January 2008 - Posts

Tracking and Persistence On Remote Servers

Here is a post within the WF Forum, that helped me the other day. I was so used to running tracking and persistence on the same local server that when I tried to set it up remote I ran into some trouble. In a nutshell, because I use config files to setup my runtime and services, I was able to add an additional service, "SharedConnectionWorkflowCommitWorkBatchService" which got me headed back in the right direction. Jason Foster has an example of the the config here.

JaxDug's VS2008 InstallFest

Last Wednesday, the motto was, "Have laptop, get VS2008"! I attended JaxDug's VS2008 Installfest, where about 50 and some attendees who RSVP'd were able to bring their laptop to D&B's to get a 30 day, register and get a full license of VS2008 Pro. There was plenty of good fun and fellowship among geeks, with Microsoft guys, Joe Healy, Jeff Barnes and Jim Blizzard walking around helping with the install process...Well maybe just Jim;)

Many deserved Kudos to Jonathan Bates for organizing and taking care of the event!

FaultHandler's Fault Property Issue

I was trying to bubble up an error that my service passes my workflow by using a FaultHandler Activity, when I noticed that the Fault property was acting quirky. At first I could not set the fault because it was grayed out, however I noticed that the "Promote Bindable Properties" was enabled. After clicking it, a dependency property was created however I was still getting errors.

While trying to research this issue I noticed the following MS Feedback that someone posted just four days ago. Hopefully MS will respond with a workaround here soon! I'll keep ya posted.

StateMachineWorkflowInstance.StateHistory Throws "ArgumentNullException"

You have to love the StateMachineWorkflowInstance object when working with state machine workflows. MS has done a pretty good job by making sure basic information is in there. For instance, need to know what states can be transitioned to from your current state? Need to know the current state's name? Or better yet, what is the state history of the workflow instance? You used to have to write a couple of lines of code to get it, however now it is right at your fingertips. It's the "StateHistory" property, but there are a couple of rules at this time to make sure it works for you!

First thing is to realize that when using a config file to wire up services to the runtime that the connectstring, within the section, that connects the persistence service will not work the same with this property. Why? I am not sure, however it will probably be fixed later. What needs to be done here is to make sure the tracking server designates it's own connectionstr ing. Moustafa gives an example here. Once that is done, it will work!

Jax Architects SIG Meets January 24, 2008

I am real excited about what 2008 has in store for our SIG, "Jax Architects". Last year we started back up during the middle of the year and I feel that because of some of the product releases with VS2008, this year is going to be even better!

This month's meeting will be held January 24, 2008, where I will be kicking off the year with a presentation titled "Applying Patterns and Practices To Custom Frameworks". First we will talk a little bit about why "Patterns and Practices" are so important for a development team to follow and then how they can be applied by walking through a custom framework.

If you are in the Jacksonville, Florida area January 24th please check us out!

To register for this event click here.

VSLive 2008 In Orlando, Fl. Date Change

I just received an email that VSLive 2008 in Orlando, Florida has been moved up a week this coming May. The new dates are May 12-16 instead of May 19-23.

I'm Speaking At VSLive In Orlando, Florida 2008

VSLive in Orlando, Florida was one of the first conferences I ever attended and this year I get to speak at it. My session will explain how to expose workflows as services using WCF. First, I will demonstrate how this can be done currently in .Net 3.0 and then how it is done using .Net 3.5 and VS2008. These types of services become very powerful when you start adding WF Runtime services like persistence and tracking.

I Made Microsoft MVP

There was no better way to start the New Year, than to receive an email from Microsoft, congratulating me on getting MVP for Connected System Developer! I was told that I had been nominated but I was trying not to count on it, since I had heard that being nominated did not guarantee actually getting the reward. So while I was on Christmas vacation (pretty much the whole month of December), I checked my email every morning, before setting out to the woods to go hunting. Imagine my surprise when I received the email today!

I am looking forward to 2008 and all the new tools that Microsoft has in store for us geeks. Most of all I am happy to be starting this month's blogging with this reward!