Book Image

Microsoft Windows Workflow Foundation 4.0 Cookbook

By : Andrew Zhu
Book Image

Microsoft Windows Workflow Foundation 4.0 Cookbook

By: Andrew Zhu

Overview of this book

Windows Workflow Foundation 4.0 (WF) is a significant part of .NET Framework 4.0. WF makes workflow technology available to every single programmer that uses the .NET Framework 4.0. It is easy to create long running and distributed programs using WF with the right knowledge. With this book, you will discover that working with workflows is easy. This book provides both step-by-step recipes and relevant background information. It covers all the important aspects of Windows Workflow Foundation 4.0. The best thing about this book is that all recipes are based on real-world experiences of Andrew Zhu. Andrew is a global WF and BizTalk technology support engineer for Microsoft. This book covers everything you need to know, when working with workflows. Get to grips with flow control activities, messaging, and transaction processes with easy to understand steps followed by explanations. You will quickly learn to use collection and custom WF activities and WF services.You will see recipes that illustrate integration of Windows Workflow with other applications such as WPF, ASP.NET, WCF service.Lastly, you will discover how easily you can customize W4 Designer with WF rule engine and others.
Table of Contents (15 chapters)
Microsoft Windows Workflow Foundation 4.0 Cookbook
About the Author
About the Reviewers


Considering workflow programs as imperative programs, we need to think of three fundamental things:

  • How to define workflow programs

  • How to build (compile) workflow programs

  • How to execute workflow programs

In WF4, we can define a workflow in either managed .NET code or in XAML. There are two kinds of code workflow authoring styles:

  • Creating a Custom Activity class

  • Creating workflow dynamically in the runtime

There are also two ways to author workflow in XAML:

  • By WF designer (recommended)

  • Typing XML tags manually

Essentially, a workflow program is a .NET program, no matter how we create it.

After defining workflows, we can build workflow applications as we build normal .NET applications.

When it comes to workflow execution, we need to consider three basic things:

  • How to flow data into and out of a workflow

  • How to store temporary data when a workflow is executing

  • How to manipulate data in a workflow

This chapter is going to focus on answering these questions.

Before moving ahead, make sure we have the following installed on our computer:

  • Windows Vista/7 or Windows Server 2008

  • Visual Studio 2010 and .NET framework 4.0

We can also use Windows XP; however, its usage is not recommended.