Workflows, Actions and Runs

Ryax is more than just a tool; it is a complete framework to develop, deploy, and maintain backends. To do so, Ryax proposes a paradigm. To fully understand the framework, in this section we will go through the main concepts in Ryax: workflows, triggers, actions and runs.

Workflow overview

The above is a snapshot of a workflow. A workflow is a chain of conputational steps that can serve diverse purposes. Each of the subsequent numbered boxes are called actions. These are the units of computation that take some inputs (or none at all), and can produce outputs. Linking multiple actions together gives us a workflow.

Workflows are:

  • a set of linked actions.

  • without any loops; they are Directed Acyclic Graphs (DAGs).

  • data streams; the outputs of any given action are accessible to every downstream action.

There are 2 types of actions:

  • Triggers are the actions that ingest data from the outside world or are triggered by any internal or external event and will begin the run of a workflow. They are long-running processes responsable for triggering new workflow runs. For example, a trigger can start a new run every day at 6 pm; or every time that an email arrives in a given mailbox.

  • Actions are stateless processes that compute things. They ingest data from upstream through their inputs and produce outputs which are added to the stream and can be used doenstream.

An action computing some data is called a run. In Ryax, a run holds everything related to it: the input data, the output data, the logs, etc.

Creating a Ryax workflow

To create a Ryax workflow, answer these questions:

  1. What triggers the workflow? Many events in the outside world may trigger a Ryax workflow. It can be an email, a new file in a file share, submission of an online form, a new contact in a CRM or some IoT data, for example.

  2. Who needs the results of the workflow? What are the tools they can access? For instance, a salesperson may need this data to be attached to the company profiles in a CRM, or predictive maintenance results may need to be accessed by managers to plan actions and by workers to perform the recommended actions.

  3. What data do you need to be able to run the required computations? Where do you gather it? In what formats do they come?

  4. Are my computations done in several steps? Are there some steps that I can reuse in other workflows? Can I salvage actions from prior workflows?

The first question helps define triggers. The second one is for actions. Finally, 3 and 4 help define re-usable actions.


In Ryax, you can define your own trigger to fit your needs. For example, listen to a message broker topic, connect to your system and respond to any event coming from it. Simpy put, triggers are the first action of a workflow responsible for initiating Ryax executions.
For common tasks, like periodically launch executions, launch from a form or API call there already triggers available. For a comprehensive list of triggers check the default-actions project triggers section in gitlab.


This trigger implements a JSON HTTP API, this trigger will provide an API endpoint on the
project URL associated to your Ryax Project. For your convenience an OpenAPI doc is automatically generated and can be accessed from the project dashboard. You can see OpenAPI and Project URL links just below the project name.

Add input

In the OpenAPI doc you can have an overview of the project endpoints, each endpoint is a different workflow that implements trigger HTTP API JSON. The fastest way to secure your endpoints is to click on Project Settings and associate an API key to your project.

Add input

You can use the OpenAPI doc to interact with your endpoints and check the full URL.

Add input

The API HTTP JSON trigger allows you to set several parameters including the OpenAPI summary, tags, description, method, timeout, and the success code. Users can choose either as success status code 200 (http success) or 201 (http created). Code 202 (http accepted) is reserved by Ryax, because if a timeout occurs, Ryax returns 202 with a link on the payload to fetch results. If you want to achieve an immediate asynchronous API call, just set timeout to zero. This will instantly return 202 with a link on the payload to fetch results. See an example of response payload when 202 is return below.

  "result_link": "",
  "workflow_run_id": "WorkflowRun-1688476847-cxev"

Any subsequent action of a workflow with HTTP JSON API trigger can raise a RyaxException on the handler function. RyaxException carries 2 parameters message and code, names must be respected, to allow users customize the HTTP error status code and message. See the example below.

# Names RyaxException, code, and message must be exact
class RyaxException(Exception):
    message: str
    code: int

def handler(inputs: dict) -> dict:
    output_dict = {}
    user = inputs["user"]
        return output_dict[user]
    except KeyError:    
        # RyaxException sets HTTP JSON API response's payload and status code
        raise RyaxException(code=404, message=f"User {user} not found")

For a complete action example, see raise_ryax_exception action on the default-actions repository.