One of the great features of Workflow Studio is that it is designed to be extended. You can build your own activity libraries that add additional graphical objects to the product. The Activity Library standard was created by Microsoft and first hit the scene with the .NET Framework 3.0 release back in Nov. 2006. I did a little searching and found three companies that are offering activity libraries for sale. If you are looking for integration with FTP, ZIP, GZIP, TAR, SSH, and more into your workflows these companies might just save you some time:
- Xceed Activities for WF
- Eldos SecureBlackbox for Business Servers (Workflow Foundation edition)
- /n software Workflow Activities V3
Looking at the feature descriptions, the /n software product really stands out. In addition to FTP and ZIP activities, it has activities that natively support email, paging, RSS, and Instant Messaging. I can think of some good uses for all those communication types when a workflow detects something in the data center that needs my attention immediately. Even more intriguing though is that they have an Amazon S3 activity – automatic backups to the cloud anyone?