Showing posts with label WindowsWorkflowFoundation(WF). Show all posts
Showing posts with label WindowsWorkflowFoundation(WF). Show all posts

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Stateless Designer Visual Studio Extension (with Source)

Visual Studio Gallery - Stateless Designer

Visual Studio extension to support visual design of stateless state machines. Support for Visual Studio 2012 and Visual Studio 2013. The goal for this projects is to allow software developers to design a state machines visually.

Project site

imageimageimage

...

CodePlex - Stateless Designer

...

About stateless

stateless is a lightweight C# hierarchical state machine framework made by Nicholas Blumhardt. The stateless project is hosted here: http://code.google.com/p/stateless/. If you don't know stateless, here is a comparison between stateless and Windows Workflow Foundation: Comparison between Stateless (on google code) and Windows Workflow. stateless also comes as a NuGet package: http://nuget.org/packages/Stateless. stateless is a great alternative to WWF.

About Stateless Designer

The goal for this projects is to allow software developers to design a state machines visually. Why a statemachine can improve your design. The true power of using a state machine is to have a graph showing the states with transitions. Stateless Designer can help you achieve this.

Stateless Developer use case:
- install Stateless Designer
- start Visual Studio
- create or open a C# project
- Add new Item to the C# project
- select Stateless State Machine
- design your state machine
- a C# class is created with your state machine

Getting started using Stateless Designer step-by-step.

Currently supported features

- Triggers without arguments
- OnEntry and OnExit delegates
- Reentrant transitions
- OnUnhandledTrigger delegate - new in Stateless Designer 1.4
- Guard Clauses: PermitIf and PermitReentryIf functionality - new in Stateless Designer 1.4

External articles

Twitter
www.dotnettips.info article 1168 - Note: Not in English
www.dotnettips.info article 1169 - Note: Not in English

Technology used

- Visual Studio Extensibility
- stateless

Sure Windows Workflow now support State Diagrams, but this is something a little different and I think pretty cool (and WWF just doesn't seem to be getting much press, attention, I wonder...). Anyway, not only do you get the designer, but it's nuget'able and you get the source too it all too. Now that's cool... :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

More details emerge about the Workflow Manager v1.0 release

Server & Cloud Blog - Announcing the Public Availability of Workflow Manager 1.0

Today is a great day in my organization as we’re able to publically announce the release of Workflow Manager 1.0, which is now available for download.  Workflow Manager 1.0 allows you to host and manage long-running Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) applications.  Workflow Manager was designed to meet the scale and multi-tenant needs of your modern enterprise applications while also increasing developer and administrator productivity.  Workflow Manager is the backing technology for SharePoint Workflows in SharePoint Server 2013 and the next version of Office 365, and SharePoint support has been a key focus for this first release of Workflow Manager.

MEETING THE NEEDS OF SOFTWARE-AS-A-SERVICE ISVS & THE ENTERPRISE
Workflow Manager 1.0 extends the functionality originally delivered with Windows Workflow Foundation and allows ISVs and enterprise organizations to host and manage these long-running workflows.  This includes support for deployments which require multi-tenancy support, scalability and high availability.

  • Multi-tenancy – Tenants in Workflow Manager may represent the various departments of an enterprise or the customers of an ISV.  Workflow Manager ensures that applications for one tenant cannot see data from other tenants or interfere with the execution of other tenants’ applications.   This lowers the development effort and application maintenance required to support multiple tenants, while providing a higher density execution environment which minimizes system resource requirements. 
  • Scalability & Redundancy – Multiple Workflow Manager nodes can be joined together into a farm deployment to scale the service.   This farm can be integrated with a load balancer to provide high availability across nodes, with additional support for failing over to a secondary farm.  Efficient message handling, asynchronous processing and Service Bus integration provide for high throughput, while ensuring reliable and coordinated message delivery and workflow execution.  The same high scale technologies used to power Office 365 workflows are leveraged to support Windows Server deployments.

DEVELOPER AND ADMINISTRATOR PRODUCTIVITY
Workflow Manager 1.0 allows you to build on the core programming model and runtime of Windows Workflow Foundation in .NET and extends the programming model with new declarative data and messaging options; this includes support for calling REST services and simple pub-sub based communication, leveraging the newly released Service Bus 1.0 for Windows Server. 
Workflow Manager 1.0 also provides new capabilities for managing system tenants, activities and workflow instances.  This includes repository and version management for published activities and workflows.  In addition, workflow instances can be programmatically started, queried and terminated, and all management operations are supported via a set of REST services, PowerShell cmdlets and a client API.
Messaging and management are clearly two critical areas for building and maintaining workflow solutions, and this is an area where we will continue to invest as we evolve this technology.

PRICING AND LICENSING
Workflow Manager 1.0 is available today from the download center and is a free piece of technology for use with Windows Server.   Workflow Manager 1.0 is also supported in Windows Azure Virtual Machines.

..."

Yeah, you're right, I did blog about this last week when it appeared on MS Downloads, Working out with Workflow Manager v1.0, your multi-tenant, high-scale Windows Workflow host, but I thought this additional information pertinent (and I'm tired of blogging about Windows 8... ;)

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Working out with Workflow Manager v1.0, your multi-tenant, high-scale Windows Workflow host

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Working out with Workflow Manager v1.0, your multi-tenant, high-scale Windows Workflow host

Microsoft Downloads - Workflow Manager 1.0

Workflow Manager is a multi-tenant, high-scale host for running and managing Windows Workflow Foundation workflows.

Version:1.0
Date published:10/18/2012

WF\Workflow_Manager_BPA.msi, 408 KB
WF\WorkflowClient.exe, 94 KB
WF\WorkflowManager.exe, 94 KB
WF\WorkflowTools.exe, 94 KB

Workflow Manager is a multi-tenant host for running and managing Windows Workflow Foundation workflows, supporting high scale and high density execution. Workflow Manager builds on the Windows Workflow Foundation programming model, runtime and activity library in the .NET Framework.

Workflow Manager Client 1.0 contains the core assemblies and client API for Workflow Manager 1.0.

The Workflow Manager Tools Preview for Visual Studio 2012 supports the Microsoft Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio and includes activity designers, debugging capabilities and expression translation for authoring workflows for Workflow Manager.

Workflow Manager Best Practice Analyzer (BPA) is a diagnostic tool that is built on the Microsoft Baseline Configuration Analyzer (MBCA) 2.0 technology. Microsoft Workflow Manager 1.0 BPA scans a computer that is running Workflow Manager 1.0 and compares the server setup to a predefined set of recommended best practices.

For more information and samples, please visit the Workflow Manager 1.0 Documentation, please visit Workflow Manager 1.0 Documentation.

Supported operating systems: Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows Server 2012

Another chance to add "in your data center" cloud like features and capabilities...

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Windows Management Framework 3.0 (aka PowerShell, WMI, WinRM & Management OData IIS Extensions) RTM now available for download (i.e. RTW)

Microsoft Downloads - Windows Management Framework 3.0

Version: 3.0
Date published: 9/4/2012

Language: English

Windows6.0-KB2506146-x64.msu, 14.4 MB

Windows6.0-KB2506146-x86.msu, 10.5 MB

Windows6.1-KB2506143-x64.msu,15.8 MB

Windows6.1-KB2506143-x86.msu, 11.7 MB

Windows Management Framework 3.0 makes some updated management functionality available to be installed on Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 & Windows Server 2008 SP2. Windows Management Framework 3.0 contains Windows PowerShell 3.0, WMI & WinRM.

Windows PowerShell 3.0
Some of the new features in Windows PowerShell 3.0 include:

  • Workflow
    Windows PowerShell Workflow lets IT Pros and developers apply the benefits of workflows to the automation capabilities of Windows PowerShell. Workflows allow administrators to run long-running tasks (which can be made repeatable, frequent, parallelizable, interruptible, or restart-able) that can affect multiple managed computers or devices at the same time.
  • Disconnected Sessions
    PowerShell sessions can be disconnected from the remote computer and reconnected later from the same computer or a different computer without losing state or causing running commands to fail.
  • Robust Session Connectivity
    Remote sessions are resilient to network failures and will attempt to reconnect for several minutes. If connectivity cannot be reestablished, the session will automatically disconnect itself so that it can be reconnected when network connectivity is restored.
  • Scheduled Jobs
    Scheduled jobs that run regularly or in response to an event.
  • Delegated Administration
    Commands that can be executed with a delegated set of credentials so users with limited permissions can run critical jobs
  • Simplified Language Syntax
    Simplified language syntax that make commands and scripts look a lot less like code and a lot more like natural language.
  • Cmdlet Discovery
    Improved cmdlet discovery and automatic module loading that make it easier to find and run any of the cmdlets installed on your computer.
  • Show-Command
    Show-Command, a cmdlet and ISE Add-On that helps users find the right cmdlet, view its parameters in a dialog box, and run it.

WMI
WMI in Windows Management Framework 3.0 introduces:
  • A new provider development model
    This new model brings down the cost of provider development and removes the dependency on COM.
  • A new MI Client API to perform standard CIM operations.
    The API can be used to interact with any standard WsMan + CIMOM implementation, allowing management applications on Windows to manage non-Windows computers.
  • The ability to write Windows PowerShell cmdlets in native code
    The new WMI Provider APIs supports an extended Windows PowerShell semantics API allowing you to provide rich Windows PowerShell semantics. e.g., Verbose, Error, Warning, WhatIf, Confirm, Progress

WinRM
With Windows Management Framework 3.0:
  • Connections are more robust
    Remote connections communicating over WinRM are more robust to transient network failures such as a flaky WAN connection. In the case of a complete network failure, connections are gracefully disconnected and can be reconnected when network connectivity is restored.
  • Remoting is more Standards-compliant
    Standard WS-Management operations, including Create and Delete, can be performed over WMI. Remoting for cmdlets written in native code using the new WMI provider development model uses WS-Management instead of DCOM.
  • Multiple PowerShell sessions can be shared in the same process
    PowerShell sessions from the same user to the same session configuration (WinRM plug-in) can run in a single shared process instead of separate processes. This improves scalability and performance by allowing multiple sessions to share memory and other server resources.


Management OData IIS Extensions
Management OData IIS Extension enables an administrator to expose a set of PowerShell cmdlets as a RESTful web endpoint accessible via the Open Data Protocol (OData). This enables Windows and non-Windows clients to discover and invoke PowerShell cmdlets remotely over standard web protocols and interfaces.

Server Manager CIM Provider
The Server Manager CIM Provider packaged with Windows Management Framework 3.0 allows you to manage your Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 SP2 servers from Server Manager in Windows Server 2012 or Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 8

With the RTW of Windows Server 2012 today, WMF 3 (PowerShell 3, etc) is now also available as RTM RTW. Now's the time to get your PS 3'ness going!

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Windows Management Framework 3.0 CTP2 available (with Getting Started with PowerShell Workflows guide too)
Win7 SP1/Win2008 R2 SP1 get some PowerShell 3 CTP love... Or PS gets WF

Sunday, July 01, 2012

There's a new .Net Digital Magazine in town... DNC Magazine (#dncmag)

Dot Net Curry - DNC Magazine for .NET Developers - Launch Edition

After serving thousands of online tutorials, tips and tricks for .NET developers for the last 5 years, DotNetCurry (DNC) is proud to present a high quality technical digital magazine for .NET techies. 'DNC Magazine' is a Free, bimonthly digital publication bringing you the latest from the .NET world presented by Microsoft MVP's and industry veterans, with years of experience in software development. This month's edition features hot topics like MVC4, SignalR, Knockout.js, TDD, VS ALM, HTML5, Azure and Metro Applications amongst others. Not to mention, a freewheeling interview with Ayende Rahien, the man behind RavenDB.

To subscribe to this digital magazine and our Newsletter, just enter your email address in the field given below and hit 'Subscribe'. Confirm your subscription and enjoy the magazine as well as our .NET Tutorials, right in your inbox. You can drop in a comment or tweet with the #dncmag hashtag. Here's a fun launch demo for your viewing. Enjoy!

Thank you to all our contributors who made this Magazine possible!

This new magazine uses a different and unusual distribution method, via SkyDrive, and while that may make you think "home brew" the presentation and content looks very top-tier and what you'd expect to see in a commercial publication...

imageimage

Monday, March 26, 2012

Working Workflow into your app's. Workflow Studio, a source available example of rehosting the Workflow Designer

Microsoft Developer Network - Samples - Workflow Studio

"...

Rehosting the WF designer in an application outside of Visual Studio is nothing new and since WF4, nothing particularly difficult. In fact the WF product team has gone out of its way to make rehosting the designer as easy an experience as possible and they’ve done a great job. The WCF and WF Samples for .NET Framework 4 provides code samples for rehosting the designer with its corresponding toolbox and properties grid. The samples also cover handling validation errors, executing workflows and providing some level of debugging through workflow tracking – most of what you need to write your own rehosted designer.

But to get a useable app you’re going to have to write some boiler plate code to stitch all these concepts together. You’ll need code to open, save and execute workflows. You’ll need to manage window layout, display workflow output and handle runtime exceptions. And wouldn't it be nice to support working with multiple workflows at the same time all in a windowing environment that supports docking and pinning?

Enter Workflow Studio – a simple, generic application that allows you to design and execute multiple XAML based workflows in a windowed environment akin with Visual Studio. Use it to design and test your workflows in environments where Visual Studio is not the right tool. You can even use it as a simple hosting environment. I’ve developed Workflow Studio as an application you can use out of the box, or you can use it as the basis for your own specialised implementation.

..."

MCS UK Solution Development Team - Workflow Foundation (WF4) – Rehosting The Workflow Designer

"...

Features

The following image shows the Workflow Studio environment:

untitled

Here’s a rundown of its features and where appropriate I've provided references to sample code should you want to understand more about the implementation detail.

  1. Develop XAML Based Workflows And Workflow Services
    Use the fully fledged WF designer to develop XAML based workflows and workflow services just as you would in Visual Studio. Interaction between the toolbox and properties box is just as in Visual Studio. For workflow services, add any WCF configuration to the Workflow Studio app config file. The solution comes with a test workflow service and client with appropriate configuration in the app config file as an example. Look at the Designer Rehosting example in WCF and WF Samples for .NET Framework 4 that demonstrates the basis for this implementation. Also, Pro WF Windows Workflow in .NET 4 by Bruce Bukovics has a great chapter on designer rehosting. Should you wish to execute other XAML based child workflows from a workflow then you can use the ExecuteXamlWorkflow custom activity I described in my previous post.
  2. Work On More Than One Workflow At The Same Time
    Workflow Studio allows you to develop multiple workflows in a single application.
  3. Toolbox Support For All Standard WF Activities
    All standard WF 4.0 activities are supported.
  4. Add Custom Activities To The Toolbox
    To add custom activities to the toolbox, copy the custom activity DLL to the bin folder of Workflow Studio, select the "Add Reference …" option and locate the DLL file. The custom activity will then become available in the toolbox. If your workflow references custom activities then these will be automatically loaded and added to the toolbox when the workflow is loaded providing the referenced DLL has been previously copied to the bin folder. The section on designer rehosting in Pro WF Windows Workflow in .NET 4 by Bruce Bukovics, providing the details of toolbox manipulation that I used as basis for Workflow Studio.
  5. Execute Workflows Concurrently
    You can execute one or more workflows or workflow services concurrently by either selecting "Start Debugging" or "Start Without Debugging" from the debug menu. Running workflows can be stopped by selecting "Abort" from the same menu. Each workflow has its own independent output window where WriteLine activity or exception stack trace output is written. You can also capture output through a trace source and associate a listener to log the output. We're using standard .NET diagnostics here, so it's totally flexible.
  6. Show Workflow Validation Errors
    Any validation errors detected by the designer are displayed in the error window along with error code and severity. Each workflow has its own independent window.
  7. Debug Workflows
    This isn't fully fledged Visual Studio debugging - it's workflow tracking. You'll see the currently executing activity highlighted in the designer so you'll be able to visually track the execution path of your workflow in real time. As each activity executes the activity name, id, state and workflow instance id are written to the workflow's debug window. Clicking on a row in the debug window will focus the designer on the corresponding activity. Similar to workflow output, the debug window output is also captured through a trace source so that output can be logged. Check out Visual Workflow Tracking in WCF and WF Samples for .NET Framework 4 which demonstrates how to implement visual tracking in the designer.
  8. Visual Studio Like Window Docking And Pinning
    One of the key features of Workflow Studio is to offer full window docking and pinning functionality that you find in Visual Studio. This functionality is provided by the AvalonDock open source WPF docking framework. This is a great framework but took some jumping through hoops to get working. I started out wanting to make this a pure MVVM application but soon discovered this wasn't easy, if at all possible. Apparently this is addressed with the up and coming 2.0 release along with other improvements. Note that you'll need to download and install AvalonDock independently of Workflow Studio since I don't redistribute it here - don't worry this is simple. Unfortunately there's no NuGet package available as yet so please follow instructions below.

...

Installing AvalonDock

As previously mentioned, AvalonDock is not distributed with Workflow Studio so you need to download and install it first. This version of Workflow Studio has been developed with version 1.3.3571 of AvalonDock so please ensure you install this version. The steps are simple:

  1. Download AvalonDock version 1.3.3571 from http://avalondock.codeplex.com/releases/48794/download/131885
  2. Run the installer. This will GAC the AvalonDock assembly.
  3. Build the solution. You should not need to modify any references.

..."

If you've ever wondered at embedding the WorkFlow Designer into your app's (for example, like you see in TFS 2010 Team Build, etc) this is a project you should check out. This is not a binary project, you get the entire source to this. That's cool. Once I installed AvalonDock as mentioned above, the code just compiled and worked, no issues or problems

imageSNAGHTML3854dd3c[4]

The Hello World Example (which you can run and debug right there in the Studio, now that's awesome).

SNAGHTML385b5aa5

Simply put, if you're thinking about Windows Workflow you should check this project out...

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Goodbye Windows Workflow (v3)...

Winson's Technical Multiverse - WF3 Deprecation

"Note: From Microsoft

In .NET 4 the Workflow Team released an all new Workflow engine in the System.Activities namespace. With the release of .NET 4.5 Beta we are marking the types in the “WF 3” System.Workflow namespace as obsolete. The following assemblies have one or more public types that will be deprecated:
• System.Workflow.Activities.dll
• System.Workflow.ComponentModel.dll
• System.Workflow.Runtime.dll
• System.WorkflowServices.dll
• Microsoft.Workflow.DebugController.dll
• Microsoft.Workflow.Compiler.exe
• Wfc.exe

As a result, customers who are using the deprecated WF 3 APIs will encounter build warnings with a message similar to “ Warning BC40000: X is obsolete: ‘WF 3 types are deprecated. Please use WF 4 instead.’ ” We will remove the types from the .NET Framework in a future release, but we have not yet determined that timeframe (not in 4.5).  This current step allows us to communicate our direction to our customers and allow them plenty of time to move to the new WF4 model. ...

..."

Given the complete re-write that was WF 4, and the break from v3 that it was, this isn't too surprising. This should give any existing WF v3 users a few years to move off (as, given this move, I'd bet WF v3 will be nuked in .Net v5). So if you're using WF v3, now's the time to at least start planning for you move to v4+

Friday, December 23, 2011

Windows Management Framework 3.0 CTP2 available (with Getting Started with PowerShell Workflows guide too)

Microsoft Downloads - Windows Management Framework 3.0 - Community Technology Preview (CTP) #2

Includes PowerShell 3.0, WMI & WinRM

Version: CTP2
Date Published: 12/22/2011

Language: English

Windows PowerShell ISE.pdf, 725 KB
WINDOWS6.1-KB2506143-x64.msu, 13.8 MB
WINDOWS6.1-KB2506143-x86.msu, 10.1 MB
WMF CTP2 Release Notes.docx, 95 KB
WMF3 CTP2 Windows PowerShell Workflow.pdf, 783 KB

...

Windows PowerShell 3.0
Some of the new features in Windows PowerShell 3.0 include:

  • Workflows
  • Robust Sessions
  • Scheduled Jobs
  • Delegated Administration
  • Simplified Language Syntax
  • Cmdlet Discovery
  • Show-Command

WMI
WMI in Windows Management Framework 3.0 introduces:

  • A new provider development model
  • A new MI Client API to perform standard CIM operations.
  • The ability to write Windows PowerShell cmdlets in native code

WinRM
With Windows Management Framework 3.0:

  • Connections are more robust
  • Connections are more resilient

Windows PowerShell Web Service
Windows PowerShell Web Service enables an administrator to expose a set of PowerShell cmdlets as a RESTful web endpoint accessible via the (Open Data Protocol (OData). This provides remote access to invoke cmdlets from both Windows and non-Windows clients.

    Overview of changes since WMF 3.0 CTP1

    1. Customer Reported Bug Fixes
      Many customer reported bugs have been fixed since the WMF 3.0 CTP1. The release notes contains a list of bug titles, but please check Connect for full details.
    2. Single Command Pane in Windows PowerShell ISE
      The Command and Output panes in Windows PowerShell ISE have been combined into a single Command pane that looks and behaves like the Windows PowerShell console.
    3. Updatable Help
      The WMF 3.0 CTP1 release notes described a new Updatable Help system in Windows PowerShell 3.0 and included a copy of the help content. The Updatable Help system is now active on the Internet. To download and update help files, type: Update-Help.
    4. Windows PowerShell Workflows
      A number of enhancements have been made in the scripting experience for Windows PowerShell Workflows, including new keywords: Parallel, Sequence & Inlinescript. A document describing these changes will be published to this page shortly.
    5. Remote Get-Module
      The Get-Module cmdlet now supports implicit remoting. You can now use the new PSSession and CIMSession parameters of the Get-Module cmdlet to get the modules in any remote session or CIM session. A number of other module enhancements are listed in the release notes.

    ..."

    With the Workflows being one of the coolest new features, it's good to see a Getting Started PDF;

    SNAGHTML1cba41d6

    Here's a snip from the PDF;

    Windows PowerShell Workflow is a new set of functionality that ships as part of Windows PowerShell 3.0. Windows PowerShell Workflow lets IT pros and developers apply the benefits of workflows to the automation capabilities of Windows PowerShell.

    IT professionals and developers often execute management tasks across multiple machines in their IT environment. In general, those multi-machine tasks are long running and need to be robust in the face of errors and reboots. PowerShell Workflows brings new features to PowerShell world, allowing users to automate sequences of tasks that run across multiple computers or devices, while keeping robustness, scalability and performance in mind.

    Overview of Windows PowerShell Workflow

    A workflow is a sequence of automated steps or activities that execute tasks on or retrieve data from one or more managed nodes (computers or devices). These activities can include individual commands or scripts. Windows PowerShell Workflow enables, IT pros and developers alike, to author sequences of multi-computer management activities — that are either long-running, repeatable, frequent, parallelizable, interruptible, stoppable, or restartable — as workflows. By design, workflows can be resumed from an intentional or accidental

    ...

    Personally I'm encouraged that the PS Team took a dependency on Windows Workflow. Good to see this tech being used more...

    (via PowerShell Magazine - Getting Started with Windows PowerShell Workflows)

     

    Related Past Post XRef:
    Win7 SP1/Win2008 R2 SP1 get some PowerShell 3 CTP love... Or PS gets WF

    Tuesday, September 20, 2011

    Win7 SP1/Win2008 R2 SP1 get some PowerShell 3 CTP love... Or PS gets WF

    PowerShell Magazine - Windows Management Framework 3.0 Community Technology Preview (CTP) 1 is here

    "Have you tried PowerShell vNext included as a part of Windows 8 client and server developer preview? Don’t have a Windows 8 system to look at it just yet?

    Don’t worry! Microsoft just announced the release of Windows Management Framework 3.0 CTP1 build. This includes PowerShell vNext. This package also contains updated WMI and WinRM components. This release can be installed on Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. The below list — from the release page — shows some of the improvements or additions to PowerShell in this release.

    Windows PowerShell 3.0
    Some of the new features in Windows PowerShell 3.0 include:
      • Workflows
        Workflows that run long-running activities (in sequence or in parallel) to perform complex, larger management tasks, such as multi-machine application provisioning. Using the Windows Workflow Foundation at the command line, Windows PowerShell workflows are repeatable, parallelizable, interruptible, and recoverable.
      • Robust Sessions
        ...
      • Scheduled Jobs
        ...
      • Delegated Administration
        ...
      • Simplified Language Syntax
        ...
      • Cmdlet Discovery
        ...
      • Show-Command
        ...
    ..."
    Interesting seeing Windows Workflow baked into PowerShell...

    Tuesday, April 19, 2011

    FT, then FP and SP now PU! Power Tools, Feature Packs, Service Packs, now Platform Updates - .Net 4 Platform Update 1 Released (Think WF stuff, like State Machine, persist to SQL Azure, etc)

    Robert MacLean (SA Dev) - What's new in Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Platform Update 1?

    “…

    It is NOT the new name for bug fixes, the PU is in fact the best news for Workflow Foundation people as it includes some seriously powerful new features.

    We finally get a complete state machine in WF (dance):

    • Entry and exit actions for a state
    • Conditional and default transitions that have transition actions
    • Scoped variables for a state machine
    • Improved tracking support

    know this was available on Codeplex for a while (and there is still other good stuff on there for WF not included in this), but this is just awesome to get it officially as this implies to customers a seriousness & support that having on Codeplex does not.

    I would be happy if it was just that but they have ALSO given us the ability to use SQL Azure as a store for WF instances!!

    This is HUGE!!

    Just imagine storing a workflow in the cloud until you need it later? Ideas for roaming devices, workflows that span across devices and, naturally, better usage of worker instances in the cloud themselves all are opened up by this.

    Lastly (and least-ly for me) they add the CompensationExtension class, which is used if you are creating your own host and wish to enable support for compensations in workflows. Not a big deal for me, but this could bring new features into my favourite host AppFabric, but we will need to see if that happens in the future.

    The update comes in three parts:

    …”

    The .NET Endpoint - Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Platform Update 1

    “The Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Platform Update 1 released today, 4/18/2011.

    The Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Platform Update 1 is a platform update that is a set of new features that provides additional functionality for top customer requests and important scenarios.

    The Microsoft .NET Platform Update 1 consists of three packages:

    • Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Platform Update 1 (KB2478063)

      • This package contains the runtime files for the platform update. This package must be deployed on systems where applications that target the platform update are deployed.

    • Multi-Targeting Pack for Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Platform Update 1 (KB2495638)

      • This package contains reference assemblies and intellisense files for the platform update. This package is installed as part of the next package.

    • Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Platform Update 1 – Design-time Package for Visual Studio 2010 SP1 (KB2495593)

      • This package installs the previous two packages and configures Visual Studio 2010 SP1 with new .NET Framework targeting profiles, intellisense, and adds the state machine activities to the toolbox.

    To develop workflow applications in Visual Studio 2010 SP1 that target the new Platform Update 1 functionality, the Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Platform Update 1 – Design-time Package for Visual Studio 2010 SP1 (KB2495593) must be installed. Once it is installed, the .NET Framework 4 Platform Update 1 (KB2478063) profile can be chosen when creating a new .NET application.

    …”

    Did we really need a new release type? sigh… [Insert other’s rants as they’ve already said it all here]

    Still, I’d rather updates out of band than big bang releases… I guess. Also it’s VERY nice to see WF get some love…

     

    Related Past Post XRef:
    "Multi-Targeting Pack for Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Platform Update 1" (with an official State Machine support for WF4)

    Monday, April 11, 2011

    "Multi-Targeting Pack for Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Platform Update 1" (with an official State Machine support for WF4)

    The Problem Solver - WF4 State Machine in the Multi-Targeting Pack for Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Platform Update 1

    "Lots of people like to use the state machine model workflow as this is a very flexible way of working that often fits in with how real work processes work. With WF3 we had a state machine workflow but with WF4 this was not ready in time and as a result we didn’t get to use this model. There where a few whitepapers on how to do a state machine using a flowchart and for simple cases those worked quite well.

    Microsoft also released an implementation of the state machine for WF4 on CodePlex and while that worked quite well it was a not supported scenario ...

    Now I always suspected we would have to wait for the next full version of the .NET framework it turns out we will get the real bits much sooner. The soon to be released Multi-Targeting Pack for Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Platform Update 1, now that is a mouth full, will contain the officially supported version of the state machine. See here for a how to guide on how to use the state machine.  ..."

    I think the "Multi-Targeting Pack for Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Platform Update 1" release is new to me (at least as I sit here I don't remember hearing about this release)... Good to see Microsoft listening and responding by returning official State Machine support to WF4.

    Thursday, February 11, 2010

    Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 Training Kit – February Release (aka the VS2010 RC Compatible release) – We’re talking 602MB of VS/.Net training stuff here…

    Microsoft Downloads - Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 Training Kit - February Release

    “February Release of the Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 Training Kit

    File Name: VS2010TrainingKitFebruarySetup.exe
    Version: 1.3
    Date Published: 2/10/2010
    Language: English
    Download Size: 199.4 MB


    Overview

    The Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 Training Kit includes presentations, hands-on labs, and demos. This content is designed to help you learn how to utilize the Visual Studio 2010 features and a variety of framework technologies including:

    • C# 4.0
    • Visual Basic 10
    • F#
    • Parallel Extensions
    • Windows Communication Foundation
    • Windows Workflow
    • Windows Presentation Foundation
    • ASP.NET 4
    • Windows 7
    • Entity Framework
    • ADO.NET Data Services
    • Managed Extensibility Framework
    • Visual Studio Team System
    This version of the Training Kit works with Visual Studio 2010 RC and .NET Framework 4 RC. [GD: Emphasis Added] 

    …”

    Holly cow… The download size has grown by 106MB since v1.1. From a compressed 93MB in v1.1 to a compressed 199MB (602MB uncompressed!) in this version. Wow

    For a view of the v1.1 and v1.0 check out Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 Training Kit - October Preview (aka VS2010 B2 version) released  & A little VS2010/.Net 4 Training Kit with your Beta 1?

     

    Here’s a snap from the main page;

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    And a snap, via WinDirStat, of the contents. The 602MB isn’t just a ton of videos (there’s actually no “videos” on disk, they are all being hosted and streamed from Channel 9 is seems) but instead just tons of data, doc’s, resources and code.

    image

     

    Related Past Post XRef:
    Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 Training Kit - October Preview (aka VS2010 B2 version) released
    A little VS2010/.Net 4 Training Kit with your Beta 1?

    Visual Studio 2010 Licensing White Paper (includes Team Foundation Server, Lab Management and IntelliTrace)
    VS 2010 RC now available for download to the general public (no MSDN Subscription required)
    VS2010 RC now available on MSDN Subscribers Download. General availably coming tomorrow (February 10th)
    VS2010/.Net 4 release date slips and we get a public RC in February to make up for it (and I’m okay with it)

    Visual Studio 2010/.Net 4.0 B2 now available via MSDN Subscribers Download, new SKU names (Ultimate, Premium, Express Combo) and VS2010 launch dates announced
    VSTS/TFS2010 Beta 2 coming “real soon” and will have a “Go Live” license (i.e. Now’s the time to start getting ready…)

    Tuesday, December 08, 2009

    10 AppFabric/.Net 4 Virtual Labs now available

    Nicholas Allen's Indigo Blog - Virtual Labs for AppFabric and .Net 4

    “Ten labs for AppFabric and .Net 4 are available on MSDN virtual labs. Virtual labs allow you to borrow a virtual machine for a while, giving you the opportunity to try out the lab online with no setup or installation required. You get the machine and a copy of the lab manual with no other work.

    These labs cover .Net 4 Beta 2 and AppFabric Beta 1. If you were at PDC, these labs should look familiar if you were able to spend some time in our hands on lab area.

    image

    MSDN Virtual Lab: Lab 1: Simple Console Workflow

    image

    The cool thing about virtual labs is that you get a virtual machine all setup, configured and ready for you to start coding…

    Friday, May 09, 2008

    Video showing the Windows Workflow Foundation being used to build a Build in "Rosario"

    Team System Rocks - Version Control and Build Mini-Story - Part 2 - Build

    "Version Control and Build Mini-Story - Part 2 - Build"

    Mickey Gousset presents Part 2 of a "Rosario" (aka Team Foundation Server vNext) mini-story screencast, focusing on building the Build using the new coolness that's coming in "Rosario"... (Distributed builds, workflow, etc)

    I think the coolest part is how the TFS team is dogfooding the Windows Workflow Foundation (WF).

    Sure WF is in SharePoint 2007, but IMHO, WF has been kind of the red headed stepchild of the .Net 3.x wave. While it was probably the most "cooked" of the three tech's (WPF, WCF, WF) at release (with solid tooling in place, etc), it seems to have been the least talked about.

    WF has the same potential of change as does WCF & WPF, yet it hasn't really caught on yet. Why? Because it's kind of hard for us (Dev's) to wrap our heads around. Where do you host it? Where does it run? Is this a thing which we run stuff through or something run on stuff? How do I let the true business user build a workflow without giving them VS? How do I wrap all this into my app? How do I move my code into a workflow? Store, version and deploy it? etc, etc, etc.

    Presentation change (WPF)? Pretty easy to get the general idea as, from the highest level, it's an enhancement of something we already have and do. Communication change (WCF), again we already do communication, WCF makes it much easier, so again from a high level, easy to understand.

    Workflow? That's another beast. It really requires a change in mindset. While from the highest level, almost every app has a "workflow", trying to wrap your head around a brand new way to separate the workflow from the app is what I believe is the hardest part of "getting" WF. We're so used to writing the workflow code into our apps, it is so natural and basic, that using WF is like learning to walk on the moon... taking a basic process and changing it's base rules and assumptions...

    Anyway getting back to my main point, by baking WF into the TFS Build process, I think the TFS team could invigorate interest in WF. Dev's will see this, use it and say, "Wow, I want my app to do this... " Once we get comfortable with it, use it day to day, one of the bigger barriers to WF will begin to crumble...

     

    Also check out Part 1 for an insight into the Version control changes coming as well as his other Rosario videos...