This morning, I’m pleased to announce that the team has posted four initial Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) migration guidance documents to help current WF developers evaluate the new WF programming model that is being introduced in .NET Framework 4.
The documents were written by the PM team to help describe the relationship between the existing WF technology that was introduced in .NET 3.0 (defined as the types in the System.Workflow.* namespaces; referred to in the documents as WF3 for simplicity and brevity) and the new WF technology that is being released in .NET 4 (the System.Activities.* namespaces; referred to in the documents as WF4). The team explains how to think of WF features within the two programming models, and the choices you have as a user or a potential user of workflow technology in .NET 4.
Because this is a very broad topic, we’ve broken up what was initially going to be a single paper into about eight. There is an overview document and [currently] seven papers that take the form of either higher level guidance and cookbook papers. Today’s initial release introduces the higher-level guidance documents, with the cookbooks to be released in the coming weeks.
As the documents are updated, we will be releasing them to the WF Migration Guidance download on the MS Download Center, and the accompanying source code will be posted on a WF Migration Guidance project on the MSDN Code Gallery.
The document list looks like the following:
- WF Migration Overview (Now Live!)
Overview of the document collection and an initial starting place for the WF3 developer
- WF Migration: Best Practices for WF3 Development (Now Live!)
How to design WF3 artifacts so they are more easily migratable to WF4
- WF Guidance: Rules (Now Live!)
Discussion of how to bring rules-related investments forward into .NET 4
- WF Guidance: State Machine (Now Live!)
Discussion of WF4 control flow modeling in the absence of a StateMachine activity
- WF Migration Cookbook: Custom Activities (Coming Soon)
Examples and instructions for redesigning WF3 custom activities on WF4
- WF Migration Cookbook: Workflows (Coming Soon)
Examples and instructions for redesigning WF3 workflows on WF4
- WF Migration Cookbook: Workflow Services (Coming Soon)
Examples and instructions for redesigning WF3 workflow services on WF4
- WF Migration Cookbook: Advanced Custom Activities (Coming Soon)
Examples and instructions for redesigning advanced WF3 custom activities on WF4
The papers will continue to be grown and updated as we move towards the RTM release – to address a larger number of usage scenarios, and to address any changes that happen between pre-releases. We’ve been working on the documents over the last month, and think that they provide some good initial thoughts on how to approach the technology; and we hope that you find them helpful
The team will be supporting feedback and requests for the documents and accompanying sample code in the WF 4 forum on MSDN. I’m told the feature PMs will be creating a thread for each document to make it easier to provide feedback and for the PMs to respond – we should have more information on that in the next few days.