No BizTalk Experience Required

This is for .NET developers who are trying out Windows Workflow Foundation and want a server environment to host workflows. The idea is that you create a workflow model in Visual Studio using WCF constructs to specify messaging to and from the workflow. You run a tool which generates a matching BizTalk orchestration wrapper and you can deploy the workflow and the wrapper into BizTalk Server. Thus gaining lots of great xability features from BizTalk Server for your workflow.

Today we have released the BizTalk Server 2006 extensions for Windows Workflow Foundation (June CTP) SDK Sample. To try it out head to the Connect Site for this project, complete the survey, download the sample code and do the walk through.

Prerequisites for the walkthrough:

  1. To complete the walkthrough you should first have Visual Studio 2005 professional or greater installed.
  2. You also need BizTalk Server 2006 R2 Beta 2 which is available on it's own connect site here.
  3. SQL Server 2005 SP1 express or greater is also required and you can get that here.
  4. Lastly you'll need the BizTalk extensions for WF from Connect.

The walkthrough will take about an hour and it starts with a WF workflow model and steps you through how to run this workflow inside the BizTalk Server managed server environment. No BizTalk experience is required for the walkthrough.

This is just a CTP of an SDK Sample so it's certainly unsupported at this time. We have lots of ideas for making the tool easier to use and easier to access from within Visual Studio and we'll be working on this some more before the release of BizTalk Server 2006 R2. We'd really like to get your feedback as well and that's why this sample is up on a Connect site. It allows for bug and feature submissions and also requests a survey before you download.

Previously I posted about this and linked to a video of the solution here.