Getting Set Up with Amazon SWF - Amazon Simple Workflow Service
Services or capabilities described in Amazon Web Services documentation might vary by Region. To see the differences applicable to the China Regions, see Getting Started with Amazon Web Services in China.

Getting Set Up with Amazon SWF

This section discusses the prerequisites for developing with the Amazon Simple Workflow Service (Amazon SWF) and the development options that are available. The first step in using any Amazon service is to sign up for an Amazon account, discussed in detail in the following section. Once your account is set up, you have the option of developing for Amazon SWF in any of the programming languages supported by Amazon. For Java and Ruby developers, the Amazon Flow Framework is also available. Amazon Identity and Access Management enables you to grant individuals other than the Amazon account owner access to Amazon SWF resources.

Amazon Account and Access Keys

To access Amazon SWF, you will need to sign up for an Amazon account.

To sign up for an Amazon account

  1. Open

  2. Follow the online instructions.

    Part of the sign-up procedure involves receiving a phone call and entering a verification code on the phone keypad.

Access keys consist of an access key ID and secret access key, which are used to sign programmatic requests that you make to Amazon. If you don't have access keys, you can create them from the Amazon Web Services Management Console. As a best practice, do not use the Amazon Web Services account root user access keys for any task where it's not required. Instead, create a new administrator IAM user with access keys for yourself.

The only time that you can view or download the secret access key is when you create the keys. You cannot recover them later. However, you can create new access keys at any time. You must also have permissions to perform the required IAM actions. For more information, see Permissions required to access IAM resources in the IAM User Guide.

To create access keys for an IAM user

  1. Sign in to the Amazon Web Services Management Console and open the IAM console at

  2. In the navigation pane, choose Users.

  3. Choose the name of the user whose access keys you want to create, and then choose the Security credentials tab.

  4. In the Access keys section, choose Create access key.

  5. To view the new access key pair, choose Show. You will not have access to the secret access key again after this dialog box closes. Your credentials will look something like this:


    • Secret access key: wJalrXUtnFEMI/K7MDENG/bPxRfiCYEXAMPLEKEY

  6. To download the key pair, choose Download .csv file. Store the keys in a secure location. You will not have access to the secret access key again after this dialog box closes.

    Keep the keys confidential in order to protect your Amazon Web Services account and never email them. Do not share them outside your organization, even if an inquiry appears to come from Amazon or No one who legitimately represents Amazon will ever ask you for your secret key.

  7. After you download the .csv file, choose Close. When you create an access key, the key pair is active by default, and you can use the pair right away.

Related topics


To reduce latency and to store data in a location that meets your requirements, Amazon SWF provides endpoints in different regions.

Each endpoint in Amazon SWF is completely independent; any domains, workflows and activities you have registered in one region don't share any data or attributes with those in another. In other words, when you register an Amazon SWF domain, workflow or activity, it exists only within the region you registered it in. For example, you could register a domain named SWF-Flows-1 in two different regions, but they will share no data or attributes with each other—each acts as a completely independent domain.

For a list of Amazon SWF endpoints, see Regions and Endpoints.