Sunday, July 11, 2010

How to Fix When a WCF Service Does Not Debug via the "WCF Test Client" Tool

If you have created a WCF service, then you have probably seen that upon debugging the service via VS.NET, the service is started automatically using the WcfTestClient.exe tool. This allows the service to actively run through the development server, so test harness applications can consume the service and have real time debugging capabilities. The image below shows the window that should display upon successfully starting (debugging) a WCF Service.

Recently I had a WCF service that upon debugging was opening a web page with the .svc details being shown. This was not what I wanted, and my other VS.NET WCF service started just fine using the WcfClientTest tool. I checked all of the project properties and couldn’t find any setting that triggered this tool to be started.

Upon doing some digging, these configuration attributes are in the .vbproj or .vbproj.user files (.csproj or .csproj.user for C# projects). In the .vbproj file the <EnableWcfTestClientForSVCDefaultValue> tag needs to be present and set to 'true'. This can also be done in the vbproj.user file, but it is the <EnableWcfTestClientForSVC> configuration and it would also need to be set to 'true'. Only the configuration in the main .vbproj file is needed for the WCF service to start using the WcfClientTest.exe tool. Sure enough an older service of mine was completely missing this configuration. The proper configuration element is displayed below.

<FlavorProperties GUID="{123c5851-25df-10da-9384-00011b846f00}">
You can open either the .vbproj or vbproj.user files by right-clicking in Windows Explorer and opening with notepad. Once the configuration is added and set to 'true' the service will launch using the WcfClientTest.exe tool as expected.


  1. You have saved my day, thank you!

  2. sir my service are added in wcftestclient but it does not show my service and method ..
    please give me suggestion