Flow-based Programming

Panta rhei (Panta rhei) - Everything flows.

In computer programming, flow-based programming (FBP) is a programming paradigm that defines applications as networks of "black box" processes, which exchange data across predefined connections by message passing, where the connections are specified externally to the processes. These black box processes can be reconnected endlessly to form different applications without having to be changed internally. FBP is thus naturally component-oriented.

FBP is a particular form of dataflow programming based on bounded buffers, information packets with defined lifetimes, named ports, and separate definition of connections.

Animation of simple diagram

If you have come across Flow-Based Programming by way of NoFlo or Flowhub, it is recommended that you read Relationship with NoFlo, as there are now (at least) two distinct flavours of FBP. This web site has to do mostly with the older, data processing oriented, highly asynchronous, paradigm, now often being referred to as "classical" FBP.


  1. Introduction
  2. History
  3. Concepts
  4. Software:

  5. Examples
  6. Comparison with other paradigms and methodologies
  7. Relationship with NoFlo
  8. Bibliography
  9. Chapters from the first edition - online
  10. External links

Google group on Flow-Based Programming

Link to Flow-Based Programming Wiki

Twitter hashtag: #FlowBased