Developing as a Non-Admin: Testing WCF Services

net, vs, testing, wcf comments edit

If you’re developing as a non-admin user and writing WCF services (or supporting entities like behaviors, etc.), you probably not only are unit testing the code but also want to write an integration test or two that actually fires up a real WCF service, makes a couple of requests, and validates the responses.

You may also have seen this exception:

System.ServiceModel.AddressAccessDeniedException : HTTP could not register URL http://+:1234/ServiceUnderTest/. Your process does not have access rights to this namespace (see for details).

Following that link, you’ll see that the reason you can’t start your service listening to the port/URL you chose in your test fixture is that you’re not running as admin. You also see some instructions telling you how to grant the user the rights to use that URL.

There’s an easier way and it doesn’t require permissions changes.

There is a special temporary URL base that anyone can use. Instead of starting up your service on an arbitrary port or URL like “http://localhost:1234/ServiceUnderTest” try putting the test service under “http://localhost:80/Temporary_Listen_Addresses/” like “http://localhost:80/Temporary_Listen_Addresses/ServiceUnderTest”. You won’t get prompted for credentials and things will run just fine on your local machine without having to grant your developer user any additional permissions.

This is one of those things that I figured out, forgot, figured out, and forgot again… and now I’ve figured it out one more time. This time I’m blogging it so I hopefully don’t forget.