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Workflow Authoring Modes

Windows Workflow Foundation separates workflow definition from business logic by default. In a typical workflow authoring scenario, a workflow author uses a designer to specify the workflow definition and then uses C# or Visual Basic code to represent business logic. This authoring mode is called code-separation.

Windows Workflow Foundation supports the following authoring modes for workflow implementation:

  • Code-only. This is the default authoring mode for Windows Workflow Foundation. It enables you to use C# or Visual Basic code to specify a workflow using the Windows Workflow Foundation API set. In the code-only workflow, the workflow definition uses C# or Visual Basic code to declare the workflow structure. A code-only workflow must be compiled.

  • Code-separation. This mode enables you to define workflows by using workflow markup and combining it with C# or Visual Basic code-behind implementations—similar to the ASP.NET model. Unlike the no-code authoring mode, code-separated workflows must be compiled and do not have the option of being loaded directly into the workflow runtime engine.

  • No-code. This mode enables you to author a workflow by using workflow markup. You can then compile the workflow with the Windows Workflow Foundation command-line workflow compiler, or you can load the workflow markup file into the workflow runtime engine through a host application. For more information about workflow markup, see Using Workflow Markup.

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