My head hurts so much I think I need a bottle of aspirin...
I've created a WCF service and, with help of others from this site and the department I work in, the WCF service is running as a service on my development machine. Tested it with a console app and it works.
But, it's not supposed to be on my development machine. It needs to be on a different server.
This is difficult because the server it is supposed to reside on DOES NOT have Visual Studio installed on it.
So I cannot run the VS 2008 Command Prompt with installutil to run the WCF service as a service on that server.
Broadly speaking, you've got three options, all of which are described on MSDN:
- Host the service under IIS
- Self-host the service in any managed .NET application
- Host the WCF service under a Windows Service
Which one is right for you depends on what your service is for, how it'll be consumed, how scalable and secure you need the set-up to be, and a dozen other things besides. Without knowing a bit more about what your service does and how it'll be used in your organisation, it's difficult to make a recommendation.
IIS hosting is easy to set up and is the way to go if you want to leverage all of the industrial-strength hosting functionality that a full-blown web server offers.
Self-hosting is quick and easy - you can knock out a WCF-hosting console app in two minutes flat - but is the clunky solution. You of course have to run the host application as a particular Windows user. Perhaps not ideal?
Hosting under a Windows service is the middle ground. It gives you that always-available functionality without having to be logged in as a specific user, but doesn't offer the configurability and scalability of the IIS solution. It takes a bit more effort than belting out a quick console app, but not much.
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