Create your first webservice

Demis Bellot edited this page Oct 25, 2016 · 66 revisions

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Fastest way to get started is to create a project with ServiceStack's VS.NET Templates. In addition to this, there are a number of great walk-thru's into ServiceStack in the Community Resources section below. Like this detailed walk-thru with Screenshots by @nilsnagele.

Step 1: Create an application

ServiceStack can be hosted in a few ways: console application, windows service, ASP.NET Web Form or MVC in IIS, etc.

For this tutorial, an empty ASP.NET Web Application (non MVC) is assumed.

Step 2: Install ServiceStack

To install ServiceStack into your application, you have two options to get the binaries:


Install-Pacakage ServiceStack

Tip: You can find an explanation about all NuGet packages which ServiceStack offers here. The package above only adds the binaries, but there also exist some packages which add the required configurations etc.

Manual Download

Only current option for manual download is to download source and build yourself.

Register ServiceStack Handler

After you've added the binaries, you need to register ServiceStack in web.config:

If you want to host ServiceStack at root path (/), you should use this configuration:

<!-- For IIS 6.0/Mono -->
    <add path="*" type="ServiceStack.HttpHandlerFactory, ServiceStack" verb="*"/>

<!-- For IIS 7.0+ -->
  <validation validateIntegratedModeConfiguration="false" />
    <add path="*" name="ServiceStack.Factory" preCondition="integratedMode" 
         type="ServiceStack.HttpHandlerFactory, ServiceStack" 
         verb="*" resourceType="Unspecified" allowPathInfo="true" />

Tip: If you want to host your webservice on a custom path to avoid conflicts with another web framework (eg ASP.Net MVC), see Run ServiceStack side-by-side with another web framework.

Note: Due to limitations in IIS 6 - host ServiceStack at a /custompath which must end with .ashx, e.g: path="api.ashx"

Step 3: Create your first webservice

If Global.asax.cs doesn't already exist you have to add it manually. To do this Right-click on your project and go Add -> New Item, then select the Global Application class.

Each service in ServiceStack consists of three parts:

  • Request DTO
  • Service implementation
  • Response DTO

That's the core philosophy in ServiceStack. Each service has a strongly-typed, code-first (normal POCOs) request DTO and response DTO. You can read a detailed explanation what advantages exist if you're using DTOs in the ReadMe or in [Why should I use ServiceStack?] (

  1. Create the name of your Web Service (i.e. the Request DTO)
public class Hello
    public string Name { get; set; }
  1. Define what your Web Service will return (i.e. Response DTO)
public class HelloResponse
    public string Result { get; set; }
  1. Create your Web Service implementation
public class HelloService : Service
    public object Any(Hello request)
        return new HelloResponse { Result = "Hello, " + request.Name };

Step 4: Registering your web services and starting your application

The final step is to configure setup to tell ServiceStack where to find your web services. To do that, add this code to your Global.asax.cs:

public class Global : System.Web.HttpApplication
    public class AppHost : AppHostBase
        //Tell ServiceStack the name of your application and where to find your services
        public AppHost() : base("Hello Web Services", typeof(HelloService).Assembly) { }

        public override void Configure(Funq.Container container)
            //register any dependencies your services use, e.g:
            //container.Register<ICacheClient>(new MemoryCacheClient());

    //Initialize your application singleton
    protected void Application_Start(object sender, EventArgs e)
        new AppHost().Init();

Done! You now have a working application :)

As you can see, you have created an AppHost. Mainly all configuration related to ServiceStack is made in the AppHost. It's the starting point in your application.

Disable WebApi from the default MVC4 VS.NET template

If you are using MVC4 then you need to comment line in global.asax.cs to disable WebApi


ServiceStack is now Ready!

Now that you have a working Web Service lets see what ServiceStack does for you out of the box:

If everything is configured correctly you can go to http://<root_path>/metadata to see a list of your web services and the various end points its available on.

Metadata page

Tip: In the screenshot the root path is http://localhost/ServiceStack.Hello/servicestack. On your development box the root path might be something like http://localhost:60335 (ie the URL on which your webservice is hosted).

Let's access the HelloWorld service you created in your browser, so write the following URL in your address bar:

GET http://<root_path>/hello/YourName eg

As you can see after clicking on this link, ServiceStack also contains a HTML response format, which makes the XML/Json (...) output human-readable. To change the return format to Json, simply add ?format=json to the end of the URL. You'll learn more about formats, endpoints (URLs, etc) when you continue reading the documentation.


If you happen to generate requests from the wsdls with a tool like soapUI you may end up with an incorrectly generated request like this:

<soap:Envelope xmlns:soap="" xmlns:typ="">

You can resolve this issue by adding the following line to your AssemblyInfo file

[assembly: ContractNamespace("", 
           ClrNamespace = "<YOUR NAMESPACE>")]

Rebuild and regenerate the request from the updated wsdl. You should get a correct request this time.

<soap:Envelope xmlns:soap="" xmlns:typ="">

Explore more ServiceStack features

The EmailContacts solution is a new guidance available that walks through the recommended setup and physical layout structure of typical medium-sized ServiceStack projects, including complete documentation of how to create the solution from scratch, whilst explaining all the ServiceStack features it makes use of along the way.

Community Resources

  1. Getting Started

    1. Creating your first project
    2. Create Service from scratch
    3. Your first webservice explained
    4. Example Projects Overview
    5. Learning Resources
  2. Designing APIs

    1. ServiceStack API Design
    2. Designing a REST-ful service with ServiceStack
    3. Simple Customer REST Example
    4. How to design a Message-Based API
    5. Software complexity and role of DTOs
  3. Reference

    1. Order of Operations
    2. The IoC container
    3. Configuration and AppSettings
    4. Metadata page
    5. Rest, SOAP & default endpoints
    6. SOAP support
    7. Routing
    8. Service return types
    9. Customize HTTP Responses
    10. Customize JSON Responses
    11. Plugins
    12. Validation
    13. Error Handling
    14. Security
    15. Debugging
    16. JavaScript Client Library (ss-utils.js)
  4. Clients

    1. Overview
    2. C#/.NET client
      1. .NET Core Clients
    3. Add ServiceStack Reference
      1. C# Add Reference
      2. F# Add Reference
      3. VB.NET Add Reference
      4. Swift Add Reference
      5. Java Add Reference
    4. Silverlight client
    5. JavaScript client
      1. Add TypeScript Reference
    6. Dart Client
    7. MQ Clients
  5. Formats

    1. Overview
    2. JSON/JSV and XML
    3. HTML5 Report Format
    4. CSV Format
    5. MessagePack Format
    6. ProtoBuf Format
  6. View Engines 4. Razor & Markdown Razor

    1. Markdown Razor
  7. Hosts

    1. IIS
    2. Self-hosting
    3. Messaging
    4. Mono
  8. Security

    1. Authentication
    2. Sessions
    3. Restricting Services
    4. Encrypted Messaging
  9. Advanced

    1. Configuration options
    2. Access HTTP specific features in services
    3. Logging
    4. Serialization/deserialization
    5. Request/response filters
    6. Filter attributes
    7. Concurrency Model
    8. Built-in profiling
    9. Form Hijacking Prevention
    10. Auto-Mapping
    11. HTTP Utils
    12. Dump Utils
    13. Virtual File System
    14. Config API
    15. Physical Project Structure
    16. Modularizing Services
    17. MVC Integration
    18. ServiceStack Integration
    19. Embedded Native Desktop Apps
    20. Auto Batched Requests
    21. Versioning
    22. Multitenancy
  10. Caching

  11. Caching Providers

  12. HTTP Caching

  13. CacheResponse Attribute

  14. Cache Aware Clients

  15. Auto Query

  16. Overview

  17. Why Not OData

  18. AutoQuery RDBMS

  19. AutoQuery Data

  20. AutoQuery Memory

  21. AutoQuery Service

  22. AutoQuery DynamoDB

  23. Server Events

    1. Overview
    2. JavaScript Client
    3. C# Server Events Client
    4. Redis Server Events
  24. Service Gateway

    1. Overview
    2. Service Discovery
  25. Encrypted Messaging

    1. Overview
    2. Encrypted Client
  26. Plugins

    1. Auto Query
    2. Server Sent Events
    3. Swagger API
    4. Postman
    5. Request logger
    6. Sitemaps
    7. Cancellable Requests
    8. CorsFeature
  27. Tests

    1. Testing
    2. HowTo write unit/integration tests
  28. ServiceStackVS

    1. Install ServiceStackVS
    2. Add ServiceStack Reference
    3. TypeScript React Template
    4. React, Redux Chat App
    5. AngularJS App Template
    6. React Desktop Apps
  29. Other Languages

    1. FSharp
      1. Add ServiceStack Reference
    2. VB.NET
      1. Add ServiceStack Reference
    3. Swift
    4. Swift Add Reference
    5. Java
      1. Add ServiceStack Reference
      2. Android Studio & IntelliJ
      3. Eclipse
  30. Amazon Web Services

  31. ServiceStack.Aws

  32. PocoDynamo

  33. AWS Live Demos

  34. Getting Started with AWS

  35. Deployment

    1. Deploy Multiple Sites to single AWS Instance
      1. Simple Deployments to AWS with WebDeploy
    2. Advanced Deployments with OctopusDeploy
  36. Install 3rd Party Products

    1. Redis on Windows
    2. RabbitMQ on Windows
  37. Use Cases

    1. Single Page Apps
    2. HTML, CSS and JS Minifiers
    3. Azure
    4. Connecting to Azure Redis via SSL
    5. Logging
    6. Bundling and Minification
    7. NHibernate
  38. Performance

    1. Real world performance
  39. Other Products

    1. ServiceStack.Redis
    2. ServiceStack.OrmLite
    3. ServiceStack.Text
  40. Future

    1. Roadmap
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