Home > Articles > Programming

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

WF and WCF

The first subsection in this section provides an overview of WCF and conceptually describes using WF and WCF together. The second subsection discusses the product features that integrate the two.

WF and WCF: Conceptual Overview

WCF, WF's counterpart in the .NET 3.x Framework, is Microsoft's preferred technology for hosting and accessing network endpoints. WCF and WF have a symbiotic relationship. By leveraging WCF's core strengths, WF workflows can be securely and reliably exposed across the network. WF workflows can also access network endpoints. Let's look at a couple of examples. If you have a workflow that performs a credit check, and you want to expose it to clients within and across the firewall, you can expose it as a WCF service. Likewise, if you wanted to access a remote service to receive a client's credit score from a workflow, you would use WCF to access the remote service from the workflow. A workflow hosted by a WCF host is referred to as a WorkflowService.

WCF provides one programming model and runtime for distributed computing on the Microsoft platform. It subsumes all previous Microsoft distributed technologies, including web services, web service enhancements, .NET remoting, and enterprise services. WCF supplies the most thorough web service standard support on the Microsoft platform. WCF can listen for and access network endpoints via HTTP, TCP, named pipes, and just about any other protocol.

WCF services (endpoints) are protocol and host agnostic. For example, a service communicating across the firewall can choose the WCF HTTP binding, which sends standard SOAP over HTTP using basic security. If the service needs additional security, it can use WCF's sibling HTTP binding that includes WS* (special web service security) security. Finally a service communicating behind the firewall can utilize the TCP binding that uses compiled SOAP. Therefore, the same service can support all three communication patterns. There simply needs to be one WCF endpoint created for each communization pattern the service supports.

WCF separates the service (the application logic) from the endpoint. The service can be implemented in standard .NET code or as a WF workflow. It is up to you to choose whether to use standard .NET code or a workflow to provide the service logic. Leveraging WCF, WF could expose the same workflow over HTTP to remote clients and TCP to local clients.

Like WF, WCF can be hosted in any .NET 2.0 plus application domain, such as a Windows Service, IIS, or Windows Activation Service (IIS in Windows Server 2008) process. Unlike WF, there is a WCF project type for IIS that simplifies hosting in IIS. This enables WCF services to take advantage of IIS's message-based activation, security, process pooling, and other capabilities. There really is no reason not to use WCF for distributed computing on the Microsoft platform.

WF and WCF: Integration Specifics

Two activities are designed to support WF-WCF integration: Receive and Send. The first is used when exposing a WF workflow as a WCF endpoint. The second is used to access a remote client from a WF workflow. The Send activity is host agnostic—it can be called from any WF host. The Receive activity is not. It can be used only when WF is hosted by WCF.

There are also two WCF workflow projects in Visual Studio 2008 (Figure 1.22). The first contains a sequential workflow project and a WCF contract (interface). The second holds state machine workflows and an accompanying contract. These project types are relevant when exposing a workflow as a service.

The Send and Receive activities are very powerful. They both provide synchronous and asynchronous communication capabilities. The Send activity has a very similar structure to a method call: expected return type, method to call, and parameters to pass. The Receive activity has a very similar structure to a called method. The WF communication activities made available in the .NET Framework 3.0 do not offer such a natural way to call out from and into a workflow.

Figure 1.22

Figure 1.22 WCF Project types.

Many prefer to host all WF workflows in WCF for the following reasons: the robust communication implementation of the Send and Receive activities, the IIS and Windows Activation Services hosting support offered to WCF, Microsoft's apparent emphasis toward WCF as WF's hosting apparatus, especially going forward and the expectation that WF and WCF will continue to be interweaved until they look like one.

WCF and WF integration is discussed in Hour 19, "Learning WF-WCF Integration."

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020