BasicHttpBinding with Transport Security

This is just something to remind myself next time I need to implement a WCF service using the BasicHttpBinding with transport-only security (SSL + client certificates)':

  • WCF expects that the "Require SSL" option in IIS is enabled.
  • If Metadata Exchange is needed, configure the MEX endpoint with a custom binding with the right settings; otherwise the service won't start.
  • Remember to set httpsGetEnabled="true" option in the <serviceMetadata> service behavior instead of the usual httpGetEnabled attribute.
  • WCF does not understand the "Accept Client Certificates" option in IIS. It treats it the same as "Ignore Client Certificates" option.

To use client certificates:

    • Enable the "Require Client Certificates" option in IIS
    • On the service side, use a custom binding to set the requireClientCertificate option of the httpsTransport binding element:



            <binding name="sslBasicHttp">

               <textMessageEncoding messageVersion="Soap11" />

               <httpsTransport requireClientCertificate="true"/>




    • On the client side, use basicHttpBinding with the security mode set to "Transport" and the option clientCredentialType set to "Certificate" on the <transport/> element.

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