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They’re Here!

February 14, 2007 Leave a comment

The official ship date of my WF book is next Monday (Feb 19), so I’ve been eagerly awaiting arrival of my copies of the book. The wait is now finally over. My wife called this afternoon to tell me that there were two rather heavy boxes that UPS dropped off in our driveway. As soon as I got home (yes, I did work the full day), I immediately opened the boxes to see the result of my almost-year-long project.

When you’re working on the book, writing, testing, editing and reviewing, you do get a sense of accomplishment. But it’s much different to actually hold a physical copy of the book in your own two hands. It looks great!

I checked Amazon and B&N, and it looks like it’s now in stock at both outlets. I’ll have to make a trip to the local B&N and see if they have it on the shelf.

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Categories: workflow

XAML Workflow Schema

February 1, 2007 Leave a comment

As I demonstrated in chapter 16 of my WF book, one of the authoring modes that you can use to define the workflow model is the no-code (markup-only) mode. Using this authoring mode, you define the workflow model in an XML file using XAML syntax.

If you try to do this manually in Visual Studio without the aid of a designer, it is fairly tedious and it can be error prone since there’s no Intellisense support. At least until now. Microsoft has now released a workflow XAML schema that makes this process a little easier.

After downloading the file, you unzip it into the default location:

%ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\Xml\Schemas

Once the schema file (XamlWorkflow2006.xsd) is installed into the correct directory, Visual Studio will provide Intellisense within it’s XML editor when you edit workflow markup files (.xoml).

Keep in mind that this won’t work for any custom workflow types that you’ve defined and wish to reference. This schema only has knowledge of the standard workflow types provided by MS. However, if there are types that you frequently use, you can modify this schema file yourself in order to provide Intellisense.

Categories: workflow

New version of WFPad

January 24, 2007 Leave a comment

I just noticed that Mark Schmidt has a new version of WFPad available. If you’ve never tried WFPad, you should download it immediately and give it a try. It is the WF equivalent of XamlPad (for WPF). It hosts the WF designers to visually let you work with workflow markup files. But it has two features that I really like:

  1. It shows you the workflow model in the WF designer and as markup (xaml) in two separate, sync-able windows. This is a great way to learn WF markup. You can use the designer to change the WF model and then view the results as markup.
  2. It lets you load and view an existing workflow from a .xoml file OR from an assembly (exe, dll). This is a great way to gain visibility into your compiled workflows without warming up Visual Studio.

In chapter 17 of my WF book, I present a custom designer that allows you to create and maintain markup-only (no-code) workflows. While I obviously recommend taking a look at my designer, I must admit that there is much to like in WFPad as well.

Categories: workflow