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I am very new to web development. I have been a C,C++ programmer for 5 years and I'm starting to get into the web development, writing web services, etc.

I understand that basic concepts of web services. I know .Net web services can be written in VB or C#. Working with C,C++ will help getting used to writing code in C#.

I do not have experience in .Net framework. I'd like to quickly get into writing .Net web services and learning on the go, without extensively spending a lot of time learning .Net framework (if possible)

Any suggestions?

Update - I know my way around databases and sql express in Visual Studio

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3 Answers 3

There are different kinds of web services. Some serve up SOAP, some are RESTless. If it's SOAP you want then learn some WCF (it's fairly painless to actually do), if it's REST you want to expose then try OpenRasta. There is also, now, ASP.NET Web API.

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Painless? Really?! Am I the only one who spent days trying to figure out why some service randomly fails with a cryptic error and what is wrong with the configuration? From what I've seen on blogs and Q&A websites, too many people are in the same case. WCF is a great framework, but not especially painless. – MainMa Jul 10 '12 at 15:30
If you want to try REST, ignore OpenRasta and try NancyFx: - it's beautiful. – Ant Jul 10 '12 at 15:54
@MainMa: I'm with you. WCF is hugely featureful, and pretty much anything is possible thanks to it allowing you to override every stage of the pipeline, but painless? I know it has caused me and my co-workers more pain than probably any other piece of tech. – Carson63000 Jul 11 '12 at 3:33
Some more REST frameworks: ServiceStack and ASP.NET Web API. – Christian Specht Jul 21 '13 at 8:09

You will need to understand IIS at least enough to add and remove a website and webservice. Other than that so long as your app pool is running the correct version of .net you should be fine... this is probably the hardest thing to get right.

My recommendation is start small and work your way up incrementally.

Because you do not want to take the time to learn .net or C# you are going to have some pain points. C# is different from C and C++. In some ways it is easier and in others... different.

So Start off with your service 1 tiny step at a time. In this way you can see how your changes are affecting the service at run time and know when you run into a cryptic error(You will eventually no matter how good you are) what change caused the problem.

Using automated tests for your internal methods should help with determining if the problem is in the code or the configuration.

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If you can hack C/C++ you'll do fine on the "figure out how to stand up services" bits. The big difference between writing web services versus writing a typical service class is that you really need to keep in mind that any call is very expensive. From a design standpoint that means you want big, chunky interfaces rather than lots of small calls. Also, if you choose to do SOAP, you'll probably want to test in non .NET client -- implementations vary, always good to confirm they can talk.

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