After creating a WCF service, the next step is to host it so that the client applications can consume it. This is known as WCF service hosting. A WCF service can be hosted by using any of the four ways given below −
IIS Hosting − IIS stands for Internet Information Services. Its working model is similar to that of ASP.NET while hosting a WCF service. The best feature of IIS hosting is that the service activation is processed automatically. IIS hosting also offers process health monitoring, idle shutdown, process recycling, and many more features to facilitate a WCF service hosting.
Self-Hosting − When a WCF service is hosted in a managed application, it is known as self-hosting. It requires a developer to write the requisite coding for ServiceHost initialization. In self-hosting, a WCF service can be hosted in a variety of applications like Console application, Windows form, etc.
WAS Hosting − Hosting a WCF service in Windows Activation Service (WAS) is most advantageous because of its features such as process recycling, idle time management, common configuration system, and support for HTTP, TCP, etc.
Windows Service Hosting − For local system clients, it is best to host WCF service as a window service and this is known as Window Service Hosting. All the versions of Windows support this type of hosting and here, the Service Control Manager can control the process lifecycle of the WCF service.