WCF is Microsoft’s platform for building SOA based applications. An SOA Services will communicate via standard messages.
Let’s go back to the old definition of Serialization – Serialization is the process of converting object state into a format that can be stored and transferred across.
In WCF it means the same thing. We pass parameters of type int, string or may be some custom type while invoking WCF services. Those native .net objects need to be converted to standard messages in order to transmit. Conversion from .net objects to standard messages (Message class) is called serialization. It will be performed by client runtime at client side and by dispatcher at service side.
Once we have the standard message it need to transferred across wire and for that it need to be converted to sequence of bytes. This phenomena is termed as Message Encoding.
Recently one of ourreaders in one of the WCF interviews was asked How to handle WCF exceptions and he answered by using exception object and the interviewer did not accept it. The interviewer was right because WCF exceptions are handled bit differently.
Below is a video created by www.questpond.com which discussed how exception handling is different in WCF.