Learning Windows Workflow Foundation

Recently, I collected some links and resources about Windows Workflow Foundation, the Microsoft workflow engine that is part of the upcoming .NET 3.0 platform. You can find more detailed information at


The engine can run on any NET 2.0 installation. You need to download and install it from the above link. Currently, WWF is a set of new namespaces (System.Workflow.*), and utilities (like Workflow Designer) that you can run and use from Visual Studio 2005.

The site dedicated to WWF from Microsoft, is:


If you want to study about this engine, I can suggest some links, from my developer link bag:

Windows Workflow Reference

Windows Workflow Overview

You must read the documentation of the product at
Windows Workflow Foundation General Reference

The detailed list of classes at
Windows Workflow Foundation Class Library

In these  articles, Dino Esposito gives an introduction to WWF, with WinForm and ASP.NET examples:
Cutting Edge: Windows Workflow Foundation
Cutting Edge: Windows Workflow Foundation, Part 2

Hosting Windows Workflow
WWF runs in a host. In this article, you’ll find a detailed explanation of the alternatives to host a WWF runtime.

From TheServerSide.net:

Enterprise _NET Community Manage Application Processes with Windows Workflow Foundation

Will work for process: Create and run WF workflows

A new article from Microsoft:
Web Service Workflows Deploy Distributed Business Processes With Windows Workflow And Web Services — MSDN Magazine, October 2006

WWF can persist the status and tracks the workflow instance history. An interesting discussion at:
WWF Persistance Status

You can write state machine-based workflows:
State Machines In Windows Workflow

Bart De Smet has a blog category on WWF, with articles:

Getting started with Windows Workflow Foundation (WF)

How to make a workflow dynamic – Part 1

How to make a workflow dynamic – Part 2

Exposing a workflow through a web service

Exposing a workflow via WCF

Tom Lake, who worked on the WWF SDK, has a lot of information, about custom activities, XAML activation, and WWF in general. Some articles:

Assorted Windows Workflow  XAML activation and how to use it

Switch Activity

Basics of Working with Custom Types in Workflow

Assorted Windows Workflow  Do you want to invoke another workflow but you won’t know which one until runtime

Assorted Windows Workflow  Do you need to launch another process from your workflow

Assorted Windows Workflow  How to set activity property from a custom input form

Assorted Windows Workflow  Couple of custom activities that you can use to synchronize branches of a ParallelActivity

Assorted Windows Workflow  Have you had problems using the FileWatcher sample in a StateMachineWorkflow or WhileActivity

Assorted Windows Workflow  How to send data to a workflow

Assorted Windows Workflow  Project template for XAML Activation Console Application

Assorted Windows Workflow  Examples of using Persistence and Tracking in ASP_NET

Assorted Windows Workflow  Using XAML activation in ASP_NET with a StateMachineWorkflow

The workflow implementation has a rule engine. Some links about this subject:

Introduction to the Windows Workflow Foundation Rules Engine

Windows Workflow: Rules and Conditions

WWF: Comparing WWF rules and the Microsoft Business Rule Engine

WF: Comparing WF rules and the Microsoft Business Rule Engine  

Rules Examples
Examples from Microsoft. Some special ones:

External Ruleset Demo (beta 2.2)
The External Ruleset Toolkit demonstrates how to store rulesets in an external SQL Server database and load them at runtime for use by a Policy activity.

Rules Driven UI
This sample will demonstrate this capability by using rulesets to pre-populate fields, do cross validation and various calculations on a target Windows Form. We will also show rules features such as forward chaining in this sample.

About rule engines in general:

Use Rules In Your Applications
A Rules Engine class library with source code and documentation

Using a Rules Engine to separate Business rules from the application

Some interesting discussion at Microsoft forums:

Re Trouble with WebService and Persistence – MSDN Forums

Using the Rules Engine with complex data containers – MSDN Forums

Re 3 layered architecture – Where to house rules – MSDN Forums

More links about WWF

How to lock a workflow instance using SqlWorkflowPersistenceService?http://blogs.msdn.com/sonalic/archive/2006/04/28/586498.aspx

Managing Workflow’s Lifecycle

Microsoft Windows Workflow Foundation (WWF)

Ajax based Workflow Monitor

Angel “Java” Lopez

10 thoughts on “Learning Windows Workflow Foundation

  1. Alex

    Hi Angel,
    I just went to the launchig of the new platform the last Friday. This entry is a very useful resource for learn about WWF.
    Gr8 work!

  2. DigitalKn

    Nice work in consolidating the WF resources. It is very helpful in learning better about this framework


  3. Eric

    Very useful info – thanks for posting it. FYI: If you’re ever in need of a great Windows web host, we signed up with Server Intellect – they are one of the few that is Microsoft Gold Certified — and have the Windows Server 2008 ‘Longhorn’ on all Dedicated Servers. You probably know that Windows Server 2008 is the biggest upgrade so far. They’re tech support makes it really easy for our developers to handle whatever we need.

  4. Pingback: Learning .Net 3.0 « Roman’s Blog

  5. Barrett

    What’s Gooing own i’m new too this, I sumbled uoon this I’ve fond
    It positivly useful annd it haas aided me out loads.
    I aam hoping to conteibute & assist other userss ike its helped me.
    Grwat job.

  6. ejercicios01.Com


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    aclarado, esta genial.. te quería devolver el espacio que dedicaste, con unas infinitas
    gracias, por aconsejar a gente como yo jojojo.

    Besos, saludos


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