Microsoft To Take Wraps Off Windows Workflow Foundation

At the company's Professional Developer Conference later this week, Microsoft will detail the workflow subsystem planned for the long awaited Windows server due to ship in 2007, said Gianpaolo Carraro, a software architect in the Windows Server division.

The workflow capabilities, developed under the code-name WinOE, and then called Windows Workflow services, and now known as Windows Workflow Foundation, will facilitate business process engineering and integration, other sources said. Microsoft will detail the new Windows Workflow Foundation at PDC on Wednesday, sources added

The Windows server architect listed five pillars for the next-generation Windows server, which will facilitate improved interaction, messaging and services, workflow, identity and access and data support.

During his one-hour session, Carraro said the integration of IIS 7.0 and WinFX support in Longhorn Server will better enable developers to serve up and consume web applications and web services , and will enable developers to easily expose COM+ legacy applications as WS*-complaint services, and then deploy a subset of the web service across a corporate firewall, for instance.

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The planned server upgrade will also offer support for Infocard and new federated identity and access services that will erase the boundaries between different corporations, he said.

The Active Directory Federation Service due in the R2 upgrade of Window Server 2003, due to ship by the end of the year, in contrast, will operate within a web browser only, the software architect explained.

Meanwhile, Longhorn Windows server will also offer a transactional file system will give customer transaction rollback capability and the ability to enact "transactional updates" to databases or file systems, he added.

Microsoft originally planned to offer WinFS in the Longhorn version of Windows but pushed back plans for that next generation file system to the "Blackcomb" release of Windows server.

Additionally, Microsoft will implement new event logging and tracing tools being developed under the code name of "Crimson," integrate new "Monad" scripting tools and Task Scheduler feature to improve manageability of distributed applications on the server, he said.

The "Crimson" and "Monad" technologies will augment relationships among organizations and enable the execution of service level agreements between organizations, he added.

While declining to show a demonstration of the workflow services, the software developer said workflow is a core service of the server due in 2007 that will allow for better collaboration.

Sources said the workflow capabilities, developed under the code-name WinOE, will also facilitate business process engineering and integration. Microsoft will detail the new Windows Workflow Foundation at PDC on Wednesday, sources added.

The first beta of the Longhorn server was released in late July. The first beta of the Windows Vista client formerly code-named Longhorn was also eleased in early July. At PDC on Tuesday, Microsoft handed out another test version of Vista for developers, dubbed a Community Technology Preview (CTP).