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WF Hosting Options and Workflow Manager vNext? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Does anyone have any information they can share regarding the roadmap and next features planned for Workflow Manager?

    I'd like to recommend using Windows Workflow as a workflow technology for my organization since we're a .NET shop, but I'm hesitant to do so at this time due to the uncertainty I have around Microsoft's support for a workflow host.

    Here the thoughts/assumptions I have at this time:

    • You can host workflows yourself, but this requires you to implement quite a bit of management functionality and could potentially put your organization out-of-alignment with Microsoft's future roadmap.
    • You can host workflows using Windows Server AppFabric, but this is probably not a very good idea as there has been very little activity around AppFabric (the last post by the AppFabric team was 3 years ago, announcing they were moving to Windows Azure - hmm hint?).
    • You can host workflows using Workflow Manager. The problem I see here is that Workflow Manager is still 1.0 and I'm not clear on its future (the last post by the workflow team regarding Workflow Manager was also over a year ago). My understanding is that Workflow Manager is intended to replace WF hosting via AppFabric and is more in-line with hosting in the cloud. Workflow Manager 1.0 seems very much targeted at SharePoint 2013, despite the fact that you can use it without SharePoint. There isn't a lot of guidance around how to use it outside of SharePoint and there really doesn't seem to be very many people out there using it as a replacement for AppFabric as far as I can tell for hosting WF services.
    • BizTalk Services seems a likely candidate to incorporate Workflow Manager's capabilities on the Azure side, but I'm just speculating. Given that Workflow Manager 1.0 is so closely tied to SharePoint (despite the fact that it's a stand-alone server), I'm guessing that there may be some challenges to work through between the Office and Azure teams around this (Immovable Force meets Unstoppable Object?).

    I'd love to hear the community's thoughts on this subject.

    Monday, October 27, 2014 1:46 PM

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