Saturday, December 6, 2008

Windows Workflow Foundation (Windows WF) - Lesson 1

In my recent quest to implement Model Driven Engineering in all my designs, I am trying to use the features of Windows Workflow Foundation. I will be sharing you with the material that I understand. This is the first in the series of discussion, I will be sharing with you.

Workflow Types:
There are two types of workflow. They are as follows:

1. Sequential workflow
2. State machine based workflow

The difference between a sequential workflow and state machine based workflow is the same as the difference between a flowchart and graph.

Workflow Authoring Modes:
There are four authoring modes of workflow:

1. Markup only:
It is based on XAML which defines workflow structure logic and data flow.

2. Markup and Code:
XAML defines workflow and code beside defines extra logic. The code is written in a .net compliant language e.g. or C#.

3. Code Only:
The workflow is created by code in constructor.

4. Application generated:
Application creates activity tee and serializes into XAML or code (C# or

Workflow developed through these authoring tools are compiled through a workflow compiler. The compiler for workflow is wfc.exe. The workflow compiler passes this on to C# or VB compiler, depending on the language used by developer, which compiles the code in the workflow. A .net assembly is generated with *.ctor extension which defines the workflow.

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