Sunday, June 21, 2009

Windows Workflow Foundation 4.0 (Part 1)

Windows Workflow Foundation (WWF) has undergone a radical face lift in the .Net 4.0 framework. This face lift includes new out of the box activities, the designer, workflow types and persistence to name a few of the changes.

  WWF was first released as part of the .Net 3.0 framework and version 2 was released with the .Net 3.5 framework. While most successful among ISV’s (Independent Software Vendors), it hasn’t really taken hold with enterprise. WWF 4.0 is intended to change that and make a core part of every developers toolbox much like the way WCF has become the defacto communications technology in the .Net framework.

As with any beta release, documentation is nearly non existent. So with that in mind I’m going to break this down into a series of articles on WWF 4.0, learning what’s new and sharing my discoveries along the way.

Over the next several articles I intend to cover a lot of ground. I’ll spend time discovering and discussing the following topics

  • Designer changes – What’s new in the designer
  • Workflow types – New workflow types and what’s gone
  • Out of the Box Activities – New activities and what they provide
  • Custom Activities = How to create custom activities in WWF 4.0
  • Workflow Activation – Activating workflows from ASP.Net and Windows applications
  • Hosting – The new “Dublin” IIS hosting capabilities
  • Persistence – The WWF 4.0 persistence model

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