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This chapter is from the book


This hour first outlined workflow in general, discussed common workflow categorizations, and looked at BPMSs. It then provided a brief overview of WF. Then it covered a number of WF's capabilities. Let's now look at six of the main benefits offered by WF, having gone through its capabilities:

  • Design-time transparency—This is intrinsic because the workflow that executes also graphically describes the process.
  • Runtime transparency—The tracking infrastructure and tools built to leverage the infrastructure supply visibility to running processes.
  • Runtime flexibility—XAML allows processes to be run without precompilation and be retrieved from databases, and dynamic update allows processes to be changed at runtime.
  • State management—The workflow keeps track of the current step, idles and persists as necessary, restarts when appropriate, and can even skip or redo steps.
  • Domain-specific languages—Domain-specific languages can be created by adding a collection of custom activities and potentially a customer designer to go along.
  • Participate in network—WF's integration with WCF permits it to expose itself across the network and to access network (cloud) services securely and reliably.

These benefits combine to form a better way to create application logic.

The rest of this book consists of explanations and accompanying labs that walk you through most areas of WF.

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