We have our project (it may be Windows or a web application or something else) and we want to host one WCF service within this solution locally. This type of hosting is called Self-Hosting. To implement self-hosting we need to include System.Service.Model.ServiceHost namespace.
The following are the advantages of self-hosting:
Is easy to use:
With only a few lines of code you have your service running.
You can easily control the lifetime of your services through the Open() and Close() methods of ServiceHost.
Is easy to debug:
Debugging WCF services that are hosted in a self-hosted environment provides a familiar way of debugging, without having to attach to separate applications that activate your service.
Is easy to deploy:
In general, deploying simple Windows applications is as easy as xcopy. You don't need any complex deployment scenarios on server farms, and the like, to deploy a simple Windows application that serves as a WCF ServiceHost.
Supports all bindings and transports: Self-hosting doesn't limit you to out-of-the-box bindings and transports whatsoever. On Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, IIS limits you to HTTP only.
The following are the disadvantages of self-hosting:
Limited availability: The service is reachable only when the application is running.
Limited features: Self-hosted applications have limited support for high availability, easy manageability, robustness, recoverability, versioning, and deployment scenarios. At least, out-of-the-box WCF doesn't provide these, so in a self-hosted scenario you have to implement these features yourself; IIS, for example, comes with several of these features by default.