CET MicroWorkflow for Netduino

Today's Hardware Friday post is one that that I thought pretty cool and not something I've seen before...

Introducing MicroWorkflow for Netduino

MicroWorkflow – create your own automation on Netduino in a visual way.

MicroWorkflow is a framework layer for creating simple automation on the top of a host .Net application. It currently supports both the standard .Net framework, and the .Net MF.

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It’s not meant as a replacement of the underlying programming language, but rather a simple and effective way for creating small tasks, which aid the main hosting application. A dedicate engine provide one or more tasks to run, by interpreting runtime the complied workflow designed by the user.

The language structure is procedural, similar to Pascal. Several functions are available at the moment of writing, but many more will be added, as well as general improvements.


At a glance…

Structural features:

  • Deeply inspired by the Windows Workflow Foundation: meant to be a very light, yet flexible platform for small/embedded devices.
  • The tasks run on the top of the .Net framework, so that their implementation code can be loaded/unloaded anytime, with absolutely no assembly-gluing.
  • No special firmwares are required.
  • The tasks run in a “sandbox”, which share a custom interface with the hosting application. This is perfect for keeping the application protected, while the custom tasks can be modified by the user.
  • The engine is structured in a functional-fashion: that yields to an easier thread-safe concurrency, for running many tasks simultaneously.
  • A compiled task is very compact and easy to transfer, as a simple string is.
  • Total independence from the communication channel: the data can be sent via TCP/IP, UART, SPI, etc. Any feasible way for exchanging a string can be used.
  • The compiled tasks may be stored in any non-volatile medium, such as SD or EEProm. Afterward, the hosting app could load the right task on-demand.

Interop features:

  • No skilled programming required, nor complicated IDEs. Even Visual Studio is not required. A full-visual approach has been chosen for creating your own tasks.
  • ...

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And best of all? It's open source! Cet MicroWorkflow

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