Phidiax Tech Blog

Adventures in custom software and technology implementation.

Open Web Service Software Factory (WSSF) - Build for Visual Studio 2013


The Microsoft Standards and Practices group put out a contract-first development, modeling, and practices based tool starting long ago with Visual Studio 2008, and it was known as the Web Service Software Factory. Unfortunately for the WCF development community, it seems that there have been no updates to bring this tool forward with the latest Visual Studio Environment versions (VS 2013 has come and gone, and we are approaching release of VS 2015, with no recent updates or ports).

Phidiax uses this tool in many of our SOA implementations as it allows for schema development up front which is then used to generate interoperable WSDL contracts using ASMX or WCF, and can be serialized using XML Serializer or Data Contract Serializer. Since I make use of this tool daily in building services to easily generate code from XSDs and maintain the development patterns, and clients are beginning to make the move to VS 2013 and prepare for VS 2015, I thought it would be beneficial to rebuild this tool into these latest environments. Obviously, that benefits those of you who make use of this tool as well!

How To

To get this moving, I made no changes aside from those necessary to achieve a successful build and installation for VS 2013, so no feature changes have been implemented. Once Visual Studio 2015 is released, I will also begin updating for that environment as well (I attempted for VS 2015 RC, but there are definitely some issues at runtime, so I will wait for final to debug and address). I noticed that there are installation issues (as many in CodePlex discussions commented of the VS 2012 version), but there is a workaround described below. The following steps contain the links to the binaries. Source code is available if needed at

  1. Install the main WSSF VSIX Package
  2. Install the Service Contract DSL Package
  3. Install the Data Contract DSL Package
  4. Install the Host Designer DSL Package

If anyone knows how to eliminate the issue causing the main package not to install the member packages, I'd love to get this fixed, but since this workaround isn't that bad, I wanted to get something out there to keep those using this tool coding quality services.

Comments (11) -

  • Anthony_69

    6/15/2015 8:33:20 AM | Reply

    Great job !

  • Jason

    2/28/2017 2:51:56 PM | Reply

    I'm trying to install this on Windows 7 but I'm receiving the following error.

    "Install Error : Microsoft.VisualStudio.ExtensionManager.MissingTargetFrameworkException: The extension 'Web Service Software Factory 2010' requires a version of the .NET Framework that is not installed."

    I also see the entry "SupportedFrameworkVersionRange : [4.5]" towards the top of the log file. By the looks of my system I do have 4.6.1 installed which should be inclusive of 4.5.  Any thoughts on this?

    • Dean May

      3/2/2017 11:19:58 AM | Reply


      I am able to replicate on a clean Windows 7 VM with only VS 2013 installed. Once VS 2015 is installed (as it is on my main dev box), this issue goes away. I will update the supported framework range requirement to allow installation in this situation and get a new build out soon.

      Thanks for bringing to my attention!

    • Dean May

      3/2/2017 3:06:48 PM | Reply

      I pushed updated build to GitHub today. Redownload the binaries using the above links: they should be good to go, I verified on a Win7 VM with VS2013 only.

      • Jason

        3/3/2017 7:44:05 AM | Reply

        Thank you for taking the time to recreate the issue and providing new binaries so quickly. I'll give them a try on another computer that is pending installation.

        I do have just Visual Studio 2013 installed and do not have Visual Studio 2015. I do want to mention that I figured out a workaround for the first computer that I installed the previous set of packages on. Since I saw in the error log that it was looking for .NET framework 4.5, I uninstalled .NET framework 4.6.1 and then installed 4.5.2. Afterwards all four packages installed without an issue. Once installed, I re-installed .NET framework 4.6.1 and everything is fine.

        I also want to thank you for providing this port of Web Service Software Factory. It’s a huge help!

  • Jose

    6/1/2017 1:21:26 PM | Reply

    I'm trying to port wssf to vs 2017. After many fixes now I came to the point where the code generated by doesn't compile. Parameter fileName in "LoadModel(DslModeling::SerializationResult serializationResult, DslModeling:Tongartition partition, string fileName..." has been renamed to location in the signature (it was ok on 2015). Any ideas, or any guidelines to port the extension? Thanks

  • Phuong

    6/16/2017 8:04:17 PM | Reply

    Anyone been able to run the Web Service software factory  with VS2017?

    • Dean May

      6/20/2017 3:15:01 PM | Reply

      To those asking about WSSF for VS 2017: I have a port ready. Unfortunately, there is a runtime error introduced in the VS 2017 SDK due to a missing resource satellite assembly. I have put in a ticket with Microsoft’s developer support community in late March this year, however their response to it has been somewhat slow. Additionally, I have attempted to force VS 2017 to run with the VS 2015 SDK libraries without success.

      If you could upvote it, and get anyone else you may know who is interested in WSSF to do the same, hopefully the interest in it would move the item along so we could release for 2017:

      • Jim Walker

        9/26/2017 9:58:22 AM | Reply

        I went to the link and microsoft supplied a fix on 8/14/2017.  Here is the text: "This issue has been fixed and is now available in our latest update. You can download the update via the in-product notification or from here: Thanks to everyone who provided feedback, votes and solutions for this problem."

        • Dean May

          10/4/2017 7:46:21 AM | Reply

          Thanks for all support in going to vote for the issue to get this fixed.

          Microsoft indeed released that fix which prevents that error. However, I am seeing a new issue in which I can open the model selection dialog and pick a file, but then it doesn't allow a selection of the item within the model or save which model was selected. No error is displayed. Obviously this still leaves a build for WSSF only able to support existing models. I am currently doing some testing to see if this is a general issue with this popup or if something specific in WSSF's setup is causing this. If anyone else has found a way around this, please post here so everyone can benefit.



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