Collaboration Data Objects for Exchange Workflow (CDOWF) evaluation criteria

Exchange

Published: July 16, 2012

Find evaluation criteria information for Collaboration Data Objects for Workflow (CDOWF).

Applies to:  Exchange Server 2003 

In this article
Functional criteria for CDOWF
Development criteria for CDOWF
Security criteria for CDOWF
Deployment criteria for CDOWF
Additional resources

Collaboration Data Objects for Workflow (CDOWF) is included in Exchange Server 2003. You can use CDOWF, which is based on the Exchange store event architecture, to design workflow applications without writing code that accesses, modifies, and controls data. CDOWF includes a workflow engine, modeling tools, and an event sink.

Important note Important

CDOWF does not ship in and is not supported for versions of Exchange starting with Exchange Server 2007.

The following table lists and describes the functional criteria for CDOWF. For descriptions of the functional criteria, see Functional criteria in the Exchange development technology evaluation criteria descriptions article.

Table 1:  CDOWF functional criteria

Criterion

Description

Application function

CDOWF is used within workflow processing systems to enable them to define and control workflow processes, and to respond to workflow events that are part of those processes.

Availability

CDOWF is part of Exchange Server 2003. CDOWF does not ship with and is not supported for versions of Exchange starting with Exchange Server 2007.

Application architectures

CDOWF is typically used for applications that implement messaging-related business processes.

Remote usage

CDOWF can only be run on Exchange 2003 and therefore does not support remote usage.

Major objects

CDOWF provides COM/Automation-compatible objects that support workflow processes. These include ProcessDefinition, ProcessInstance, and WorkflowSession objects. Exchange store event interfaces are used to implement custom events used in workflow processes.

Data access model

Collections of some object types can be accessed as ADO rowsets by using the DataSource object. Other CDOWF items are presented as hierarchical objects.

Threading models

Applications that use CDOWF do not have any specific threading restrictions. However, applications that use free-threading should not share CDOWF object instances among asynchronously operating threads. You should not use multithreading within workflow events.

Transactions

You can implement transactions as part of the overall workflow process, but CDOWF does not natively support transactions.

Management capabilities

CDOWF does not generate standard Windows Event Log entries. CDOWF does enable you to log workflow process events in special audit logs that are maintained by the process instances of the CDOWF system.

The following table lists and describes the development criteria for CDOWF. For descriptions of the development criteria, see Development criteria in the Exchange development technology evaluation criteria descriptions article.

Table 2:  CDOWF development criteria

Criterion

Description

Languages and tools

CDOWF can be used with any COM/Automation-compatible language, as well as with non-COM languages such as C/C++.

Managed implementation

CDOWF is an unmanaged component. Use of CDOWF is not supported under the COM Interoperability layer of Visual Studio .NET.

Scriptable

CDOWF is scriptable by means of ASP and Windows Scripting Host (WSH). However, this scenario is rather unusual, because applications that define workflow processes are usually larger and more complex than is appropriate for a script-based application.

Test/debug Tools

You do not need any special debugging tools to debug applications that use CDOWF. Custom applications might be created to analyze the process audit logs created during process execution.

Expert availability

Developers who are familiar with programming CDOWF are not common.

Available information

Some Microsoft and third-party books describe CDOWF. In addition, CDOWF is documented in the Exchange Server 2003 SDK.

Developer/deployment licensing

Refer to your Exchange and MSDN subscription licensing agreements to determine whether additional licenses are required for the computers that your CDOWF applications are developed and deployed on.

The following table lists and describes the security criteria for CDOWF. For descriptions of the security criteria, see Security criteria in the Exchange development technology evaluation criteria descriptions article.

Table 3:  CDOWF security criteria

Criterion

Description

Design-time permissions

You must have permissions to access the mailboxes and folders used by the workflow process to build applications that use CDOWF.

Setup permissions

Applications that use CDOWF are stored on the Exchange server. Direct access to that server, however, is not required. You can use the Workflow Designer to deploy workflow applications remotely on an Exchange server; however, the user must have sufficient permissions to access the mailboxes that the application is to be installed on.

Run-time permissions

Workflow processes created by applications that use CDOWF are run under the Workflow System Account. That account needs access to the folders and other resources for use by the workflow processing and code.

Built-in security features

Workflow processes always run as the Workflow System Account.

Security monitoring features

Workflow events can log entries in the workflow audit log.

The following table lists and describes the deployment criteria for CDOWF. For descriptions of the deployment criteria, see Deployment criteria in the Exchange development technology evaluation criteria descriptions article.

Table 4:  CDOWF deployment criteria

Criterion

Description

Server platform requirements

CDOWF can only be run on a computer that is running Exchange 2003. CDOWF is not supported in versions of Exchange starting with Exchange Server 2007.

Client platform requirements

Workflows can be designed on any computer on which the Workflow Designer for Exchange is installed. The Workflow Designer is no longer available for download. Application clients that directly access CDOWF must be installed and must run on an Exchange 2003 server.

Deployment methods

If the client or application that is being installed needs direct access to CDOWF, the installer should verify that the computer is an Exchange 2003 server and that CDOWF is installed on the computer.

Deployment notes

None.

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