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ServiceBehaviorAttribute.IncludeExceptionDetailInFaults Property

Gets or sets a value that specifies that general unhandled execution exceptions are to be converted into a System.ServiceModel.FaultException<TDetail> of type System.ServiceModel.ExceptionDetail and sent as a fault message. Set this to true only during development to troubleshoot a service.

Namespace:  System.ServiceModel
Assembly:  System.ServiceModel (in System.ServiceModel.dll)

public bool IncludeExceptionDetailInFaults { get; set; }

Property Value

Type: System.Boolean
true if unhandled exceptions are to be returned as SOAP faults; otherwise, false. The default is false.

Set IncludeExceptionDetailInFaults to true to enable exception information to flow to clients for debugging purposes. This property requires a binding that supports either request-response or duplex messaging.

In all managed applications, processing errors are represented by Exception objects. In SOAP-based applications such as WCF applications, methods that implement service operations communicate error information using SOAP fault messages. Because WCF applications execute under both types of error systems, any managed exception information that needs to be sent to the client must be converted from exceptions into SOAP faults. For more information, see Specifying and Handling Faults in Contracts and Services.

During development, you may want your service to also send other exceptions back to the client to assist you in debugging. This is a development-only feature and should not be employed in deployed services.

To facilitate debugging development, set the IncludeExceptionDetailInFaults to true either in code or using an application configuration file.

When enabled, the service automatically returns safer exception information to the caller. These faults appear to the client as FaultException<TDetail> objects of type ExceptionDetail.

Important noteImportant Note:

Setting IncludeExceptionDetailInFaultsto true enables clients to obtain information about internal service method exceptions; it is only recommended as a way of temporarily debugging a service application. In addition, the WSDL for a method that returns unhandled managed exceptions in this way does not contain the contract for the FaultException<TDetail> of type ExceptionDetail. Clients must expect the possibility of an unknown SOAP fault to obtain the debugging information properly.

Setting this property to true can also be done using an application configuration file and the <serviceDebug> element, as the following code example shows.

    <behavior name="mex">
      <serviceMetadata httpGetEnabled="true"/>

The following code example demonstrates the ServiceBehaviorAttribute properties. The BehaviorService class uses the ServiceBehaviorAttribute attribute to indicate that:

  • Implementation methods are invoked on the UI thread.

  • There is one service object for each session.

  • The service is single-threaded and does not support reentrant calls.

Furthermore, at the operation level, the OperationBehaviorAttribute values indicate that the TxWork method automatically enlists in flowed transactions or creates a new transaction to do the work, and that the transaction is committed automatically if an unhandled exception does not occur.

using System;
using System.ServiceModel;
using System.Transactions;

namespace Microsoft.WCF.Documentation
  public interface IBehaviorService
    string TxWork(string message);

  // Note: To use the TransactionIsolationLevel property, you  
  // must add a reference to the System.Transactions.dll assembly. 
  /* The following service implementation:
   *   -- Processes messages on one thread at a time
   *   -- Creates one service object per session
   *   -- Releases the service object when the transaction commits
  public class BehaviorService : IBehaviorService, IDisposable
    Guid myID;

    public BehaviorService()
      myID = Guid.NewGuid();
        "Object "
        + myID.ToString()
        + " created.");

     * The following operation-level behaviors are specified:
     *   -- The executing transaction is committed when
     *        the operation completes without an 
     *        unhandled exception
     *   -- Always executes under a flowed transaction.
      TransactionAutoComplete = true,
      TransactionScopeRequired = true
    public string TxWork(string message)
      // Do some transactable work.
      Console.WriteLine("TxWork called with: " + message);
      // Display transaction information.

      TransactionInformation info = Transaction.Current.TransactionInformation;
      Console.WriteLine("The distributed tx ID: {0}.", info.DistributedIdentifier);
      Console.WriteLine("The tx status: {0}.", info.Status);
      return String.Format("Hello. This was object {0}.",myID.ToString()) ;

    public void Dispose()
        "Service "
        + myID.ToString()
        + " is being recycled."

The underlying binding must support flowed transactions for the following code example to execute properly. To support flowed transactions using the WSHttpBinding, for example, set the TransactionFlow property to true in code or in an application configuration file. The following code example shows the configuration file for the preceding sample.

            <add baseAddress="http://localhost:8080/SampleService"/>
            This example code uses the WSHttpBinding to support transactions using the 
            WS-AtomicTransactions (WS-AT) protocol. WSHttpBinding is configured to use the  
            protocol, but the protocol is not enabled on some computers. Use the xws_reg -wsat+ 
            command to enable the WS-AtomicTransactions protocol in the MSDTC service.          
        <behavior name="metadataAndDebugEnabled">
    <!-- binding configuration - configures a WSHttpBinding to require transaction flow -->
        <binding name="wsHttpBindingWithTXFlow" transactionFlow="true" />
        <binding name="netTcpBindingWithTXFlow" transactionFlow="true" />

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003

The .NET Framework and .NET Compact Framework do not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 3.0