WCF Self Hosting in a Console Application Simplified

By | May 19, 2014

In order to host a Windows Communication Foundation Service, we normally need a managed process, a ServiceHost instance and an endpoint configured forWCF Service.We can host aWCF Service in following different possible ways:

  • Hosting in a Managed Application/ Self Hosting
    • Console Application
    • Windows/WPF Application
    • Windows Service
  • Hosting on Web Server
    • IIS 6.0 (ASP.NET Application supports only HTTP)
    • Windows Process Activation Service (WAS) i.e. IIS 7.0 supports HTTP, TCP, NamedPipes, MSMQ.

In this WCF Tutorial, focus is to Self Host our WCF Service in a Console Application using step by step approach. Self Hosting a WCF Service in a console application is comparatively easy as well as flexible because we can achieve the purpose by writing few lines of code.
Let’s first Create a Simple WCF Service i.e. a StudentService and then host in a Console application. StudentService having service operation GetStudentInfo that takes StudentId as parameter and returns student name.
1. Create StudentService Class Library:
Open Visual Studio and Create a new Class Library Project, name it as “StudentService” and press “OK” button.

Then, right click on project and Add a new “WCF Service” to this Class Library Project.
It will add Service Contract (IStudentService) and it’s implementation class (StudentService) to class library project. Also, it will add a reference to System.ServiceModel.
Code for IStudentService interface will be as follows:
 [ServiceContract] public interface IStudentService 
     string GetStudentInfo(int studentId); 
And following is the code for StudentService implementation class:
      public class StudentService : IStudentService
         public string GetStudentInfo(int studentId)
             string studentName = string.Empty;
             switch (studentId)
                 case 1:
                         studentName = “Muhammad Ahmad”;
                 case 2:
                         studentName = “Muhammad Hamza”;
                         studentName = “No student found”;
             return studentName;
2. Add a Console Application:
In order to host this service in Console application, let’s add a new console application project “StudentHost” to this solution.
Our console application will have reference to:
  • StudentService class library
  • System.ServiceModel.
Reference to WCF Service
At the start of this WCF Tutorial, we discuss that hosting a WCF service requires a Managed Process (i.e. console application), Service Host (an instance of ServiceHost class) and one or more Service Endpoints. Detailed implementation of Student host application is as follows:
    class Program
        static void Main(string[] args)
            ServiceHost studentServiceHost = null;
                //Base Address for StudentService
                Uri httpBaseAddress = new Uri(“http://localhost:4321/StudentService”);
                //Instantiate ServiceHost
                studentServiceHost = new ServiceHost(typeof(StudentService.StudentService),
               //Add Endpoint to Host
                                                        new WSHttpBinding(), “”);            
               //Metadata Exchange
                ServiceMetadataBehavior serviceBehavior = new ServiceMetadataBehavior();
                serviceBehavior.HttpGetEnabled = true;
                Console.WriteLine(“Service is live now at : {0}”, httpBaseAddress);
            catch (Exception ex)
                studentServiceHost = null;
                Console.WriteLine(“There is an issue with StudentService” + ex.Message);

Now, simply build the console application and run it after setting as startup project. You will see the following screen that shows our self-hosted WCF Service is running.

Self Hosted in Console Application

In this WCF Service Tutorial, we have created a Windows Communication Foundation Service and hosted in a Console Application. In following post on this WCF blog, we will call this self hosted WCF service from a client application.

Top 10 Interview Questions and Answers Series:

Category: Uncategorized Tags: , ,


Imran Abdul Ghani is working as Software Developer(Senior) with extensive knowledge in Web development technologies especially C#, ASP.NET, MVC, WCF, Web API, ADO.NET Entity Framework, jQuery etc. He has several years of experience in designing/developing enterprise level applications. He is Microsoft Certified Solution Developer for .NET (MCSD.NET) since 2005. You can reach his blogging at www.webdevelopmenthelp.net, www.topwcftutorials.net, and www.sharepointfordummies.net.