Welcome to WaterFlow

WaterFlow is a non-magical / easy to understand / JDK8 framework for use with Simple Workflow Service


The framework is deeply routed in the original implementation of SWiFt which is a great example of achieving a very usable and simple SWF framework.

SWF is a great AWS service allowing the ability to implement distributed, asynchronous applications as workflows. The interesting part of SWF is that its easy to integrate with various in-house solutions, since the various actors necessary to operate with the service can operate onsite (only execution history is stored in the "cloud")

The difficulty lies in writing robust, easy and composable workflows. SWF offers the Flow Framework which is a is a collection of convenience libraries that make it faster and easier to build applications with Amazon Simple Workflow on the JVM. The problem we've found however is that there is just too much darn magic !

No magic - WYSIWYG

A key tenant to the WaterFlow framework is the removal of much of the magic present in competing frameworks, while still providing many of the same features. Many times this might lead to code that is slightly more verbose, however you are presented with a WYSIWYG experience.


The WateFlow framework makes, heavy use of the Immutables library, and so should you! Since typically you might run multiple JVM instances of a particular actor (deciders & activity workers) and each JVM might run several threads - its much easier to think about the underlying primitives knowing they are immutable.

Simple Deciders

Deciders are the actors that coordinate the logic of the current workflow by scheduling various actions - such as Activities. The concept of scheduling a future asyncrhonous computation and writing it in a very functional manner is well understood through various Ayncrhonous Programming Patterns. WaterFlow leverages well known standard interfaces - CompletionStage - to help making complicated deciders.

Functional / JDK8

By embracing the JDK8, much of the code is written in a very functional manner.


The framework includes many unit and integration tests. These tests serve as great self-documentation - in addition to this site.