Last week an ISV approached me after I showed Workflow Foundation and to parphrase, said "Given Workflow Foundation now exits, why would I ever consider Biztalk". This is not the first time I have been asked this - but unlike previous occassions the conversation just kept carrying on and on.
I used my normal answer "Workflow Foundation gives you only a small element of what ships in the box with Biztalk. For instance...." didn't seem to work. It took a while before I realised the problem - namely the ISV only used Biztalk Server for Biztalk Orchestration and therefore their view of Biztalk Server was that Biztalk Server only did roughly the same as Workflow Foundation - as Biztalk Orchestration did roughly the same as Workflow Foundation. They never used the many other features of Biztalk Server which Workflow Foundation does not address in any way.
I thought I would have a look out there for some good posts on this area. I would recommend anyone who is confused about when to use which takes a look at:
- Brian Loesgen's Blog entry comparing the two technologies. (NOTE: WF does support transactions "out of the box")
- Lamont Harrington's Blog entry comparing the two technologies.
Scott has an interesting post as well. I will pluck out a small piece to end.
Workflow within applications = Workflow Foundation
Workflow across applications = BizTalk Server