"Publication - is the Auction Of the Mind of Man" Emily Dickinson
Friday, 28 March 2008
Quick answer: When I don't know about it? When two experienced co-workers do not know also?

I was working on a workflow code sample for an upcoming talk, when I started getting ridculous compilation errors.

The compiler could not find the rules definition file when it was clearly available. The workflow designer could find it because I could associate it with a policy activity. The compiler falsely complained about an incorrect type association in a data bind, but it was clearly correct. Once again the designer had no problem doing the data bind.

I tried to find an answer on Google with little success. After two hours of experimenting, I tried a different Google query and came up with the following link: https://forums.microsoft.com/MSDN/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=612335&SiteID=1.

The essence of the solution is the following:

"this is a well-known problem with code files that have desigable classes in them - the class that is to be designed has to be the first class in the file.  If you do the same thing in windows forms you get the following error: the class Form1 can be designed, but is not the first class in the file. Visual Studio requires that designers use the first class in the file. Move the class code so that it is the first class in the file and try loading the designer again."

It turns out I had changed a struct that was defined first in my file to a class. I moved that class to the end of the file and "mirabile dictu" everything worked.

So if this is a well known problem, why can't we get an error message just like in the Windows Forms case?

While it was clearly my mistake, Microsoft has a share of the blame here. Clearly this requirement makes it easier to build the workflow designer. It would have been just as easy to check if this class was not defined first, and issue an error message.

Friday, 28 March 2008 13:03:06 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) | Comments [0] | All | Microsoft .NET | Software Development | Workflow#
Thursday, 06 March 2008
I did a short podcast for Consortio Services about Software as a Service as part of their weekly techcast.

I very briefly cover what SaaS is about and some of the critical issues facing organizations looking at delivering services using the SaaS model.

Thursday, 06 March 2008 00:42:48 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) | Comments [0] | All | SOA | Software Development#
Tuesday, 04 March 2008
I am going to be giving two talks and a workshop at VS Live! in San Francisco.

The first talk is an "Introduction to Windows Workflow Foundation" where I explain both the business reasons why Microsoft developed Workflow Foundation as well as the technical fundamentals. This talk will help you understand not only how to build workflows, but when it makes sense to do so and when to use some other technology.

The second is "Workflow Services Using WCF and WWF". WCF allows you to encapsulate business functionality into a service. Windows Workflow Foundation allows you to integrate these services into long running business processes. The latest version of the .NET Framework (3.5) makes it much easier to use these technologies together to build some very powerful business applications.

On Thursday I will give a whole day tutorial on Workflow Foundation where will dive into the details of how to use this technology to build business applications.

Other speakers will talk about VSTS, ALM, Silverlight, AJAX, .NET Framework 3.0 and 3.5, Sharepoint 2007, Windows WF, Visual Studio 2008, SQL Server 2008, and much more.

If you have not already registered for VSLive San Francisco, you can receive a $695 discount on the Gold Passport if you register using priority code SPSTI. More at www.vslive.com/sf


Tuesday, 04 March 2008 12:24:29 (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00) | Comments [0] | All | Microsoft .NET | SOA | Software Development | Workflow#
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