Windows Workflow

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Presentation from Christoph Vollmer to the Christchurch .Net User Group.

Transcript of Windows Workflow

  • 1. PRESENTED BY Why Workflow? April 2014 Christoph Vollmer

2. Introduction What is a Workflow? Why Workflow? Our Journey Summary and Questions Agenda 3. Who is PayGlobal? Market-leading provider of payroll and HR solutions in Australia and NZ Paying over 500,000 staff, 520+ clients, 850+ sites Over 20 years experience in workforce management solutions 120+ staff - Christchurch, Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth Microsoft Gold Partner 4. Who is PayGlobal? 5. What is a Workflow? Movement of work items through a sequence of actions or tasks People Initiate process Action something Resolve exceptions Software Workflow framework, several different frameworks available for different platforms 6. Why a Workflow framework? Business Process Automation via business logic declared in flexible Workflows Less logic hardcoded Less technical users can: Inspect logic Make changes Visualize and Track Persisting and resuming workflows MS Workflow 7. Why Workflow framework / product? Enforce business processes consistently Streamline cost and time Approvals, notifications Monitor and track status of workflows 8. Example Law firm Information-intensive Document-driven All workflows similar but different for each law firm / attorney 9. What is MS Workflow Windows Workflow Foundation From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) is a Microsoft technology that provides an API, an in-process workflow engine, and a rehostable designer to implement long-running processes as workflows within .NET applications. Too complex for a short presentation. 10. Our Workflow Journey 2003 Original Self Service website 2009 Prototyping on WF4 Beta 2010 Built Workflow Engine and first modules 2011 Exolvo launched on Workflow 2012 New Workflow Modules Microsoft Workflow TAP 2013 Notification Flows 11. Why Workflow at PayGlobal? Needed greater configurability in the product Customer business processes varied a lot Good fit for processes in industry vertical (HRIS) Long running business processes Generic codebase Best practice templates 12. How we use it Employee Self Service Hazards / Incidents Leave Requests Timesheets Allowances etc. Conditional workflows Time sensitive Stop processing of workflow until a date is reached Example: Send reminder email after three days of no action 13. PayGlobal specific types of Workflow Form Flow HTML UI Not persisted to database Process Flow Background Persisted to database Notification Flow Background Not persisted MS Workflow only knows about Workflow! 14. Form Flow 15. Process Flow 16. Notification Flow 17. PayGlobal Workflow Engine Executes business processes Schedules, executes, persists Manages data (arguments and variables) Interprets events e.g. due dates expiring Maintains state of long running processes 18. PayGlobal Workflow Designer Used by consultants to configure workflows Stores history of all changes 19. PayGlobal Workflow Designer 20. PayGlobal Workflow Designer 21. PayGlobal Workflow Designer 22. Form Flow (HTML UI via Workflow) 23. Custom Activity Library Domain Specific Language (DSL) Ecosystem around MS workflow platform Reusable custom activities Consultants operate in Core Domain 24. Challenges Versioning Improvements with .NET WF 4.5 WF API Complexity polling for expired workflows Steep learning curve - Developers and Consultants Unit Testing Activities Use thin facades instead 25. The Tech Stack ESS .NET 4.5 Web Forms Custom MVC (xml config) Workflow Engine .NET 4.5 (WF + WCF) + Ninject, Automapper, nHibernate etc. Workflow Designer .NET 4.5, WPF SQL Server 26. Summary Long running business processes that need to configurable Non-developers can make changes Great flexibility (Form Flow) Core domain building blocks = powerful, expressive Look out for up-to-date documentation (.NET 4.5!) 27. Questions 28. References PayGlobal TAP Case study PayGlobal Exolvo Visual design of workflows Rehosting The Workflow Designer Whats new in Windows Workflow Foundation 4.5