Matt Winkler asks here on feedback as to what we'd like to see on Windows Workflow Foundation that might help reduce the complexity and/or improve the WF experience for developer: spend a $100 bucks on what you'd like to see. Here's my take on it:

$10: Out of the Box hosting scenarios. This is a cool idea, and could be really complemented with:
$40: Guidance, Guidance, Guidance. We need to have good guidance in place on topics such as: WF Runtime Hosting Scenarios and Requirements; Long-running workflows; Workflow Versioning Strategies; Communication Options, Scalability options and more.
$20: Programming-model refinements. Things like the complexity introduced by spawned-contexts and the like cannot be 100% solved by tooling; the underlying programming model has to guide you towards writing correct code right from the start. I'll agree I don't have a good proposal as to how to fix it right now, though :-) 
$30: Better design time experience:

  • Improved designer
  • Improved Design-time validation. This could either be done by providing more compile-time validation, or, perhaps even better, through a WfCop-kind of tool. One idea I think would mix well with the superb extensibility model in WF and the Guidance idea would be to make it scenario based: You select the kind of scenario you expect your workflows/activities to run under, and extensive validation is done to see if it will work. For example, you might select the "Long-Running Transactional Workflow" escenario, and the tool would validate that things like serializability requirements are met by the workflow itself and all activities used.


Tomas Restrepo

Software developer located in Colombia. Sr. PFE at Microsoft.