EMIC - Specialized Workflow Foundation Activity

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In this video, Sébastien Peray and Marcel Tilly from the European Microsoft Innovation Center’s (EMIC) Enterprise team talk about the project that they are working on - a new, specialized Workflow Foundation activity as an easy to use approach for dynamic service selection.

People are often faced with the problem of how to find the right service for a specific problem, for example finding the closest printer with the smallest printer queue or even just finding the cheapest book. Everybody would like to use the best, cheapest, or closest service depending on his or her own context. Optimizing service usage and service selection and finding the cheapest service are well-known tasks in the enterprise as they help to reduce costs.

Sébastien and Marcel talk about how to find the right service at the right time during runtime and introduce a lightweight, new concept. They present how easily and quickly every developer can make his or her static workflow more dynamic and flexible.  This new, specialized Workflow Foundation activity called AbstractServiceActivity can easily be added to each workflow. The developer can add and remove services to this activity and can define criteria for service selection, like price, reliability, etc.  All this is possible during runtime without changing the workflow itself.  This pragmatic solution helps to solve dynamic service selection problems in most of the cases without adding too much complexity.

The European Microsoft Innovation Center (EMIC), founded in 2003 in Aachen, Germany, is a Microsoft Research & Development facility. The German lab is unique to Microsoft in its focus on collaborative applied research in Europe. EMIC works in the context of development programs sponsored by the European Commission and the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). EMIC’s research is focused on enterprise, mobility, home, security, software verification and embedded systems. www.microsoft.com/EMIC

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