Integrating with COM Applications Overview

Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) provides the managed code developer with a rich environment for creating connected applications. However, if you have a substantial investment in unmanaged COM-based code and do not want to migrate, you can still integrate WCF Web services directly into your existing code by using the WCF service moniker. The service moniker can be used from a wide range of COM-based development environments, such as Office VBA, Visual Basic 6.0, or Visual C++ 6.0.

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The service moniker uses a WCF communication channel for all communication. The security and identity mechanisms for that channel differ from those used in standard COM and DCOM proxies. In addition, because the service moniker uses a WCF communication channel the default timeout period is one minute for all calls.

The service moniker is used with the GetObject function to provide the unmanaged developer with a strongly-typed, COM-specific approach for calling WCF Web services. This requires a local, COM-visible definition of the WCF Web service contract and the binding that is to be used. Like other WCF clients, the service moniker must construct a typed channel to the service, though this channel construction occurs transparently to the COM programmer on the first method call.

In common with other WCF clients, when using the moniker, applications specify the address, binding and contract to communicate with a service. The contract can be specified in one of the following ways:

  • Typed contract – the contract is registered as a COM visible type on the client machine.

  • WSDL contract – the contract is supplied in the form of a WSDL document.

  • MEX contract – the contract is retrieved at runtime from a Metadata Exchange (MEX) endpoint.

Parameters Supported by the Service Moniker

The following table shows the parameters that are supported by the service moniker.

Parameter Description

address

URL location of the service.

binding

Binding section name from the application configuration.

bindingConfiguration

Named binding instance from within the named binding section.

contract

Interface identifier (IID) that represents the service contract or the contract name (from MEX).

wsdl

WSDL document that provides an alternative form of contract definition.

spnIdentity

Server principal name (SPN) identity to be used to communicate with the service.

upnIdentity

User principal name (UPN) identity to be used to communicate with the service.

dnsIdentity

DNS identity to be used to communicate with the service.

mexAddress

URL location of the Metadata Exchange (MEX) endpoint of the service.

mexBinding

Binding section name from the application configuration to connect with the MEX endpoint.

mexBindingConfiguration

Named binding instance from within the named binding section to connect with the MEX endpoint.

bindingNamespace

Namespace of the binding section name from the retrieved MEX.

contractNamespace

Namespace of the contract from the retrieved MEX.

mexSpnIdentity

Server principal name (SPN) identity to be used to communicate with the MEX endpoint.

mexUpnIdentity

User principal name (UPN) identity to be used to communicate with the MEX endpoint.

mexDnsIdentity

DNS identity to be used to communicate with the MEX endpoint.

serializer

Specify the use of either the "xml" or "datacontract" serializer.

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Even when used with entirely COM-based clients, the service moniker requires WCF and the supporting .NET Framework 2.0 to be installed on the client computer. It is also critical that client applications that use the service moniker load the appropriate version of the .NET Framework runtime. When using the moniker within Office applications, a configuration file may be required to ensure that the correct framework version is loaded. For example, with Excel, the following text should be placed in a file called Excel.exe.config in the same directory as the Excel.exe file:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>

<configuration xmlns=http://schemas.microsoft.com/.NetConfiguration/v2.0>

<startup>

<requiredRuntime version="v2.0.50727" />

</startup>

</configuration>

See Also

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