One of the most valuable resources from my point of view is the author and lecturer Michele Leroux Bustamante. She has written a book published by O’Reilly called Learning WCF that is really a great step by step and practical approach to understanding the details and implications of WCF.
She will start with a high level concept and drill down through to source code to illustrate her point. And, because it is a learning experience, the code is in context with enough to help you implement it. I am mentioning this because a lot of the books I have read on WCF are basically concepts mapped to islands of code, but nothing at a practical level to help me to tie them together.
One note about the book. There is a new chapter out that covers Visual Studio 2008 and .NET 3.5, but unfortunately, there is a chance when you order online, you are not always garuanteed to get the second release. I bought the first release last year and wanted the second release and ordered from Amazon and they still sent me the first release. However, Michele says that really the only difference is chapter one and she did a deal with her publisher to provide that chapter in PDF form on her blog. The link is: http://www.thatindigogirl.com/downloads/LearningWCFChapter01VS2008.pdf.
Additionally she has done a 15 part lecture series on WCF published through Microsoft’s Webcast series. These lectures are downloadable and really very well worth the time. The link for the WCF Webcast series is: http://agarwalmk.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!780CD8FB86EF8F7C!14966.entry?wa=wsignin1.0&sa=16708577.
I am revising this post to include several other books I found really helpful along the way:
- Programming WCF by Juval Lowy – publisher O’Reilly
- Pro WCF by Chris Peiris and Dennis Mulder – publisher APress
- Essential Windows Communication Foundation for .NET 3.5 by Steve Maine – publisher Addison Wesley
Maine’s Essential Windows Communication Foundation was the hardest book for me to understand at the beginning because he does not take a cookbook but a conceptual approach. However the more I learned, the more I began gravitating to his book. I really like it, however I have gotten a lot out of all of the books.
Just as an FYI, in a related post, I am writing a series of articles on a practical WCF architecture. The first post is here.