DescribeWorkflowExecution - Amazon Simple Workflow Service


Returns information about the specified workflow execution including its type and some statistics.


This operation is eventually consistent. The results are best effort and may not exactly reflect recent updates and changes.

Access Control

You can use IAM policies to control this action's access to Amazon SWF resources as follows:

  • Use a Resource element with the domain name to limit the action to only specified domains.

  • Use an Action element to allow or deny permission to call this action.

  • You cannot use an IAM policy to constrain this action's parameters.

If the caller doesn't have sufficient permissions to invoke the action, or the parameter values fall outside the specified constraints, the action fails. The associated event attribute's cause parameter is set to OPERATION_NOT_PERMITTED. For details and example IAM policies, see Using IAM to Manage Access to Amazon SWF Workflows in the Amazon SWF Developer Guide.

Request Syntax

{ "domain": "string", "execution": { "runId": "string", "workflowId": "string" } }

Request Parameters

For information about the parameters that are common to all actions, see Common Parameters.

The request accepts the following data in JSON format.


The name of the domain containing the workflow execution.

Type: String

Length Constraints: Minimum length of 1. Maximum length of 256.

Required: Yes


The workflow execution to describe.

Type: WorkflowExecution object

Required: Yes

Response Syntax

{ "executionConfiguration": { "childPolicy": "string", "executionStartToCloseTimeout": "string", "lambdaRole": "string", "taskList": { "name": "string" }, "taskPriority": "string", "taskStartToCloseTimeout": "string" }, "executionInfo": { "cancelRequested": boolean, "closeStatus": "string", "closeTimestamp": number, "execution": { "runId": "string", "workflowId": "string" }, "executionStatus": "string", "parent": { "runId": "string", "workflowId": "string" }, "startTimestamp": number, "tagList": [ "string" ], "workflowType": { "name": "string", "version": "string" } }, "latestActivityTaskTimestamp": number, "latestExecutionContext": "string", "openCounts": { "openActivityTasks": number, "openChildWorkflowExecutions": number, "openDecisionTasks": number, "openLambdaFunctions": number, "openTimers": number } }

Response Elements

If the action is successful, the service sends back an HTTP 200 response.

The following data is returned in JSON format by the service.


The configuration settings for this workflow execution including timeout values, tasklist etc.

Type: WorkflowExecutionConfiguration object


Information about the workflow execution.

Type: WorkflowExecutionInfo object


The time when the last activity task was scheduled for this workflow execution. You can use this information to determine if the workflow has not made progress for an unusually long period of time and might require a corrective action.

Type: Timestamp


The latest executionContext provided by the decider for this workflow execution. A decider can provide an executionContext (a free-form string) when closing a decision task using RespondDecisionTaskCompleted.

Type: String

Length Constraints: Maximum length of 32768.


The number of tasks for this workflow execution. This includes open and closed tasks of all types.

Type: WorkflowExecutionOpenCounts object


For information about the errors that are common to all actions, see Common Errors.


Returned when the caller doesn't have sufficient permissions to invoke the action.

HTTP Status Code: 400


Returned when the named resource cannot be found with in the scope of this operation (region or domain). This could happen if the named resource was never created or is no longer available for this operation.

HTTP Status Code: 400


DescribeWorkflowExecution Example

This example illustrates one usage of DescribeWorkflowExecution.

Sample Request

POST / HTTP/1.1 Host: User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20111212 Firefox/3.6.25 ( .NET CLR 3.5.30729; .NET4.0E) Accept: application/json, text/javascript, */* Accept-Language: en-us,en;q=0.5 Accept-Encoding: gzip,deflate Accept-Charset: ISO-8859-1,utf-8;q=0.7,*;q=0.7 Keep-Alive: 115 Connection: keep-alive Content-Type: application/x-amz-json-1.0 X-Requested-With: XMLHttpRequest X-Amz-Date: Sun, 15 Jan 2012 02:05:18 GMT X-Amz-Target: SimpleWorkflowService.DescribeWorkflowExecution Content-Encoding: amz-1.0 X-Amzn-Authorization: AWS3 AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAIOSFODNN7EXAMPLE,Algorithm=HmacSHA256,SignedHeaders=Host;X-Amz-Date;X-Amz-Target;Content-Encoding,Signature=ufQVcSkfUyGPLiS8xbkEBqEc2PmEEE/3Lb9Kr8yozs8= Referer: Content-Length: 127 Pragma: no-cache Cache-Control: no-cache { "domain": "867530901", "execution": { "workflowId": "20110927-T-1", "runId": "06b8f87a-24b3-40b6-9ceb-9676f28e9493" } }

Sample Response

HTTP/1.1 200 OK Content-Length: 577 Content-Type: application/json x-amzn-RequestId: 5f85ef79-3f1d-11e1-9e8f-57bb03e21482 { "executionConfiguration": { "executionStartToCloseTimeout": "3600", "childPolicy": "TERMINATE", "taskPriority": "100", "taskStartToCloseTimeout": "600", "taskList": { "name": "specialTaskList" } }, "openCounts": { "openTimers": 0, "openDecisionTasks": 1, "openActivityTasks": 0, "openChildWorkflowExecutions": 0 }, "executionInfo": { "execution": { "workflowId": "20110927-T-1", "runId": "06b8f87a-24b3-40b6-9ceb-9676f28e9493" }, "startTimestamp": 1326592619.474, "executionStatus": "OPEN", "workflowType": { "version": "1.0", "name": "customerOrderWorkflow" }, "cancelRequested": false, "tagList": [ "music purchase", "digital", "ricoh-the-dog" ] } }

See Also

For more information about using this API in one of the language-specific AWS SDKs, see the following: