Serverless

How to perform database migration for a live service with no downtime

Performing a database migration while continuing to serve user requests can be challenging. It’s a question that many students have asked during the Production-Ready Serverless [1] workshop. So here’s my tried-and-tested approach to migrating a live service to a new database without downtime. I’m going to use DynamoDB as an example, but it should work …

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The one mistake everyone makes when using Kinesis with Lambda

AWS Kinesis and Lambda are a great combo for processing large amounts of data in real-time. However, there’s a common oversight that many developers make when integrating these two services. There are established best practices for configuring Lambda’s EventSourceMapping [1] for Kinesis: Configure an OnFailure destination for failed records. Enable BisectBatchOnFunctionError. Override MaximumRetryAttempts. Choose a …

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How I implemented web analytics reporting with Amazon Timestream

A month ago, I shared how I built an affiliate tracking system in a weekend [1]. Since then, I’ve enhanced the system by integrating analytics reporting, enabling affiliates to gauge the performance of their URLs. This post will describe how the system works and why I chose Amazon Timestream over DynamoDB.   How it works 1. …

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Serverless v4 will start charging users, but that’s a good thing

The Serverless Framework remains a top choice for serverless development, as evidenced by the recent State of Serverless report [1]. Yet, its appeal has waned over time due to the lack of innovation in recent years, prompting users to explore other options. Recently, they announced [2] significant updates for Serverless v4: Fees will be introduced …

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Amplify: how to share code without Lambda Layers or private NPM

Sharing code efficiently across different parts of an application can be challenging with AWS Lambda, especially when using Amplify. Today, I’ll walk you through a solution to this common problem, without relying on Lambda Layers or private NPM repositories. The Context In my previous post about Lambda Layers [1], I delved into its limitations, especially …

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How I built an affiliate tracking system in a weekend with serverless

Having taught thousands of students to build serverless applications via my online courses and workshops, I felt it was time to kick-start an affiliate program to boost sales. Affiliates would receive 50% of the revenue and get a 15% discount code for their audience. It feels like a good deal but I would need a …

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CloudFormation: How to set Deletion Policy to Retain for production only?

It’s a good practice to use CloudFormation’s deletion policy to protect stateful resources such as DynamoDB tables or RDS databases from accidental deletions. Such as when someone accidentally deletes a CloudFormation stack! As I discussed previously [1], this is a much better way to guard against these accidental data losses than separating stateful and stateless …

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Static IP for Lambda: ingress, egress and bypassing the dreaded NAT Gateway

Many vendors require you to have a static IP address for your application. Such that all requests to their API must originate from an allow-list of IP addresses. This means we need to force egress traffic from our Lambda functions through a static IP address. Sometimes, they even mandate that you use a static IP …

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Step Functions: combine Standard and Express workflows for fun & profit

Step Functions’ state machines come in two flavours. By understanding their strengths and limitations, you can harness the combined power of both to optimize your processes for efficiency and cost. Standard Workflows Optimal for: Business-critical operations like payment processing. Strengths: Suitable for low-throughput scenarios. High maximum duration ensures enough time for retries using exponential backoff. …

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What’s the most serverless way to wait for a slow HTTP response?

Every now and then you are faced with an awkward situation where you need to wait for a slow HTTP response and it can take more than 15 mins. Using Lambda is impractical because of the 15 mins timeout, and very cost ineffective because you will be paying for all that idle time by the millisecond.

If not Lambda, what’s the most serverless way for you to wait for a sloooow HTTP response?

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