AWS Compute Blog

How to turn Node.js projects into AWS Lambda microservices easily with ClaudiaJS

This is a guest post by Gojko Adzic, creator of ClaudiaJS


While working on MindMup 2.0, we started moving parts of our API and back-end infrastructure from Heroku to AWS Lambda. The first Lambda function we created required a shell script of about 120 lines of AWS command-line calls to properly set up, and the second one had a similar number with just minor tweaks. Instead of duplicating this work for each service, we decided to create an open-source tool that can handle the deployment process for us.

Enter Claudia.js: an open-source deployment tool for Node.js microservices that makes getting started with AWS Lambda and Amazon API Gateway very easy for JavaScript developers.

Claudia takes care of AWS deployment workflows, simplifying and automating many error-prone tasks, so that you can focus on solving important business problems rather than worrying about infrastructure code. Claudia sets everything up the way JavaScript developers expect out of the box, and significantly shortens the learning curve required to get Node.js projects running inside Lambda.

Hello World

Here’s a quick ‘hello world’ example.

Create a directory, and initialize a new NPM project

npm init

Next, create app.js with the following code:

var ApiBuilder = require('claudia-api-builder'),
  api = new ApiBuilder();
module.exports = api;

api.get('/hello', function () {
  return 'hello world';

Add the Claudia API Builder as a project dependency:

npm install claudia-api-builder --save

Finally, install Claudia.js in your global path:

npm install -g claudia

That’s pretty much it. You can now install your new microservice in AWS by running the following command:

claudia create --region us-east-1 --api-module app

In a few moments, Claudia will respond with the details of the newly-installed Lambda function and REST API.

  "lambda": {
    "role": "test-executor",
    "name": "test",
    "region": "us-east-1"
  "api": {
    "id": "8x7uh8ho5k",
    "module": "app",
    "url": ""

The result contains the root URL of your new API Gateway resource. Claudia automatically created an endpoint resource for /hello, so just add /hello to the URL, and try it out in a browser or from the console. You should see the ‘hello world’ response.

That’s it! Your first Claudia-deployed Lambda function and API Gateway endpoint is now live on AWS!

What happened in the background?

In the background, Claudia.js executed the following steps:

  • Created a copy of the project.
  • Packaged all the NPM dependencies.
  • Tested that the API is deployable.
  • Zipped up your application and deployed it to Lambda.
  • Created the correct IAM access privileges.
  • Configured an API Gateway endpoint with the /hello resource.
  • Linked the new resource to the previously-deployed Lambda function.
  • Installed the correct API Gateway transformation templates.

Finally, it saved the resulting configuration into a local file (claudia.json), so that you can easily update the function without remembering any of those details.

Try this next:

Install the superb module as a project dependency:

npm install superb --save

Add a new endpoint to the API by appending these lines to app.js:

api.get('/greet', function (request) {
  var superb = require('superb');
  return + ' is ' + superb();

You can now update your existing deployed application by executing the following command:

claudia update

When the deployment completes, try out the new endpoint by adding `/greet?name=’ followed by your name.

Benefits of using Claudia

Claudia significantly reduces the learning curve for deploying and managing serverless style applications, REST API, and event-driven microservices. Developers can use Lambda and API Gateway in a way that is similar to popular lightweight JavaScript web frameworks.

All the query string arguments are immediately available to your function in the request.queryString object. HTTP Form POST variables are in, and any JSON, XML, or text content posted in as raw body text are in request.body.

Asynchronous processes are also easy; just return a Promise from the API endpoint handler, and Claudia waits until the promise resolves before responding to the caller. You can use any A+ Promise-compliant library, including the promises supported out of the box by the new AWS Lambda 4.3.2 runtime.

To make serverless-style applications easier to set up, Claudia automatically enables cross-origin resource sharing (CORS), so a client browser can call your new API directly even from a different domain. All errors are, by default, triggering the 500 HTTP code, so your API works well with most AJAX libraries. You can, of course, easily customize the API endpoints to return a different content type or HTTP response code, or include additional headers. For more information, see the Claudia API Builder documentation.


Claudia helps people get started quickly, and easily migrate existing, self-hosted or third-party-hosted APIs into Lambda. Because it’s not opinionated and does not require a particular structure or way of working, teams can easily start chopping pieces of existing infrastructure and gradually moving it over. For more information visit the git repository for Sample ClaudiaJS Projects.