Lambda

AWS Lambda: how to share code between functions in a monorepo

A while back, a client asked me “how can I share business logic between services in a Node.js monorepo?”. The TL;DR of it is: Encapsulate the shared business logic into modules, and put them in a separate folder. In the Lambda handler functions, reference the shared modules using relative paths. Use webpack to resolve and …

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Step Functions as an ad-hoc scheduling mechanism

We previously discussed how you can implement an ad-hoc scheduling system using DynamoDB TTL as well as CloudWatch Events. And now, let’s see how you can implement the same system using AWS Step Functions and the pros and cons of this approach. As before, we will assess this approach using the following criteria: Precision: how …

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AWS Lambda: how to detect and stop accidental infinite recursions

Lambda makes it easy to build event-driven architectures. Each function only needs to look after its own responsibilities. We chain them together through APIs, queues, streams, and other event sources. It’s a good way to build complex systems out of simple components. We need only managed services, and we only pay for them when we …

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How to log timed out Lambda invocations

Imagine the situation. It’s 3 AM, and PagerDuty alerts you that the number of 5XX errors has spiked. Something’s wrong. Strange, there are no error logs… Fortunately, we have enabled X-Ray tracing and I’m able to quickly find one of the traces for these 5XX errors. Sadly, the traces don’t offer any explanation for the …

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ICYMI: five updates you’ve missed about Serverless Step Functions

Over the last 6 months, we have made the Serverless Step Functions plugin better and more useful. Here are the most impactful changes, in case you missed it! Support for intrinsic function One of the main pain points of using the plugin has long been that you needed to use fully-formed ARNs. As of v1.18.0 …

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A self-healing Kinesis function that adapts its throughput based on performance

I spent time with a client this week to solve an interesting problem – to adjust the number of concurrent requests to a downstream service dynamically based on response time and error rate. This is a common challenge when integrating with third parties, so we decided to share our approach so others might benefit from …

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AWS SAM + Cloudformation macros, a patch made in heaven

Over the last few weeks I have been working with a very ambitious client – Solve, who is building a new murder mystery game. They are doing some really cool things technically, and are building an entirely serverless stack. While working with Solve I have spent a lot of time with AWS SAM. That experience …

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How to include Serverless Repository apps in serverless.yml

Over the past year, the Serverless Application Repository (SAR) service has improved a lot. I have grown to enjoy it more and more, and have contributed a few applications myself: lambda-janitor: cron job to delete old, unused versions of all Lambda functions in the region to free up storage space. auto-subscribe-log-group-to-arn: subscribes new and existing …

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Using CloudWatch and Lambda to implement ad-hoc scheduling

A while back I wrote about using DynamoDB TTL to implement ad-hoc scheduling. It generated some healthy debate and a few of you have mentioned alternatives including using Step Functions. So let’s take a look at some of these alternatives, starting with the simplest – using a cron job. We will assess this approach using the …

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Introducing… CloudFormation extrinsic functions ;-)

Ok, ok, AWS hasn’t announced a whole new class of intrinsic functions for you to use in CloudFormation. But if you’re using the Serverless framework then I have a treat for you :-) I created a plugin for the Serverless framework that lets you use a number of custom Fn:: functions in your serverless.yml. The …

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