Whew! We're working hard on Visual Studio Codename "Orcas", and that has kept me extraordinarily busy. One of the things I have been working a lot on has been our cool SharePoint workflow tools in VSTO Orcas.

Using these tools makes it a lot easier to start developing and debugging a workflow solution. Once you get going with workflow, a lot of new avenues will beckon. For example, you can call a SharePoint Web service to get information about items that are currently part of a workflow process. SharePoint handles the security and heavy lifting for you- all you need to do is call a Web service and parse the response.

Admittedly-- the responses are not always very clear. And, we do not really document the schema for the message that are returned. It would be great if someone would do this work! For example, here's part of the response for a request I have sent to a SharePoint server to give me the workflow information for a text file on the server:

<Web Title="Document Center" Url=http://myserver/Docs />
<List Title="Documents" Url=http://myserver/Docs/Documents />
<WorkflowTemplates>
<WorkflowTemplate Name="TestComponents" Description="My SharePoint Workflow">
<WorkflowTemplateIdSet TemplateId="de9cfbef-f2c9-4b49-9ee1-663e6aadd4ed" BaseId="88574245-d020-4c19-b5dc-413ced63202f" /><Metadata />
</WorkflowTemplate>
<WorkflowTemplate Name="SharePointWorkflow43" Description="My SharePoint Workflow">
<WorkflowTemplateIdSet TemplateId="11f108ff-7c98-4729-a660-afe6a6e3b59e" BaseId="782d7bae-0e18-4e0b-8c96-88f92d41bdf2" /><Metadata />
</WorkflowTemplate>
<WorkflowTemplate Name="Approval" Description="Routes a document for approval. Approvers can approve or reject the document, reassign the approval task, or request changes to the document." InstantiationUrl=http://myserver/Docs/_layouts/IniWrkflIP.aspx?List=c2b22c60-2bc6-4e5b-ab83-d7b36dd8ffb2&amp;ID=33&amp;TemplateID={c08cae4d-0f1f-41f5-b40e-1099b1429e35}>
<WorkflowTemplateIdSet TemplateId="c08cae4d-0f1f-41f5-b40e-1099b1429e35" BaseId="c6964bff-bf8d-41ac-ad5e-b61ec111731c" />
<AssociationData>

. . .
</AssociationData>
. . .

</WorkflowTemplates>
</TemplateData>

For the most part it appears that the schema is the one used for initiation data in SharePoint, but it still is largley undocumented. In an ideal world we would document it.

We just hit an important internal milestone for our product, and we had a timer sitting in the hallway that count down how far to go before the end of the milestone we were working on.

Well, I changed the clock to count down to my birthday for everyone (it's on June 30th!). Here's what it looks like now:

 

 Rock Thought for the Day:

I have been trying out so many new bands (aMute, Brand New, Explosions in the Sky, etc.) that I just do not have time to blog about them all. Besides, the new SMASHING PUMPINS songs are starting to trickle out. I have heard "Tarantula" and "God & Country" from the new album Zeitgeist. Both songs are fantastic, and I hope to hear Tarantula a lot more on the radio. It is distinctively Smashing Pumpkins yet it is fresh and new-- very exciting Rock and Roll!

Also- my own band (my sons and me)-- Atlas Falling-- is playing this Saturday at 7pm at Moonray Espresso in Duvall (14606 Main St. Duvall, 98019)- just behind the Subway. Come support the band and see my sons play!

Rock On