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Welcome to the Amazon Simple Workflow Service Developer Guide.
The Amazon Simple Workflow Service (Amazon SWF) makes it easy to build applications that coordinate work across distributed components. In Amazon SWF, a task represents a logical unit of work that is performed by a component of your application. Coordinating tasks across the application involves managing intertask dependencies, scheduling, and concurrency in accordance with the logical flow of the application. Amazon SWF gives you full control over implementing tasks and coordinating them without worrying about underlying complexities such as tracking their progress and maintaining their state.
When using Amazon SWF, you implement workers to perform tasks. These workers can run either on cloud infrastructure, such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), or on your own premises. You can create tasks that are long-running, or that may fail, time out, or require restarts—or that may complete with varying throughput and latency. Amazon SWF stores tasks and assigns them to workers when they are ready, tracks their progress, and maintains their state, including details on their completion. To coordinate tasks, you write a program that gets the latest state of each task from Amazon SWF and uses it to initiate subsequent tasks. Amazon SWF maintains an application's execution state durably so that the application is resilient to failures in individual components. With Amazon SWF, you can implement, deploy, scale, and modify these application components independently.
Amazon SWF offers capabilities to support a variety of application requirements. It is suitable for a range of use cases that require coordination of tasks, including media processing, web application back-ends, business process workflows, and analytics pipelines.