This Week in Downloads - New WF Articles

This week, we've added two new articles for WF to the MSDN Online Library: an article by Jon Flanders to help choose between sequential workflows and state machines, and a major article by Michele Leroux Bustamante explaining the five most common WF deployment scenarios. Both articles have received great reviews from internal readers so far; and we're hoping that you find them useful as well.

Additionally, we wanted to draw attention to someting we missed last week; Maurice de Beijer published an article last week on using the new WCF activities in WF 3.5 to connect your workflows to web services.

Jon Flanders: How to Choose a Workflow
Jon's article on choosing between sequential workflows and state machines started out as a revisit to a topic that was touched on back in late 2005 by bloggers such as Dave Green and Ariel Schapiro, but hasn't seen much proscriptive guidance since then. The question of which workflow model to choose has always been a common one; the other most common one is asking about the difference between WF and BizTalk. Jon's article tries to explain the differences between the model and walk the reader through an implementation to help explain the decision factors.

We're hoping that this article serves as a spark to reinvigorate the topic, and look at process patterns that may best fit one model or the other.

Michele Leroux Bustamante: WF Scenarios
Michele's WF deployment scenario series explores the five general workflow scenarios that customers are using WF for today. Each section explores the benefits and limitations of WF within its scenario, and some best practices for implementation.

The article originally started out with the intention of being one paper to help explain where WF can be useful, but the overall paper quickly grew in size and scope as the sections grew, each telling a story of its own. As a result, we've split the paper out into an introduction and five articles to help make it less intimidating in size, and hopefully making it more accessible to folks.

This week, we publish the first two of the five sections: Human Workflows and SharePoint Workflows. The remaining three sections (Workflow Services, Rehosted Workflows, and Presentation Flow Coordination) will be published over the next few weeks, but we wanted to get these gems up here for your reading pleasure.

Maurice de Beijer: Using WCF with WF in .NET 3.5
Maurice published part 1 of his new article on using WCF with WF up to the MSDN. The article walks the reader through how to connect your workflows up to web services - in this case, he's WCF within the workflow to talk to either another WCF service endpoint, or an existing ASMX web service endpoint.

WF/WCF Articles in Vista Section In addition to the new content, we looked into moving WF and WCF articles out of the Windows Vista and General .NET Programming branches of MSDN Library into the WF and WCF branches. We had been asked why some of these gems were scattered among the MSDN Library nodes, and the answer has to do with the long story of WinFX, and it's timing with the Vista launch. Unfortunately, we are unable to move the articles. The details of why are messy and get quite technical, but it's beyond our reach at the moment.

To help the articles with being found, we'll to create a 'library list' of sorts to help aide in discovery of articles, videos, and code samples. The new pages will be launched in August - either as subpage here or on the Dev Centers. There's a general question of what to do with the outdated content (some of the really top-notch articles that detail WinFX beta releases), and suggestions/comments are welcome. For the moment, we've been placing articles into the WF Articles and Overviews section.

Edit - Jul-28-2008 - 6.19pm PDT - Added a link to Jon's article.