Windows Workflow Foundation Ahead of Schedule

The newest Windows "pillar" was not expected to debut until Longhorn Server. But now it seems WWF is on track to ship with Windows Vista and to be back-ported to older Windows variants.

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LOS ANGELES—Stop the presses. Windows Workflow Foundation, the newest of the next-generation Windows infrastructure pillars, is running early.

WWF, Microsofts combined human- and machine-level workflow subsystem, was expected to debut as part of Longhorn Server in 2007, at the earliest, Microsoft officials said this past spring.

But at the Professional Developers Conference here this week, Microsoft released to attendees the Beta 1 bits of WWF and announced that the technology is on track to be incorporated into Windows Vista, the version of the Windows client due in 2006.

/zimages/3/28571.gifMicrosoft says that for the first time it is including open-source technology in a shipping product. Click here to read more.

In April, Microsoft Windows Group Vice President Jim Allchin said that the workflow subsystem—which has gone by a number of different code names, including WinOE and Windows Workflow Services—would not make it into Longhorn/Vista. But the WWF team pushed to achieve the required quality levels and qualified for inclusion in the Windows Vista Community Technology Preview (CTP) 1 release, which Microsoft distributed this week to show attendees, said Scott Woodgate, group product manager with Microsofts Connected Systems Division.

Microsoft officials also revealed at this weeks show that they are planning to back-port WWF to Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Windows Server 2003, just as they are doing with the other key Windows foundational technologies, including Windows Communications Foundation (code-named Indigo), Windows Presentation Foundation (code-named Avalon) and, most likely, WinFS.

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