Comparing WCF to gRPC


This content is an excerpt from the eBook, gRPC for WCF developers, available on .NET Docs or as a free downloadable PDF that can be read offline.

gRPC for WCF developers eBook cover thumbnail.

The previous chapter gave you a good look at Protobuf and how gRPC handles messages. Before you work through a detailed conversion from Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) to gRPC, it's important to know how the features available in WCF are handled in gRPC and what workarounds you can use when there's no gRPC equivalent. In particular, this chapter will cover the following subjects:

  • Operations and methods
  • Bindings and transports
  • RPC types
  • Metadata
  • Error handling
  • WS-* protocols

gRPC example

When you create a new ASP.NET Core 7.0 gRPC project from Visual Studio 2022 or the command line, the gRPC equivalent of "Hello World" is generated for you. It consists of a greeter.proto file that defines the service and its messages, and a GreeterService.cs file with an implementation of the service.

syntax = "proto3";

option csharp_namespace = "HelloGrpc";

package Greet;

// The greeting service definition.
service Greeter {
  // Sends a greeting
  rpc SayHello (HelloRequest) returns (HelloReply);

// The request message that contains the user's name.
message HelloRequest {
  string name = 1;

// The response message that contains the greetings.
message HelloReply {
  string message = 1;
namespace HelloGrpc;

public class GreeterService : Greeter.GreeterBase
    private readonly ILogger<GreeterService> _logger;
    public GreeterService(ILogger<GreeterService> logger)
        _logger = logger;

    public override Task<HelloReply> SayHello(HelloRequest request, ServerCallContext context)
        return Task.FromResult(new HelloReply
            Message = "Hello " + request.Name

This chapter will refer to this example code when explaining different concepts and features of gRPC.