Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Types of WCF concurrency

WCF concurrency helps us configure how WCF service instances can serve multiple requests at the same time. You will need WCF concurrency for the below prime reasons; there can be other reasons as well but these stand out as important reasons:
  • Increase throughput: Many times you want to increase the amount of work your WCF service instance does at any moment of time. In other words, you would like to increase the throughput. Throughput means how much work a given thing can do.
  • By default, a WCF service handles only one request at a given moment of time.
  • Integration with a legacy system: Many times your WCF services interact with legacy systems like VB6, COM, etc. It’s very much possible that these systems are not multithreaded, in other words they handle only one request at any given time. So even though your WCF service has concurrent capabilities, you would still like to handle one request at a time. This is achieved by using throttling in combination with WCF concurrency capabilities.

There are three ways by which you can handle concurrency in WCF: single, multiple, and reentrant. To specify WCF concurrency, we need to use the ServiceBehavior tag as shown below, with the appropriate ‘ConCurrencyMode’ property value.
Single: A single request has access to the WCF service object at a given moment of time. So only one request will be processed at any given moment of time. The other requests have to wait until the request processed by the WCF service is completed.
Multiple: In this scenario, multiple requests can be handled by the WCF service object at any given moment of time. In other words, requests are processed at the same time by spawning multiple threads on the WCF server object. So you have great throughput here but you need to ensure concurrency issues related to WCF server objects.
Reentrant: A single request thread has access to the WCF service object, but the thread can exit the WCF service to call another WCF service or can also call a WCF client through callback and reenter without deadlock.

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