Understanding Workflow in Windows SharePoint Services and the 2007 Microsoft Office System
Saturday, September 02, 2006
Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) is destined to be part of many Windows applications. Arguably the first really important example of using WF in software from Microsoft is the workflow support in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0. Focused on human workflow, the goal is to provide a platform for both application developers and less technical people to create workflow-based applications that run on SharePoint.
To add to this, the 2007 Microsoft Office System includes Office SharePoint Server 2007. Building on the workflow support in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, this server adds things such as pre-defined workflows for common scenarios (e.g., approving a document) and the ability to interact with workflows using Office 2007 clients.
All of this has plenty of moving parts: WF, Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, Office SharePoint Server 2007, Visual Studio, the WF Workflow Designer, a new tool called Office SharePoint Designer, and more. I've written a Microsoft-sponsored white paper, available here
, that gives a big-picture view of this new set of technology. If you're interested in Microsoft's approach to human workflow, you might find this paper interesting.