AWS Flow Framework for Java
Developer Guide (API Version 2012-01-25)

HelloWorld Application

To introduce the way Amazon SWF applications are structured, we'll create a Java application that behaves like a workflow, but that runs locally in a single process. No connection to Amazon Web Services will be needed.


The HelloWorldWorkflow example builds upon this one, connecting to Amazon SWF to handle management of the workflow.

A workflow application consists of three basic components:

  • An activities worker supports a set of activities, each of which is a method that executes independently to perform a particular task.

  • A workflow worker orchestrates the activities' execution and manages data flow. It is a programmatic realization of a workflow topology, which is basically a flow chart that defines when the various activities execute, whether they execute sequentially or concurrently, and so on.

  • A workflow starter starts a workflow instance, called an execution, and can interact with it during execution.

HelloWorld is implemented as three classes and two related interfaces, which are described in the following sections. Before starting, you should set up your development environment and create a new AWS Java project as described in Setting up the Framework. The packages used for the following walkthroughs are all named helloWorld.XYZ. To use those names, set the within attribute in aop.xml as follows:

<weaver options="-verbose">
<include within="helloWorld..*"/>

To implement HelloWorld, create a new Java package in your AWS SDK project named helloWorld.HelloWorld and add the following files:

  • An interface file named

  • A class file named, which implements the activities worker.

  • An interface file named

  • A class file named, which implements the workflow worker.

  • A class file named, which implements the workflow starter.

The details are discussed in the following sections and include the complete code for each component, which you can add to the appropriate file.

HelloWorld Activities Implementation

HelloWorld breaks the overall task of printing a "Hello World!" greeting to the console into three tasks, each of which is performed by an activity method. The activity methods are defined in the GreeterActivities interface, as follows.

public interface GreeterActivities {
   public String getName();
   public String getGreeting(String name);
   public void say(String what);

HelloWorld has one activity implementation, GreeterActivitiesImpl, which provides the GreeterActivities methods as shown:

public class GreeterActivitiesImpl implements GreeterActivities {
   public String getName() {
      return "World";

   public String getGreeting(String name) {
      return "Hello " + name + "!";

   public void say(String what) {

Activities are independent of each other and can often be used by different workflows. For example, any workflow can use the say activity to print a string to the console. Workflows can also have multiple activity implementations, each performing a different set of tasks.

HelloWorld Workflow Worker

To print "Hello World!" to the console, the activity tasks must execute in sequence in the correct order with the correct data. The HelloWorld workflow worker orchestrates the activities' execution based on a simple linear workflow topology, which is shown in the following figure.

Linear workflow topology

The three activities execute in sequence, and the data flows from one activity to the next.

The HelloWorld workflow worker has a single method, the workflow's entry point, which is defined in the GreeterWorkflow interface, as follows:

public interface GreeterWorkflow {
   public void greet();

The GreeterWorkflowImpl class implements this interface, as follows:

public class GreeterWorkflowImpl implements GreeterWorkflow{
   private GreeterActivities operations = new GreeterActivitiesImpl();

   public void greet() {
      String name = operations.getName();
      String greeting = operations.getGreeting(name);

The greet method implements HelloWorld topology by creating an instance of GreeterActivitiesImpl, calling each activity method in the correct order, and passing the appropriate data to each method.

HelloWorld Workflow Starter

A workflow starter is an application that starts a workflow execution, and might also communicate with the workflow while it is executing. The GreeterMain class implements the HelloWorld workflow starter, as follows:

public class GreeterMain {
   public static void main(String[] args) {
      GreeterWorkflow greeter = new GreeterWorkflowImpl();

GreeterMain creates an instance of GreeterWorkflowImpl and calls greet to run the workflow worker. Run GreeterMain as a Java application and you should see "Hello World!" in the console output.