ICYMI: Serverless Q3 2020
Welcome to the 11th edition of the AWS Serverless ICYMI (in case you missed it) quarterly recap. Every quarter, we share all of the most recent product launches, feature enhancements, blog posts, webinars, Twitch live streams, and other interesting things that you might have missed!
In case you missed our last ICYMI, checkout what happened last quarter here.
In August, we launched support for using Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka (Amazon MSK) as an event source for Lambda functions. Lambda has existing support for processing streams from Kinesis and DynamoDB. Now you can process data streams from Amazon MSK and easily integrate with downstream serverless workflows. This integration allows you to process batches of records, one per partition at a time, and scale concurrency by increasing the number of partitions in a topic.
We also announced support for Java 8 (Corretto) in Lambda, and you can now use Amazon Linux 2 for custom runtimes. Amazon Linux 2 is the latest generation of Amazon Linux and provides an application environment with access to the latest innovations in the Linux ecosystem.
Amazon API Gateway
API Gateway continued to launch new features for HTTP APIs, including new integrations for five AWS services. HTTP APIs can now route requests to AWS AppConfig, Amazon EventBridge, Amazon Kinesis Data Streams, Amazon SQS, and AWS Step Functions. This makes it easy to create webhooks for business logic hosted in these services. The service also expanded the authorization capabilities, adding Lambda and IAM authorizers, and enabled wildcards in custom domain names. Over time, we will continue to improve and migrate features from REST APIs to HTTP APIs.
In September, we launched mutual TLS for both regional REST APIs and HTTP APIs. This is a new method for client-to-server authentication to enhance the security of your API. It can protect your data from exploits such as client spoofing or man-in-the-middle. This enforces two-way TLS (or mTLS) which enables certificate-based authentication both ways from client-to-server and server-to-client.
Enhanced observability variables now make it easier to troubleshoot each phase of an API request. Each phase from AWS WAF through to integration adds latency to a request, returns a status code, or raises an error. Developers can use these variables to identify the cause of latency within the API request. You can configure these variables in AWS SAM templates – see the demo application to see how you can use these variables in your own application.
AWS Step Functions
We added X-Ray tracing support for Step Functions workflows, giving you full visibility across state machine executions, making it easier to analyze and debug distributed applications. Using the service map view, you can visually identify errors in resources and view error rates across workflow executions. You can then drill into the root cause of an error. You can enable X-Ray in existing workflows by a single-click in the console. Additionally, you can now also visualize Step Functions workflows directly in the Lambda console. To see this new feature, open the Step Functions state machines page in the Lambda console.
Step Functions also increased the payload size to 256 KB and added support for string manipulation, new comparison operators, and improved output processing. These updates were made to the Amazon States Languages (ASL), which is a JSON-based language for defining state machines. The new operators include comparison operators, detecting the existence of a field, wildcarding, and comparing two input fields.
AWS Serverless Application Model (AWS SAM)
AWS SAM is an open source framework for building serverless applications that converts a shorthand syntax into CloudFormation resources.
In July, the AWS SAM CLI became generally available (GA). This tool operates on SAM templates and provides developers with local tooling for building serverless applications. The AWS SAM CLI offers a rich set of tools that enable developers to build serverless applications quickly.
X-Ray launched a public preview of X-Ray Insights, which can help produce actionable insights for anomalies within your applications. Designed to make it easier to analyze and debug distributed applications, it can proactively identify issues caused by increases in faults. Using the incident timeline, you can visualize when the issue started and how it developed. The service identifies a probable root cause along with any anomalous services. There is no additional instrumentation needed to use X-Ray Insights – you can enable this feature within X-Ray Groups.
In July, Kinesis announced support for data delivery to generic HTTP endpoints, and service providers like Datadog, New Relic, MongoDB, and Splunk. Use the Amazon Kinesis console to configure your data producers to send data to Amazon Kinesis Data Firehose and specify one of these new delivery targets. Additionally, Amazon Kinesis Data Firehose is now available in the Europe (Milan) and Africa (Cape Town) AWS Regions.
Our team is always working to build and write content to help our customers better understand all our serverless offerings. Here is a list of the latest posts published to the AWS Compute Blog this quarter.
- Jul 6 – Load testing a web application’s serverless backend
- Jul 9 – Integrating Amazon EventBridge and Amazon ECS
- Jul 13 – Creating low-latency, high-volume APIs with Provisioned Concurrency
- Jul 14 – The Serverless LAMP stack part 3: Replacing the web server
- Jul 20 – Modeling business logic flows in serverless applications
- Jul 21 – The AWS Serverless Application Model CLI is now generally available
- Jul 23 – Building deep learning inference with AWS Lambda and Amazon EFS
- Jul 27 – Replacing web server functionality with serverless services
- Jul 29 – Building a serverless tokenization solution to mask sensitive data
- Jul 29 – Building well-architected serverless applications: Controlling serverless API access – part 1
- Jul 30 – Building well-architected serverless applications: Controlling serverless API access – part 2
- Jul 31 – Building well-architected serverless applications: Controlling serverless API access – part 3
- Aug 3 – Understanding database options for your serverless web applications
- Aug 4 – Serverless LAMP Stack part 4: Building a serverless Laravel app
- Aug 10 – Using AWS Lambda IAM condition keys for VPC settings
- Aug 12 – Migrating AWS Lambda functions to Amazon Linux 2
- Aug 12 – ICYMI: Season one of Sessions with SAM
- Aug 13 – Introducing the CDK construct library for the serverless LAMP stack
- Aug 14 – Using Amazon MSK as an event source for AWS Lambda
- Aug 17 – Using serverless backends to iterate quickly on web apps – part 1
- Aug 24 – Using serverless backends to iterate quickly on web apps – part 2
- Aug 25 – Building storage-first serverless applications with HTTP APIs service integrations
- Aug 26 – Building Salesforce integrations with Amazon EventBridge and Amazon AppFlow
- Aug 31 – Using serverless backends to iterate quickly on web apps – part 3
- Sep 2 – Jump-starting your serverless development environment
- Sep 3 – Troubleshooting Amazon API Gateway with enhanced observability variables
- Sep 8 – Using Lambda layers to simplify your development process
- Sep 14 – Uploading to Amazon S3 directly from a web or mobile application
- Sep 14 – Introducing AWS X-Ray new integration with AWS Step Functions
- Sep 17 – Introducing mutual TLS authentication for Amazon API Gateway
- Sep 25 – Introducing IAM and Lambda authorizers for Amazon API Gateway HTTP APIs
- Sep 28 – Choosing between messaging services for serverless applications
- Sep 30 – Using AWS Lambda as a consumer for Amazon Kinesis
Tech Talks & Events
We hold several AWS Online Tech Talks covering serverless tech talks throughout the year, so look out for them in the Serverless section of the AWS Online Tech Talks page. We also regularly deliver talks at conferences and events around the globe, regularly join in on podcasts, and record short videos you can find to learn in quick byte sized chunks.
Here are some from Q3:
- Orchestrating Distributed Business Workflows with AWS Step Functions
- AWS Lambda Data Storage: Choosing between S3, EFS and local storage
- Mastering the AWS Serverless Application Model (AWS SAM)
- Networking Best Practices for Your Serverless Applications
- Predicting and Managing Costs in Serverless Applications
Learn How to Build and Deploy a Web App Backend that Supports Authentication, Geohashing, and Real-Time Messaging
Ask Around Me is an example web app that shows how to build authenticaton, geohashing and real-time messaging into your serverless applications. This learning path includes videos and learning resources to help walk you through the application.
This five-video learning path walks you through the Innovator Island workshop, and provides learning resources for building realtime serverless web applications.
- ServerlessDays Paris, Introducing the serverless LAMP stack
- Happy Little APIs (S2E5): Ask the Amazon API Gateway Experts
- Sessions With SAM (S1E11): Ask the experts
- Sessions With SAM (S1E12): Using SAM with .NET Lambda functions
- Serverless development strategies for stateful applications
- PHP Noth East meetup, Introducing the Serverless LAMP Stack
- AWS SSM Parameter Store and AWS SecretsManager in AWS SAM templates (Sessions with SAM: S2E1)
- Governance: Configuring AWS Config with AWS SAM (Sessions with SAM: S2E2)
- Using the new HTTP APIs direct integrations in AWS SAM (Sessions With SAM S2E3)
- Governance: Setting up AWS managed resource rules with AWS SAM (Sessions with SAM: S2E4)
- Governance: Setting up custom resource rules for AWS Config with AWS SAM (Sessions with SAM S2E5)
- Governance: cross-region/account aggregate reporting in AWS Config with AWS SAM (SWS S2E6)
- Structuring serverless applications for use with the AWS SAM CLI (Sessions With SAM S2E7)
- Learning AWS SAM: sam init
- ServerlessDays Zurich, The serverless LAMP stack
There are also a number of other helpful video series covering serverless available on the Serverless Land YouTube channel.
New AWS Serverless Heroes
The AWS Hero program is a selection of worldwide experts that have been recognized for their positive impact within the community. They share helpful knowledge and organize events and user groups. They’re also contributors to numerous open-source projects in and around serverless technologies.
New! The Serverless Land website
To help developers find serverless learning resources, we have curated a list of serverless blogs, videos, events and training programs at a new site, Serverless Land. This is regularly updated with new information – you can subscribe to the RSS feed for automatic updates, follow the LinkedIn page or subscribe to the YouTube channel.
Still looking for more?
The Serverless landing page has lots of information. The Lambda resources page contains case studies, webinars, whitepapers, customer stories, reference architectures, and even more Getting Started tutorials.
You can also follow all of us on Twitter to see the latest news, follow conversations, and interact with the team.