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Workflows in Go

External Workflows

You can execute Workflows (including those from other language SDKs) by their type name:

workflowID := "yourWorkflow_" + uuid.New()
workflowOptions := client.StartWorkflowOptions{
ID: workflowID,
TaskQueue: "mytaskqueue",

we, err := temporalClient.ExecuteWorkflow(context.Background(), workflowOptions, "MySimpleWorkflow")
if err != nil {
log.Fatalln("Unable to execute workflow", err)
log.Println("Started workflow", "WorkflowID", we.GetID(), "RunID", we.GetRunID())

In the above example, client is imported from the "" package. And temporalClient is an instance of the Temporal Client instantiated outside the snippet. Here we spawn a Workflow Execution by its Workflow Type name MySimpleWorkflow. By default, the Workflow type is the name of the Workflow function, for example:

func MySimpleWorkflow(ctx workflow.Context) error {
// Workflow code here...

Note that you can also set the Workflow type via RegisterWorkflowOptions when registering your Workflow with the Worker, for example:

rwo := workflow.RegisterOptions {
Name: "YourWorkflow", // Set "YourWorkflow" as the Workflow type
w.RegisterWorkflowWithOptions(dynamic.SampleGreetingsWorkflow, rwo)

Querying Workflow State

When you start a Workflow with ExecuteWorkflow, a WorkflowExecution is returned (which is the we variable above). The WorkflowExecution can be used to get the result or capture the WorkflowId. You can retrieve the result of the Workflow from a completely different process, as long as you have the WorkflowId, by using client.GetWorkflow.

we = client.GetWorkflow(workflowID)
var result string
we.Get(ctx, &result)

How to cancel a Workflow Execution

Use the CancelWorkflow API to cancel a Workflow Execution using its Id.


func main() {
var workflowID string
flag.StringVar(&workflowID, "wid", "workflowID-to-cancel", "workflowID of the Workflow Execution to be canceled.")

if workflowID == "" {

// The client is a heavyweight object that should be created once per process.
c, err := client.Dial(client.Options{
HostPort: client.DefaultHostPort,
if err != nil {
log.Fatalln("Unable to create client", err)
defer c.Close()

err = c.CancelWorkflow(context.Background(), workflowID, "")
if err != nil {
log.Fatalln("Unable to cancel Workflow Execution", err)
log.Println("Workflow Execution cancelled", "WorkflowID", workflowID)

How to clean up after a Workflow is cancelled

Workflow Definitions can be written to handle execution cancellation requests with Go's defer and the workflow.NewDisconnectedContext API. In the Workflow Definition below, there is a special Activity that handles clean up should the execution be cancelled.


// YourWorkflow is a Workflow Definition that shows how it can be canceled.
func YourWorkflow(ctx workflow.Context) error {
ao := workflow.ActivityOptions{
StartToCloseTimeout: 30 * time.Minute,
HeartbeatTimeout: 5 * time.Second,
WaitForCancellation: true,
ctx = workflow.WithActivityOptions(ctx, ao)
logger := workflow.GetLogger(ctx)
logger.Info("cancel workflow started")
var a *Activities // Used to call Activities by function pointer
defer func() {

if !errors.Is(ctx.Err(), workflow.ErrCanceled) {

// When the Workflow is canceled, it has to get a new disconnected context to execute any Activities
newCtx, _ := workflow.NewDisconnectedContext(ctx)
err := workflow.ExecuteActivity(newCtx, a.CleanupActivity).Get(ctx, nil)
if err != nil {
logger.Error("CleanupActivity failed", "Error", err)

var result string
err := workflow.ExecuteActivity(ctx, a.ActivityToBeCanceled).Get(ctx, &result)
logger.Info(fmt.Sprintf("ActivityToBeCanceled returns %v, %v", result, err))

err = workflow.ExecuteActivity(ctx, a.ActivityToBeSkipped).Get(ctx, nil)
logger.Error("Error from ActivityToBeSkipped", "Error", err)

logger.Info("Workflow Execution complete.")

return nil