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					Technical Appendix

SnapFlow
Firm Broadens Market Reach for
Workflow Solution with Software-plus-
Services Strategy
Partner: SoftSource                                                                                   SnapFlow is a startup company
                                                                                                      based in Portland, Oregon,
The details below provide a technical overview of the solution as described in the                    chartered with bringing workflow
SnapFlow article titled Firm Broadens Market Reach for Workflow Solution with                         to the masses. The company’s
Software-plus-Services Strategy                                                                       workflow-creation platform lets
                                                                                                      average end users create
Solution Overview
                                                                                                      automated workflows from the
SnapFlow created its Web-based workflow-creation software, also called SnapFlow, using the            SnapFlow Web site.
Microsoft® .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 and Windows® Workflow Foundation 3.5                     www.snapflow.com
Service Pack 1. Windows Workflow Foundation is a Microsoft technology used for building               (503) 252-5000
workflow-enabled applications. It includes a set of tools for designing and implementing
workflows; a programming model for controlling and communicating with workflows; a rules
engine; a workflow execution engine; and a set of workflow run-time services for persistence,
tracking, transaction management, and more. SnapFlow used the Microsoft Visual Studio®
2008 development system as its development environment, and Microsoft SQL Server® 2008
data management software for storing workflow execution and end-user data. All server
programs run under the Windows Server® 2003 Enterprise operating system.

User Interface Assistance
When SnapFlow embarked on the user interface of its workflow solution, it originally selected
Adobe Flash, believing that it was a mature program with abundant support. However, a few
weeks into prototype development, SnapFlow had made little progress, and the user interface
looked clunky. SnapFlow brought in SoftSource Consulting, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner
based in Portland, Oregon, to perform an architectural analysis. SoftSource was an avid
proponent of the Microsoft Silverlight™ browser plug-in and offered to demonstrate the
                                                                                                        SoftSource Consulting helps
capabilities of that software by replicating the Flash prototype. A few days later, SoftSource
                                                                                                        companies engineer solutions
demonstrated how the company could build SnapFlow in Silverlight, and the team was                      using Microsoft software.
impressed enough to switch programs.                                                                    www.sftsrc.com
                                                                                                        (971) 327-0410
With guidance from SoftSource, the SnapFlow team performed all the user interface
development, using Microsoft Expression Blend™ design software to gain an easy-to-use
development environment and rich user experience. Microsoft Expression Blend is an
interactive, WYSIWYG [what-you-see-is-what-you-get] front end for designing Extensible
Application Markup Language (XAML)–based interfaces for Windows Presentation
Foundation–based and Silverlight-based applications.

Software-plus-Services Strategy
The SnapFlow server communicates with Silverlight using Windows Communication
Foundation 3.5. The company implemented its solution as a software-plus-services approach,
running the SnapFlow workflow engine and all user data in an online storage facility and
requiring that customers install only Silverlight on their client computers to create workflows




Technical Appendix                                                                                1
Technical Appendix

from the SnapFlow Web site. Forms created in SnapFlow can be embedded in Microsoft Office
SharePoint® Server 2007 sites using Web parts.

IT Benefits
           Development time reduced by 40 percent
           Development tools familiar to staff
           Extensive development-community support for Microsoft software
           Fast and easy user testing and minimal client software required (only Silverlight)


Employee Count: 10                    PC Count: 10                   Server Count: 12

Product and Technology List
 Products                         Technologies                   Solutions
        Windows Server 2003            Microsoft Silverlight        Software-plus-services
         Enterprise                     Microsoft .NET
        Microsoft SQL Server            Framework 3.5 SP1
         2008                           Windows Communication
        Microsoft Expression            Foundation 3.5
         Blend                          Windows Workflow
        Microsoft Office                Foundation 3.5 SP1
         SharePoint Server 2007



Implementation Details
SnapFlow implemented its solution using a software-plus-services strategy. Microsoft
Silverlight is the only client software required by end users. The workflow execution engine and
data are housed in a SnapFlow hosting facility.




Technical Appendix                                                                                 2
Technical Appendix

SnapFlow Architectural Diagram




This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.
Document published June 2009




Technical Appendix                                                                                                        3

				
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