Modeling Workflow in Ruby and Rails

Location: Ballroom B Level:
Presentation: external link
Average rating: ****.
(4.64, 25 ratings)

“Workflow” is a generic concept that can mean different things to different people – a book author is going to think of workflow a lot differently than a photographer processing images. Whether you are implementing a simple shopping cart or building a complex system to track the review of legal documents, there are abstract concepts of states, transitions, actions, actors, assignments, tasking, concurrency, sequences, and dependencies we can use.

Come learn about tools and techniques for implementing workflow concepts in Ruby and Rails. From user stories with ‘shoulda’, through state machines, to complete workflow engines like OpenWFEru, this is a rich space with a lot to learn.

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David Bock


David Bock is a founder and principal at CodeSherpas, a software engineering consultancy in the Northern Virginia area. Prior to falling in love with Ruby, Mr. Bock spent many years writing custom workflow solutions in Java for the U.S. State Department. His work in this space protects the borders of many countries from hazardous imports and exports, and was instrumental in Poland meeting some reporting obligations for entry into NATO.

Comments on this page are now closed.


Picture of David Bock
David Bock
05/21/2009 1:04pm PDT

Thanks for the comments. a pdf of the slides as well as the code I showed is available for download at

Thien Vuong
05/21/2009 7:47am PDT

Thanks for the great talk. Is there a copy of your presentation somewhere online?

David Vanderson
05/09/2009 8:16am PDT

Great talk. Thanks very much. This is an area where we are struggling at the moment.

David Lokhorst
05/08/2009 7:49am PDT

David, thanks for talk. It relates directly to an app I’m working on now and I took away some excellent tips.

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