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Error Handling in WCF RESTful Service

, 21 Jan 2014
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WCF possesses the capability to handle errors for RESTful services and return appropriate HTTP status code as well as error details using standard formats like JSON or XML. So, WebFaultException is the class used to return: HTTP status code only, orHTTP status code and user-defined type.We can defin

WCF possesses the capability to handle errors for RESTful services and return appropriate HTTP status code as well as error details using standard formats like JSON or XML. So, WebFaultException is the class used to return:

  • HTTP status code only, or
  • HTTP status code and user-defined type.

We can define a custom type for error details and pass it to WebFaultException class constructor. Further, this custom type is serialized using defined format (i.e. JSON/XML) and forwarded to the client.

This WCF tutorial is part of series on Creating WCF RESTful services. In previous articles, we created RESTful services peforming all CRUD operations and later in Part-2, consuming it using jQuery. Here in this part, our focus is on error handling mechanism supported by WCF for HTTP services. We will be referring the previous article example here, so I'll recommend to go through it first.

Now, its quite simple to return HTTP status code only. For example in previous article, we created a WCF RESTful service having a service method GetBookById. It takes a bookId as method parameter and return Book object against provided bookId in JSON format. So, in order to return proper HTTP status code, we can update the implementation as follows:

public Book GetBookById(string id)
 {
            Book book = repository.GetBookById(int.Parse(id));
            if (book == null)
            {
throw new WebFaultException(HttpStatusCode.NotFound);
            }
            return book;
 }

But if we wanted to add some custom details with error code, we need to provide a user-defined type that holds the information. I have created one simple custom error type but you can modify it according to your need.

				[DataContract]
 public class MyCustomErrorDetail
 {
        public MyCustomErrorDetail(string errorInfo, string errorDetails)
        {
            ErrorInfo = errorInfo;
            ErrorDetails = errorDetails;
        }

        [DataMember]
        public string ErrorInfo  { get; private set; }

        [DataMember]
        public string ErrorDetails { get; private set; }
 }

And implementation for the same service method GetBookById will be updated accordingly as follows:

public Book GetBookById(string id)
 {
            Book book = repository.GetBookById(int.Parse(id));
            if (book == null)
            {
MyCustomErrorDetail customError = new MyCustomErrorDetail(                                                                                                            "Book not found",
"No book exists against provided bookId.");
throw new WebFaultException<MyCustomErrorDetail>(customError, HttpStatusCode.NotFound);
            }
            return book;
 }

Hopefully, this article will helpful in custom error handling for WCF RESTful service.

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License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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About the Author

Imran Abdul Ghani
Software Developer (Senior)
United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates
Imran Abdul Ghani has more than 10 years of experience in designing/developing enterprise level applications. He is Microsoft Certified Solution Developer for .NET(MCSD.NET) since 2005. You can reach his blogging at WCF Tutorials, Web Development, SharePoint for Dummies.
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GeneralMy vote of 3 Pinprofessionalmaryjainpa20-May-14 2:30 

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