Standard and Express Workflow executions in the console - Amazon Step Functions
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Standard and Express Workflow executions in the console

When you create a state machine, you select a Type of either Standard or Express. The default Type for state machines is Standard. A state machine whose Type is Standard is called a Standard workflow and a state machine whose Type is Express is called an Express workflow.

For both Standard and Express workflows, you define your state machine using the Amazon States Language. Your state machine executions will behave differently depending on the Type that you select.

Important

The Type you choose can't be changed after you create the state machine.

For more information about Standard and Express workflows, see Standard vs. Express Workflows.

The history of Standard workflow executions are recorded in Step Functions, while the history of Express workflow executions aren't recorded in Step Functions. To record the history of an Express workflow execution, you must configure it to send logs to Amazon CloudWatch. For more information, see Logging using CloudWatch Logs.

Once logging is configured on an Express workflow, you can view its executions in the Step Functions console. The console experience to view Express workflow executions and Standard workflow executions is similar, except for the following differences and limitations.

Note

Because execution data for Express workflows are displayed using CloudWatch Logs Insights, scanning the logs will incur charges. By default, your log group only lists executions completed in the last three hours. If you specify a larger time range that includes more execution events, your costs will increase. For more information, see Vended Logs under the Logs tab on the CloudWatch Pricing page and Logging using CloudWatch Logs.

Console experience differences

For all Standard and Express workflows, you can view details, such as the state machine and its IAM role ARN, on the State machine detail page in the Step Functions console.

On the State machine detail page, you can also see a list of your state machine's execution histories under the Executions tab. Use the Search for executions box to search for a specific execution of the chosen state machine. Use the Filter by status dropdown to filter execution histories by their status. You can also choose an execution history and select the View details button to open its Execution details page.

Standard workflows

The execution histories for Standard Workflows are always available for executions completed in the last 90 days.


                    State machine detail page of a Standard workflow. The page displays details, such as the state machine ARN and its IAM role ARN, and a list of 
                        execution histories under the Executions tab.

Express workflows

To display execution history for Express workflows, the Step Functions console retrieves log data gathered through a CloudWatch Logs log group.

You must also enable the new console experience to view Express workflow executions. To do this, choose the Enable button displayed inside the banner on the Executions tab. Once you choose this button, it won't appear again.

Tip

To switch between enabling or disabling the console experience, use the Enable express execution history toggle button.

The histories for executions completed in the last three hours are available by default. You can adjust this time range or specify a custom range. If you specify a larger time range that includes more execution events, the cost to scan the logs will increase. For more information, see Vended Logs under the Logs tab on the CloudWatch Pricing page and Logging using CloudWatch Logs.


                State machine detail page of an Express workflow. The page displays details, such as the state machine and its IAM role ARN, and a list of 
                    execution histories under the Executions tab.

Considerations and limitations for viewing Express workflow executions

When viewing Express workflow executions on the Step Functions console, keep in mind the following considerations and limitations.

Availability of Express workflow execution details relies on Amazon CloudWatch Logs

Note

If you don’t enable the new console experience to view Express workflow executions, the execution histories and their corresponding execution details are unavailable in the Step Functions console. To enable the new console experience, choose the Enable button displayed inside the banner on the Executions tab.

For Express workflows, their execution history and detailed execution information are gathered through CloudWatch Logs Insights. This information is kept in the CloudWatch Logs log group that you specify when you create the state machine. The state machine's execution history is shown under the Executions tab on the Step Functions console. Detailed information about each execution of the state machine is displayed on the Execution details page for the chosen execution.

Warning

If you delete the CloudWatch Logs for an Express workflow, it won't be listed under the Executions tab.

We recommend that you use the default log level of ALL for logging all execution event types. You can update the log level as required for your existing state machines when you edit them. For more information, see Logging using CloudWatch Logs and Log levels.

Partial Express workflow execution details are available if logging level is ERROR or FATAL

By default, the logging level for Express workflow executions is set to ALL. If you change the log level, the execution histories and execution details for completed executions won’t be affected. However, all new executions will emit logs based on the updated log level. For more information, see Logging using CloudWatch Logs and Log levels.

For example, if you change the log level from ALL to either ERROR or FATAL, the Executions tab on the Step Functions console only lists failed executions. In the Event view tab, the console shows only the event details for the state machine steps that failed.

We recommend that you use the default log level of ALL for logging all execution event types. You can update the log level as required for your existing state machines when you edit the state machine.

State machine definition of an older execution can't be viewed once it has been updated

State machine definitions for past executions aren't stored for Express workflows. If you change the state machine definition, you can only view the state machine definition for executions using the most current definition.

For example, if you remove one or more steps from your state machine definition, Step Functions detects a mismatch between the definition and prior execution events. Because previous definitions are not stored for Express workflows, Step Functions can't display the state machine definition for executions run on an earlier version of the state machine definition. As a result, the Execution input & output, Definition, Graph view, and Table view tabs are unavailable for executions run on previous versions of a state machine definition.