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9780321486998

Sams Teach Yourself Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) in 24 Hours

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780321486998

  • ISBN10:

    0321486994

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-01-08
  • Publisher: Sams Publishing

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Summary

In just 24 sessions of about an hour, yours"ll learn how to build robust, efficient business workflows with Windows Workflow Foundation (WF). Using a straightforward, step-by-step approach, each lesson builds the real-world foundation you need to succeed with WF from the ground up. Filled with hands-on code examples, this book walks you through creating every type of workflow supported by .NET 3.5rs"s powerful new version of WF. One step at a time, yours"ll discover how to host workflows, manage workflow lifecycles, integrate with Web services and WCF applications, create custom activities, and moreeverything yours"ll need to solve real-world problems with WF! Step-by-step instructions carefully walk you through the most common WF questions, issues, and tasks. Q&As help you build and test your knowledge. Notes point out shortcuts, solutions, and potential problems to avoid. New terms are clearly defined and explained. Learn how to... Understand the value of workflows and their role in general .NET and advanced business process management systems Run workflows from and exchange data with .NET applications Create sequential, state-machine, and data-driven workflows Define multi-level approval workflows that execute in parallel and escalate Develop rulesets and manage them from SQL databases Track your workflows to make them more agile and governable Use Dynamic Update to change running workflows Work with exceptions, compensation, and transactions Expose workflows as Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) services and call Web services from workflows via WCF Expose workflows as Web services and call Web services from workflows Create basic, queued, event-driven, and composite custom activities

Author Biography

Robert Eisenberg, principal, RE Associates, has more than twenty years of application development, consulting training, and management experience. Robert is currently an analyst and consultant specializing in WF, WCF, SharePoint, SOA, BizTalk, and Oslo. Robert’s past experience includes the following: CEO and CTO, U.S. operations of the largest Internet professional services firm in Europe; acting director of enterprise systems at a publicly traded manufacturing company, where he architected and implemented all key business systems; founder and president of a software services company that installed and customized midmarket ERP solutions and created custom systems for Fortune 500 and midsize corporations. Clients included SBC, Ameritech, the Federal Reserve Bank, US West, and Cushman & Wakefield. Robert writes articles and frequently speaks about the topics he consults on at CodeCamp, Integration Journal, and Intelligent Enterprise Magazine.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
Book Target Audiencep. 2
How This Book Is Organizedp. 2
Hour Summaryp. 3
The Basics
Understanding Windows Workflow Foundationp. 9
Describing Workflow and Workflow Systemsp. 9
A Conceptual Description of Workflowp. 9
A Sample Expense Report Workflowp. 10
Workflow Segmentationsp. 12
What Is a Business Process Management System?p. 13
NET Framework 3.0 and 3.5p. 13
Overview of WFp. 14
Standard Modeling Activitiesp. 16
Multiple Workflow Stylesp. 19
Hostingp. 23
Trackingp. 24
Rule Capabilitiesp. 26
Conditional Rulesp. 26
RuleSetsp. 27
Custom Activitiesp. 29
Reason for Custom Activitiesp. 29
Types of Custom Activitiesp. 30
XAML Workflows and Serializationp. 33
Dynamic Updatep. 34
WF and WCFp. 36
WF and WCF: Conceptual Overviewp. 36
WF and WCF: Integration Specificsp. 37
SharePoint Workflowp. 38
SharePoint Workflow Overviewp. 38
SharePoint Workflow Visual Studiop. 40
SharePoint Workflow SharePoint Designerp. 40
Designer Rehosting and External Modelingp. 41
Summaryp. 43
Installation Instructionsp. 44
Visual Studio 2005 and .NET Framework 3.0 Installation Directionsp. 44
Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5 Installation Requirements/Directionsp. 45
A Spin Around Windows Workflow Foundationp. 47
Creating a Basic Workflowp. 47
Creating a Workflow Projectp. 47
Building and Running a Workflowp. 49
Enhancing the Workflowp. 53
Improving Workflow Transparencyp. 57
Passing Parameters to the Workflowp. 58
Using Declarative Rulesp. 60
Adding New Activitiesp. 60
Creating the Declarative Rulep. 61
Examining the Project Filesp. 63
Creating a XAML + Code W
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

Excerpts

Introduction IntroductionI have spent half of my career focused on business and the other half focused on software development. I amthrough my business personadriven by efficiency. Whereas software has led to tremendous efficiency gains, to say the least, it has also left tremendous room for improvement. Applications are hard to create, understand, and change. My quest for more efficient ways to create software led me to business process management a few years back. After watching the BPM and workflow industry for a couple of years, I was very excited when I learned of Windows Workflow Foundation (WF). After learning more about WF, I became more excited and decided to write this book.I am convinced that we are entering a new phase of software development and thaton the Microsoft platformWF lies at its core. Let's look at the key benefits WF will drive: Simplified development and improved process comprehensibility are delivered because workflows are graphically created and therefore inherently self-evident. There is a built-in infrastructure to monitor running processes that supplies runtime transparency. The same graphical diagram that runs the workflow is used to illustrate its current step, previous executed steps, and potential completion paths. There is improved runtime flexibility because WF processes can be loaded at runtime from a database and executed without precompilation. Running processes can be changed. An individual running order, for instance, can have an additional approval step added to facilitate unexpected regulatory concerns. Simplified and powerful state management is provided. The workflow engine keeps track of the current process step, idles and persists as necessary, and restarts the workflow when appropriate. The workflow engine also allows for interrupting the prescribed process flow and skipping or redoing a step. For instance, it offers tools to transition an order to the earlier customer service step from the shipping step. Domain-specific languages can be created by adding a collection of custom activities (WF building blocks) and potentially a custom workflow designer as well. Cloud Service Infrastructure is provided. WF's integration with WCF permits it to expose itself across the cloud and to access cloud services securely and reliably. When accessing multiple cloud services from a workflow, it becomes a cloud service composition platform.The goal of this book is twofold: first, to explain what WF is, its value, and how and where its features fit into the product's overall goal; second, it drills these concepts into you with pervasive hands-on labs. At the end of this book, you should be well-schooled in the "why" and the "how" of WF.Book Target AudienceThis book is targeted at all levels of .NET developers. It covers most aspects of WF. The labs walk you through the exercises step by step. It is appropriate for beginning .NET developers because of the step-by-step nature of the labs. It is appropriate for intermediate and advanced .NET developers because it covers a substantial amount of material that more advanced developers can take time to digest more thoroughly. All developers will also much better understand the "why" of WF. It is much more than a tool to use to create ex

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