One of the investments we’ve made in WF4 is to increase the number of activities provided by the system. Leon has a nice overview of the activities included in Beta 1 here.
I’ve been pretty quiet recently on the technical blog front, mostly because my work was in the dark depths of development. A few weeks ago, we released Beta 1 of Visual Studio 2010 which includes all of the technologies I’ve been working on for the past 3 years 🙂
One of the big components included in .Net 4.0 Beta1 is the WF4 framework that I unveiled at PDC. The team is blogging here, and I’ll be including ongoing tidbits for WF and WCF to help smooth out speed bumps encountered by our customers.
For those of you who want to see what our marketing team has been up to 🙂
More at www.microsoft.com/net/wcf/champ.
Nicholas explains the protocol we use for messaging over TCP (net.tcp) and Windows Named Pipes (net.pipe) in a nice series of blog posts:
- Framing Protocol Overview
- Preamble Records
- Encoding Records
- Upgrade Negotiations (security, compression, etc)
- Message Data
#3-5 are the details behind the "handshake" I alluded to here.
I’m sitting in one of the coolest talks at PDC. ChrisAn & GioDL are showing how you can use the nascent "Oslo" language technologies to write your own textual language. MGrammar has been described as yacc on crack.
You should check it out (probably starting tomorrow) at: http://channel9.msdn.com/pdc2008/TL31/
UPDATE: You can download the SDK here and start playing with writing your own custom language. Fun stuff!
On Monday afternoon I unveiled WF 4.0 at PDC 2008. With this public disclosure you will start seeing a lot more details of the WF system here.
For those of you that were able to attend my session in person, please fill out the evaluation form (we’re currently at about 5% participation).
For those that couldn’t join me in person, the session was videotaped and is available at http://channel9.msdn.com/pdc2008/TL17/. Enjoy!
Distributed applications are tricky. The internet is a fickle beast that will lost data at will and run counter to many intuitions. Getting distributed applications to run smoothly and performant at scale is particularly difficult. There isn’t a single "go fast" silver bullet, rather it’s more of an art. At PDC this year you’ll have a great opportunity to learn about the Zen of WCF Performance and Scale at Nicholas Allen‘s lunch session. Enjoy!
Matt posted a great description of the WCF (and WF) talks we’re giving at PDC.
In particular there are two sessions that I’d like to call out.
The first is Ed Pinto’s session, where you’ll find out about the significant investments we’ve made to improve the WCF authoring experience:
WCF 4.0: Building WCF Services with WF in Microsoft .NET 4.0.
Eliminate the tradeoff between ease of service authoring and performant, scalable services. Hear about significant enhancements in Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) 4.0 and Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) 4.0 to deal with the ever increasing complexity of communication. Learn how to use WCF to correlate messages to service instances using transport, context, and application payloads. See how the new WF messaging activities enable the modeling of rich protocols. Learn how WCF provides a default host for workflows exposing features such as distributed compensation and discovery. See how service definition in XAML completes the union of WF and WCF with a unified authoring experience that simplifies configuration and is fully integrated with IIS activation and deployment.
Once you’ve built your services, you will need to deploy, host, and manage them. Windows Server "Dublin" handles this complexity, and Dan Eshner will unveil the details here:
Hosting Workflows and Services
Hear about extensions being made to Windows Server to provide a feature-rich middle-tier execution and deployment environment for Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) and Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) applications. Learn about the architecture of this new extension, how it works, how to take advantage of it, and the features it provides that simplify deployment, management, and troubleshooting of workflows and services.
I’ve gone dark on the technical side of this blog for two main reasons:
- Most of what I’m working on hasn’t been publicly disclosed
- I’m prepping for PDC 2008 where I can finally discuss the past 2 years of my life without an NDA 🙂
If you want to see the latest and greatest Microsoft technologies that we’ve been cooking up, register now, and then mark your schedule for my talk:
Windows Workflow Foundation 4.0: A First Look
Programs coordinate work. The code for coordination and state management often obscures a program’s purpose. Learn how programming with Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) 4.0 provides clarity of intent while preserving the functional richness of the .NET framework. See how easy it is to build workflows with the new Visual Studio workflow designer. Learn about text-based authoring options for WF. Hear how WF integrates well with other Microsoft technologies (WCF, WPF, ASP.NET). If you’ve looked at WF before, come and see the changes to data flow, composition, and new control flow styles. Significant improvements to usability, composability, and performance make Workflow a great fit for a broad range of solutions on both the client and the server.
41 days and counting…