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The other day I was given a peek at a company who implemented a full-frame Silverlight application that when I saw it it was one of those “wow” moments.  A lot of the public-facing Silverlight examples are very different from one another and sometimes you see some that are full Silverlight applications that really give you a glimpse of how people are thinking about using the platform and how creative you can get.  Colaab is one such example that I saw at PDC last year (check it out if you haven’t).

Another example is a recent one called SnapFlow.  SnapFlow itself is a tool to really make creating workflows simpler to the end user.  The way they have designed their product makes it easy to understand how to create a decision-driven workflow that can be exposed to your users (customers, employees, etc.).  Essentially they separate the workflow into Stages, Actions and Data – all integrated into a user interface that if you are an Office user, you would have no problem understanding.  The best part is…the entire user interface is Silverlight.  Take a look at the screen below:

All of that design surface is Silverlight with full drag around behavior, connecting stages together in a visual, intuitive manner.  The application is very responsive and incorporates a lot of features.  I highly recommend you view the simple walk through video below for a view into all of the features…everything you see is Silverlight:

What is cool in one of the features is that once you, the creator of the workflow, are complete, you can then deploy that workflow into your web site or other portal (the demonstration shows using Sharepoint for example).  So you could develop a workflow for gathering some data from your web site, and embed the generated Silverlight application on your site with absolutely no coding required on your part.  Your employees will be able to act upon that workflow given the permissions assigned to them which then triggers the next part of the workflow (duh, it’s a workflow!) based on the action chosen.

It’s a convenient use of workflow, both simple and complex.  I am really impressed with the use of Silvelright and how responsive and fluid the user experience is.  I have walked through the application a few times and send my beta feedback on some things that I’ve seen from a general usability standpoint and the company was responsive.

The team at SnapFlow also put up a blog, where one of their first posts is: Why Silverlight?  It is an interesting read from a customer standpoint demonstrating some of the pros/cons in their decision and use.

SnapFlow is in beta right now and you really can’t appreciate it just looking at a screen shot.  Sign up for the beta and try it out yourself to see how they’ve used Silverlight to implement these types of usability features.  It uses a lot: controls, user interaction (drag/drop), popup modals, data input/validation, connecting objects, etc. – it’s a great example.  Sign up for the beta to play around with it.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution By license.


3/3/2009 11:44 AM | # re: Using Silverlight for workflow creation
Very Cool!
3/3/2009 1:48 PM | # re: Using Silverlight for workflow creation
Incredible. Really pleased you blogged that. I am going take a tour.
3/3/2009 3:00 PM | # re: Using Silverlight for workflow creation
Great!

I see a lot of posibilities with such a tool.
And i also see an icrdible ROI too...

What I lik,e the most about SilverLight is XAML. When looking at how a XAML element interacts with the other, you can really tell that where was a great lesson learn from traditional Windows forms apps and ASP.Net Apps!
3/3/2009 6:41 PM | # re: Using Silverlight for workflow creation
I wish they would have left that [annoying] background music out of the video so I could focus on the logic!
3/3/2009 6:46 PM | # re: Using Silverlight for workflow creation
Ha! C'mon Ben, what's a solid marketing demonstration without distracting music ;-)
3/3/2009 7:36 PM | # re: Using Silverlight for workflow creation
Thanks Tim for this info,very useful!
3/4/2009 2:23 AM | # re: Using Silverlight for workflow creation
Hi Tim
Cool example but I was surprised that you don't use Silverlight to show the video on the blog. Is this for the same reason I don't use Silverlight on my non subscribed pages in that you might 'put off' people without the plug-in? When do you think this will become less of a concern? I would love to use Silverlight thoughout because as a .NET programmer it's just easy for me to use but last I heard the install base was about 25%.
3/4/2009 4:33 AM | # re: Using Silverlight for workflow creation
Tim, looking outside of the box, I'm very happy to see you involved in SL product @ Microsoft. Why? Because you continually bringing good/useful information to Silverlight community. Thank you as always!
..Ben
3/4/2009 7:28 AM | # re: Using Silverlight for workflow creation
Why would anyone want to use technology developed by a convicted monopolist that excludes a large number of worldwide PC users (silverlight is broken on MAC's and is not available on linux, except the cheesey version 1 from moonlight). You are marginalizing your audience needlessly.
3/4/2009 7:32 AM | # re: Using Silverlight for workflow creation
Rob yeah I know. I am just embedding the video that the company already used. It isn't my video, but theirs, so that's what I used.
3/4/2009 7:36 AM | # re: Using Silverlight for workflow creation
Ted - Silverlight is available on Mac platforms and the Moonlight team is already advancing on a compatible version for Silverlight 2. You're entitled to your opinion of course, but I think 'excludes a large number' is inaccurate.
3/4/2009 8:14 AM | # re: Using Silverlight for workflow creation
@Ted -- wow! did you get up on the wrong side of the bed?
have a nice day Ted, take a nice walk, something....
3/4/2009 12:34 PM | # re: Using Silverlight for workflow creation
Ted,

Relax. All the L33ts using Linux are too busy using command lines to care about Silverlight/Flash etc...
3/4/2009 3:39 PM | # re: Using Silverlight for workflow creation
Nice and smooth. FYI, there's another great example of a similar use of Silverlight. A cool data flow and aggregation tool. Check it out:
www.headup.com
3/31/2009 10:42 AM | # re: Using Silverlight for workflow creation
Hi Tim, excelent example.
Do you know Kaldeera Workflow Designer?? is a new Silverlight editor for SharePoint.
You can try it here www.kaldeera.com/.../WFEdit.aspx?List={1566690b-3efa-4d05-b6cf-b2f2ac1b777d}&action=new

6/19/2011 10:06 PM | # re: Using Silverlight for workflow creation
I registered my user three time but do not get beta version access till
2/12/2013 1:27 AM | # re: Using Silverlight for workflow creation
How to get this application?

 
Please add 8 and 7 and type the answer here:

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The opinions/content expressed on this blog are provided "ASIS" with no warranties and are my own personal opinions/content (unless otherwise noted) and do not represent my employer's view in any way.