Microsoft Windows Workflow Foundation (WWF) is an extensible framework for developing workflow solutions on the Windows platform. As part of the upcoming Microsoft WinFX, Windows Workflow Foundation provides both an API and tools for the development and execution of workflow-based applications. Windows Workflow Foundation provides a single, unified model to create end-to-end solutions that span categories of applications, including human workflow and system workflow.
Windows Workflow Foundation is a broad and general-purpose workflow framework, designed for extensibility from the ground up and at every level. Windows Workflow Foundation -based solutions are made of interconnected components backed up by Microsoft .NET code and running in a host application. Just as you create your Web pages visually in a tailor-made environment, you compose the steps of your specific workflow in a visual designer, and add code behind workflow components to implement rules and define the business process.
Windows Workflow Foundation provides a workflow engine, a .NET-managed API, runtime services, and a visual designer and debugger integrated with Microsoft Visual Studio 2005. You can use Windows Workflow Foundation to build and execute workflows that span both the client and server, and that can be executed within all types of .NET applications.
This article provides a smooth introduction to Windows Workflow Foundation and shows how it works, through a few incremental examples.
A workflow is a model of a human or system process that is defined as a map of activities. An activity is a step in a workflow, and is the unit of execution, re-use, and composition for a workflow. The map of activities expresses rules, actions, states, and their relations. Designed by laying out activities, a Windows Workflow Foundation workflow is then compiled to a .NET assembly, and is executed on the workflow runtime and the Common Language Runtime (CLR).
Below are a few links on Windows Workflow Foundation (WWF):
- Microsoft's official site - beta download, tons of samples, download activities, forums, white papers, blogs, webcasts
- Channel 9 - James Conard - Touring the Windows Workflow Foundation Team Office video
- Channel 9 - Scott Woodgate and team -Announcing Windows Workflow Foundation
- Working with Windows Workflow Foundation in ASP.NET
- Virtual Lab
- Paul Andrew - the WWF Product Manager
- MSDN Webcast - Using Workflow in Web Applications
- Windows Workflow Foundation Beta 1 Hands-on Labs