Introducing the Pageflow Sample

Most people think of workflows as a tool to represent and automate back-end business processes. Back-end business processes normally require some user interaction but their main purpose is not to drive the user experience or manage the UI. However, there is a growing type of application that leverages workflow as a tool to drive the…

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WCF and WF in "Orcas"

The wheels of evangelism never stop rolling.  Just a few months ago I was blogging that .NET 3.0 was released.  I’ve been busy since then, and now I can talk about some of that.  Today, the March CTP of Visual Studio “Orcas” was released to the web.  You can get your fresh hot bits here. …

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Usability Testing the WF Designer vNext (or, Yelling at Customers)

One of the things that my team is working on is the next version of the workflow designer.  In order to help us get real feedback, we engaged with our usability teams to design and execute a usability study.  For details on what the test looks like (when we did them 3 years ago for…

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Implementing the N of M Pattern in WF

The second in my series of alternate execution patterns (part 1) I recently worked with a customer who was implementing what I would call a “basic” human workflow system. It tracked approvals, rejections and managed things as they moved through a customizable process. It’s easy to build workflows like this with an Approval activity, but…

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Thoughts on Waiting until 20xx for WF

Usual msblog disclaimer applies, this represents my opinion! While I was on break, a number of folks pinged me asking me about this blog post by Tad Anderson. I find the investment in time to learn how to use 3.0/3.5 has been a complete waste time. So we have release 1.0 and 1.5 of WWF…

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Sharing Functionality Between Designers (WF4 EditingContext Intro Part 2)

This part 2 of my 6 part series on the EditingContext. Introduction Sharing Functionality between Designers  (you are here) Host provided capabilities Providing callbacks for the host Subscription/Notification engine Inspection, Default Services and Items   Setup We will need a custom activity, EmptyOne and designer called InteractWithServiceDesigner.  using System.Activities; using System.ComponentModel; namespace blogEditingContext { [Designer(typeof(InteractWithServicesDesigner))]…

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Would you like to refactor workflows?

One of the things I am working on now is the next release of the workflow designer.  One thing I have heard a number of requests for over the years is the ability to refactor workflows.  I’d love to get some feedback if this would be valuable (I’m pretty convinced it is), and if it…

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You say XAML, I say XOML, PoTAYto, PoTAHto, let’s call the whole thing off

With all due respect to George and Ira Gershwin, I have a quick question for the readers of this blog.  In V1, we have an interesting scenario is talked about frequently, and that’s the file extension of our xml form of workflow.  When we debuted at PDC05, there existed an XML representation of the workflow…

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Swiss Cheese and WF4, or, An Introduction to ActivityAction

One common scenario that was often requested by customers of WF 3 was the ability to have templated or “grey box” or “activities with holes” in them (hence the Swiss cheese photo above).  In WF4 we’ve done this in a way that way we call ActivityAction Motivation First I’d like to do a little bit…

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Different Execution Patterns with WF (or, Going beyond Sequential and State Machine)

How do I do this? A lot of times people get stuck with the impression that there are only two workflow models available: sequential and state machine. True, out of the box these are the two that are built in, but only because there are is a set of common problems that map nicely into…

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