Workflows – Visual Studio vs SharePoint Designer – a quick comparison

I wanted to compare and contrast when you’d use SharePoint Designer to author workflows in MOSS 2007 to when you’d rather use Visual Studio 2005 – with WF designer.
Both products can do the following:Author workflows for use in WSS.Generates a workflow markup file that’s stored in the database.
So where do the two products diverge?

Visual Studio 2005 (w/ the WF Designer)
SharePoint Designer 2007
Can create code-behind file(s) that allow you to add any custom code (C#/VB.NET) to your workflow.
Couldn’t find any code-behind support.
Can design workflows as a template to be associated with various lists and sites.
When authoring a workflow, it’s bound to specific lists/sites at design time.
Compiles the workflow compiled into an assembly and deployed to the server.
Everything is persisted in markup and stored in a document library in the target site.
Use the browser UI to associate a workflow with a list to make it available to that list.
Association occurs at design time.
Can associate workflows with content types.
Not possible in SPD.
Can include InfoPath web enabled forms as a data collection vehicle via Forms Server.
ASP.NET 2.0 ASPX pages are built automatically at design time, but you can customize them after they’ve been generated.
Can modify your workflow
Not sure if you can modify your workflow
Manual deployment (via a SharePoint Feature).
Automatically deployed at design time.
Rich debugging support.
No debugging support.
Supports building sequential and state machine workflows.
Can only build sequential workflows.


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