hands-on lab

Introduction to AWS Step Functions

Up to 1h 30m
Get guided in a real environmentPractice with a step-by-step scenario in a real, provisioned environment.
Learn and validateUse validations to check your solutions every step of the way.
See resultsTrack your knowledge and monitor your progress.


AWS Step Functions is a web service that enables you to coordinate the components of distributed applications and microservices using visual workflows.

Step Functions manage the operations and underlying infrastructure for you to ensure your application is available at any scale.

In this lab, you will see what AWS Step Functions are and what types of problems this service is best suited to solve. By the end of this lab, you will have created a solution that combines Lambda and Step Functions for a fictitious gaming application.

Learning objectives

  • Understand what AWS Step Functions is and how to use AWS Step Functions
  • Understand the different components of AWS Step Functions and how to configure AWS Step Functions
  • Understand how to implement Parallel Steps, when to use them and why
  • Understand the situations best suited to using Conditional Steps
  • Make a State Machine log to the CloudWatch service
  • Create and test a State Machine

Intended audience

  • Candidates for the AWS Developer Associate Exam
  • Application developers interested in workflow orchestration for data processing, automating security tasks or even modernizing monolithic architectures


Familiarity with the following will be beneficial, but is not required:

  • AWS Step Functions
  • AWS Lambda
  • Amazon DynamoDB

The following can be used to fulfill the prerequisites:


May 7th, 2024 - Resolved deployment issue

November 30th, 2023 - Updated Lambda function versions and improved instructions for clarity

September 4th, 2023 - Updated screenshots and instructions to reflect latest UI

April 20th, 2023 - Resolved State Machine execution error

August 22nd, 2022 - Updated the instructions and screenshots to reflect the latest UI

June 23rd, 2021 - Improved lab formatting and screenshots for an improved learning experience. Updated content to reflect the latest AWS Console experience.

March 11th, 2021 - Updated AWS Lambda instructions to reflect latest user interface updates

January 22nd, 2021 - Updated AWS Lambda lab steps to reflect latest user interface updates

March 16th, 2020 - Updated to reflect the latest AWS Console experience and added code syntax highlighting for improved readability

January 31th, 2019 - Updated all sections of the lab to the standard format of CloudAcademy's labs

January 10th, 2019 - Added a validation lab step to check the work you perform in the lab 

About the author

Learning paths

Giacomo is a Computer Engineer with a passion for all things AWS and Cloud Technology. When he's not spending most of his weekends in the clouds hiking and climbing, he pushes on with his quest to unlock all the virtual cloud has to offer.  Treating every day like a school day, Giacomo is curious about everything. Constantly traveling, discovering and experiencing new things from sports to photography; he revels in uncovering the unknown.

Covered topics

Lab steps

Logging In to the Amazon Web Services Console
Understanding the AWS Step Functions Service
Using AWS Step Functions to Build a Game
Creating a Parallel Step Type
Creating a Conditional Step Type
Logging Results to Amazon CloudWatch
Creating a State Machine