In WF there are two ways to make your workflows more descriptive and readable, firstly we are able to change the display name for activities to anything we like and secondly new in WF4.5 we are able to use annotations to put a more detailed description of a process or sequence of process which is great to help aid in the documentation process.
When you initially drop an activity on the design surface it is automatically given the default display name of the activity type, for example if we drop a “sequence” activity on to the design surface the activity is named Sequence.
This name is only for display purposes and we can change it by simply clicking either on the activity itself or via the DisplayName property in the property pane, and then enter what you like, in the below example I have changed the name from “sequence” to “Main Outer Sequence”.
New in WF4.5 is the ability to annotate the activities so that we can add a more detailed description to our flows, annotations are like post it notes that can be pinned in place and look as if they are written inside the activity. To add an annotation right click on an activity and you will see an Annotations option in the context menu then click “Add Annotation”.
You will then get a post it note type message box where you are free to enter anything you like.
If you don’t pin the activity the text will disappear and you will get the below icon appear in the top right hand side of the activity window signalling that there is an annotation.
Pinning the annotation is a powerful feature where the annotation text appears inside its activity for example if we pinned the above example the result would be this.
By using WF annotations and naming conventions the documenting and commenting of flows just become a whole lot more easier and powerful.