Community Blog CloudFlow: Streamlined Development Makes It Easier to Build Applications on the Cloud

CloudFlow: Streamlined Development Makes It Easier to Build Applications on the Cloud

This article introduces Alibaba Cloud CloudFlow, which is a powerful and fully-managed process orchestration and development tool designed for developers.

Alibaba Cloud CloudFlow is a powerful and fully-managed process orchestration and development tool for developers. It is fully managed, highly concurrent, and highly available. It helps users simplify and automate complex business processes and workflows, making it easier to build applications on the cloud.

The emergence of CloudFlow has accelerated the adoption of streamlined development.

As Alibaba Cloud continues to offer comprehensive Serverless products, many cloud products have become modular, API-based, and service-oriented. CloudFlow allows users to assemble these products and build applications through a drag-and-drop approach. In the Serverless architecture, streamlined development has become the mainstream, offering over 50% improvement in efficiency compared to traditional models.

By using event buses, CloudFlow enables the collection and distribution of events. Through Function Compute, efficient event processing and customized business logic can be achieved. Through workflow orchestration, multiple cloud services or custom application components can be seamlessly integrated, allowing for the development of elastic and highly available cloud-native applications. Streamlined development not only improves development efficiency but also reduces development, operation, and maintenance costs, further promoting enterprise digital transformation.

Develop Business Processes in a Simple and Reliable Way

CloudFlow provides three main benefits:

• Visual orchestration is supported. CloudFlow Studio's graphical process orchestration allows you to achieve complex workflows by simply dragging and dropping, thanks to its rich control logic.
• Deep integration with cloud services enables you to automate workflow using more than 300 cloud services without the need for coding.
• CloudFlow has the capability to process multiple distributed tasks in parallel on a large scale. It has strong process state management capability, and is highly elastic, reliable, and fault-tolerant, with the ability to replay processes.


1. Visual Development

Process visualization: Workflow Studio provides a graphical interface for editing processes.
Logic visualization: Visual logic control components like Choice, Parallel, Map, and Wait are available, allowing for the implementation of complex business processes through drag and drop.
Execution visualization: Historical execution records are visually represented, making it easy to trace the execution process of workflows.
Debugging visualization: Visual and convenient online debugging capabilities are provided, enabling one-click process debugging and development.

2. Ecological Integration

Integration with general cloud services: CloudFlow supports access to over 300 cloud services in fields such as computing, storage, database, big data, AI, and ETL.
Optimized integration with cloud infrastructure: CloudFlow offers deep integration with cloud services such as Function Compute (FC), Object Storage Service (OSS), Cloud Message Queue (MQ), and Database (DB).
Integration with business systems: CloudFlow supports integration with common business system protocols such as HTTP protocol and general microservice protocol.
Rich scheduling integration: CloudFlow integrates with the EventBridge ecosystem and supports over 900 cloud product audit events. It also supports business events such as Cron, RocketMQ, Kafka, and third-party SaaS to trigger workflow execution.

3. High Availability and High Performance

• Multiple execution modes (Express, Standard) are supported both online and offline.
• Multiple distributed tasks can be processed in parallel on a large scale.
• An event-driven execution engine with high performance is installed.
• Complete process execution observation capability is supported.
• High elasticity, high reliability, execution replay, and fault recovery are ensured.
• Platform-based integration capability is supported, and integration can be quickly completed by customer business systems.

Application Cases

Multimedia Processing


Scenario description: With CloudFlow, you can easily orchestrate multiple tasks, such as transcoding, frame capture, face recognition, speech recognition, and review and uploading, into a seamless workflow. By leveraging Function Compute, you can submit Intelligent Media Management (IMM) tasks or custom processors to generate output that meets your specific business requirements. CloudFlow also ensures reliable retrying of tasks in case of errors or exceptions, greatly improving the throughput of multimedia task processing.

Data Grouping Processing


Scenario description: CloudFlow allows for custom processing of grouped data. For example, in the message grouping function, messages can be categorized based on the semantic meaning of a specific field. Messages belonging to different business groups can be iteratively and parallelly processed, and messages within the same business group can be written to a single OSS object. Additionally, message compression is available. During each iteration, when messages of a business group are written and appended, they enter the compression environment of the data object. Whether or not the messages are compressed is determined by the user-defined threshold.

Visit the official product page: https://www.alibabacloud.com/product/serverless-workflow

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