Ron Jacobs

Windows Workflow Foundation

Posts
  • Ron Jacobs

    Windows Server AppFabric–Reading the Monitoring Database from a Web Application

    • 1 Comments
    If you want to read the AppFabric Monitoring Database from a Web Application your web app will have to have permission to login. If you try to run a web app that does not have permission you will likely see this Cannot open database "AppFabricMonitoringDB"...
  • Ron Jacobs

    WorkflowServices, CanCreateInstance and Silverlight

    • 1 Comments
    I can’t count how many times this has bitten me…  You create a new Workflow Service.  You create a client app, add a service reference and boom! There is no context attached to the incoming message for the service and the current operation is...
  • Ron Jacobs

    How you can make WF/WCF better

    • 0 Comments
    Are you sometimes frustrated by WF/WCF? Let’s just be honest for a moment… all of us are frustrated by WF/WCF at times.  Even those of us who work on the product can probably think of a hundred ways we would like to make them better.  However...
  • Ron Jacobs

    Distributed System Versioning Myth #1

    • 1 Comments
    One rather large pain point with distributed systems is versioning.  There are things you can do that make this problem better and things you can do that make it worse.  The worst thing you can do is pretend that this problem does not exist...
  • Ron Jacobs

    Visual Studio 2010 Version Selector fails to Open SLN files

    • 2 Comments
    I have a tool that I created to help me package sample applications for the web.  It removes stuff that I don’t want in the zip file like binaries, test results and various other junk that builds up when developing apps.  It also removes source...
  • Ron Jacobs

    WF4 Versioning Spike: Planning for Change

    • 2 Comments
    In my investigation of versioning issues with Windows Workflow Foundation I’ve come to one important conclusion.  This isn’t something new, in fact at TechEd 2008 when I gave my very first “chalk talk” about WF3.5 I said that this issue (versioning...
  • Ron Jacobs

    WF4 Workflow Versioning Spike

    • 6 Comments
    Today I’m starting on another spike project.  So far there are only questions to investigate, no answers.  I’m sharing my plans with you because I believe doing so might help some of you and I’m hopeful that you might share your insights with...
  • Ron Jacobs

    WF4 – How to Cast in VB Expressions

    • 0 Comments
    If you are a C# developer using Workflow you might not know how VB does type conversion. Imagine this simple example.  I’ve got some classes which use inheritance 1: public abstract class Shape 2: { 3: public int Top { get; set; ...
  • Ron Jacobs

    WF4 How To Invoke a Child Workflow as XAML

    • 0 Comments
    Recently somebody asked me how a workflow could invoke another workflow that is loaded as XAML from a file or a database. This is a common request so I’ve added an activity to Microsoft.Activities to support this. Update: If you want tracking...
  • Ron Jacobs

    ASP.NET WF4 / WCF and Async Calls

    • 2 Comments
    How should you use WF4 and WCF with ASP.NET? Download Sample Code - Windows Workflow Foundation (WF4) - How to use Workflow from ASP.NET endpoint.tv - ASP.NET WF4 / WCF and Async Calls For this post I’ve created a really simple workflow...
  • Ron Jacobs

    WF4 Workflow Services–Can you use the Same Operation more than once?

    • 1 Comments
    Thanks to Jean-Sebastien who contacted me with this question. Imagine you have the following service contract 1: public interface IBaseMyServiceContract 2: { 3: [OperationContract] 4: string CallAMethod( string correlationHandle, string...
  • Ron Jacobs

    AppFabric WCF Service Template (C#)

    • 5 Comments
    Now available Download the AppFabric WCF Service Template C# Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) is Microsoft’s unified programming model for building service-oriented applications. Windows Server AppFabric provides tools for managing and monitoring...
  • Ron Jacobs

    AppFabric WCF HTTP Service Template

    • 8 Comments
    Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) is Microsoft’s unified programming model for building service-oriented applications. Windows Server AppFabric provides tools for managing and monitoring your web services and workflows. WCF HTTP Service is a service...
  • Ron Jacobs

    WF4 Performance Tip–Cache Activities

    • 2 Comments
    When you create a new WorkflowConsole application you will see a line of code like this 1: WorkflowInvoker.Invoke( new Workflow1()); Looks innocent enough right? If you were only going to invoke this activity once this is not a problem. ...
  • Ron Jacobs

    WF4 Workflow Episodes

    • 0 Comments
    I remember at PDC08 when Kenny Wolf was introducing WF4 he said a workflow is kind of like a college student.  Most of the time it lays around sleeping (and drinking beer) and occasionally it wakes up (when an assignment is due) and does a pulse...
  • Ron Jacobs

    WF4 Collection Activities and Object Equivalence

    • 0 Comments
    This morning while reviewing sample code I ran across the collection activities.  Working with these activities is fairly straightforward but there are some issues that you should be aware of that can impact the behavior of your workflow. These issues...
  • Ron Jacobs

    WF4: How to Unit Test a Workflow that calls a WCF Service

    • 5 Comments
    “The important point is that our test can’t control what that dependency returns to our code under test or how it behaves (if we wanted to simulate an exception, for example). That’s when we use stubs .” – The Art of Unit...
  • Ron Jacobs

    WF4 Workflow Service Data Validation Design

    • 5 Comments
    In my previous previous post on the WCF Fault Spike and the other post on 4 Tenets of Service Oriented Data Validation I discussed some options and best practices for service data validation with WCF.  In this post I want to consider how the same...
  • Ron Jacobs

    WCF: 4 Tenets of Service Oriented Data Validation

    • 7 Comments
    Remember the 4 tenets of SOA?  One of them is that Boundaries are explicit.  When somebody sends data to your service it is just like when you cross an international border into another country.  Just a couple of hours drive north of us...
  • Ron Jacobs

    WCF Spike FaultContract, FaultException<TDetail> and Validation

    • 2 Comments
    Ready to have some fun… Today I spent the day investigating WCF FaulContracts and FaultException and some best practices for argument validation.  I’m going to do the same in a future post on Workflow Services but I felt it best to really understand...
  • Ron Jacobs

    WF4: How Tracking Helped Me Write a Better Unit Test

    • 0 Comments
    This morning I’ve been working on how to support cancelling a workflow via a CancellationToken.  The details of that are not important right now but what is really cool is how I was able to test this. Scenario: Caller requests Cancellation via a...
  • Ron Jacobs

    WF4 Versioning Spike: How To Unit Test Activity Versioning

    • 0 Comments
    With the work I’ve been doing on versioning I’ve had to write unit tests that verify the behavior I expect from the helper classes in Microsoft.Activities.dll .  If you want to verify that your assembly versioning strategy is working correctly you...
  • Ron Jacobs

    Assembly.Load, Version Numbers and Unsigned Assemblies

    • 1 Comments
    Never assume anything, test everything All these years I assumed that Assembly.Load() would respect version numbers if specified in the FullName string.   As I’ve been adding more test coverage to Microsoft.Activities I found that Assembly.Load...
  • Ron Jacobs

    WF4 Versioning Spike: IIS Hosted Workflow Services

    • 0 Comments
    In my previous post , I’ve been exploring how changing the version of an ActivityLibrary affects a workflow.  In this post I want to explore how Workflow Services behave. The good news – as far as I can tell, they behave exactly as they should behave...
  • Ron Jacobs

    WF4 Activity Versioning Solution

    • 0 Comments
    In my last post I showed you how the _XamlStaticHelper class uses different semantics when loading assemblies referenced by XAML files. Today I’m going to show you a solution I’ve built into the Microsoft.Activities library that can help you apply standard...
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