Hands On Lab: Introduction to Windows Workflow Foundation (WF4)


Learn how to create your first Windows Workflow Foundation in .NET 4 program with this hands on lab.

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Visual Studio
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by W Sniffen | July 19 2013

Great job! Thanks

by D Harlin | May 28 2013

Very good intro into this subject.


by Howell Nursery Alumni | May 13 2013

+: Splendid tutorial format, especially for broaching novel content like that in WF4.

-: I could not intall tutorials through VSIX Installer -- apparently the patch for VS2010 did not carry through to VS2012. The 260 character file name limitation might still be at issue.

by Joe_om | March 11 2013

This is a good basic overview. Note, if you get errors related to InitializeComponent, make sure the project's target framework setting is set to .NET 4.0.

by BFaurot | February 12 2013

I great introduction that is impossible to get lost on. I hope there is a follow up with more indepth labs at some point.

by BHijazi | December 27 2012

by John Sudds [Microsoft] | September 12 2012

Ate it up. What's for dessert? I would love to see a lab for WF/WCF.

by RGJain | June 14 2012

Best form for learning and getting hands on new technology...
Love all your videos..
Thanks for all your effort

by MSLW-Microsoft | March 24 2012

The step-by-step instructions could have been provided separately to follow alongside the videos, for those not prepared to install the VS extension.

by Andy Blowers | November 03 2011

Good introduction, very easy to follow along. More please!

by Steef-Jan Wiggers | November 03 2011

Great introduction in WF4.

by NehaJaggi | September 27 2011

A very nice intro.... thanks

by coderguy123 | September 13 2011

Thanks for the nice intro, another one on WCF+WF would be awesome!

by Hubert-Associates | September 09 2011

by Esref Durna | July 21 2011


by Tr1stan | May 16 2011

A nice introduction. Looking forward to the more complex labs, WCF+WF for example.

by Yoshi Watanabe | April 22 2011

Very good. Short, but to the points.

by amantur | April 19 2011

Wonderfull job Ron. I am waiting for a session on StateMachine Workflow. Also please show integration of workflow into other project.

by ChuckC | April 14 2011

Excellent introduction. Please add more advanced tutorials - how to persist workflows, how to host workflows in a service, etc.

by JohanKlijn | March 06 2011

Nice way to make some Hands On Lab!!

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  • Discontinued?
    1 Posts | Last post June 25, 2014
    • So I take it that this hands-on lab has been "discontinued"?  I get the following message when clicking on the "Get now" link:
      >> The Archive Gallery has been retired. <<
  • TestContext.WriteLine throws exception
    6 Posts | Last post June 25, 2014
    • Thanks for the great tutorial!  Unfortunately I've run into an issue and I can't move past it with the existing code sample as it's written...
      In Exercise 6, Task 1 you introduce the use of TextContext in the ShouldRunActivityOnBackgroundThread method.  When I put that code into my test class, Visual Studio underlines WriteLine in red and the error is "Cannot access non-static method "WriteLine" in static context."  If I try to build I get this exception for each of the two lines it's on:
      An object reference is required for the non-static field, method, or property 'Microsoft.VisualStudio.TestTools.UnitTesting.TestContext.WriteLine(string, params object[])'	C:\Projects\HelloWorkflow1\HelloWorkflow.Tests\SayHelloTest.cs	64	13	HelloWorkflow.Tests
      I've tried Googling the proper way of calling this, but every example I find gives me the same syntax.  Not sure what I'm missing here, but the only way I can move past it is to change it to Console.WriteLine.  Any idea how I can fix this?
    • I had the same issue initially - you need to flesh out your own TestContext for that unit test. The easiest way to do that may be to just selected the test project in the solution, go to the "Test" menu at the top, select "New Test", and finally choose the "Unit Test" template. It will create the outline code for your TestContext in the new test file, which you can then paste in to your existing unit test file.
    • I have the same problem. The fix you suggested did not change anything.
    • adding this to class seems to work, or at least it lets the solution compile.  Now, to find what this writes to.
      private TestContext _testContext;
              public TestContext TestContext
                  get { return _testContext; }
                  set { _testContext = value; }
       got this from:
    • This bit of code (above) is missing from the included code/guidance. If you watch the video very closely for Exercise 6 about 3m30s in you will see it flash by.
    • So I take it that this hands-on lab has been "discontinued"?  I get the following message when clicking on the "Get now" link:
      >> The Archive Gallery has been retired. <<
  • Error at Exercise 6/Task 6.1
    2 Posts | Last post April 13, 2012
    • I am getting build errors 1 & 2 both are same subsequent code in SayHelloTest.cs/ShouldRunActivityOnBackgroundThread.  I copied the code, so dont know what could have gone wrong...
                  TestContext.WriteLine("Test thread is {0}", Thread.CurrentThread.ManagedThreadId);
                  TestContext.WriteLine("Activity thread is {0}", activityThread);
      Error	1	An object reference is required for the non-static field, method, or property 'Microsoft.VisualStudio.TestTools.UnitTesting.TestContext.WriteLine(string, params object[])'	C:\myData\SandBox\HelloWorkflow1\HelloWorkflow.Tests\SayHelloTest.cs	37	13	HelloWorkflow.Tests
      Anyone know whats wrong?
    • solution below by Christopher Hines fixed it for me.  I guess should have looked at the threads...
  • Error Downloading VSIX file
    2 Posts | Last post April 13, 2012
    • I get the following error, any ideas on how to resolve it?
      ICAP Error (icap_error) 
      An error occurred while performing an ICAP operation: Internal error: 79 An unexpected error occurred.  
      There could be a network problem, the ICAP service may be misconfigured, or the ICAP server may have reported an error.  
    • Dont know what was different, but i was able to download later and it worked...
  • Installation failure
    4 Posts | Last post January 09, 2012
    • I have tried a couple times to install the labs but I get an error. The log file tells me that the path is too long. This path apparently seems to points to the folder where installer extracts files. I don't know how to change the path or fix the error. Please help.
    • Sorry you are experiencing trouble with this.  I'm not sure how to help except to say that we have similar content in the Visual Studio 2010 training kit (Introduction to Workflow lab).  In that kit the delivery mechanism is different so you won't have this problem.  You can either download the kit or do the online version at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/VS2010TrainingCourse_IntroToWF
    • It appears there is a conflict with the nice descriptive folder names and limitations of the system.IO objects in .Net.  
      Install Error : System.IO.PathTooLongException: C:\Documents and Settings\[myName]\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\VisualStudio\10.0\Extensions\Microsoft\Lab - Intro To WF4\1.0\Templates\Projects\Workflow\Hands On Lab\Exercises\LabComplete.zip: HelloWorkflow.Tests/HelloWorkflow.Tests.vstemplate
      I also have the ZIP file version, but it is not clear where the files should be extracted to.
    • The installation fails with a path too long error on Windows XP.  Works fine on Windows 7.
  • Not a valid VSIX package
    2 Posts | Last post November 01, 2011
    • When I follow myour steps the file is downloaded but all i get is the error message "The file is not a valid VSIX package". Any suggestions?
    • I'm having the same problem, and the reason being the download stops at 10.3mb. While the total size is 10.8mb.
  • How do you build this format?
    1 Posts | Last post July 30, 2010
    • see