For the past several years I’ve given a pre-conference workshop on Windows Workflow at DevConnections. It’s been challenging to cover the gestalt, and the grimy quirks and details in a single day. It’s the stupid quirks that cost so much time in a WF project, and that stuff is hard in a workshop.
I have good news and bad news: the good news is that the next workshop I give will be entirely revamped against a product that I can get you started on in one day. Assuming Windows Workflow 4.0 is solid and reflects what’s in the CTP, we have an amazing new product that will avoid the majority of the quirks in WF 3.5. It may be an order or magnitude easier to use. I’m especially excited about the workshops because we switch from “here’s all the weird stuff you need to know to get started with Workflow” to “let’s build out a couple of scenarios you can relate to.” Yippeee!!!!
That’s the good news
The bad news is that there will be no Windows Workflow workshop at the March DevConnections. For almost everyone, the best advice I can give you for WF 3.5 is don’t touch it. Microsoft isn’t going to tell you that, but I will. Unless you must deploy soon, and you can stomach an eventual full rewrite of your WF projects, skip .NET 3.5 and wait for 4.0. Microsoft is planning some interop strategies but my take is that this is not the time to make investments in .NET 3.5 if you can avoid them. It does not take me 6 hours to explain that and further exploration of 3.5 is a waste of time except for that very small segment that has to deploy soon. It doesn’t justify a workshop, and honestly I feel like I’m mucking horse stalls when working with WF 3.5 compared to the projection for WF 4.0.
We briefly considered a workshop on WF 4.0 using the CTP, and I will give a 75 minute session on WF 4.0. But if you’re going to invest your time and money in a workshop, it should be on a feature complete product that isn’t going to change before you have a chance to use it. That left us with the only option of skipping the workshop for the March DevConnections.
Unfortunately there was a clerical error and the workshop is advertised in the DevConnections brochure. I’m sorry for that.
I anticipate a Windows Workflow pre-conference in Las Vegas in the fall. My input will be to do the workshop there, even if we are on a beta if we believe we know what feature complete will look like. Assuming WF 4.0 is stable, it’s a very important product and you definitely want to learn about it as soon as possible. If you can make it to Orlando, don’t miss my 75 minute session on what’s coming in WF 4.0!