Workflow and You: No, an SEP Field Won’t Make It Go Away
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by J. Ambrose Little
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Now You're Scaring Me

Now these may seem like ridiculous flights of fantasy, but I think most of it could be done today, and I think that it would be a huge step forward in software development. The reason I mention it here is that workflow, and WinWF in particular, is a rather large, positive step in that direction; a model is worth a thousand lines of code. Maybe I should duck while the code monkeys throw wrenches at me, but don't worry, we'll always have code.

I realize that visualization and modeling is anything but new. At the same time, it just seems right, or rather, that Microsoft is getting it right. Maybe its because the gorilla is the only one that can get the monkeys into line, but whatever it is, we're on the verge of something potentially groundbreaking. Together with DSLs in general and increasingly good form designers, we are rapidly approaching critical mass, as it were, and the fantasy I described above may just not be so fantastic after all.

So embrace workflow and embrace WinWF (you really don't have a choice). Embrace the modeling revolution. Gone are (or will/should be) the days of creating static documents and models that are stale as soon as the ink dries. Now our models can be our code. We can all be artists and communicate our genius to the world through pictures that concisely reflect our mental machinations.

Related Resources

SEP Field Wikipedia
Getting Started with Microsoft Windows Workflow Foundation: A Developer Walkthrough Dino Esposito
WindowsWorkflow.NET Microsoft
WinWF Web Casts Microsoft
WinWF on MSDN Microsoft
DSL (Tools) - Microsoft

 


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