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Workflow TV - Lab Introduction to WF4: Getting Started

5 minutes, 47 seconds


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I've created a new Hands On Lab prototype using the Feature Builder PowerTool for Visual Studio.  In this epsiode I'll show you how you can download and get started with this hands on lab.  I'd love to hear your feedback on the lab so let me know what
you think.

Intro To WF4 Hands On Lab (Visual Studio Gallery)
Intro To WF4 Hands On Lab (MSDN Code Gallery)

Lab Exercises

  • Exercise 1 - Hello Workflow (video)
  • Exercise 2 - Refactoring Workflow (video)
  • Exercise 3 - The CodeActivity (video)
  • Exercise 4 - Dynamic Workflows with XAML (video)
  • Exercise 5 – Testing Activities (video)
  • Exercise 6 – WorkflowApplication (video)
  • Exercise 7 – If/Else Logic (video)


Follow the discussion

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  • Luciano Evaristo GuercheguercheLE guerchele

    Loved it. Just would like future Hands on Labs to be grouped all together so that one does not need to skim through all project types just to figure out which ones have HOLs installed.

  • Ron Jacobsrojacobs Ron Jacobs

    Good point - as we add more labs it would be good to have them centralized.

  • Loved this. I did the lab on Friday. I found it by accident, but it really helped a lot. I would love to see an advanced lab as well dealing with some more advanced to medium topics.


  • Ron Jacobsrojacobs Ron Jacobs

    We will definitely be doing more of these covering more advanced topics.  I think the next one I'll do is the Workflow Services hands on lab.


    Are there other advanced topics you would be interested in?

  • Bent Rasmussenexoteric stuck in a loop, for a while

    Does WF use TPL?

    Does the hosted designer block if a CodeActivity blocks?

  • Ron Jacobsrojacobs Ron Jacobs

    No WF does not use the Task Parallel Library (TPL)


    The Code Activity is not invoked at design time so if it did block it would not block the designer.  It would block a thread at runtime which (depending upon how the workflow was invoked) could block the calling thread

  • Bent Rasmussenexoteric stuck in a loop, for a while

    Allright, the reason I ask is because I thought there was a run-time "designer" (for workflow instances) and in that case, it would be nice to know (but of course easily testable) whether a synchronous and slow CodeActivity would block the UI thread.

  • Hi Ron,


    Could you explain defer between activity and action?

    I haven't found a simple way to explain it Sad

  • Ron Jacobsrojacobs Ron Jacobs

    Action or Action<T> is a delegate.  Any class can use a delegate


    Activity or Activity<T> is a class that is designed to be scheduled and invoked by the WF4 Workflow Runtime


    Does that help?

  • Not really Sad

    i wrote a bad question...


    I was looking about ActivityAction scehdule by NativeContext (as SheduleDelegate and others Schedule methodes). I haven't found a scenario where it could be use Sad


    We have many schedule methode.... i hadn't found way to wrote exemple for all (i would like to help others frenchies as me, but i havn't the easier scenario for ScheduleAction)

  • Ron Jacobsrojacobs Ron Jacobs

    Ok I understand now...


    The way you get something invoked in a workflow is by scheduling it.  This includes even a callback similar to Action<T>.  This is why ActivityAction<T> was created.  I can create an activity that accepts as an argument a callback.  Then I schedule it and it gets invoked on the workflow thread.

  • Glad you asked. Was already thinking about that after I posted my comment. Here is a short stab a list. Keep in mind I am completely new to WWF. Some of these may actually be simple. 


     -Passing in arguments

    -Dynamic Workflows

    -Flowcharts, and other complex workflow objects (For example, WTH is the CompensationActivity? Docs are very poor in explaining what this thing is)

    -Loading workflows from alternative sources( DB, UNC, etc )

    -Error handling in a workflow

    -Workflow chaining(not even sure this is possible)

    -Synchronization with parallelism 

    -Workflow Services


    Sorry if any of these are simplistic. I am still reading up on workflow and what it can do.


  • On the workflow chaining, it is something I already do with NxBre where I tie multiple rule files together so I have a vested interest in trying to make that work.

  • Thanks Ron for your prompt reply,


    I was afraid to look ActivityAction<T>.
    It's so simple, lol!



  • Loved it - The fully integrated Visual Studio experience was great. I would love to see such labs for more advnaced topics, not just introductory material.

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