Home Amazon Launches Cloud-Based Business Process Automation Service

Amazon Launches Cloud-Based Business Process Automation Service

Amazon just announced the availability of a new service called Simple Workflow Service (SWF), which allows developers to define a series of complex steps in carrying out a business process, then implements and monitors those steps all together, as a service. “This new service gives you the ability to build and run distributed, fault-tolerant applications that span multiple systems (cloud-based, on-premise, or both),” writes Amazon’s Jeff Barr. SWF can also work across mobile devices.

The technology is similar to Beanstalkd, which describes itself as “a big to-do list for your distributed application.” Leena Rao at TechCrunch first reported on the existence of SWF two weeks ago when one of her readers saw it and sent her screenshots. Tonight the service was formally announced, complete with high-profile case studies, infographics and multiple blog posts.

Amazon Web Services customers get a limited number of free workflows they can allocate and Barr’s post discusses pricing at the very end. For example, “You pay $0.0001 for every Workflow execution, and an additional $0.000005 per day if they remain active for more than 24 hours.”

The company launched the new service tonight with three early testimonials, including from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Labs. They are, as Netflix’s Adrian Cockcroft said on Twitter tonight, “very cool examples.”

First impression from Patrick Debois, a leader in the international devops community: “Imagine hooking in your machine provisioning/monitoring into this logic, you can very well create nice orchestration. And have the approval process fit in the workflow.”

Reto Kramer, General Manager, Application Connection Services, AWS, said in the news release: “By relying on Amazon SWF to handle the coordination of distributed task execution, developers can now focus on building the differentiating aspects of their applications and leave the undifferentiated heavy lifting of building and managing workflow engines to AWS.”

In an article last week called NoOps, AppOps, DevOps, & More – Removing the OS Barrier with PaaS, Part 3.1, Adron Hall references companies like Opscode and Puppet Labs that exemplify a broad shift towards systematic abstraction of business processes. “Improvement of these complex systems is almost always done through abstraction of the complexity and simplification of the creation or deployment of these systems,” he writes. AWS SWF may require an expansion of our understanding of the opportunities available for abstraction.

Automated workflow management, across multiple environments, as a platform for innovation and value creation is a very exciting prospect. It abstracts a layer of detail in order to facilitate the expansion of a developer’s ability to create value on a higher level of abstraction. There may be no higher calling, as platforms go.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.