WCF, a Framework for Building Service-Oriented Applications
The Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) is a runtime system and a set of APIs in the .NET Framework for development of connected, service-oriented applications. It was previously known as Indigo. Microsoft .NET WCF RIA Services released in 2009 simplifies the whole development process of n-tier solutions for Rich Internet Applications (RIA), such as, for example, Silverlight applications.
WCF RIA Services provides developers with framework components, services, and tools that make the application logic on the server available to the RIA Services client. The software does not require developers to manually repeat that programming logic. Developers can build a RIA Services client that is aware of business rules and be sure that the middle tier logic of the client will be automatically updated every time when this solution is re-compiled.
WCF RIA Services add tools to Visual Studio that make it possible to develop client and server projects as a single solution and generate code for the client project from the code for the middle-tier. As the application logic can be reused on the presentation tier, it reduces development time.
Microsoft .NET WCF RIA Services bring together the Silverlight and ASP.NET platforms and simplify the common n-tier application model. This framework provides a model for writing application logic that works on the mid-tier and controls access to data for queries, custom operations, and changes. It integrates with ASP.NET on the mid-tier and Silverlight components on the client and fully supports such common tasks as data authentication, validation, and roles.
In 2013 WCF RIA Services was open sourced and released under Apache 2 license. The project was renamed Open RIA Services but Microsoft continued to support WCF RIA Services V1.0 and included it into Visual Studio 2013 although some changes were made and several design-time features such as the Domain Service Class template and the Business Application Project template were removed.