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The blogged wandering of Robert W. Anderson

No contract-first in Workflow Services

I’ve been looking a bit at .NET 4 Workflow Services as a part of AppFabric.  I’m surprised to find no way to build these services from existing message contracts.  I can understand imposing limitations on doing so – even that there might be no reasonable tool support – but this is a real stumbling block.

Certainly contract-first is not the only way to build services, but it is if you are implementing a published standard.  Maybe there is some way to tinker around with the output of the tools sets to make a Workflow Service compatible with some existing WSDL, but would it be worth it?

One answer might be to put a pure WCF facade over the Workflow Services.  Kind of a headache, but maybe workable.

This makes me think that .NET 4 Workflow Services are really targeted to be internal to the enterprise or at least where contract definition is flexible and controlled by one entity.

This follows a standard Microsoft pattern: help the enterprise dev in V1 and then expand from there.  This strategy makes sense, I just want it all in VS 2010, not in V.next.

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