Partially valid data - followup on the comments

XAF Team Blog
28 March 2008

Thanks to everybody for your comments on my post Partially valid business objects, they are most appreciated.

First I need that I was probably not very clear on my own intent in that first post. At this stage, while I was reviewing the suggestion for inclusion in our release plans, my primary intent is to find out whether we are actually missing some important use case, either around validation (as the suggestion hinted) or on its own. The result is no, we're not missing anything important - in other words, there's room for improvement as opposed to a glaring omission.

Here's what I'm taking away from the discussion:

  1. There doesn't appear to be a use case that can't be solved by using flags in the object. In fact, in all the cases that were mentioned, this seems to be the easiest and most effective solution.
  2. It is of course possible to write a controller to perform some sort of check over data and inform the end user about certain "special states" that are important outside the "real" data validation process. It would be nice to simplify this process and that would be a feature that comes closest to the original suggestion. At the same time I stand by my original comments - in these cases a warning that appears when the user enters the data is just the tip of the iceberg. I'll consider adding this feature in the future.
  3. Many applications could benefit greatly from workflow support, since it seems to be the rule rather than the exception that processes are handled in multiple steps, often by more than one person. This is not news to us - not all of you have probably been around for long enough, but during the pre-release phase we had a release or two that included our Windows Workflow Foundation integration. Unfortunately we had to push that feature away because its completion would have taken too much time. WF integration is now planned only for 2008.3, since it depends on a few other things that won't be completed before then.

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