Microsoft this week made available an updated beta release of its Windows Workflow Foundation technology. The beta version is built to work with the general release of the Visual Studio 2005 toolset, which was unveiled Monday.
The new beta also will function with a beta release of the Office 12 applications suite, to be released in a few weeks.
Windows Workflow Foundation is for building workflow-enabled applications on Windows. It provides the programming model, engine, and tools to quickly build workflow applications, according to Microsoft.
"It’s a very developer-focused infrastructure for workflow," said Scott Woodgate, group product manager in Microsoft's connected systems division.
To be featured as part of the Vista release of Windows in 2006, Windows Workflow Foundation is intended to provide a unified workflow engine to function across various Windows products. It will provide for both human- and system-based workflows and will be part of the next generation of the .Net Framework application development platform, which is to be called WinFX.
"Historically, every ISV and every Microsoft product team that has wanted to put workflow within their application has had to build their own workflow," Woodgate said.
Windows Workflow Foundation supports scenarios such as line-of-business applications, user interface page flow, document-centric workflow, human workflow, and composite workflow for SOAs, according to Microsoft. It also supports workflows for business rules and systems management.
Microsoft on Monday also formally unveiled the SQL Server 2005 database, which is available now, and the BizTalk Server 2006 business process system, which will be available next year.