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Workflow Development in Visual Studio 2005

Windows SharePoint Services 3

This content is outdated and is no longer being maintained. It is provided as a courtesy for individuals who are still using these technologies. This page may contain URLs that were valid when originally published, but now link to sites or pages that no longer exist.

Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) provides the Visual Studio 2005 Designer for Windows Workflow Foundation that enables developers to create their own custom workflows and workflow activities.

You can use the Visual Studio 2005 Designer for Windows Workflow Foundation to create workflow templates and custom workflow activities. You can include custom code in your workflow, as well as design forms, such as ASP.NET forms, to be used by the workflow to communicate with the workflow users during association and run time. You can even create custom activities to be used in other workflows.

For information on creating workflow forms using technologies such as ASP.NET, see Workflow Forms Overview.

For information on creating custom workflow activities, visit the Windows Workflow Foundation Developer Center.

After you have completed your solution, you can package the solution files into a workflow template by using the Feature Packaging functionality. Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 feature packs provide a mechanism by which developers can package the files needed for a solution—such as workflows, Web Parts, lists, and site definitions—for ease of distribution and deployment.

For more information on feature packaging, see Working with Features.

In general, when you develop workflows for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 using the Visual Studio 2005 Designer for Windows Workflow Foundation, you follow these basic steps:

  • Author your workflow, including the code-beside file if needed, in the Visual Studio 2005 Designer for Windows Workflow Foundation.

    For more information, see Visual Studio 2005 Designer for Windows Workflow Foundation Overview.

  • Design and publish any forms you want to use with your workflow.

    For information on creating workflow forms using technologies such as ASP.NET, see Workflow Forms Overview.

  • Author the feature definition and workflow template definition file, which contains information about the workflow assembly, and binds the forms to the workflow assembly.

    For more information, see Workflow Definition Schema.

  • Compile the workflow files into a .NET assembly.

  • Package the workflow assembly and workflow definition together and deploy them using the features functionality in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0.

    For more information, see Workflow Deployment Using Features.

  • Debug the live workflow assembly using the Visual Studio 2005 Designer for Windows Workflow Foundation.

    For more information, see How to: Debug Your Windows SharePoint Services Workflow.

  • Recompile and deploy the workflow assembly as necessary to fix any bugs found.

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