Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched a workflow service that aims to take business logic and automatically embed them into cloud apps.
The service, dubbed Amazon Simple Workflow Service, aims to speed up the development of cloud applications. For the enterprise, automating business processes for cash to order, finance and analytics can gobble up development time.
AWS is looking to automate a lot of that business logic with the Simple Workflow Service. The move makes a lot of sense since replicating business processes across various cloud apps can be tricky. With the Simple Workflow Service, developers can assign tasks to distributed applications and Amazon coordinates the execution.
Amazon CTO Werner Vogels said in a blog post:
A growing number of applications are relying on asynchronous and distributed processing, with scalability of the application as the primary motivation. By designing autonomous distributed components, developers get the flexibility to deploy and scale out parts of the application independently as load increases. The asynchronous and distributed model has the benefits of loose coupling and selective scalability, but it also creates new challenges. Application developers must coordinate multiple distributed components to get the desired results. They must deal with the increased latency and unreliability inherent in remote communication. Components may take extended periods of time to complete tasks, requests may fail and errors originating from remote systems must be handled. Today, to accomplish this, developers are forced to write complicated infrastructure that typically involves message queues and databases along with complex logic to synchronize them. All this ‘plumbing’ is extraneous to business logic and makes the application code unnecessarily complicated and hard to maintain.
Trial customers for Amazon's workflow tool included NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, which uses the service for various missions. RightScale and Sage Bionetworks are also using the service.
Amazon said the workflow service is available in its U.S. East region and will come to other areas in the months ahead.
Here's a diagram of what the service does.