Workflow Designer Module

Welcome to the Alliance Business Suite | Workflow Designer Module Documentation.

These articles will enable you to work with the module to get the most out of your Alliance Business Suite instance.

The Alliance Business Suite | Workflow Designer is a workflows manager that enables workflow execution in any Alliance Business Suite instance. Workflows, business processes, and enterprise orchestrations can be defined by using code or the visual workflow designer, to integrate your Alliance Business Suite and your data on the Alliance Business Model across cloud and on-premises systems.


  • Create workflows using the Workflow Builder API.
  • Create & manage workflows visually using the Alliance Business Studio Dashboard SPA.
  • Design long-running workflows.
  • REST API Endpoints to manage and integrate with Elsa from external applications.
  • Create higher-level activities using the Composite Activity API.
  • Rich set of activities such as SetVariable, For, ForEach, ParallelForEach, Fork, Join, HttpEndpoint, SendHttpRequest, SendEmail, MessageReceived, and much more.
  • Create custom activities.
  • Workflow Expressions allow you to configure activity properties with expressions that are evaluated at runtime. Supported syntaxes are JavaScript and Liquid.

Why Workflow Designer?

One of the main goals of the Workflow Designer Module is to enable workflows in any Alliance Business Suite instance with minimum effort and maximum extensibility. This means that your Alliance Business Suite is workflow-capable right out of the box.

Azure Logic Apps vs ABS | Workflow Designer?

  • As powerful and as complete as Azure Logic Apps are, it's available only as a managed service in Azure. The Alliance Business Suite, on the other hand, allows you to host it not only on Azure but on any cloud provider that supports .NET Core. And of course, you can host it on-premises.

  • Although you can implement long-running workflows with Logic Apps, you would typically do so by splitting your workflow with multiple Logic Apps where one workflow invokes the other. This can make the logic flow a bit hard to follow. with ABS | Workflow Designer, you simply add triggers anywhere in the workflow, making it easier to have a complete view of your application logic. And if you want, you can still invoke other workflows from one workflow.

ABS | Workflow Designer vs. Windows Workflow Foundation?

I've always liked Windows Workflow Foundation, but unfortunately development appears to have halted. Here are a few reasons to prefer the Workflow Designer Module:

  • The Workflow Designer Module intrinsically supports triggering events that start new workflows and resume halted workflow instances in an easy-to-use manner. E.g. workflow host.TriggerWorkflowAsync("HttpRequestTrigger");" will start and resume all workflows that either start with or are halted on the HttpRequestTrigger.

  • The Workflow Designer Module has an In-Studio (web-based) workflow designer and a REST-based API to manage everything you can manage through the Web Workflow Designer.

ABS | Workflow Designer vs. Orchard Workflows?

Both Orchard and Orchard Core ship with a powerful workflows module, and both are awesome. In fact, the Workflow Designer Module was inspired by Orchard Core's Workflows module.

Although Workflow Designer uses a similar model, here are some differences:

  • The Workflow Designer Module is completely decoupled from the web and relies on the Alliance Business Platform, whereas Orchard Core Workflows is coupled not only to the Orchard Core Framework but to the web itself.
  • The Workflow Designer Module is being built without taking a dependency on any Orchard Core packages.