The Difference Between “Add Web Reference” and “Add Service Reference” in .net


I am building a simple WCF ASP.NET client in Visual Studio 2010 and wanted to make a reference to my WCF service. I can see two options “Add Web Reference” and “Add Service Reference”. What is the difference between the two?

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William Patrick
Asked on: Jun 24, 2011 at 12:41AM

1 Answers


Add Web Reference is a wrapper over wsdl.exe and can be used to create proxies for .NET 1.1 or 2.0 clients. Of course this means when you are pointing to a WCF service you have to be pointing to an endpoint that uses basicHttpBinding.It is used to create ASMX web services in the past by simply selecting “Add Web Reference” and pointing to my .svc file hosted in IIS.

Add Service Reference is a wrapper over svcutil.exe and also creates clients proxies (and additionally web.config entries). These proxies, however, can only be consumed by .NET 3.0+ clients.

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Gokul A
Answered on: Jun 24, 2011 at 12:45AM

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