I’m in Redmond teaching my first Deep Dive BizTalk class with John Callaway! We’ve got 40 or so students ready to learn about BizTalk Server 2006 – exciting stuff. Can’t wait to do my first Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) course http://www.quicklearn.com/workflow.htm
I’ve been dealing with a bad back for about two weeks. Wow – it sucks. Luckily I have the best chiropractor in the world (Dr. Holtzinger – who also used to be Don Box’s chiro – so I guess that makes him famous as well ;-)).
Anyway – some of the stuff I’ve been working on I haven’t gotten permission to blog about yet – but alot of my time lately has been spent on WF/BizTalk/BAM and what I consider to be one of the more important reasons to use these technologies – visibility (you’ll find other people refer to this as transparency – I really don’t like that word as much personally).
On the WF forums (http://www.windowsworkflow.net) there have been lots of questions about hosting the WF Designer in a Web Page. This is possible – but only if you give the site the control is downloaded from FullTrust persmissions. I came up with an alternate idea – which is to run the designer on the server – and just output an image of the current state of the designer.
I’ve coded up a sample you can download if you are interested – hopefully I’ll feel good enough soon to actually post a better explanation of how it works. In the asp.net website – AsAControl.aspx hosts the designer as an ActiveX control (remember this is where you need to add or modify a codegroup so this site or page can have FullTrust CAS persmissions).
Default.aspx runs the designer on the server and then ouputs an image. RunAWorkflow.aspx is a sample which runs a workflow and updates the image in real-time as to which Activity has just run (it does this in conjunction with a custom Tracking service). I like this approach better – because it avoids any of the potential CAS issues you might have trying to host the designer in a web page (of course this only works if you are trying to get visibility into the WF execution – not if you are trying to design a workflow – although there are ways that might work with image maps etc – but not likely to be very elegant).
If anyone in So Cal is interested – I’ll be speaking at the SoCal .NET Architecture Users Group next Thursday. http://www.socaldotnetarchitecture.org/
Topic: Code Visibility (No X-Ray glasses necessary) : What .NET developers should know about Windows Workflow Foundation and BizTalk Server
Description: This talk will introduce the technologies underlying Microsoft’s BizTalk Server and Windows Workflow Foundation, and discuss the advantage of
their visual design-driven approach to coding. Come and see how this
approach improves on traditional stack-based programming by giving you a richer look into what your processes are doing.