Introducing the Windows Server AppFabric


Welcome to the new Windows Server AppFabric Blog for IT Professionals.  All content on this blog is by Microsoft team members building the Windows Server AppFabric.  This is our chance to show you some of the cool things we have been working on.  It is also your opportunity to give feedback straight to the product team members building the Windows Server AppFabric. 


 


Today we are kicking off a series of topics on the AppFabric features related to Service and Wroflow Management.  For IT Professionals, the AppFabric Service and Workflow Management is the way to run and manage .Net 4 Windows Workflow (WF) and Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) services.  If your project uses .NET 4 WF or WCF, the Service and Workflow Management  features of AppFabric will provide significant improvements in the following areas:


·         Health Monitoring and Troubleshooting Services


·         Workflow Instance Management


·         Scaling-Out Distributed Applications


·         Simplified Configuration Tooling


·         Scripting Management Tasks


We do this by extending the reach of the existing IIS Manger tools to cover managing, controlling, monitoring and troubleshooting middle tier services that encapsulate business logic and support the web tier.  If you are not familiar with IIS Manager, you can learn all about it here.


 


Health Monitoring and Troubleshooting Services



  • An intuitive monitoring dashboard quickly shows you the health of all of your services.  If there are problems, the dashboard allows you to drill down into the cause of the issue.  All of the health data for WCF and WF services is generated automatically, without the need for any developer code.    

Workflow Instance Management



  • The monitoring dashboard also gives you control over your long running workflow instances.  You can centrally issue commands against long running workflow instances (suspend, resume, cancel or terminate) running on one or more machines in your environment.

Scaling-Out Distributed Applications



  • AppFabric allows scaling of WF and WCF services across multiple hosts.  Host instances can be dynamically added or removed allowing you to respond to fluctuations in demand for capacity.

Simplified Configuration Tooling



  •  AppFabric provides easy access to common settings for WF and WCF services.  For example, AppFabric allows you to set the throttle settings on a service, change the verbosity of health monitoring data and configure a WF host in a few clicks. 

Scripting Management Tasks



  • We made sure that functionality in the AppFabric is accessible through Powershell script.  This allows you to automate common tasks.  For example, archiving last month’s monitoring data can be accomplished with one Powershell command.  If you are new to Powershell, you can learn more about it here.

This entry was meant to give you a quick view into some of the features that the AppFabric provides for Service and Workflow Management.  Future posts will delve into specific topics to provide you with details on how to manage your WF and WCF services.  Here are some additional places you can get information on the Windows Server AppFabric right away:


 


First off, Beta 1 of the Windows Server AppFabric has just been released – download it and give it a try for yourself.  The final version of the Windows Server AppFabric will be released shortly after Visual Studio 2010 ships. 


 


Second, we started a MSDN developer center for the Windows Server App Fabric here


 


Finally, if you would like more details on how the Windows Server AppFabric can help you implement WF and WCF services, check out our companion blog here 


Remember, this blog is also your opportunity to send feedback straight to the product team.  Go out and try Beta 1 and share your experiences with us.  It would be great to know what works well and what we can improve upon in all areas of the AppFabric product and documentation.  Also, let us know what samples, whitepapers, videos, or other content you’d like us to produce to help you better understand the AppFabric technology.

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