Month: April 2013

Castle WCF Facility

In the previous post we saw how to provide Inversion of Control capabilities to a WCF service. That’s pretty cool but unfortunately it requires a big refactoring if you plan to apply the Dependency Inversion pattern on an existing WCF project.

Today we will see an interesting alternative provided by Castle project. If you are not aware of Castle, you can have a look at the community web site here. Castle provides a set of tools for NET, Active Record, Dynamic Proxy, Windsor and a set of facilities that you can easily plug into your code.

The demo project

Before starting to have  a look at Castle Wcf Facility we need a new WCF project and a WCF web site to host our service. The idea is to create an empty service and host it, then we will refactor the project to include Castle Windsor and WCF facility.

Let’s start by creating an IIS web site, a DNS redirect and a folder for our IIS web site. The final result will be like the following one:


Now we need to create the new project in Visual Studio. I have created a solution that contains 2 projects:

  • Empty WCF Service Library named “Service.Contracts
  • Empty WCF Service Library named “Service.Implementations
    • reference the project “Service.Contracts

And this would be the final result of this step:


We have just implemented the correct way of creating a WCF service implementation and a WCF service contract. The Client will have a reference to the contract assembly in order to be able to work with the service implementation, without the need of using a Proxy. This concept is outside the fact that I will use an ioc container, it’s just a lot easier than adding a “web service reference” in visual studio and carry tons of useless proxy classes in your project.

Hosting WCF service

The final step is to host this WCF Service inside an IIS ASP.NET or ASP.NET MVC website. I have create a new “web site application” and from the options I choose “WCF service application”. Then I select my local IIS for the development path, but this is up to you.


Now Visual Studio will ask you if you want to override the current web site or use the existing content. If you choose the second option you will have to provide also web.config configuration and initial setup, so I kindly suggest the first option.

If everything went ok you should be able to visit the default service created by Visual Studio at this url: http://staging.service.local/Service.svc.

Now we need to change the content and the name of the .svc file, but before we need to add a reference for Contracts and Implementations from the solution explorer!

We need to reference the Implementation because we don’t have a factory yet able to translate the IServiceContract into a ServiceImplementation class. So the next step is to install in our solution the WCF castle facility nuget package.


Add WCF facility

So far we didn’t need any external tool because we have an empty service created by default by Visual Studio with a dummy code, or probably during the tutorial you have already changed your service to so something more interesting. The next step is to add a facility in order to be able to change the default factory used by IIS to create an instance of our service.

The first step is to add a new global.asax file if you don’t have one already and plug the Windsor container inside the Application_Start event.
This is my global.asax file:

Now, in the code behind file we want to create an instance of a new Windsor Container during the Application_Start event:

And this is the code to initialize a new container. In this code we need to pay attention in the way we specify the server name, because WCF facility uses the service attribute value to search inside the Windsor container. So, this is the code to register the service:

And this is the change we need to apply to the Service.svc file:

Now your service is ready to use dependency injection under the power of Castle Windsor.

Add a dependency to a WCF service using Windsor

Simple example, I have a service that requires an ILogger injected in it. I need to change the code for my service to allow injection and then I need to register the logger in the global.asax file during the Windsor container activation process.

And this how we change the registration in the container:

The source code is available here: