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Introduction to Programming Windows Workflow Foundation

Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) is a development framework that enables you to embed workflows in .NET Framework applications. Windows Workflow Foundation is not itself an executable application or program; instead it enables you to create your own workflow applications.

Conventional general-purpose programming languages target short-lived applications and lack intrinsic support for program durability and persistence. Workflows can be short-lived, but they can also run for days or weeks and Windows Workflow Foundation provides support so that these long running workflows can persist across system restarts and shutdowns.

Windows Workflow Foundation is flexible and extensible. You can write your workflows directly in code, in markup, or in a combination of both. You can implement your own custom workflow patterns through custom activities that can be reused across workflows.

Windows Workflow Foundation enables model-driven workflow development, which provides natural design visibility and hides system-level concerns such as transactions, state management, and concurrency control.

There are two primary facets of programming workflows. One is designing workflows and their activities and the other is using these workflows in an application. For more information, see Developing Workflows and Developing Workflow-Enabled Applications.

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