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4156.  Windows Workflow Foundation Using C#

Rev. 4.0

 

Microsoft’s Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) provides a framework for creating scalable applications consisting of independent program units called activities. WF 4 is a major rewrite of this technology, offering significantly higher performance and making it easier to create and execute workflow applications. This four-day course covers the latest version of WF, including new features such as state machine activities introduced with .NET Framework 4 Platform Update 1. The course uses Visual Studio 2010, which provides a visual Designer for creating workflows.

 

The course begins with an overview of the concepts of workflow and the programming model provided by WF. The essentials of WF programming are then covered followed by a systematic treatment of the major features of WF, including the Built-In Activity Library. Primitive and control flow activities are discussed, and the alternatives to hosting workflows are covered. Collection and parallel activities are covered. The creation of custom activities, both using the Designer and code, is explained. Flowchart and state machine activities are covered. Persistence and bookmarks are discussed. Workflow Services, using Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) is covered. The course concludes with a discussion of debugging, error handling, transactions and compensation.

 

Numerous programming examples and exercises are provided. The student will receive a complete set of notes and all the programming examples.

 

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

 

·         Understand the concept of workflow and the architecture of WF

·         Implement workflow applications using WF

·         Use standard activities from the Built-In Activity Library

·         Implement custom activities for workflow applications

·         Provide hosting for workflow applications

·         Implement persistence in workflow applications

·         Implement and consume workflow services

·         Debug workflow applications

·         Handle errors and perform compensation in workflow applications

 

Course Duration:  4 days

 

Prerequisites:  The student should have programming experience in C# and version 4.0 of the .NET Framework and be familiar with the Visual Studio 2010 development environment.

 

1.      Workflow Foundation Conceptual Overview

What is Workflow?

Windows Workflow Foundation

Workflows

Activities

A Workflow Business Scenario

Workflow Foundation 3

Workflow Foundation 4

 

2.      Getting Started with WF 4

Visual Studio Workflow Projects

Workflows in Code

Workflows in XAML

Workflow Designer

Sequence

Assign

Variables, Arguments and Expressions

WriteLine

Control Flow

 

3.      Primitive and Control Flow Activities

InvokeMethod

Workflow Variables

Delay

Parallel

If

While and DoWhile

Switch

 

4.      Custom Activities

Why Custom Activities?

Arguments

Activity Class Hierarchy

CodeActivity

Composing Activities

 

5.      Workflow Hosting

WorkflowInvoker

WorkflowApplication

WorkflowApplication Delegates

Canceling and Aborting a Workflow

Terminating a Workflow

Workflows in a Windows Application

Workflows in ASP.NET

 

6.      Collection and Parallel Activities

Collection Activities

ForEach

ParallelForEach

AsyncActivity

 

7.      More about Custom Activities

Waiting for Input

Bookmarks

NativeActivity

Pick

 

8.      Flowchart and State Machine

Flowcharts

Flowchart Activity Designers

State Machines

States and Transitions

State Machine Activity Designers

Threading Issues

 

9.      Persistence

Long-lived Workflows

Persistence and Bookmarks

Persistence Store in SQL Server

PersistableIdle

Unloading and Loading

Serializing Instance Identification

 

10. Workflow Services

What is WCF?

Address, Binding and Contract

Workflow Services

Messaging Activities

Exposing a Workflow as a Service

Calling a Service from a Workflow

Hosting using WorkflowServiceHost

Multiple Operations

11. Debugging and Error Handling

Breakpoints in Activities

Handling Exceptions in the Host

Handling Exceptions in the Workflow

Transactions

Compensation

 

System Requirements

 

Required software is Visual Studio 2010 Professional Edition or higher with Service Pack 1 for Visual Studio 2010. The operating system may be Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7.  Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Platform Update 1 – Design-time Package for Visual Studio 2010 SP1 should also be installed. See the course Setup Notes for details.

 

A good minimal hardware profile for this course would have a 2 GHz or better CPU, 1 GB of RAM, and at least 4 GB of free disk space for tools installation and courseware.