10 reasons to love Windows Workflow Foundation

Thanks for reading. Check out the Windows Workflow Beta 1.2: We have two different download pages. One is tailored for Office 12 users and developers and the other is tailored for WinFX developers.


  1. Ubiquitous. Single Workflow for Microsoft Windows which will serve as the workflow engine for WinFX, Office 12, SharePoint and many other products as well being implemented by ISVs and corporate developers.

  2. Flexible. Windows Workflow is a framework, not an application, and it together development of Human Workflow (Information Worker) and System workflow (B2B) systems allowing you to consolidate your collaboration and business development to one technology. Your solutions can take a wide range of forms such as client/server applications, web services, SharePoint applications and Microsoft Office applications.

  3. Changes its mind. Designing human workflow can be very frustrating to developers and human workflow development projects are highly prone to scope-creep. The truth is that people do not like to have their options limited. Our decision tree has a lot of branches. Flexible Control Flow allows your workflow to mirror human decision processes. WF also supports long running and stateful workflows.

  4. You can pick it up fast. The WF framework provides an abstraction from low-level workflow code and integrates into Visual Studio 2005. You do not need to learn some third party tool or master some complex middleware, just use your favorite .NET language. Developers can create custom activity libraries or download activities developed by others which have been posted at WindowsWorkflow.Net. You can even define workflow classes using XAML.

  5. An air of mystery. Come on! It has been called WinOE, Windows Workflow Services, WWF and WF. Anything that has had so many names before it is even released HAS to pique your interest

  6. On-ramp for BizTalk developers. The Windows Workflow Foundation Workflow Designer looks much like BizTalk Server Orchestration Designer. Microsoft’s Connected Systems division is producing both offerings and we want to give BizTalk developers a leg up on creating workflow applications. Just think of WF as a new bow in your quiver. For example, use WF when you need a human workflow solution, such as a document-centric application, that needs to execute on a client system.

  7. Microsoft Office. Office has emerged the development platform of choice for many corporate developers. As we have previously announced “Workflow in Office ‘12’ server and client products will rely on and extend the Windows Workflow Foundation-based workflow support in Windows SharePoint Services. Supporting workflows covering formal document processes, Web content management, and more. Office ‘12’ will also allow business users to create document-centric workflows. Web Designers can use Microsoft FrontPage can use a rule-based approach rather than the graphically-oriented technology of the Workflow Designer. Office ‘12’ servers will also include a set of Office-specific Windows Workflow Foundation activities for working with tasks and documents, along with support for creating forms using Microsoft InfoPath”.

  8. WinFX integration. WinFX is the developer platform for Windows Vista and Windows “codename Longhorn” Server and will include Windows Workflow Foundation. You can also install WinFX Runtime Components for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 so WF can power all of your WinFX-based workflow needs.

  9. Our prices are insane!! Workflow is expensive to develop, extend & maintain. Microsoft is consolidating many of our own workflow needs into WF and making them available to the developer community. There will also be no additional charge for the WinFX Runtime Components. The Visual Studio extensions for Windows Workflow are available as a free download and provide you with an ongoing upgrade path.

  10. Workflow is a competitive advantage: Technology is a tool for productivity gains. We buy some technology because we like it, sure. But the engine of global advancement is realized through gains on personal and professional productivity. In the 1980s we began to revolutionize the information worker’s productivity, in the 1990s we tackled communications and accessibility of data. I believe the next big source of gains in human productivity will come from reducing the friction between our actions, making us smarter, faster, more and accurate. In short, we are all workflow developers now.

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving, - Michael Zammuto

Comments (2)

  1. Rick says:

    I’d be all over this if the release timeframe was sooner. Unfortunately, we’ll be deploying before its release.

  2. FranL says:


    This post is now linked from the <a href="http://www.netfxguide.com/guide/wf.aspx">WF Section</a> of NetFXGuide.com.



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