A fast-paced and practical developer's road map to working with Windows WF, from compilation to the base activity library to runtime services. Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) is a technology for defining, executing, and managing workflows. It is part of the .NET Framework 3.0 and will be available natively in the Windows Vista operating system. Windows Workflow Foundation might be the most significant piece of middleware to arrive on the Windows platform since COM+ and the Distributed Transaction Coordinator. The difference is, not every application needs a distributed transaction, but nearly every application does have a workflow encoded inside it. In this book, K Scott Allen, author of renowned .NET articles at www.odetocode.com, provides you with all the information needed to develop successful products with Windows Workflow. From the basics of how Windows Workflow can solve the difficult problems inherent in workflow solutions, through authoring workflows in code, learning about the base activity library in Windows Workflow and the different types of workflow provided, and on to building event-driven workflows using state machines, workflow communications, and finally rules and conditions in Windows Workflow, this book will give you the in-depth information you need. Throughout the book, an example "bug reporting" workflow system is developed, showcasing the technology and techniques used. What you will learn from this book * Create an example "bug reporting" workflow solution using the techniques and skills gained from each chapter * Understand what Windows WF is, and what it can do for you * Learn about the runtime services available in Windows WF * Author workflows with CÄ, and with XAML, the extensible application markup language * Use the workflow compiler to better understand how WF uses code generation to produce classes from workflow markup * Combine generated workflow code with our hand-written code to produce a workflow type * Learn about the events fired by the workflow runtime during the life of a workflow instance * Build workflows that accept parameters and communicate with a host process by invoking methods and listening for events * Learn about each activity in the Windows WF base activity library; the control flow activities, communication activities, and transaction-oriented activities * Learn about web service activities, rule-centric activities, and state activities * Creating custom activities using both a compositional approach and a derivation approach * Master the execution context, a vital ingredient for creating any robust activity * Learn about the workflow runtime, workflow diagnostics, and the out-of-the-box services provided for WF by Microsoft. * Using scheduling services, persistence services, and tracking services * Select and configure the services needed for a wide variety of scenarios and environments * Use local services for communication with a host process, and web service activities for communication across a network * Uncover the queuing service used behind the scenes of a workflow to coordinate and deliver messages * Create rules and conditions in Windows Workflow Foundation * Understand the role of business rules in software development and see examples of how Windows WF's rules engine can take away some of the burden of rule development.