Last year in PDC2009, I ran a chalk talk on our work on WF 4 State Machine Activities and promised the team would ship an implementation for public review after the release of Visual Studio 2010. Today, I am so excited to let you know that we have delivered it on CodePlex as planned.
This CTP contains a state machine runtime and a graphical state machine designer implementation, and they are optimized to handle event-driven scenarios. We simplified the runtime object model and enhanced the designer experience so that handling transitions among states should be more intuitive and require fewer clicks or drag-and-drops comparing to WF3. In WF 4, we have also introduced the Flowchart modeling style. State Machine and Flowchart styles are highly complementary. They are suitable for different scenarios. We will talk more about that in future blogs.
So, go ahead to download and install the bits. The user guide is a good starting point. If you are interested in how it is implemented, you can download the source code. For WF 3 users, you can find the comparison between the state machine in WF3 and this CTP in the user guide. And the team will continue to blog about different features such as composite states, conditional transition, etc…
Your feedback is important to us. We would like to understand more about your State Machine scenarios to build the State Machine right for your business needs. So, please be encouraged to validate the implementation with your scenarios and let us know how it fits or doesn’t fit your scenarios.
Alan Ko (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Program Manager (The WF team)