New for AWS Lambda – Use Any Programming Language and Share Common Components

I remember the excitement when AWS Lambda was announced in 2014! Four years on, customers are using Lambda functions for many different use cases. For example, iRobot is using AWS Lambda to provide compute services for their Roomba robotic vacuum cleaners, Fannie Mae to run Monte Carlo simulations for millions of mortgages, Bustle to serve billions of requests for their digital content.
Today, we are introducing two new features that are going to make serverless development even easier:
Lambda Layers, a way to centrally manage code and data that is shared across multiple functions.
Lambda Runtime API, a simple interface to use any programming language, or a specific language version, for developing your functions.
These two features can be used together: runtimes can be shared as layers so that developers can pick them up and use their favorite programming language when authoring Lambda functions.
Let’s see how they work more in detail.
Lambda Layers
When building serverless applications, it


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AWS Serverless Application Model (SAM) Command Line Interface – Build, Test, and Debug Serverless Apps Locally

Decades ago, I wrote page after page of code in 6502 assembly language. After assembling and linking the code, I would load it into memory, set breakpoints at strategic locations, and step through to make sure that everything worked as intended. These days, I no longer have the opportunity to write or debug any non-trivial code, so I was a bit apprehensive when it came time to write this blog post (truth be told, I have been procrastinating for several weeks).
SAM CLI I want to tell you about the new Serverless Application Model (SAM) Command Line Interface, and to gain some confidence in my ability to build something using AWS Lambda as I do so! Let’s review some terms to get started:
AWS SAM, short for Serverless Application Model, is an open source framework you can use to build serverless applications on AWS. It provides a shorthand syntax you


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Extending AWS CloudFormation with AWS Lambda Powered Macros

Today I’m really excited to show you a powerful new feature of AWS CloudFormation called Macros. CloudFormation Macros allow developers to extend the native syntax of CloudFormation templates by calling out to AWS Lambda powered transformations. This is the same technology that powers the popular Serverless Application Model functionality but the transforms run in your own accounts, on your own lambda functions, and they’re completely customizable. CloudFormation, if you’re new to AWS, is an absolutely essential tool for modeling and defining your infrastructure as code (YAML or JSON). It is a core building block for all of AWS and many of our services depend on it.
There are two major steps for using macros. First, we need to define a macro, which of course, we do with a CloudFormation template. Second, to use the created macro in our template we need to add it as a transform for the entire


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Now Available – AWS Serverless Application Repository

Last year I suggested that you Get Ready for the AWS Serverless Application Repository and gave you a sneak peek. The Repository is designed to make it as easy as possible for you to discover, configure, and deploy serverless applications and components on AWS. It is also an ideal venue for AWS partners, enterprise customers, and independent developers to share their serverless creations.
Now Available After a well-received public preview, the AWS Serverless Application Repository is now generally available and you can start using it today!
As a consumer, you will be able to tap in to a thriving ecosystem of serverless applications and components that will be a perfect complement to your machine learning, image processing, IoT, and general-purpose work. You can configure and consume them as-is, or you can take them apart, add features, and submit pull requests to the author.
As a publisher, you can publish your


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Announcing the Winners of the AWS Chatbot Challenge – Conversational, Intelligent Chatbots using Amazon Lex and AWS Lambda

A couple of months ago on the blog, I announced the AWS Chatbot Challenge in conjunction with Slack. The AWS Chatbot Challenge was an opportunity to build a unique chatbot that helped to solve a problem or that would add value for its prospective users. The mission was to build a conversational, natural language chatbot using Amazon Lex and leverage Lex’s integration with AWS Lambda to execute logic or data processing on the backend.
I know that you all have been anxiously waiting to hear announcements of who were the winners of the AWS Chatbot Challenge as much as I was. Well wait no longer, the winners of the AWS Chatbot Challenge have been decided.

May I have the Envelope Please? (The Trumpets sound)
The winners of the AWS Chatbot Challenge are:
First Place: BuildFax Counts by Joe Emison
Second Place: Hubsy by Andrew Riess, Andrew Puch, and John Wetzel


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New – AWS SAM Local (Beta) – Build and Test Serverless Applications Locally

Today we’re releasing a beta of a new tool, SAM Local, that makes it easy to build and test your serverless applications locally. In this post we’ll use SAM local to build, debug, and deploy a quick application that allows us to vote on tabs or spaces by curling an endpoint. AWS introduced Serverless Application Model (SAM) last year to make it easier for developers to deploy serverless applications. If you’re not already familiar with SAM my colleague Orr wrote a great post on how to use SAM that you can read in about 5 minutes. At it’s core, SAM is a powerful open source specification built on AWS CloudFormation that makes it easy to keep your serverless infrastructure as code – and they have the cutest mascot.

SAM Local takes all the good parts of SAM and brings them to your local machine.
It lets you develop and


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New – CloudWatch Events for EBS Snapshots

Cloud computing can improve upon traditional IT operations by giving you the power to automate complex high-level operations that were formerly kept in a runbook or passed along as tribal knowledge. Far too many of these operations involve backup and recovery operations, especially in smaller and less mature organizations.
Many AWS customers make great use of Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) volumes, especially given the ease with which they can generate and manage snapshot backups. They are also copying snapshots between regions on a regular basis for disaster recovery and other operational reasons.
Today we are bringing the benefits of automation to EBS with the addition of new CloudWatch Events for EBS snapshots. You can use these events to add additional automation to your cloud-based backup environment. Here are the new events:
createSnapshot – Fired after the status of a newly created EBS snapshot changes to Complete.
copySnapshot –


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Amazon Aurora Update – Call Lambda Functions From Stored Procedures; Load Data From S3

Many AWS services work just fine by themselves, but even better together! This important aspect of our model allows you to select a single service, learn about it, get some experience with it, and then extend your span to other related services over time. On the other hand, opportunities to make the services work together are ever-present, and we have a number of them on our customer-driven roadmap.
Today I would like to tell you about two new features for Amazon Aurora, our MySQL-compatible relational database:
Lambda Function Invocation – The stored procedures that you create within your Amazon Aurora databases can now invoke AWS Lambda functions.
Load Data From S3 – You can now import data stored in an Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) bucket into a table in an Amazon Aurora database.
Because both of these features involve Amazon Aurora and another AWS service, you must grant Amazon


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Arduino Web Editor and Cloud Platform – Powered by AWS

Last night I spoke with Luca Cipriani from Arduino to learn more about the new AWS-powered Arduino Web Editor and Arduino Cloud Platform offerings. Luca was en-route to the Bay Area Maker Faire and we had just a few minutes to speak, but that was enough time for me to learn a bit about what they have built.

If you have ever used an Arduino, you know that there are several steps involved. First you need to connect the board to your PC’s serial port using a special cable (you can also use Wi-Fi if you have the appropriate add-on “shield”), ensure that the port is properly configured, and establish basic communication. Then you need to install, configure, and launch your development environment, make sure that it can talk to your Arduino, tell it which make and model of Arduino that you are using, and select the libraries that you want to call from your code. With all of that taken care of, you are ready to write code, compile it, and then download it to the board for debugging and testing.

Arduino Code Editor
Luca told me that the Arduino Code Editor was designed to simplify and streamline the setup and development process. The editor runs within your browser and is hosted on AWS (although we did not have time to get in to the details, I understand that they made good use of AWS Lambda and several other AWS services).

You can write and modify your code, save it to the cloud and optionally share it with your colleagues and/or friends. The editor can also detect your board (using a small native plugin) and configure itself accordingly; it even makes sure that you can only write code using libraries that are compatible with your board. All of your code is compiled in the cloud and then downloaded to your board for execution.

Here’s what the editor looks like (see Sneak Peek on the New, Web-Based Arduino Create for more):

Arduino Cloud Platform
Because Arduinos are small, easy to program, and consume very little power, they work well in IoT (Internet of Things) applications. Even better, it is easy to connect them to all sorts of sensors, displays, and actuators so that they can collect data and effect changes.

The new Arduino Cloud Platform is designed to simplify the task of building IoT applications that make use of Arduino technology. Connected devices will be able to be able to connect to the Internet, upload information derived from sensors, and effect changes upon command from the cloud. Building upon the functionality provided by AWS IoT, this new platform will allow devices to communicate with the Internet and with each other. While the final details are still under wraps, I believe that this will pave the wave for sensors to activate Lambda functions and for Lambda functions to take control of displays and actuators.

I look forward to learning more about this platform as the details become available!


Jeff;

 


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