sensitive information, or even using the compromised account to launch further attacks.

Impersonation can also occur in non-cybersecurity contexts, such as impersonating a government official or a company representative in order to gain access to restricted areas or sensitive information. It is considered a form of fraud and is illegal in most jurisdictions.

Transport Schemas Supported by WCF

In WCF, there are several transport schemas supported for sending and receiving messages between clients and services, including:


: This is the most commonly used transport protocol and is used to exchange information over the web.


: This is a secure version of HTTP that uses SSL/TLS encryption for secure communication.


: This protocol is used for high-performance communication in a local network, and it supports duplex communication.

Named Pipes

: This protocol is used for communication within a single machine or between processes on a single machine.


: This protocol is used for communication between distributed systems and provides support for guaranteed message delivery and queuing.

Each transport schema supports different features and has its own set of parameters that can be configured to optimize communication between the clients and services.

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