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  • Question

  • I've highly interested in WF 4.0 but am having a bit of a problem learning it.  Have a few questions that I hope you'd be able to help me with...

    Can WF be used to create a project/solution from scracth?
    Does one usually stub out classes first and then add activites?
    How does one create an object as input for an activty?
    When you create activities it will generate method stubs if none exist right?
    If you have existing Project and you add activities does WF take over bootstraping and running of project?
    How do I integrate WPF as user input/output display for WF activities.
    When using the Flowchart GUI design Activity there's just a Flowchart, FlowDescision and  FlowSequence.  How would I do something simple like first have object instanciated, then make descision on some field of object, set some values, make more decisions etc.  (Am I talking about putting in Code Activities in the Flowchart diagram?
    What are best books?
    What are best online training?
    How does one convert Specs into actual solution.  E.g.  Customer wants to place order, order is assigned number, customer fills out name, customer fills out address etc.  Are the specs put in as code Activities first or something else?

    Wednesday, September 29, 2010 11:11 AM


All replies

  • Hi,

    A great place to start is the Workflow Dev Center, where you will find a Beginner's Guide and all kinds of info about using Workflow:



    Ed Hickey http://blogs.msdn.com/b/edhickey/archive/2010/04/21/how-to-post-effectively-in-forums.aspx
    Wednesday, September 29, 2010 3:03 PM
  • Ok I went out and bought the Apress book on WF 4.0 here's a few things I've learned so far...

    WF 4.0 has been a pretty major update, chaning how the 3.0 version did things.

    The key to getting WF To "Do things" is the Activity.  Activies are conglomerations of actions of some sort either through code, services or even it's own internal pre-defined set of activities.  On the surface of the introductory videos you really only see two default output types of Console (WF apps) and WCF (Services apps).  So you may ask yourself the question what about WPF?  The answer lay in changing how you think about WPF.  WPF is no longer much more than the GUI and the Command.  The command then becomes either thw Workflow or invocation of the Activity within WF...  Because it's all event driven, you acheive separation of concerns, code once princiapals, open for extension not modification principal etc.  Couple this with MEF and you have unlimited growth ability for plug ins to your solution.

    The container for WorkFlow activites is the Workflow class itself which is just an ordering of When and What is done.  The How of these actions is still internal to the design of each individual activity or code/service part.  The Work activity can be invoked either synchronously or asynchronously.  The input parameters are limitless as well as the output ability.  WF also is able to do GUI Thread synch which allows for easy WPF updates.

    And probably the most important aspect which is why I was interested in WF is that all WorkFlows invoke all activites via a Event system.  This has become crystal clear to me as "The way" to write code after using Agile refactoring, studying MVVM, MEF and other patterns.  So what I am hoping to do is once again change my way of creating projects to start thinking in terms of activites (all event driven) and controlled by some IOC facility such as MEF so that I truly now have a 4th Generation Code Production studio of sorts.  The idea being that we only want to produce parts and not entire solutions each time we need something new.  Over time our parts store becomes huge and we wind up down the road just wiring everything up for that new Solution.


    • Proposed as answer by Jeff Cao Tuesday, October 5, 2010 7:33 PM
    Thursday, September 30, 2010 4:03 PM
  • I actually am pretty fond of that book, Bruce put a very nice paragraph about me in the intro.  :-)

    I hope your venture into Workflow is a successful one, let us know if we can help.

    Ed Hickey http://blogs.msdn.com/b/edhickey/archive/2010/04/21/how-to-post-effectively-in-forums.aspx
    Tuesday, October 5, 2010 8:00 PM
  • Hey Ed didn't realize I was speaking with a celeb.  I'll check out that reference.  Congrats for making it to print.  You know what you're next step is don't you?  Write a book....
    Thursday, October 7, 2010 1:58 PM
  • Thanks for the compliment, but I'm hardly a celebrity, that's Bruce who is the celebrity!  I'll leave the book authoring to the smart guys.  :-)
    Ed Hickey http://blogs.msdn.com/b/edhickey/archive/2010/04/21/how-to-post-effectively-in-forums.aspx
    Thursday, October 7, 2010 5:43 PM