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Definition: Windows Communication Foundation

The messaging subsystem in Windows, starting with Vista. Introduced in the .NET Framework 3.0 programming interface (API), Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) provides a service-oriented architecture (SOA) for passing messages between applications locally, across a local network and over the Internet.

A Unified Interface
Using the SOAP protocol, WCF attempts to consolidate all functions that pass messages between applications, including .NET Remoting interprocess communication (IPC), COM and Web services. See .NET Framework, Windows Workflow Foundation, SOAP, COM and IPC.