Windows Workflow Foundation By Jayesh Chudasama


Windows Workflow Overview
September 13, 2006, 10:08 pm
Filed under: Books & writing

Windows workflow has come up with few more terms which I thought of adding in my own dictionary before I start with WF. Let me add reference to these definitions before I start adding in my notebook so that I don’t forget the source. The details you can find at Windows Workflow Overview on MSDN.   

Workflow:

A workflow is a set of elemental units called activities that are stored as a model that describes a real-world process. Workflows provide a way of describing the order of execution and dependent relationships between pieces of short- or long-running work. This work passes through the model from start to finish, and activities might be executed by people or by system functions.  

Workflow Runtime Engine :

Every running workflow instance is created and maintained by an in-process runtime engine that is commonly referred to as the workflow runtime engine. When a workflow model is compiled, it can be executed inside any Windows process including console applications, forms-based applications, Windows Services, ASP.NET Web sites, and Web services.  

Activity:

Activities are the elemental unit of a workflow. They are added to a workflow programmatically in a manner similar to adding XML DOM child nodes to a root node.

Service:

The workflow runtime engine uses many services when a workflow instance runs. Windows Workflow Foundation provides default implementations of the runtime services that meet the needs of many types of applications. These service components are pluggable, which enables applications to provide the services in ways that are unique to their execution environment.

Compensation:

Compensation is the act of undoing any actions that were performed by a successfully completed activity because of an exception that occurred elsewhere in a workflow.

Local Communication and Correlation:

Host processes can communicate with workflows by exchanging data through custom local communication services. Host processes can also interact with a specific activity in a specific workflow instance by using a unique ID that is passed between the host process and the workflow as an event argument. This is known as correlation.

Tracking:

Tracking is the ability to track and monitor the execution of a workflow as it is running. You can store that information in multiple ways, including a storage medium, log file, or a SQL database.

 Workflow Changes:

Windows Workflow Foundation enables you to dynamically update your workflow instance during run time. You can change expected behaviors, flow control, and so on.

Rules and Conditions:

Windows Workflow Foundation provides rules and conditions as two mechanisms for defining business logic in your workflows.

Code conditions are a way of programmatically defining whether certain code paths are run.

Rules are a much more robust form of conditions that enable you to define what business rules your workflows must follow programmatically or through an XML file

Workflow markup:

Workflow markup is based on extensible Application Markup Language (XAML), enables developers and designers to model business logic declaratively and separate it from lower-level implementation details that are modeled by code-beside files.

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