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Is Workflow Foundation dead? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I've been looking for a .NET workflow solution, and was interested in Workflow Foundation (née Worflow for Windows), but everything I've been able to find on it is really dated. The latest posts the Workflow Team blog has are from 2013. And the latest version of WF is 4.5 which seems to date from 2012. And I saw a thread about Microsoft open-sourcing WF. Has Microsoft quietly killed WF? Has its facilities been rolled into something else?
    Tuesday, January 19, 2016 8:40 PM

Answers

  • Workflow Foundation is NOT dead! We spoke with someone from the team very recently and they are still taking feature requests and doing bug fixes. .NET 4.6.1 brought support for transaction coordinators outside of DTC (not a small effort). There are also new features they are working on for the next framework release. We also gave them a feature wishlist :)

    One of my biggest pieces of feedback to them was that they needed to get active on the blogs and let people know they're still around. From what I hear, I think that will be happening soon. 


    Blake Helms

    • Marked as answer by Angie Xu Monday, January 25, 2016 8:42 AM
    Wednesday, January 20, 2016 9:48 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    AFAIK, there is a small team that is supporting Windows Workflow Foundation. New feature requests are evaluated on a case by case basis. If you have a feature request, please submit it through your normal support channel.

    thanks for your understanding.

    With regards,

    Angie


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    Wednesday, January 20, 2016 2:28 AM
  • Workflow Foundation is NOT dead! We spoke with someone from the team very recently and they are still taking feature requests and doing bug fixes. .NET 4.6.1 brought support for transaction coordinators outside of DTC (not a small effort). There are also new features they are working on for the next framework release. We also gave them a feature wishlist :)

    One of my biggest pieces of feedback to them was that they needed to get active on the blogs and let people know they're still around. From what I hear, I think that will be happening soon. 


    Blake Helms

    • Marked as answer by Angie Xu Monday, January 25, 2016 8:42 AM
    Wednesday, January 20, 2016 9:48 PM
  • Thanks, great to hear! From what it looks like on the web, it's been dormant for quite a while and I assumed Microsoft had given up on it.
    Wednesday, January 20, 2016 9:51 PM
  • This has been my impression as well, I see very little updates on this technology, which has never been well-documented in the first place.
    Thursday, May 5, 2016 4:31 PM
  • I'm pretty sure that, despite the protests here, WF is pretty much dead. Not withstanding whether MS is still "trying" to support it.

    I'm new to WF and so far have had an awful experience -- probably going to end up dropping it -- mostly due to lack of documentation and a good support base. I imagine there are many other people with similar stories.

    Before I started trying to use it, I thought WF was quite promising as a solution to one of my company's needs, and at first glance, it certainly seemed like MS put a lot of effort into it, but I kept running into problem after problem, very few of which had any help at all on the internet.

    If it isn't visual studio constantly crashing because of the WF designer, it's the cryptic error messages because you didn't do something no documentation ever told you that you had to do (I'm looking at you NativeActivity.CacheMetadata), then puzzling for hours or days over what exactly you're supposed to do (AddChild? AddImplementationChild? AddImportedChild? Wait, I can't access my activities variables if it's not an implementation variable? Oh wait, I can't use it outside of the activity if it IS an implementation variable?).

    And even if you manage to get past that you're still left dumbfounded about how lacking the framework is in certain basic features (Even from within the same process I seem to have to jump through a hundred hoops just to manage the instances of my workflow -- and then they don't even tell you where those hoops are).

    I would be willing to bet that if you went through the WF4 questions on this forum and on StackOverflow, 95% of the people that asked those questions (including the ones whose questions were answered) eventually gave up on WF before ever deploying software that used it. Huge disappointment.

    Monday, May 23, 2016 7:42 PM
  • Have you found a comparable substitute?
    Sunday, October 16, 2016 10:10 PM
  • Consider the following few announcements from Microsoft:

    Ending of the Mainstream Support for AppFabric by Apr. 11, 2017 and the Extended Support by Apr. 12, 2022:

    https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/appfabric/2015/04/02/microsoft-appfabric-1-1-for-windows-server-ends-support-422016/

    https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/appfabric/2015/06/19/microsoft-appfabric-1-1-for-windows-server-support-lifecycle-extension-4112017/

    Microsoft Integration Roadmap that does not have a single reference to WF

    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=50408

    Based on these alone, one can safely conclude that WF has no future in the EAI or middle-tier services.

    I would also doubt that WF is going to have any future elsewhere considering that all workflow related technologies in Azure (Logic Apps, Flow) have nothing common with WF.


    Vladimir Kirnishni

    Friday, November 4, 2016 5:51 PM
  • Vladimir,

    Yes this could be considered an indication of WF be deprecated in the offering on azure but there's another area that does continue to keep it alive and that's in it's deep integration with SharePoint. As long as SharePoint utilizes WF from the .Net Framework I don't see any reason why it would go away anytime soon.

    Another indication is I saw a blog recently on code to implement intellisense inside the standalone workflow designer using Roslyn.

    Friday, November 4, 2016 6:50 PM
  • Hi,

    I'm glad to finally have found a post from 2016 regarding WF and I'm also relieved to hear WF isn't dead but I've yet see any improved/increased activity on blogs regarding WF to let people know they are still around. We're nearly in 2018!! So what's up Microsoft?

    Also what is the "regular" channel to request a new feature?

    Thanks.

    Wednesday, October 25, 2017 11:10 AM
  • @KinStephen,

    Can you please share that link?

    Thanks.

    Wednesday, October 25, 2017 11:12 AM