NuGet and projects under source control

NuGet is one of those awesome additions to Visual Studio that I wonder how I could have gone for that long without it. And as I am not the only one who likes it we had a bit of a discussion on Twitter last week about how to go about using NuGet with projects under source control that are shared by multiple users. The problem is nothing new and has been around forever. Basically the problem consists of you installing some assembly, adding a reference to that assembly in your project and using the types in there. So far so … Continue reading NuGet and projects under source control

WF4 State Machine in the Multi-Targeting Pack for Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Platform Update 1

Lots of people like to use the state machine model workflow as this is a very flexible way of working that often fits in with how real work processes work. With WF3 we had a state machine workflow but with WF4 this was not ready in time and as a result we didn’t get to use this model. There where a few whitepapers on how to do a state machine using a flowchart and for simple cases those worked quite well. Microsoft also released an implementation of the state machine for WF4 on CodePlex and while that worked quite well … Continue reading WF4 State Machine in the Multi-Targeting Pack for Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Platform Update 1

Scheduling child activities with input parameters

A question on StackOverflow about scheduling child activities with some additional input parameters made me remember that this is kind on not obvious to figure out and even though I new the answer I had to think hard before I could code up a demo. So I figured I might as well post it on my blog for future reference.   The problem is that activities are normally just scheduled and their inputs and outputs are configured using Visual Basic expressions. Most of the time that is just fine and does exactly what you need. However in some cases, as … Continue reading Scheduling child activities with input parameters

Workflow Services and Windows Phone 7

Today I did a fun presentation at the Engineering World Conference in the Netherlands on using the Windows Phone 7 with a Workflow Service hosted on Windows Azure. The sample application, that is complete with all source on CodePlex over here, consists of an expense app on the phone and an ASP.NET MVC site hosting the workflow service. The PowerPoint presentation can be found here. It was a fun session on a fun event   [f1] [f2]

The SqlWorkflowInstanceStore and Windows Azure

As shown previously it isn’t hard to run Workflow Services on Windows Azure. In fact all we need to do is add a bit of extra configuration and we can work as normal. However normally when I am hosting long running workflows in IIS I always add a SqlWorkflowInstanceStore  to store the workflow state when it is not running so we can survive the inevitable IIS AppDomain restarts. Unfortunately this isn’t quite as straightforward as I had hoped.   SQL Azure != SQL Server The important thing to remember is that SQL Azure might be similar to SQL Server but … Continue reading The SqlWorkflowInstanceStore and Windows Azure

Running Workflow Services on Windows Azure

Windows Azure might not support the WCF and WF4 hosting parts of Windows AppFabric bit that doesn’t mean you can’t run workflow services on Windows Azure. After all a workflow is just a .NET 4 type and Windows Azure runs the .NET framework. As a result running a workflow service is quite easy once you know how to configure it.   The web.config file The first problem is that the machine web.config of an Azure virtual machine is different than that on a regular machine. As a result, by default, IIS doesn’t know what to do with a WorkflowService type, … Continue reading Running Workflow Services on Windows Azure

Doing synchronous workflow execution using the WorkflowApplication

The WorkflowApplication is a great way to execute your workflows in process. Usually the fact that the WorkflowApplication is asynchronous is a great thing but there are cases when a little more synchronous execution is nice. For example executing a workflow and updating the state of the user interface is much simpler when the WorkflowApplication.Run() doesn’t finish until all work is done. The key to creating a synchronous WorkflowApplication is using its SynchronizationContext. Normally you set this to SynchronizationContext.Current so everything executes on the current UI thread. However this is still an asynchronous call and the Run doesn’t block. Take … Continue reading Doing synchronous workflow execution using the WorkflowApplication

Automatically sending tweets using TweetSharp

One of the sites I run for the Dutch .NET community is .NET Events in the Netherlands which lists all sorts of community events for, as the name suggests, Dutch .NET developers. The site has been around for a while but always forced people to either go to the site or use in iCalendar feed so see what is happening. Some time ago I decided that these should also be tweeted so people using Twitter would be notified of upcoming events. There are several ways to automatically send tweets to Twitter and I choose to use TweetSharp as that seemed … Continue reading Automatically sending tweets using TweetSharp