Adding the WCF service reference does not generate any code



  • Web Site project under .NET 3.5
  • Visual Studio 2010
  • WCF Service reference

I'm trying to extend a class marked with the DataContract attribute. I though the generated class was declared partial, so that i could easily extend it. I tried declaring a partial class within the same namespace with the same name, but it doesn't seem to recognize what class it's extending. I tried locating the generated code file (Reference.cs) which i thought existed after reading this article inside the reference folder, but it wasn't there. When trying to navigate to the class's definition, i found out it was in a compiled library, and the biggest problem is that it wasn't declared as partial.
Is this difference related to the fact that i'm using a Web Site and not a Web Project? If so, is there a way that i could make the code generator (which also seems to compile the generated code) to declare class as partial?

Yes there is a way you can declare your DataContract classes as Partial.

For this you'd want to use the DTO pattern. Basically this means defining "shared" Classes in a different assembly, and having both the Service, and the App which consumes the Service, both reference the assembly with your common classes.

So for example your "DTOs" assembly might contain a DTO called "Product". Ok, so you make them Partial, and next you decorate Product, and which ever other Class with the WCF attributes, like DataContract, and DataMember etc.

Now, you reference you DTO assembly with you Service project, and your Web Project.

Now, when you go to your web project and click on "Add Service Reference", click on the "Advanced", and you'll notice you can enable an option to "resuse referenced assemblies". do that and you'll have full control over you DataContracts.