AWS Developer Blog

Using Resources

by Trevor Rowe | on | in Ruby | Permalink | Comments |  Share

With the recent 2.0 stable release of the aws-sdk-core gem, we started publishing preview releases of aws-sdk-resources. Until the preview status is released, you will need to use the –pre flag to install this gem:

gem install aws-sdk-resources --pre

In bundler, you should give the full version:

# update the version as needed
gem 'aws-sdk-resources', version: '2.0.1.pre'


Each service module has a Client class that provides a 1-to-1 mapping of the service API. Each service module now also has a Resource class that provides an object-oriented interface to work with.

Each resource object wraps a service client.

s3 =
#=> #<Aws::S3::Client>

Given a service resource object you can start exploring related resources. Lets start with buckets in Amazon S3:

# enumerate all of my buckets
#=> ['aws-sdk', ...]

# get one bucket
bucket = s3.buckets.first
#=> #<Aws::S3::Bucket name="aws-sdk">

If you know the name of a bucket, you can construct a bucket resource without making an API request.

bucket = s3.bucket('aws-sdk')

# constructors are also available
bucket ='aws-sdk')
bucket = 'aws-sdk')

In each of the three previous examples, an instance of Aws::S3::Bucket is returned. This is a lightweight reference to an actual bucket that might exist in Amazon S3. When you reference a resource, no API calls are made until you operate on the resource.

Here I will use the bucket reference to delete the bucket.


You can use a resource to reference other resources. In the next exmple, I use the bucket object to reference an object in the bucket by its key.
Again, no API calls are made until I invoke an operation such as #put or #delete.

obj = bucket.object('hello.txt')
obj.put(body:'Hello World!')

Resource Data

Resources have one or more identifiers, and data. To construct a resource, you only need the identifiers. A resource can load itself using its identifiers.

Constructing a resource object from its identifiers will never make an API call.

obj = s3.bucket('aws-sdk').object('key') # no API call made

# calling #data loads an object, returning a structure
#=> "ed076287532e86365e841e92bfc50d8c"

# same as
#=> "ed076287532e86365e841e92bfc50d8c"

Resources will never update internal data until you call #reload. Use #reload if you need to poll a resource attribute for a change.

# force the resource to refresh data, returning self

Resource Associations

Most resources types are associated with one or more different resources. For example, an Aws::S3::Bucket object bucket has many objects, a website configuration, an ACL, etc.

Each association is documented on the resource class. The API documentation will specify what API call is being made. If the association is plural, it will document when multiple calls are made.

When working with plural associations, such as bucket that has many objects, resources are automatically paginated. This makes it simple to lazily enumerate all objects.

bucket = s3.bucket('aws-sdk')

# enumerate **all** objects in a bucket, objects are fetched
# in batches of 1K until every object has been yielded
bucket.objects.each do |obj|
  puts "#{obj.key} => #{obj.etag}"

# filter objects with a prefix

Some APIs support operating on resources in batches. When possible,
the SDK will provide batch actions.

# gets and deletes objects in batches of 1K, sweet!

Resource Waiters

Some resources have associated waiters. These allow you to poll until the resource enters a desired state.

instance ='i-12345678')
puts + ' is stopped'

Whats Next?

The resource interface has a lot of unfinished features. Some of the things we are working on include:

  • Adding #exists? methods to all resource objects
  • Consistent tagging interfaces
  • Batch waiters
  • More service coverage with resource definitions

We would love to hear your feedback. Resources are available now in the preview release of the aws-sdk-resources gem and in the master branch of GitHub.

Happy coding!