Windows Workflow Foundation

Workflow is one of the new core capabilities (along with WPF aka Avalon and WCF aka Indigo) being added in the .NET Framework 3.0 release later this year.  It provides an in-process workflow engine to process rules, a designer for VS 2005 to enable both developers and non-developers to define custom workflow processes graphically, and a new Workflow namespace to integrate these within code.  The official site to learn more about Windows Workflow Foundation can be found here.

Over the last two weeks I've also seen a number of great new posts and web-casts published that cover it in more detail.  Below is a list of some of them you might want to explore to learn more:

Windows Workflow Foundation Basics:

.NET Rocks! Audio-Cast: Carl Franklin talks with Michael Stiefel about Windows Workflow Foundation and discusses what it is and why you might want to use.  You can listen to this show here.

Bart De Smet has a number of great posts that cover some of the core concepts with Windows Workflow Foundation (WF):

K. Scott Allen has also posted several good blog posts on Workflow:

ASP.NET Page Flow:

ASP.NET developers should checkout the ASP.NET: An Overview of ASP.NET and Windows Workflow Foundation Integration web-cast that Kashif Alam from the ASP.NET team did earlier this month.  It explores designing and developing UI workflow applications with ASP.NET and how developers will be able to use the new "Page Flow" capabilities that are being added to ASP.NET to enable developers to create representative UI for business processes defined with Windows Workflow Foundation (and avoid hardcoding in workflow logic in code).

For other great ASP.NET web-casts (both upcoming as well as past ones that have been recorded and published online), please check out this Web Casts listing page on the site.

SharePoint 2007 Custom Workflows:

SharePoint 2007 (which is coming out later this year and is built on ASP.NET 2.0) allows users to define and author workflows for common process activities.  Sahil has a great blog post here that describes how to use this to define a custom process for a SharePoint site.

Hope this helps,




  • This is good stuff

  • So many tools,so little time...
    Can you explain to me-not how,but why?Why it's different from traditional approach.Everytime I ask-why it's better approach,it ends with-of course you can write imperative code,but workflow is better-that's all.
    Another layer of "leaky" abstraction or not?Do we really need another framework layer without clear benefits?

  • Hi Andrey,

    Where workflow is useful is for cases where you want to cleanly separate out a process (for example: a business process) from a specific code implementation. This provides much greater flexibility in modeling it (for example: have business analysts who don't know how to code change the workflow).

    It ceretainly isn't for every scenario -- but for a lot of business applications it can be very, very useful.

    Hope this helps,


  • Scott, What is the release time frame of ASP.NET Page Flow?

  • Re your response to Andrey:

    I have been intrigued with WWF and have been planning to use it for a large people management project, which requires several collaborators in the workflow. I started to divide responsibilities between the workflow service and the host apps, and also started to wonder about the benefits of what I was trying to do.

    I am new to the technology, so please bear with me. It seems like I would need to have the workflow service running on a server, and communicate with it from client workstations (using Windows Communication Foundation? .Net Remoting?) Are there any examples of a real-world app available to help?



  • Hi,

    I keep reading articles on Winfows Workflow. It seems Winfows workflow will ease task of developing Workflow Management System or Business Process Modelling.

    Do i think right if i say - it would be easier to develop WFMS using .net 3.0 & Workflow architecture?

  • I just wanted to watch the webcast video " ASP.NET: An Overview of ASP.NET and Windows Workflow Foundation Integration" and clicked me through all that stages I didn't know why they are present (registration and such stuff).

    Finally, Windows Media Player started up and I thought the video begins.

    But after asking me three times to enter my name, I gave up.

    Could you please clarify a little bit what these "webcasts" actually are? Are those pre-recorded videos? Or interactive videos? Or am I just on the wrong train?


  • Scott,

    That's very important source!! I just wonder if WWF would sort out complexity of creating workflow based applications in future!!

  • What happened to the web-cast with Kashif? I started watching it earlier this week and came back today to watch it again and it appears to have been removed from the archives.

  • Nevermind, looks like the webcast is back online now.

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