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I have a general architecture based question (out of curiosity, not to judge, to challenge decisions made by the SO team) about Stack Overflow and similarly architected sites...

Of all the selling points* of Windows Communication Foundation as great for SOA, is Stack Overflow simple enough (not in a bad way) to justify not needing to use WCF? I'm asking to help build guideline for myself on when using WCF makes sense.

Or would the lack of a need for WCF also stem from the "speed as a feature" of Stack Overflow where "another layer" would just be slower.

*Selling points such as; unified model, various security benefits, reliability/transactional, App Fabric integration, etc

Updated question to reflect desire to determine guidelines for choosing WCF, and when it's an unnecessary layer.

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migrated from Apr 15 '11 at 1:16

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What makes you think that SO needs any of those benefits? – John Saunders Apr 15 '11 at 1:46
@John that's part of the reason for the question, was hoping to see answers that showed why the architecture choices they made superseded what WCF offers – mpxr Apr 15 '11 at 2:06
@mpxr: I mean, what makes you think they even use web services? – John Saunders Apr 15 '11 at 2:07
@john good point, guess that's a reason why then: "not suitable". – mpxr Apr 15 '11 at 2:12
Sorry to all involved so far, I didn't convey my full intention for the question when first asked. It was a focus on when to choose WCF, and to get ideas of why it's not suitable for a site like SO. – mpxr Apr 15 '11 at 2:20
possible duplicate of Which tools and technologies build the Stack Exchange Network? – YOU Apr 15 '11 at 2:44
@mpxr: no, the reason would be "don't need web services" – John Saunders Apr 15 '11 at 2:46

Before WCF, there were a large number of other methods for doing what is more or less the same thing as what WCF does. They're generally well tested, well known, portable, etcetera.

Stackoverflow must've simply chosen one of those, you would have to ask the StackOverflow team about their decisions.

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Two points

  • Stack overflow was written before WCF was a product.

  • Even so StackOverflow might be using WCF. How exactly would you know if it was or was not? The functionality of WCF is not something that would (or has to) be expose via a web interface.

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