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Printer UPC A in Visual C#.NET Declarative Workflows

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Declarative Workflows
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within the XML file that uses the namespace. That is, they must match and not already identify an existing namespace in use in the XML file. We ll gain more experience with this in the following sections. Note If you are new to XML namespaces, the following may be helpful: http://msdn. microsoft.com/XML/Understanding/Fundamentals/default.aspx pull=/library/en-us/dnxml/html/ xml_namespaces.asp.
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Creating and Executing XAML-Based Workflows
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Workflow definitions defined in an XML file can be executed in one of two ways: through direct execution by the workflow runtime or as compiled assemblies in their own right. To execute a workflow contained in an XML file directly, simply call the workflow runtime s CreateWorkflow method using an XmlTextReader as a parameter, after first loading the XML into the XmlTextReader. Compiling XML files involves the use of the workflow compiler, wfc.exe. Let s look at both cases using the simple workflow you see in Figure 16-2.
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Figure 16-2 A simple workflow for XAML-based workflow definition experimentation
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Creating a new workflow application with direct XML execution 1. I ve provided two versions of the sample application: a completed version and an incomplete version, both found in \Workflow\16\. The DirectXmlWorkflow application is incomplete, but it requires only the workflow definition. The DirectXmlWorkflow Completed version is ready to run. If you d like to follow the steps I ve outlined here, open the incomplete version. If you d rather follow along but not type in code or drag activities, then open the completed version. To open either version, drag the .sln file onto Visual Studio and it will open it for you. 2. Before we modify the Program.cs file to execute our workflow, let s create the workflow itself. Right-click the DirectXmlWorkflow project name in Visual Studio s Solution Explorer, select Add, and then select New Item. When the Add New Item dialog box appears, select XML File from the list and name it Workflow1.xml. Click Add.
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Part III
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Visual Studio will create the file using the .xml file extension. Do not change that to .xoml just yet. Doing so will cause the XML file to be edited in the visual workflow designer, whereas you ll type the XML in directly for this sample. The .xoml file extension is a convention and not a requirement for WF runtime execution, so we re really just using Visual Studio as a convenient XML editor. (Any XML editor will do.) Just make sure the XML file is copied to the executable directory when the application runs so that the code will find the file.
3. Select the Workflow1.xml file in Solution Explorer to activate its file properties in the Properties pane. 4. Change the Workflow1.xml file s Copy To Output Directory option from Do Not Copy to Copy If Newer.
5. When Visual Studio created Workflow1.xml, it should have opened the XML file for editing. Add the following XML to the file and then save it:
<SequentialWorkflowActivity x:Name="Workflow1" xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml" xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/workflow"> <SequenceActivity x:Name="sequenceActivity1"> <DelayActivity TimeoutDuration="00:00:05" x:Name="delayActivity1" /> </SequenceActivity> </SequentialWorkflowActivity>
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Declarative Workflows
6. Open the Program.cs file for editing. Add the following using statement to the end of the list of existing using statements:
using System.Xml;
7. Scan through the code and find this line of code:
Console.WriteLine("Waiting for workflow completion.");
8. So that you actually invoke the XAML-based workflow you just created, add the following lines of code after the line you found in the preceding step:
// Load the XAML-based workflow XmlTextReader rdr = new XmlTextReader("Workflow1.xml");
9. To create a workflow instance, add this code following the line of code you just inserted:
// Create the workflow instance. WorkflowInstance instance = workflowRuntime.CreateWorkflow(rdr); // Start the workflow instance. instance.Start();
10. Compile the solution by pressing F6, correcting any compilation errors. 11. Execute the application by pressing Ctrl+F5, or F5 if debugging is desired. If you don t run the application from within an open command window, you might have to set a breakpoint in Main to see the output.
You can create some rather complex workflows in this manner. However, it is limited in the following ways. First, although there is a mechanism for executing C# code from within the workflow when invoked in this way, it s far preferable to create custom assemblies that, if nothing else, house the code you want to execute. And second, you can t pass parameters into the workflow without first creating a custom root activity to accept them. At some point in the future that might change, but for now this is how WF operates. We ll create a custom assembly for this purpose later in the chapter. However, an intermediate step is to compile your XAML-based workflow into an assembly you can reference for execution. To compile the XAML-based XML, we ll use the workflow compiler, wfc.exe.
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