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Historically, workflow has been limited in its usage within applications due to the lack of availability of generalized technology. For the first time, Windows Workflow Foundation provides application developers and independent system vendors with a generalized workflow engine for building workflow on the Windows platform. Windows Workflow Foundation can be used by developers to support a broad range of scenarios including, but not limited to, composite application development, document lifecycle management, BPM, IT provisioning, and workflow within LOB applications. Windows Workflow Foundation supports multiple workflow models including sequential and state flow machine. Windows Workflow Foundation’s designer, available inside Visual Studio .NET and rehostable in your application, provides a productive environment for developers to build workflow in a manner consistent with familiar ASP.NET, Windows Communication Foundation, Window Presentation Foundation, and WinForm development paradigms. The base unit of a workflow in Windows Workflow Foundation is an activity. Activities are fully extensible and it is expected that developers will build a vast range of activities from generic horizontal activities such as "Send Email" to specialized vertical activities such as "Legal approval" and deliver those to customers and end-users through activity packages. You can use the four tenets of workflow to guide you on using workflow as part of your application development process.

The remaining chapters in this book delve into the details of the various aspects of Workflow Foundation with code examples so that you, the developer, can rapidly build skills with this technology and use it routinely when building next-generation applications on top of WinFX.

In addition to this book, a vibrant workflow community is growing so check out blogs and other community sites—or even post your own experiences and samples.

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