Execution of Tasks as Programs


The simpleflow.execute module allows to define functions that will be executed as a program.

There are two modes:

  • Convert the definition of a fonction as a command line.
  • Execute a Python function in another process.

Please refer to the simpleflow.tests.test_activity test module for further examples.

Executing a function as a command line

Let’s take the example of ls:

def ls():

Calling ls() in Python will execute the ls command. Here the purpose of the function definition is only to describe the command line. The reason for this is to map a call in a workflow definition to a program to execute on the command line. The program may be written in any language whereas the workflow definition is in Python.

Executing a Python function in another process

The rationale for this feature is to execute a function with another interpreter (such as pypy) or in another environment (virtualenv).

def inc(xs):
    return [x + 1 for x in xs]

Calling inc(range(10)) in Python will execute the function with the pypy interpreter found in the $PATH.


The main limitation comes from the need to serialize the arguments and the return values to pass them as strings. Hence all arguments and return values must be convertible into JSON values.