Workflow Tracking and Tracing
This topic applies to Windows Workflow Foundation 4 (WF4).
Windows Workflow tracking is a .NET Framework version 4 feature designed to provide visibility into workflow execution. It provides a tracking infrastructure to track the execution of a workflow instance. The WF tracking infrastructure transparently instruments a workflow to emit records reflecting key events during the execution. This functionality is available by default for any .NET Framework 4 workflow. No changes are required to be made to a .NET Framework version 4 workflow for tracking to occur. It is just a matter of deciding how much tracking data you want to receive. When a workflow instance starts or completes, its processing tracking records are emitted. Tracking can also extract business-relevant data associated with the workflow variables. For example, if the workflow represents an order processing system, the order ID can be extracted along with the TrackingRecord object. In general, enabling WF tracking facilitates diagnostics or business analytics data to be accessed from a workflow execution.
These tracking components are equivalent to the tracking service in .NET Framework 3.0. In .NET Framework 4, the performance has been improved and the programming model simplified for the WF tracking feature. The tracking runtime instruments a workflow instance to emit events related to the workflow life cycle, workflow activities and custom events.
Windows Server App Fabric also provides the ability to monitor the execution of a WCF and workflow services. For more information, see Windows Server App Fabric Monitoring and Monitoring Applications with Windows Server AppFabric
To troubleshoot the workflow runtime, you can turn on diagnostic workflow tracing. For more information, see Workflow Tracing.
To understand the programming model, the primary components of the tracking infrastructure are discussed in this topic:
TrackingParticipant objects subscribe to TrackingRecord objects. The tracking participants contain the logic to process the payload from the TrackingRecord objects (for example, they could choose to write to a file). For more information, see Tracking Participants.
Workflow Tracking Infrastructure
The workflow tracking infrastructure follows a publish-and-subscribe paradigm. The workflow instance is the publisher of tracking records, while subscribers of the tracking records are registered as extensions to the workflow. These extensions that subscribe to TrackingRecord objects are called tracking participants. Tracking participants are extensibility points that access TrackingRecord objects and process them in whatever manner they are written to do so. The tracking infrastructure allows the application of a filter on the outgoing tracking records to allow a participant to subscribe to a subset of the records. This filtering mechanism is accomplished through a tracking profile file.
A high level view of the tracking infrastructure is shown in the following illustration.
In This Section
- Tracking Records
Describes the tracking records that the workflow runtime emits.
- Tracking Profiles
Discusses how tracking profiles are used.
- Tracking Participants
Describes how to use system-provided tracking participant or how to create custom tracking participants.
- Configuring Tracking for a Workflow
Describes how to configure tracking for a workflow.
- Workflow Tracing
Describes the two ways to enable debug tracing for a workflow.
- Determining Workflow Execution Duration Using Tracing
Describes how to use tracing messages to determine workflow execution duration.