The best way to get started with AWS Step Functions is to work through the Getting Started Guide, part of our technical documentation. Within a few minutes, you will be able to build application workflows with Step Functions.

To learn more, review our reference architectures, blogs and videos below.

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By using AWS Step Functions, Guardian News & Media (GNM) addressed the chief challenge with their newspaper-delivery architecture—the efficient orchestration of data flow between multiple systems. Step Functions provided a reliable, automated way of orchestrating very complex queries and processes between all of their distributed systems. This saved GNM time and money by making it easy for developers to build applications using AWS Lambda functions, giving them more productivity and agility.

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AWS Answers is a repository of fully-deployable, production-ready solutions developed by AWS architects that you can launch from your account.  


Extract metadata from media files without machine learning expertise. This solution uses serverless, AWS-native AI services such as Amazon Rekognition, Amazon Transcribe, and Amazon Comprehend to automatically extract valuable metadata from media files. When complete, the state machine indexes the results in an Amazon Elasticsearch cluster, so you can search and retrieve the image metadata using the API or the web interface.

Download the code and implementation guide

Build a scalable, distributed architecture that ingests, stores, processes, and delivers video content. An AWS Step Functions state machine ingests a source video, validates the source file, and generates metadata. A second state machine generates an encoding profile based on the metadata and submits encoding jobs to AWS Elemental MediaConvert. After the video is encoded, a third Step Functions state machine validates the output.

Download the code and implementation guide


This Snapshot Management Application demonstrates how to use AWS Step Functions in conjunction with Amazon CloudWatch Events, AWS Lambda and AWS CloudFormation to build a serverless solution for EBS snapshot lifecycle management.

View the reference architecture on GitHub


The Image Recognition and Processing Backend demonstrates how to use AWS Step Functions to orchestrate a serverless processing workflow using AWS Lambda, Amazon S3, Amazon DynamoDB and Amazon Rekognition. This workflow processes photos uploaded to Amazon S3 and extracts metadata from the image such as geolocation, size/format, time, etc. It then uses image recognition to tag objects in the photo. In parallel, it also produces a thumbnail of the photo.

View the reference architecture on GitHub

Orchestrate Apache Spark applications using AWS Step Functions and Apache Livy, Tanzir Musabbir, May 25, 2018 

A Serverless Solution for Invoking AWS Lambda at a Sub-minute Frequency, Emanuele Menga, May 11, 2018

Modernized Architecture for Cloud-Based Media Supply Chains From Fox and Turner, Usman Shakeel, May 2, 2018

Advancing Maintenance Maturity of Distributed IoT Applications with AWS Greengrass and AWS Step Functions, Shane Baldacchino, April 27, 2018

How to Secure Infrequently Used EC2 Instances with AWS Systems Manager, Spencer Glazier, January 31, 2018

Implementing Dynamic ETL Pipelines Using AWS Step Functions, Wangechi Dole, AWS, Milan Krasnansky, and Rian Mookencherry, SGK, December 5, 2017

Implementing Canary Deployments of AWS Lambda Functions with Alias Traffic Shifting, Ryan Green, November 30, 2017

Serverless Automated Cost Controls, Part 1, Shankar Ramachandran, Pubali Sen, and George Mao, November 30, 2017

Capturing Custom, High-Resolution Metrics from Containers Using AWS Step Functions and AWS Lambda, Trevor Sullivan, November 16, 2017

Resume AWS Step Functions from Any State, Yash Pant and Aaron Friedman, November 16, 2017

Using AWS Step Functions State Machines to Handle Workflow-Driven AWS CodePipeline Actions, Marcilio Mendonca, October 18, 2017

Things Go Better with AWS Step Functions, Jeff Barr, October 5, 2017

Automating Amazon EBS Snapshot Management with AWS Step Functions and Amazon CloudWatch Events, Brittany Doncaster, September 18, 2017

Automate Your IT Operations Using AWS Step Functions and Amazon CloudWatch Events, Rob Percival, August 14, 2017

Building a Real World Evidence Platform on AWS, Aaron Friedman, August 9, 2017

How Cloudticity Automates Security Patches for Linux and Windows using Amazon EC2 Systems Manager and AWS Step Functions, Ananth Vaidyanathan, August 2, 2017

Synchronizing Amazon S3 Buckets Using AWS Step Functions, Constantin Gonzalez, June 25, 2017

Building High-Throughput Genomics Batch Workflows on AWS, Part 4, Aaron Friedman, AWS and Angel Pizarro, June 30, 2017

Automating AWS Lambda Function Error Handling with AWS Step Functions, Aaron Rehaag, March 16, 2017

Implementing Serverless Manual Approval Steps in AWS Step Functions and Amazon API Gateway, Ali Baghaii, AWS, February 15, 2017

AWS Step Functions Fluent Java API, Andrew Shore, January 31, 2017

New – AWS Step Functions – Build Distributed Applications Using Visual Workflows, Jeff Barr, December 1, 2016

Breaking Down the Monolith with AWS Step Functions (Scott Triglia, Yelp, Nov 27, 2017)

Applying the Saga pattern with AWS Lambda and Step Functions (Yan Cui, Space Ape Games, July 18, 2017)

Integrating MongoDB Atlas, Twilio and AWS Simple Email Service with AWS Step Functions - Part 2 (Raphael Londner, Principal Cloud Developer Advocate at MongoDB, May 17, 2017)

Integrating MongoDB Atlas, Twilio and AWS Simple Email Service with AWS Step Functions - Part 1 (Raphael Londner, Principal Cloud Developer Advocate at MongoDB, March 30, 2017)

Easily Create Complex Workflows with AWS Step Functions (Volodymyr Rudyi, Agile Vision, February 12, 2017)

Visual Orchestration in AWS (Eric Shanks, AHEAD, January 5, 2017)

Passing Data between Lambdas with AWS Step Functions (Trevor Turnbull, Dec 11, 2016)

How Trulia Rentals adopted a serverless approach to accepting, processing, and analyzing customer leads as they migrate from their legacy customer leads system.

In this episode of This is my Architecture, Evren Cakir, Software Engineering Manager at Trulia Rentals, shares how Trulia adopted a serverless approach to accepting, processing, and analyzing customer leads as they migrate from their legacy customer leads system.

Watch this session to learn the latest and greatest tricks for automating your incident response and forensics in the cloud. This session focuses on automating your cloud incident response processes covering external and insider threats, triggers, canaries, containment, and data loss prevention.

Distributed applications present an additional layer of complexity over traditional monolithic designs and make monitoring, debugging, and optimising systems a challenge. In this session you will learn how to build AWS Step Functions state machines to orchestrate multi-step serverless applications and gain operational visibility into your distributed applications using AWS X-Ray.

You can also view this presentation on SlideShare.

In this AWS Summits presentation, Michael Fischer, Lead Site Reliability Engineer, describes how Segment provides a service used by businesses to collect customer data in a single hub for later use in analytics, marketing, and for other purposes.

In this webinar, you’ll hear how AWS customers have improved media supply chains using AI in areas such as metadata tagging (Rekognition and Comprehend), translations, transcriptions, and cloud services (Elemental). You’ll learn how to use workflow orchestration to optimize velocity and scale of multi-stage media pipelines by examining serverless, event-driven and artificial intelligence M&E use cases.

AWS Greengrass brings autonomous control and compute to the edge allowing you to build applications that provide business value in the form of predictive maintenance, resource optimisation, and management of complex control systems. In this session, we look at how to leverage inputs such as sensors and streaming data with outputs like relays and actuators to coordinate the components of distributed IoT applications.

Regulated workloads need more than rock solid security to be compliant. Adam from CMD Solutions and Mat from nib Health share a clever way to use Step Functions to automatically spin up and tear down security posture.

For more details, see nib's presentation at the AWS Summit in Sydney, Status Quo is Death: nib health funds’ Innovative Journey to the Cloud.  

In this session, we take a pragmatic approach to enhancing common media workflows built around ingest, media asset management, live video, and OTT on-demand streaming. We show how to extract metadata as an additional intelligence layer for video using Amazon AI services, such as Amazon Rekognition, in combination with turnkey architecture built around AWS Lambda, AWS Step Functions, Amazon ECS, and Amazon EC2 Spot Instances.

On this episode of "This is My Architecture", Lee from Zapproved demonstrates how they use Step Functions, Lambda, and SQS to automate data processing.

On this episode of "This is My Architecture", Lee from Zapproved demonstrates how they use Step Functions, Lambda, and SQS to automate data processing.

This brief video introduces you to AWS Step Functions. Hear how AWS Step Functions makes it easy to coordinate the components of serverless applications and microservices using visual workflows, making it simple to build and step through the functions of your application at scale.

Understand how to use Step Functions to create, run, and debug multi-service applications in a matter of minutes. Learn how to get started building and coordinating the components of your application as a series of steps, then how to link AWS Lambda functions or Amazon EC2 instances together to create multi-step applications.