Because I perform nearly all of my Workflow development and labwork locally on my workstation, I do not want to have Exchange and Outlook and all that running in a VM someplace just to handle AD and email testing, nor do I want to maintain some other free, open-source mail server. I found that with a few dummy Gmail accounts and a Send Email Component Via SMTP component, I could do all the notification/email testing I need without the extra computing resource overhead.
SQL integration of some sort has been involved in almost every project I’ve done. Saving and fetching data is just part of it; the SQL engine can be used to quickly do calculations and filtering for your data with the right scripting. If I’m able to fetch and filter the appropriate data from SQL to begin with, I don’t have to then run through a Configurable Collection Filter to get the results I want.
Buried in this process are way too many static values (not to mention that this screenshot will be a great illustration for my “Making Modular Workflows” article I’m working on).
When I first started developing Workflows, especially processes that integrated with other systems (SQL in particular), I would occasionally run into this:
“Hi Andrew, we need to move the SQL server you’ve integrated with. Here’s the new connection info. Hope it’s not a big deal. You declared your connection string variable up front, right?”
Oops. Well, dozens of components buried in layers of embedded models later, I had updated all the SQL components. Except this time, I used a project property. The next time the SQL connection string needed to change, I updated a single value, published, and enjoyed the success.
There has been far too many times that I’ve had to go back and recompile a SQL integration library, simply because I needed to compare a different column than the original, or filter out some unwanted results.
As it turns out, there’s a fairly straightforward method of supplying SQL integration components with a full condition string (or strings), immensely increasing the usability of a single component.