Airflow vs Amazon SWF: What are the differences?
What is Airflow? A platform to programmaticaly author, schedule and monitor data pipelines, by Airbnb. Use Airflow to author workflows as directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) of tasks. The Airflow scheduler executes your tasks on an array of workers while following the specified dependencies. Rich command lines utilities makes performing complex surgeries on DAGs a snap. The rich user interface makes it easy to visualize pipelines running in production, monitor progress and troubleshoot issues when needed.
What is Amazon SWF? Automate the coordination, auditing, and scaling of applications across multiple machines. Amazon Simple Workflow allows you to structure the various processing steps in an application that runs across one or more machines as a set of “tasks.” Amazon SWF manages dependencies between the tasks, schedules the tasks for execution, and runs any logic that needs to be executed in parallel. The service also stores the tasks, reliably dispatches them to application components, tracks their progress, and keeps their latest state.
Airflow belongs to "Workflow Manager" category of the tech stack, while Amazon SWF can be primarily classified under "Cloud Task Management".
Some of the features offered by Airflow are:
- Dynamic: Airflow pipelines are configuration as code (Python), allowing for dynamic pipeline generation. This allows for writting code that instantiate pipelines dynamically.
- Extensible: Easily define your own operators, executors and extend the library so that it fits the level of abstraction that suits your environment.
- Elegant: Airflow pipelines are lean and explicit. Parameterizing your scripts is built in the core of Airflow using powerful Jinja templating engine.
On the other hand, Amazon SWF provides the following key features:
- Maintaining application state
- Tracking workflow executions and logging their progress
- Holding and dispatching tasks
Airflow is an open source tool with 13K GitHub stars and 4.72K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Airflow's open source repository on GitHub.
Airbnb, Slack, and 9GAG are some of the popular companies that use Airflow, whereas Amazon SWF is used by Lookout, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Better. Airflow has a broader approval, being mentioned in 72 company stacks & 33 developers stacks; compared to Amazon SWF, which is listed in 11 company stacks and 3 developer stacks.