Calling One Way WCF Service with BizTalk WCF Adapter, Part 1
If you ever tried to call a One Way web service operation with BizTalk, you might have read that BizTalk's WCF Adapters don't support One Way calls. The orchestration calls the service as expected and carries on running, but some Messaging process still hangs in the BizTalk Server Administration Console. Simply put: BizTalk 2006 R2 WCF Adapters don't support "Fire and Forget" communication pattern (message is sent and reception is acknowledged by the listening service, but no response is sent back).
In the "Using the Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) Adapters in BizTalk Server" paper by Aaron Skonnard, it is clearly stated at page 22:
An important consideration is that the WCF send adapter is only compatible with request-reply operations even when used on one-way send ports. WCF service operations can return void but they shouldn’t be marked with IsOneWay=true if you want to call them from a WCF send port.
This means that if an orchestration calls a service operation marked as One Way (hence not returning anything), the orchestration will continue and terminate fine, but the port that called the service will hang there for a response.
With default settings, the process will try to call the service three more times before giving up raising some CommunicationException:
System.ServiceModel.CommunicationException: The server did not provide a meaningful reply; this might be caused by a contract mismatch, a premature session shutdown or an internal server error.
This is not very nice.
This issues has been discussed many times on blogs. One of the solution proposed by Sonu Arora is to remove the IsOneWay operation attribute at the service, so the service sends an empty SOAP message as a response. This is the same solution that what is advised by Aaron. However, this means that you have some control on the service itself, which might not be the case. On top of this, if you have other client calling that service, should they all change because of BizTalk? I don't think so.
An other solution proposed by Josh Twist, who's encountering the same issue but the other way round, is to either modify the orchestration (hence making it aware of the post used, which is not good), or to build an intermediary service that will support the One Way operation (whichever direction you choose) and adapt to make sure BizTalk gets what it needs.
This is what I did and I will explain it is part 2 of this post, as I'm running out of time today :)
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