One technology that I’ve been spending a lot of time with lately is the Web Services Software Factory, also known as Service Factory, produced by the patterns & practices team.
Don Smithhas played a central role in its developmentand has providedsome valuable learning resources on his blog to help you get up to speed quickly.
Service Factory is designed to speed up and simplify the process of building quality Web services, primarily through the guidance packages that come with the installation. There are two flavors of Service Factory guidance packages: one for ASMX (which has already shipped on MSDN) and another for WCF, which is still under development. The WCF version is expected to ship around the same time as .NET 3.0. However, you can get early community releases for review on the community site found on gotdotnet.
Just yesterday, the team released a new version of the WCF guidance packages. You can download the new versionhere. Here are a few notes from the download page:
The WCF guidance packages have now been updated to work with RC 1 and the September CTP.
Everyone who’s been asking about RC 1 should grab this download and have at it!

New features include a recipe for generating Message Contracts and a new Security Code Analysis recipe to check your configuration files.

We have not included the reference implementation (RI) because we expect it will change considerably from the RI that is part of the July Service Factory release. We are also not including documentation in this drop. The plan we are shooting for (from not until we release in December) is to drop GPs and the RI once a month and to also drop the written guidance once a month but 2 weeks apart. As always, we are interested in your feedback on this approach.

I’ve written a few articles on both the ASMX and WCF versions of Service Factory that will be published over the months ahead. I’m very optimistic about the future of this technology — Service Factory is positioned to provide official tooling and guidance that Web service developers have been clamoring for in recent years.