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Modify a Workflow Outside of the Visual Studio Designer Environment

This content is no longer actively maintained. It is provided as is, for anyone who may still be using these technologies, with no warranties or claims of accuracy with regard to the most recent product version or service release.

Use the WorkflowDesigner sample application to modify a workflow without installing the Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 development system. This approach may be desirable because it avoids the cost and overhead of using Visual Studio, or because the re-hosting API used in the sample allows the workflow designer to be embedded in other applications.

Modifying a workflow outside of Visual Studio is complicated and requires caution to avoid breaking a workflow. Consider the following issues.

  • Changing an activity name in the designer may break code that relies on that activity elsewhere in the application.

  • Appropriate use of some workflow activities requires a development background. For example, consider activities like IfElse and GoTo which require understanding of program flow control.

  • Use of communications workflow activities relies on familiarity with the relationships between components in the application, and knowledge of component communication technologies. Individuals with development background will more likely avoid mistakes in these areas, and when problems occur these individuals are more likely to have access to the knowledge and tools to fix the problems.

  • Debugging tools are not available outside of Visual Studio 2008.

  • Saving a workflow after editing it in a designer will not report a wide range of possible errors caused by structural errors or invalid code. These same errors are detected by the compiler in Visual Studio 2008.

NoteNote

Some Microsoft Unified Communications Managed API applications contain properties that cannot be set from the Properties window.

For more information about the sample application and the re-hosting API, see Windows Workflow Foundation: Everything About Re-Hosting the Workflow Designer.

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