Probably the biggest thing I like about the WCF Web API is that it is REST based. For me, this is very important because I don’t have to create a client proxy to use the service. I like this because it mitigates the amount of maintenance that I have to deal whenever I change the service or make modifications.
Moving over to the WCF Web API has been a natural migration for me. I deal with very large Silverlight applications that, typically, sit on top of WCF RIA Services. This is very painful because the amount of ceremony involved in keeping the solutions up-to-date whenever a model changes in the database.
With WCF Web API, because I don’t have to worry about a client-side proxy, I don’t care about the changes to the service. I still must be careful not to change my existing service calls that I make from the client but this can be controlled. Adding a new column to a table in my database no longers causes a ripple effect throughout my services that using WCF RIA Services would cause.
If you haven’t played with the WCF Web API, I strongly encourage you to take a look at it. It has some really awesome features as well as a great test platform to allow you to test your service all in one place.
By exposing my services using the WCF Web API, I can now consume them from any platform and any device and never need worry about a client proxy. This allows me to use the exact same service that I am using for Silverlight in a tablet based device or a mobile phone. This gives me a lot of flexibility by writing my service once and using it everywhere.
Over the next couple of posts, I am going to be going into greater detail concerning building a generic data access service using the WCF Web API.
You can read up on the WCF Web API documentation here.