Session D303 - WinFX : Workflow Foundation
Probably the most interesting session of the day...
By introducing a new framework such as Windows Workflow Foundation in .NET 2.0, Microsoft is offering a very nice way to design and modelize business and human workflows. Altough Nicolas Clerc talked about the possibility of the use of BizTalk server to build human workflows which I really doubt because there is simply no possibility to build a state machine with it, I found this presentation really interesting.
The first demo he showed us was the creation and the instanciation of a workflow in about 10 lines of code. He showed the possibility to create composite activities as we already do with ASP.NET controls.
An example of persisting a workflow instance in a database with an examination of the content of the table was demoed as well. Simply do a ".Save()" on your workflow and....that's it !!!
On the other hand, it is also possible to define a workflow using XML. Indeed, Microsoft developer XOML to modelize workflows and, after a little discussion with Nicolas, it would be possible to change a workflow definition at the run-time. But, in the meanwhile, when a workflow is designed, it is compiled by the workflow compiler (wfc.exe) and then compiled by the C# compiler as well. Then, this generates a dll. To run a workflow, it needs a host which can be an exe or any other type of application.