- Series: Step by Step Developer
- Paperback: 512 pages
- Publisher: Microsoft Press; 1 edition (March 28, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 073562335X
- ISBN-13: 978-0735623354
- Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,396,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Microsoft Windows Workflow Foundation Step by Step (Step by Step Developer) 1st Edition
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From the Publisher
Key Book Benefits:
- Delivers context for understanding workflow and guidance for creating workflows and Windows Workflow Foundationenabled applications and services - Features sequential, procedural guidance for new-to-topic developers - Includes a CD with all practice exercises and code samples for each chapter
About the Author
Kenn Scribner is a software architect and trainer with Wintellect. He has written four books, including Understanding SOAP, and contributed to many others. His own software company, Endurasoft, delivers custom applications using the Microsoft platform.
Top customer reviews
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What I got instead of a beginner's book teaching worfklow foundation was a big slice of humble pie. Why do I say that? B/c this book is nothing short of amazing. It's unbelievably well written. There is no stone unturned, and I mean no stone unturned whatsoever. The examples are compelling and are very real world. In fact, they show beyond any shadow of a doubt that Workflow foundation can be used all over the place - essentially anywhere you need a workflow. While that last statement may seem strange, it really isn't. THe hardest thing I've seen most people wrestle with learning WF is realizing that's it's not just applicable in some external rare/specific circumstances. You can (and should) use it anywhere you have a series of steps that must be executed together.
One critic knocked the book b/c the author takes off on so many digressions code wise. How anyone could level this charge against the author is beyond me - in fact, it's borderline heresy. The digressions (if you want to call them that - I think they're better described as "Real World" uses) are what makes this book shine.
One application shows a mock stock trading system that runs Monte-Carlo simulations on the stocks. It allows you to add/remove stocks and run the simulations repeatedly. This is something that most folks would never think to do with WF, yet his presentation of it is so elegant and intuitive that I challenge anyone who's honestly worked through his examples to say that it didn't change the way they thought of WF afterward.
In another case, to show State Machines, he walks through a sample Soda Machine. Not only is it a clever way of implementing a State Machine, it is as perfect of an example as I think you could come up with.
Although I'm hard pressed to say I had a favorite chapter, I'd have to cite Chapter 13 as a favorite just b/c, well, it really explains in depth how Microsoft uses Workflow Actvities all over the place in products like Microsoft Speech Server, SSIS or Biztalk. He doesn't talk about those per se, but if you've used them, you no doubt are familiar with the workflow designers. Each of them has its own set of custom activities. He walks throug buidling a FTP component that is reminiscent of the one that SSIS uses. If he just stopped at building the activity itself, no one could say he skimped on the lesson. But he continues, walking you through building a ActivityValidator and then building full UI support for it as a Toolbox item. When you're done, you'll see something that looks and feels almost identical to the FTP component in SSIS from start to finish. No detail is left uncovered. And at that point, every activity you've used in any one of those products will look different to you - in the sense that you'll probably be able to reverse engineer them in your head. If not, I think you'd definitely be able to build one of your own for any given activity you've used in those products.
It's really hard to fathom how much thought the author put into coming up with the examples. But he was dead set on making sure that you understood exactly what you can do with workflow and how many different scenarios it is applicable to. Throw in some really in-depth coverage, a really compelling writing style and an uncanny ability to cover the tiniest of nuances all the while being appropriate to both beginners and experts and you have exactly what I described at the onset - a Masterpiece.
I really don't think there's a single thing in this book I could take issue with or say could be done better. And that's coming from someone who teaches WF and pretty much has lived and breathed it since it's earliest bits were released. I wanted something to help me teach WF and I got way more than I bargained for.
I'm happy to say that this one is great. Especially important to me since the subject matter is critical for projects that I have on the table. Mr. Scribner takes you through the fundamentals and into a detailed analysis of most of the provided activities before delving into more advanced subjects such as workflow types other than sequential. The book wraps up with using workflow on the client and server ends of web services.
The steps are laid out well except for some cumbersome back referencing to previous chapters in some of the earlier chapters. At some times the author gets a little wordy and monotonous with steps (e.g. step 1 of most of the samples). He could have been straight to the point and just have said open the project such and such.
The samples are where this book really shines. All of the code is available on the CD that can be installed (although I would have much preferred to copy the data from the CD). The author provides two solution directories for most of the samples in the book. The first one is a partial solution that includes all of the work not relevant to workflow or what you've already learned (e.g. you won't have to drudgingly build your service interfaces for each sample). The second one is a complete solution already done that you can reference. The samples are interesting and relevant. You can tell the author had fun with them.
There are some subjects namely rules, declaritive workflows, and session state with web services that could have been expounded on, but I suppose to be fair the purpose of a step by step book is not to go into too much depth on things. That being said, there are some external references, but not enough and a summary of them at the back of the book would be nice.
If you already know something about WF but you want to go deeper in the technology this is NOT the book for you.
The book is pretty basic and doesn't explain in detail all the aspects about the technology.
If you are looking for just to put a sales order process up and running in 1 day without much complication, then this is the right book for you.
The only reason I bought this book was O'Really doesn't have yet a publication about this topic.
Then, buy it if you know NOTHING, ZERO, about WWF. Otherwise you'll get bored and hungry about more technical details like me.