Managing Business Processes
The Traditional Approach
Specialized knowledge and significant resources are required to build even the simplest business process management infrastructure.
Developing a solid solution for business process management is a challenging task and requires extensive expertise in many areas of software design. Leveraging existing frameworks like Microsoft Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) is difficult, because learning it requires a significant investment of time. Beyond time-to-market issues, Microsoft's platform has limitations including the lack of support for auto-persistence of workflow states to non-MS SQL Server databases.
The XAF Advantage
Easy to use solution suitable for both lightweight and complex workflow scenarios.
XAF simplifies the use of the Workflow Foundation platform. A built-in module facilitates creation, execution and deployment of workflows. All you'll need to know are general concepts associated with workflow design. You can create workflow activities at both design and run time using a visual designer. A set of pre-built workflow activities for addressing mundane business tasks are available. Persisting workflow states are supported for more than fourteen popular database engines. A built-in State Machine module can be used for lightweight scenarios, like managing a business entity's status ("in progress", "completed", "paused", etc.). End-users have a rich set of options to create, share and customize state machines.
Managing Business Processes - How it Works
XAF fully supports Windows Workflow Foundation 4.0. WF is a workflow management framework that can be used to create manageable, workflow-enabled applications. XAF's built-in Workflow module simplifies design and workflow execution, requiring that you only know the general concepts associated with workflow design.
State Machine - How it Works
The State Machine module allows you to easily manage a business object's status. A good example of a stateful object is a task - with the following states: not started, in progress, completed, paused, etc. Until a task is started, it cannot be completed. By using the State Machine module, you can define this logic by specifying valid state transitions. You can also specify appearance rules for different states so they will be applied when a state changes. The State Machine module automatically creates status change Actions and puts them into a Detail View.
Additionally, the State Machine module ships with a predefined set of persistent objects to simplify state machine customization - your end-users can customize existing state machines and create new ones.
State machines are supported in both WinForms and ASP.NET XAF Applications.