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AWS Step Functions

AWS Step Functions is a serverless orchestration service for modern applications that is available on AWS.

Step Functions Explained


When a workflow is broken down into many parts, flow logic is included, and the inputs and outputs between the steps are tracked, orchestration is used to centrally control the workflow. With each execution of your applications, Step Functions keeps track of the current state of your applications, indicating which workflow step your application is now in, and records an event log of data that is exchanged between application components. This means that even if networks go down or components become unresponsive, your program will be able to resume where it left off.

Step Functions make application development more efficient and intuitive since they allow you to create and manage the workflow of your application independently of its business logic. It has no effect on the other when you make modifications to one. You won’t have to worry about managing, monitoring, and maintaining many point-to-point integrations anymore because you can update and adjust workflows in a single location instead of multiple places. When you use Step Functions, you may reduce the amount of code in your functions and containers, making your applications more responsive, more resilient, and easier to maintain.


Configuration of workflow

When you use AWS Step Functions, you can design your processes as state machines, which turn complex code into statements and diagrams that are easy to comprehend and follow. Building apps and verifying that they are delivering the needed functionality is becoming more efficient and straightforward. 

Integrated service primitives

AWS Step Functions provides ready-made phases for your workflow called states that implement basic service primitives for you, allowing you to eliminate that functionality from your application. States can transmit data to other states and microservices, handle exceptions, add timeouts, make judgments, execute numerous paths in parallel, and do a variety of other tasks.

Integrations with AWS services

By integrating over 200 AWS services into your Step Functions workflow, you may extend the functionality of your Step Functions workflow even further. This includes compute services (AWS Lambda, Amazon ECS, Amazon EKS, and AWS Fargate), database services (Amazon DynamoDB), messaging services (Amazon SNS and Amazon SQS), data processing and analytics services (Amazon Athena, AWS Batch, AWS Glue, Amazon EMR, and AWS Glue DataBrew), machine learning services (Amazon SageMaker), and APIs created by Amazon API Gateway.

Coordination of components that are dispersed

AWS Step Functions can coordinate any application that can establish an HTTPS connection, regardless of where it is hosted—for example, on Amazon EC2 instances, mobile devices, or on-premises servers. Step Functions allow you to easily develop distributed applications that make use of both AWS resources and your own microservices.

Component repurposing

Your existing Lambda functions and microservices are coordinated into powerful applications with AWS Step Functions. You may simply rewire them into new compositions with AWS Step Functions as well. The actions in your workflow can be executed on any platform, including instances, containers, functions, and mobile devices, among other platforms.

Abstraction of work processes

AWS Step Functions maintains a rigorous separation between the logic of your application and the implementation of your application in AWS. There are no changes required to your business logic when you add, relocate, swap, or reshuffle phases in your workflow. Your workflows will benefit from this separation of concerns since they will be more modular, easier to maintain, scalable, and reusable code.

Administration of the state

In the course of execution, AWS Step Functions keeps track of the status of your application, including tracking which step of the execution it is currently in and storing data that is being moved between the parts of your workflow. This eliminates the need for you to handle state manually, either through data storage or by including complicated state management into all of your processes.

Built in error-handling capabilities 

When an error or exception occurs, AWS Step Functions automatically handles it using built-in try/catch and retry functionality, regardless of whether the operation takes seconds or months to finish. When tasks fail or time out, you may automatically retry them, respond appropriately to different types of problems, and recover gracefully by falling back to the cleanup and recovery code that has been assigned.

Execution’s history

In addition to providing real-time diagnostics and dashboards, AWS Step Functions interfaces with Amazon CloudWatch and AWS CloudTrail and logs every execution, including the general state, failed steps, inputs, and outputs. AWS Step Functions is available on Amazon Web Services (AWS). As soon as something goes wrong, you can rapidly determine not just where the problem is, but also why it occurred, and you can troubleshoot and fix the problem as soon as possible.

Visual monitoring.

In most cases, launching an application is as simple as pushing a button and then watching the steps execute graphically. This allows you to quickly verify that everything is running in the proper manner – and as planned. The interface clearly displays errors, allowing you to immediately identify their fundamental cause and troubleshoot any issues that may arise.

High degree of availability

It is built-in fault tolerance, and the service capacity is maintained across many Availability Zones in each region to safeguard applications from individual machine or data centre failures. This contributes to ensuring high availability for both the service itself and the application process in which it is used to operate.

Automatic scaling

Automatic scaling of operations and underlying compute to run the steps of your application for you in response to changing workloads is provided by Step Functions. In order to help ensure that the performance of your application workflow remains consistent as the number of requests increases, Step Functions scales itself in real time.

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AWS Step Functions is connected with AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), and it recommended that you apply the least-privileged IAM policy for all of the resources that will be used in your process to ensure that your workflow runs smoothly. Step Functions is compatible with VPC Endpoints (VPCE) that are connected using AWS PrivateLink. you You can use AWS Step Functions from AWS Lambda functions and other AWS services that are enabled for VPC access without having to go through the public internet.


AWS Step Functions is a HIPAA-compliant service that may be used with applications that contain healthcare-related information, such as personal health information, to perform step functions (PHI). SOC (System and Organization Control) measures are also met by Step Functions, and the findings of third-party audits are publicly available on the AWS SOC Compliance website. AWS Step Functions also adhere to a number of other widely accepted compliance requirements.

Pay as you go

When you use AWS Step Functions, you are charged for each transfer from one state to the next that occurs. Billing is based on state transitions, and you are not charged for idle time, regardless of how long a state lasts in each transition (up to one year). The cost-effectiveness of Step Functions is maintained as you expand from a few thousand executions to a ten-million-execution-per-second workload.


Express Workflows are now available with AWS Step Functions. Using Express Workflows, you can create workflows with event rates greater than 100,000 per second, allowing you to create workflows with high volume and short duration. Expres Workflows may coordinate AWS Lambda function invocations, AWS IoT Rules Engine actions, and Amazon EventBridge events from more than one-hundred third-party SaaS event sources, all from within the same workflow.

How it Works:

Step Functions Workflow Studio:

Step Functions Overview:

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Branching Patterns:


  • Rapid development

Workflow Studio is a simple drag-and-drop interface. With Step Functions, you can create low-code workflows that connect services, systems, and people in minutes.

  • Make integration code simpler to write.

Make use of over 200 AWS services to build resilient business workflows, data pipelines, and applications. These services include: Lambda, ECS, Batch, DynamoDB, SNS, SQS, SageMaker, EventBridge, and EMR.

  • Designed for dependability and scalability

Step Functions provides two workflow types - Standard and Express - that can be used in conjunction with each other or separately based on your individual use case. Standard Workflows are used to manage tasks that are expected to take a long time. Express Workflows are designed to handle large volumes of event processing workloads.


The cost of using AWS Step Functions is based on the amount of time you spend using it. Standard Workflows and Express Workflows are the two types of workflows available in Step Functions: standard and express. You may use the AWS Pricing Calculator to get a more accurate estimate. 

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) Step Functions Pricing for Standard Workflows.

When you run your application, you are charged based on the number of state transitions that are required to complete the operation. Each time a step of your workflow is run, Step Functions counts the number of state transitions that have occurred. You will be charged for the entire amount of state transitions across all of your state machines, including retries, regardless of how many you have. The Step Functions free tier gives 4,000 free state transitions per month, which can be used to test the product. All charges are metered on a daily basis and paid once a month.

AWS Step Functions Pricing information for Express Workflows 

Step Functions Express Workflows are a subscription-based service that charges you just for what you use. You are paid based on the number of requests for your workflow and the length of time it takes to complete. Step-by-Step Procedures The number of requests that Express Workflows receives each time it begins running a workflow is counted, and you are charged for the total number of requests received across all of your workflows. This contains tests that are run from the command line. The duration of your workflow is measured from the time it begins executing until it is completed or otherwise terminates, and it is rounded up to the nearest 100ms. The amount of memory consumed in the execution of your workflow is computed and billed in 64-MB chunks.

The size of a workflow specification, the use of map or parallel states, and the amount of the execution (payload) data all influence how much memory is consumed. Examples of predicting memory use are shown in pricing examples 3 and 4, respectively.

Fees in addition to the base rate

If the functioning of your application workflow makes use of other AWS services or transfers data, you may be subject to additional charges. You will be charged for each request made by your application workflow and for the duration of each AWS Lambda function that is invoked.

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