Create a workflow - Amazon Transfer Family
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Create a workflow

You can create a managed workflow by using the Amazon Web Services Management Console, as described in this topic. To make the workflow creation process as easy as possible, contextual help panels are available for most of the sections in the console.

A workflow has two kinds of steps:

  • Nominal steps – Nominal steps are file-processing steps that you want to apply to incoming files. If you select more than one nominal step, each step is processed in a linear sequence.

  • Exception-handling steps – Exception handlers are file-processing steps that Amazon Transfer Family executes in case any nominal steps fail or result in validation errors.

Create a workflow

  1. Open the Amazon Transfer Family console at

  2. In the left navigation pane, choose Workflows.

  3. On the Workflows page, choose Create workflow.

  4. On the Create workflow page, enter a description. This description appears on the Workflows page.

  5. In the Nominal steps section, choose Add step. Add one or more steps.

    1. Choose a step type from the available options. For more information about the various step types, see Use predefined steps.

    2. Choose Next, then configure parameters for the step.

    3. Choose Next, then review the details for the step.

    4. Choose Create step to add the step and continue.

    5. Continue adding steps as needed. The maximum number of steps in a workflow is 8.

    6. After you have added all of the necessary nominal steps, scroll down to the Exception handlers – optional section, and choose Add step.


      So that you are informed of failures in real time, we recommend that you set up exception handlers and steps to execute when your workflow fails.

  6. To configure exception handlers, add steps in the same manner as described previously. If a file causes any step to throw an exception, your exception handlers are invoked one by one.

  7. (Optional) Scroll down to the Tags section, and add tags for your workflow.

  8. Review the configuration, and choose Create workflow.


    After you've created a workflow, you can't edit it, so make sure to review the configuration carefully.

Configure and execute a workflow

Configure Transfer Family to run a workflow on uploaded files

  1. Open the Amazon Transfer Family console at

  2. In the left navigation pane, choose Servers.

    • To add the workflow to an existing server, choose the server that you want to use for your workflow.

    • Alternatively, create a new server and add the workflow to it. For more information, see Creating a server.

  3. On the details page for the server, scroll down to the Additional details section, and then choose Edit.


    By default, servers do not have any associated workflows. You use the Additional details section to associate a workflow with the selected server.

  4. On the Edit additional details page, in the Managed workflows section, select a workflow to be run on all uploads.


    If you do not already have a workflow, choose Create a new Workflow to create one.

    1. Select the workflow ID to use.

    2. Choose an execution role. This is the role that Transfer Family assumes when executing the workflow's steps. For more information, see IAM policies for workflows. Choose Save.

Execute a workflow

To execute a workflow, you upload a file to a Transfer Family server that you configured with an associated workflow.


If you remove a workflow from a server, and replace it with a new one, you need to wait approximately 10 minutes before executing the new workflow. The Transfer Family server caches the workflow details, and it takes 10 minutes for the server to refresh its cache.

# Execute a workflow > sftp Connected to sftp> put doc1.pdf Uploading doc1.pdf to /DOC-EXAMPLE-BUCKET/home/users/bob/doc1.pdf doc1.pdf 100% 5013KB 601.0KB/s 00:08 sftp> exit >

After your file has been uploaded, the action defined is performed on your file. For example, if your workflow contains a copy step, the file is copied to the location that you defined in that step. You can use Amazon CloudWatch Logs to track the steps that executed and their execution status.

View workflow details

You can view details about previously created workflows or to workflow executions. To view these details, you can use the console or the Amazon Command Line Interface (Amazon CLI).


View workflow details

  1. Open the Amazon Transfer Family console at

  2. In the left navigation pane, choose Workflows.

  3. On the Workflows page, choose a workflow.

    The workflow details page opens.


To view the workflow details, use the describe-workflow CLI command, as shown in the following example. Replace the workflow ID w-1234567890abcdef0 with your own value. For more information, see describe-workflow in the Amazon CLI Command Reference.

# View Workflow details > aws transfer describe-workflow --workflow-id w-1234567890abcdef0 { "Workflow": { "Arn": "arn:aws-cn:transfer:us-east-1:111122223333:workflow/w-1234567890abcdef0", "WorkflowId": "w-1234567890abcdef0", "Name": "Copy file to shared_files", "Steps": [ { "Type": "COPY", "CopyStepDetails": { "Name": "Copy to shared", "FileLocation": { "S3FileLocation": { "Bucket": "DOC-EXAMPLE-BUCKET", "Key": "home/shared_files/" } } } } ], "OnException": {} } }