Tag Archives: Amazon API Gateway

Authorize API Gateway APIs using Amazon Verified Permissions and Amazon Cognito

Post Syndicated from Kevin Hakanson original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/authorize-api-gateway-apis-using-amazon-verified-permissions-and-amazon-cognito/

Externalizing authorization logic for application APIs can yield multiple benefits for Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers. These benefits can include freeing up development teams to focus on application logic, simplifying application and resource access audits, and improving application security by using continual authorization. Amazon Verified Permissions is a scalable permissions management and fine-grained authorization service that you can use for externalizing application authorization. Along with controlling access to application resources, you can use Verified Permissions to restrict API access to authorized users by using Cedar policies. However, a key challenge in adopting an external authorization system like Verified Permissions is the effort involved in defining the policy logic and integrating with your API. This blog post shows how Verified Permissions accelerates the process of securing REST APIs that are hosted on Amazon API Gateway for Amazon Cognito customers.

Setting up API authorization using Amazon Verified Permissions

As a developer, there are several tasks you need to do in order to use Verified Permissions to store and evaluate policies that define which APIs a user is permitted to access. Although Verified Permissions enables you to decouple authorization logic from your application code, you may need to spend time up front integrating Verified Permissions with your applications. You may also need to spend time learning the Cedar policy language, defining a policy schema, and authoring policies that enforce access control on APIs. Lastly, you may need to spend additional time developing and testing the AWS Lambda authorizer function logic that builds the authorization request for Verified Permissions and enforces the authorization decision.

Getting started with the simplified wizard

Amazon Verified Permissions now includes a console-based wizard that you can use to quickly create building blocks to set up your application’s API Gateway to use Verified Permissions for authorization. Verified Permissions generates an authorization model based on your APIs and policies that allows only authorized Cognito groups access to your APIs. Additionally, it deploys a Lambda authorizer, which you attach to the APIs you want to secure. After the authorizer is attached, API requests are authorized by Verified Permissions. The generated Cedar policies and schema flatten the learning curve, yet allow you full control to modify and help you adhere to your security requirements.

Overview of sample application

In this blog post, we demonstrate how you can simplify the task of securing permissions to a sample application API by using the Verified Permissions console-based wizard. We use a sample pet store application which has two resources:

  1. PetStorePool – An Amazon Cognito user pool with users in one of three groups: customers, employees, and owners.
  2. PetStore – An Amazon API Gateway REST API derived from importing the PetStore example API and extended with a mock integration for administration. This mock integration returns a message with a URI path that uses {“statusCode”: 200} as the integration request and {“Message”: “User authorized for $context.path”} as the integration response.

The PetStore has the following four authorization requirements that allow access to the related resources. All other behaviors should be denied.

  1. Both authenticated and unauthenticated users are allowed to access the root URL.
    • GET /
  2. All authenticated users are allowed to get the list of pets, or get a pet by its identifier.
    • GET /pets
    • GET /pets/{petid}
  3. The employees and owners group are allowed to add new pets.
    • POST /pets
  4. Only the owners group is allowed to perform administration functions. These are defined using an API Gateway proxy resource that enables a single integration to implement a set of API resources.
    • ANY /admin/{proxy+}


Verified Permissions includes a setup wizard that connects a Cognito user pool to an API Gateway REST API and secures resources based on Cognito group membership. In this section, we provide a walkthrough of the wizard that generates authorization building blocks for our sample application.

To set up API authorization based on Cognito groups

  1. On the Amazon Verified Permissions page in the AWS Management Console, choose Create a new policy store.
  2. On the Specify policy store details page under Starting options, select Set up with Cognito and API Gateway, and then choose Next.

    Figure 1: Starting options

    Figure 1: Starting options

  3. On the Import resources and actions page under API Gateway details, select the API and Deployment stage from the dropdown lists. (A REST API stage is a named reference to a deployment.) For this example, we selected the PetStore API and the demo stage.

    Figure 2: API Gateway and deployment stage

    Figure 2: API Gateway and deployment stage

  4. Choose Import API to generate a Map of imported resources and actions. For our example, this list includes Action::”get /pets” for getting the list of pets, Action::”get /pets/{petId}” for getting a single pet, and Action::”post /pets” for adding a new pet. Choose Next.

    Figure 3: Map of imported resources and actions

    Figure 3: Map of imported resources and actions

  5. On the Choose identity source page, select an Amazon Cognito user pool (PetStorePool in our example). For Token type to pass to API, select a token type. For our example, we chose the default value, Access token, because Cognito recommends using the access token to authorize API operations. The additional claims available in an id token may support more fine-grained access control. For Client application validation, we also specified the default, to not validate that tokens match a configured app client ID. Consider validation when you have multiple user pool app clients configured with different permissions.

    Figure 4: Choose Cognito user pool as identity source

    Figure 4: Choose Cognito user pool as identity source

  6. Choose Next.
  7. On the Assign actions to groups page under Group selection, choose the Cognito user pool groups that can take actions in the application. This solution uses native Cognito group membership to control permissions. In Figure 5, the customers group is not used for access control, we deselected it and it isn’t included in the generated policies. Instead, access to get /pets and get/pets/{petId} is granted to all authenticated users using a different authorizer that we define later in this post.

    Figure 5: Assign actions to groups

    Figure 5: Assign actions to groups

  8. For each of the groups, choose which actions are allowed. In our example, post /pets is the only action selected for the employees group. For the owners group, all of the /admin/{proxy+} actions are additionally selected. Choose Next.

    Figure 6: Groups employees and owners

    Figure 6: Groups employees and owners

  9. On the Deploy app integration page, review the API Gateway Integration details. Choose Create policy store.

    Figure 7: API Gateway integration

    Figure 7: API Gateway integration

  10. On the Create policy store summary page, review the progress of the setup. Choose Check deployment to check the progress of Lambda authorizer.

    Figure 8: Create policy store

    Figure 8: Create policy store

The setup wizard deployed a CloudFormation stack with a Lambda authorizer. This authorizes access to the API Gateway resources for the employees and owners groups. For the resources that should be authorized for all authenticated users, a separate Cognito User Pool authorizer is required. You can use the following AWS CLI apigateway create-authorizer command to create the authorizer.

aws apigateway create-authorizer \
--rest-api-id wrma51eup0 \
--name "Cognito-PetStorePool" \
--identity-source "method.request.header.Authorization" \
--provider-arns "arn:aws:cognito-idp:us-west-2:000000000000:userpool/us-west-2_iwWG5nyux"

After the CloudFormation stack deployment completes and the second Cognito authorizer is created, there are two authorizers that can be attached to PetStore API resources, as shown in Figure 9.

Figure 9: PetStore API Authorizers

Figure 9: PetStore API Authorizers

In Figure 9, Cognito-PetStorePool is a Cognito user pool authorizer. Because this example uses an access token, an authorization scope (for example, a custom scope like petstore/api) is specified when attached to the GET /pets and GET /pets/{petId} resources.

AVPAuthorizer-XXX is a request parameter-based Lambda authorizer, which determines the caller’s identity from the configured identity sources. In Figure 9, these sources are Authorization (Header), httpMethod (Context), and path (Context). This authorizer is attached to the POST /pets and ANY /admin/{proxy+} resources. Authorization caching is initially set at 120 seconds and can be configured using the API Gateway console.

This combination of multiple authorizers and caching reduces the number of authorization requests to Verified Permissions. For API calls that are available to all authenticated users, using the Cognito-PetStorePool authorizer instead of a policy permitting the customers group helps avoid chargeable authorization requests to Verified Permissions. Applications where the users initiate the same action multiple times or have a predictable sequence of actions will experience high cache hit rates. For repeated API calls that use the same token, AVPAuthorizer-XXX caching results in lower latency, fewer requests per second, and reduced costs from chargeable requests. The use of caching can delay the time between policy updates and policy enforcement, meaning that the policy updates to Verified Permissions are not realized until the timeout or the FlushStageAuthorizersCache API is called.

Deployment architecture

Figure 10 illustrates the runtime architecture after you have used the Verified Permissions setup wizard to perform the deployment and configuration steps. After the users are authenticated with the Cognito PetStorePool, API calls to the PetStore API are authorized with the Cognito access token. Fine-grained authorization is performed by Verified Permissions using a Lambda authorizer. The wizard automatically created the following four items for you, which are labelled in Figure 10:

  1. A Verified Permissions policy store that is connected to a Cognito identity source.
  2. A Cedar schema that defines the User and UserGroup entities, and an action for each API Gateway resource.
  3. Cedar policies that assign permissions for the employees and owners groups to related actions.
  4. Lambda authorizer that is configured on the API Gateway.

Figure 10: Architecture diagram after deployment

Figure 10: Architecture diagram after deployment

Verified Permissions uses the Cedar policy language to define fine-grained permissions. The default decision for an authorization response is “deny.” The Cedar policies that are generated by the setup wizard can determine an “allow” decision. The principal for each policy is a UserGroup entity with an entity ID format of {user pool id}|{group name}. The action IDs for each policy represent the set of selected API Gateway HTTP methods and resource paths. Note that post /pets is permitted for both employees and owners. The resource in the policy scope is unspecified, because the resource is implicitly the application.

permit (
    principal in PetStore::UserGroup::"us-west-2_iwWG5nyux|employees",
    action in [PetStore::Action::"post /pets"],

permit (
    principal in PetStore::UserGroup::"us-west-2_iwWG5nyux|owners",
    action in
        [PetStore::Action::"delete /admin/{proxy+}",
         PetStore::Action::"post /admin/{proxy+}",
         PetStore::Action::"get /admin/{proxy+}",
         PetStore::Action::"patch /admin/{proxy+}",
         PetStore::Action::"put /admin/{proxy+}",
         PetStore::Action::"post /pets"],

Validating API security

A set of terminal-based curl commands validate API security for both authorized and unauthorized users, by using different access tokens. For readability, a set of environment variables is used to represent the actual values. TOKEN_C, TOKEN_E, and TOKEN_O contain valid access tokens for respective users in the customers, employees, and owners groups. API_STAGE is the base URL for the PetStore API and demo stage that we selected earlier.

To test that an unauthenticated user is allowed for the GET / root path (Requirement 1 as described in the Overview section of this post), but not allowed to call the GET /pets API (Requirement 2), run the following curl commands. The Cognito-PetStorePool authorizer should return {“message”:”Unauthorized”}.

curl -X GET ${API_STAGE}/
...Welcome to your Pet Store API...

curl -X GET ${API_STAGE}/pets

To test that an authenticated user is allowed to call the GET /pets API (Requirement 2) by using an access token (due to the Cognito-PetStorePool authorizer), run the following curl commands. The user should receive an error message when they try to call the POST /pets API (Requirement 3), because of the AVPAuthorizer. There are no Cedar polices defined for the customers group with the action post /pets.

curl -H "Authorization: Bearer ${TOKEN_C}" -X GET ${API_STAGE}/pets
    "id": 1,
    "type": "dog",
    "price": 249.99
    "id": 2,
    "type": "cat",
    "price": 124.99
    "id": 3,
    "type": "fish",
    "price": 0.99

curl -H "Authorization: Bearer ${TOKEN_C}" -X POST ${API_STAGE}/pets
{"Message":"User is not authorized to access this resource with an explicit deny"}

The following commands will verify that a user in the employees group is allowed the post /pets action (Requirement 3).

curl -H "Authorization: Bearer ${TOKEN_E}" \
     -H "Content-Type: application/json" \
     -d '{"type": "dog","price": 249.99}' \
     -X POST ${API_STAGE}/pets
  "pet": {
    "type": "dog",
    "price": 249.99
  "message": "success"

The following commands will verify that a user in the employees group is not authorized for the admin APIs, but a user in the owners group is allowed (Requirement 4).

curl -H "Authorization: Bearer ${TOKEN_E}" -X GET ${API_STAGE}/admin/curltest1
{"Message":"User is not authorized to access this resource with an explicit deny"} 

curl -H "Authorization: Bearer ${TOKEN_O}" -X GET ${API_STAGE}/admin/curltest1
{"Message": "User authorized for /demo/admin/curltest1"}

Try it yourself

How could this work with your user pool and REST API? Before you try out the solution, make sure that you have the following prerequisites in place, which are required by the Verified Permissions setup wizard:

  1. A Cognito user pool, along with Cognito groups that control authorization to the API endpoints.
  2. An API Gateway REST API in the same Region as the Cognito user pool.

As you review the resources generated by the solution, consider these authorization modeling topics:

  • Are access tokens or id tokens preferable for your API? Are there custom claims on your tokens that you would use in future Cedar policies for fine-grained authorization?
  • Do multiple authorizers fit your model, or do you have an “all users” group for use in Cedar policies?
  • How might you extend the Cedar schema, allowing for new Cedar policies that include URL path parameters, such as {petId} from the example?


This post demonstrated how the Amazon Verified Permissions setup wizard provides you with a step-by-step process to build authorization logic for API Gateway REST APIs using Cognito user groups. The wizard generates a policy store, schema, and Cedar policies to manage access to API endpoints based on the specification of the APIs deployed. In addition, the wizard creates a Lambda authorizer that authorizes access to the API Gateway resources based on the configured Cognito groups. This removes the modeling effort required for initial configuration of API authorization logic and setup of Verified Permissions to receive permission requests. You can use the wizard to set up and test access controls to your APIs based on Cognito groups in non-production accounts. You can further extend the policy schema and policies to accommodate fine-grained or attribute-based access controls, based on specific requirements of the application, without making code changes.

If you have feedback about this post, submit comments in the Comments section below. If you have questions about this post, start a new thread on the Amazon Verified Permissions re:Post or contact AWS Support.

Kevin Hakanson

Kevin Hakanson

Kevin is a Senior Solutions Architect for AWS World Wide Public Sector, based in Minnesota. He works with EdTech and GovTech customers to ideate, design, validate, and launch products using cloud-native technologies and modern development practices. When not staring at a computer screen, he is probably staring at another screen, either watching TV or playing video games with his family.


Sowjanya Rajavaram

Sowjanya is a Senior Solutions Architect who specializes in identity and security solutions at AWS. Her career has been focused on helping customers of all sizes solve their identity and access management problems. She enjoys traveling and experiencing new cultures and food.

Serverless ICYMI Q1 2024

Post Syndicated from Julian Wood original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/serverless-icymi-q1-2024/

Welcome to the 25th edition of the AWS Serverless ICYMI (in case you missed it) quarterly recap. Every quarter, we share all the most recent product launches, feature enhancements, blog posts, webinars, live streams, and other interesting things that you might have missed!

In case you missed our last ICYMI, check out what happened last quarter here.

2024 Q1 calendar

2024 Q1 calendar

Adobe Summit

At the Adobe Summit, the AWS Serverless Developer Advocacy team showcased a solution developed for the NFL using AWS serverless technologies and Adobe Photoshop APIs. The system automates image processing tasks, including background removal and dynamic resizing, by integrating AWS Step Functions, AWS Lambda, Amazon EventBridge, and AI/ML capabilities via Amazon Rekognition. This solution reduced image processing time from weeks to minutes and saved the NFL significant costs. Combining cloud-based serverless architectures with advanced machine learning and API technologies can optimize digital workflows for cost-effective and agile digital asset management.

Adobe Summit ServerlessVideo

Adobe Summit ServerlessVideo

ServerlessVideo is a demo application to stream live videos and also perform advanced post-video processing. It uses several AWS services, including Step Functions, Lambda, EventBridge, Amazon ECS, and Amazon Bedrock in a serverless architecture that makes it fast, flexible, and cost-effective. The team used ServerlessVideo to interview attendees about the conference experience and Adobe and partners about how they use Adobe. Learn more about the project and watch videos from Adobe Summit 2024 at video.serverlessland.com.

AWS Lambda

AWS launched support for the latest long-term support release of .NET 8, which includes API enhancements, improved Native Ahead of Time (Native AOT) support, and improved performance.

AWS Lambda .NET 8

AWS Lambda .NET 8

Learn how to compare design approaches for building serverless microservices. This post covers the trade-offs to consider with various application architectures. See how you can apply single responsibility, Lambda-lith, and read and write functions.

The AWS Serverless Java Container has been updated. This makes it easier to modernize a legacy Java application written with frameworks such as Spring, Spring Boot, or JAX-RS/Jersey in Lambda with minimal code changes.

AWS Serverless Java Container

AWS Serverless Java Container

Lambda has improved the responsiveness for configuring Event Source Mappings (ESMs) and Amazon EventBridge Pipes with event sources such as self-managed Apache Kafka, Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka (MSK), Amazon DocumentDB, and Amazon MQ.

Chaos engineering is a popular practice for building confidence in system resilience. However, many existing tools assume the ability to alter infrastructure configurations, and cannot be easily applied to the serverless application paradigm. You can use the AWS Fault Injection Service (FIS) to automate and manage chaos experiments across different Lambda functions to provide a reusable testing method.

Amazon ECS and AWS Fargate

Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) now provides managed instance draining as a built-in feature of Amazon ECS capacity providers. This allows Amazon ECS to safely and automatically drain tasks from Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances that are part of an Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling Group associated with an Amazon ECS capacity provider. This simplification allows you to remove custom lifecycle hooks previously used to drain Amazon EC2 instances. You can now perform infrastructure updates such as rolling out a new version of the ECS agent by seamlessly using Auto Scaling Group instance refresh, with Amazon ECS ensuring workloads are not interrupted.

Credentials Fetcher makes it easier to run containers that depend on Windows authentication when using Amazon EC2. Credentials Fetcher now integrates with Amazon ECS, using either the Amazon EC2 launch type, or AWS Fargate serverless compute launch type.

Amazon ECS Service Connect is a networking capability to simplify service discovery, connectivity, and traffic observability for Amazon ECS. You can now more easily integrate certificate management to encrypt service-to-service communication using Transport Layer Security (TLS). You do not need to modify your application code, add additional network infrastructure, or operate service mesh solutions.

Amazon ECS Service Connect

Amazon ECS Service Connect

Running distributed machine learning (ML) workloads on Amazon ECS allows ML teams to focus on creating, training and deploying models, rather than spending time managing the container orchestration engine. Amazon ECS provides a great environment to run ML projects as it supports workloads that use NVIDIA GPUs and provides optimized images with pre-installed NVIDIA Kernel drivers and Docker runtime.

See how to build preview environments for Amazon ECS applications with AWS Copilot. AWS Copilot is an open source command line interface that makes it easier to build, release, and operate production ready containerized applications.

Learn techniques for automatic scaling of your Amazon Elastic Container Service  (Amazon ECS) container workloads to enhance the end user experience. This post explains how to use AWS Application Auto Scaling which helps you configure automatic scaling of your Amazon ECS service. You can also use Amazon ECS Service Connect and AWS Distro for OpenTelemetry (ADOT) in Application Auto Scaling.

AWS Step Functions

AWS workloads sometimes require access to data stored in on-premises databases and storage locations. Traditional solutions to establish connectivity to the on-premises resources require inbound rules to firewalls, a VPN tunnel, or public endpoints. Discover how to use the MQTT protocol (AWS IoT Core) with AWS Step Functions to dispatch jobs to on-premises workers to access or retrieve data stored on-premises.

You can use Step Functions to orchestrate many business processes. Many industries are required to provide audit trails for decision and transactional systems. Learn how to build a serverless pipeline to create a reliable, performant, traceable, and durable pipeline for audit processing.

Amazon EventBridge

Amazon EventBridge now supports publishing events to AWS AppSync GraphQL APIs as native targets. The new integration allows you to publish events easily to a wider variety of consumers and simplifies updating clients with near real-time data.

Amazon EventBridge publishing events to AWS AppSync

Amazon EventBridge publishing events to AWS AppSync

Discover how to send and receive CloudEvents with EventBridge. CloudEvents is an open-source specification for describing event data in a common way. You can publish CloudEvents directly to EventBridge, filter and route them, and use input transformers and API Destinations to send CloudEvents to downstream AWS services and third-party APIs.

AWS Application Composer

AWS Application Composer lets you create infrastructure as code templates by dragging and dropping cards on a virtual canvas. These represent CloudFormation resources, which you can wire together to create permissions and references. Application Composer has now expanded to the VS Code IDE as part of the AWS Toolkit. This now includes a generative AI partner that helps you write infrastructure as code (IaC) for all 1100+ AWS CloudFormation resources that Application Composer now supports.

AWS AppComposer generate suggestions

AWS AppComposer generate suggestions

Amazon API Gateway

Learn how to consume private Amazon API Gateway APIs using mutual TLS (mTLS). mTLS helps prevent man-in-the-middle attacks and protects against threats such as impersonation attempts, data interception, and tampering.

Serverless at AWS re:Invent

Serverless at AWS reInvent

Serverless at AWS reInvent

Visit the Serverless Land YouTube channel to find a list of serverless and serverless container sessions from reinvent 2023. Hear from experts like Chris Munns and Julian Wood in their popular session, Best practices for serverless developers, or Nathan Peck and Jessica Deen in Deploying multi-tenant SaaS applications on Amazon ECS and AWS Fargate.

Serverless blog posts




Serverless container blog posts




Serverless Office Hours

Serverless Office Hours

Serverless Office Hours




Containers from the Couch

Containers from the Couch

Containers from the Couch




FooBar Serverless

FooBar Serverless

FooBar Serverless




Still looking for more?

The Serverless landing page has more information. The Lambda resources page contains case studies, webinars, whitepapers, customer stories, reference architectures, and even more Getting Started tutorials.

You can also follow the Serverless Developer Advocacy team on Twitter to see the latest news, follow conversations, and interact with the team.

And finally, visit the Serverless Land and Containers on AWS websites for all your serverless and serverless container needs.

Building a Serverless Streaming Pipeline to Deliver Reliable Messaging

Post Syndicated from Chris McPeek original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/building-a-serverless-streaming-pipeline-to-deliver-reliable-messaging/

This post is written by Jeff Harman, Senior Prototyping Architect, Vaibhav Shah, Senior Solutions Architect and Erik Olsen, Senior Technical Account Manager.

Many industries are required to provide audit trails for decision and transactional systems. AI assisted decision making requires monitoring the full inputs to the decision system in near real time to prevent fraud, detect model drift, and discrimination. Modern systems often use a much wider array of inputs for decision making, including images, unstructured text, historical values, and other large data elements. These large data elements pose a challenge to traditional audit systems that deal with relatively small text messages in structured formats. This blog shows the use of serverless technology to create a reliable, performant, traceable, and durable streaming pipeline for audit processing.


Consider the following four requirements to develop an architecture for audit record ingestion:

  1. Audit record size: Store and manage large payloads (256k – 6 MB in size) that may be heterogeneous, including text, binary data, and references to other storage systems.
  2. Audit traceability: The data stored has full traceability of the payload and external processes to monitor the process via subscription-based events.
  3. High Performance: The time required for blocking writes to the system is limited to the time it takes to transmit the audit record over the network.
  4. High data durability: Once the system sends a payload receipt, the payload is at very low risk of loss because of system failures.

The following diagram shows an architecture that meets these requirements and models the flow of the audit record through the system.

The primary source of latency is the time it takes for an audit record to be transmitted across the network. Applications sending audit records make an API call to an Amazon API Gateway endpoint. An AWS Lambda function receives the message and an Amazon ElastiCache for Redis cluster provides a low latency initial storage mechanism for the audit record. Once the data is stored in ElastiCache, the AWS Step Functions workflow then orchestrates the communication and persistence functions.

Subscribers receive four Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) notifications pertaining to arrival and storage of the audit record payload, storage of the audit record metadata, and audit record archive completion. Users can subscribe an Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS) queue to the SNS topic and use fan out mechanisms to achieve high reliability.

  1. The Ingest Message Lambda function sends an initial receipt notification
  2. The Message Archive Handler Lambda function notifies on storage of the audit record from ElastiCache to Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3)
  3. The Message Metadata Handler Lambda function notifies on storage of the message metadata into Amazon DynamoDB
  4. The Final State Aggregation Lambda function notifies that the audit record has been archived.

Any failure by the three fundamental processing steps: Ingestion, Data Archive, and Metadata Archive triggers a message in an SQS Dead Letter Queue (DLQ) which contains the original request and an explanation of the failure reason. Any failure in the Ingest Message function invokes the Ingest Message Failure function, which stores the original parameters to the S3 Failed Message Storage bucket for later analysis.

The Step Functions workflow provides orchestration and parallel path execution for the system. The detailed workflow below shows the execution flow and notification actions. The transformer steps convert the internal data structures into the format required for consumers.

Data structures

There are types three events and messages managed by this system:

  1. Incoming message: This is the message the producer sends to an API Gateway endpoint.
  2. Internal message: This event contains the message metadata allowing subsequent systems to understand the originating message producer context.
  3. Notification message: Messages that allow downstream subscribers to act based on the message.

Solution walkthrough

The message producer calls the API Gateway endpoint, which enforces the security requirements defined by the business. In this implementation, API Gateway uses an API key for providing more robust security. API Gateway also creates a security header for consumption by the Ingest Message Lambda function. API Gateway can be configured to enforce message format standards, see Use request validation in API Gateway for more information.

The Ingest Message Lambda function generates a message ID that tracks the message payload throughout its lifecycle. Then it stores the full message in the ElastiCache for Redis cache. The Ingest Message Lambda function generates an internal message with all the elements necessary as described above. Finally, the Lambda function handler code starts the Step Functions workflow with the internal message payload.

If the Ingest Message Lambda function fails for any reason, the Lambda function invokes the Ingestion Failure Handler Lambda function. This Lambda function writes any recoverable incoming message data to an S3 bucket and sends a notification on the Ingest Message dead letter queue.

The Step Functions workflow then runs three processes in parallel.

  • The Step Functions workflow triggers the Message Archive Data Handler Lambda function to persist message data from the ElastiCache cache to an S3 bucket. Once stored, the Lambda function returns the S3 bucket reference and state information. There are two options to remove the internal message from the cache. Remove the message from cache immediately before sending the internal message and updating the ElastiCache cache flag or wait for the ElastiCache lifecycle to remove a stale message from cache. This solution waits for the ElastiCache lifecycle to remove the message.
  • The workflow triggers the Message Metadata Handler Lambda function to write all message metadata and security information to DynamoDB. The Lambda function replies with the DynamoDB reference information.
  • Finally, the Step Functions workflow sends a message to the SNS topic to inform subscribers that the message has arrived and the data persistence processes have started.

After each of the Lambda functions’ processes complete, the Lambda function sends a notification to the SNS notification topic to alert subscribers that each action is complete. When both Message Metadata and Message Archive Lambda functions are done, the Final Aggregation function makes a final update to the metadata in DynamoDB to include S3 reference information and to remove the ElastiCache Redis reference.

Deploying the solution


  1. AWS Serverless Application Model (AWS SAM) is installed (see Getting started with AWS SAM)
  2. AWS User/Credentials with appropriate permissions to run AWS CloudFormation templates in the target AWS account
  3. Python 3.8 – 3.10
  4. The AWS SDK for Python (Boto3) is installed
  5. The requests python library is installed

The source code for this implementation can be found at  https://github.com/aws-samples/blog-serverless-reliable-messaging

Installing the Solution:

  1. Clone the git repository to a local directory
  2. git clone https://github.com/aws-samples/blog-serverless-reliable-messaging.git
  3. Change into the directory that was created by the clone operation, usually blog_serverless_reliable_messaging
  4. Execute the command: sam build
  5. Execute the command: sam deploy –-guided. You are asked to supply the following parameters:
    1. Stack Name: Name given to this deployment (example: serverless-streaming)
    2. AWS Region: Where to deploy (example: us-east-1)
    3. ElasticacheInstanceClass: EC2 cache instance type to use with (example: cache.t3.small)
    4. ElasticReplicaCount: How many replicas should be used with ElastiCache (recommended minimum: 2)
    5. ProjectName: Used for naming resources in account (example: serverless-streaming)
    6. MultiAZ: True/False if multiple Availability Zones should be used (recommend: True)
    7. The default parameters can be selected for the remainder of questions


Once you have deployed the stack, you can test it through the API gateway endpoint with the API key that is referenced in the deployment output. There are two methods for retrieving the API key either via the AWS console (from the link provided in the output – ApiKeyConsole) or via the AWS CLI (from the AWS CLI reference in the output – APIKeyCLI).

You can test directly in the Lambda service console by invoking the ingest message function.

A test message is available at the root of the project test_message.json for direct Lambda function testing of the Ingest function.

  1. In the console navigate to the Lambda service
  2. From the list of available functions, select the “<project name> -IngestMessageFunction-xxxxx” function
  3. Under the “Function overview” select the “Test” tab
  4. Enter an event name of your choosing
  5. Copy and paste the contents of test_message.json into the “Event JSON” box
  6. Click “Save” then after it has saved, click the “Test”
  7. If successful, you should see something similar to the below in the details:
    "isBase64Encoded": false,
    "statusCode": 200,
    "headers": {
    "Access-Control-Allow-Headers": "Content-Type",
    "Access-Control-Allow-Origin": "*",
    "Access-Control-Allow-Methods": "OPTIONS,POST"
    "body": "{\"messageID\": \"XXXXXXXXXXXXXX\"}"
  8. In the S3 bucket “<project name>-s3messagearchive-xxxxxx“, find the payload of the original json with a key based on the date and time of the script execution, e.g.: YEAR/MONTH/DAY/HOUR/MINUTE with a file name of the messageID
  9. In a DynamoDB table named metaDataTable, you should find a record with a messageID equal to the messageID from above that contains all of the metadata related to the payload

A python script is included with the code in the test_client folder

  1. Replace the <Your API key key here> and the <Your API Gateway URL here (IngestMessageApi)> values with the correct ones for your environment in the test_client.py file
  2. Execute the test script with Python 3.8 or higher with the requests package installed
    Example execution (from main directory of git clone):
    python3 -m pip install -r ./test_client/requirements.txt
    python3 ./test_client/test_client.py
  3. Successful output shows the messageID and the header JSON payload:
    "messageID": " XXXXXXXXXXXXXX"
  4. In the S3 bucket “<project name>-s3messagearchive-xxxxxx“, you should be able to find the payload of the original json with a key based on the date and time of the script execution, e.g.: YEAR/MONTH/DAY/HOUR/MINUTE with a file name of the messageID
  5. In a DynamoDB table named metaDataTable, you should find a record with a messageID equal to the messageID from above that contains all of the meta data related to the payload


This blog describes architectural patterns, messaging patterns, and data structures that support a highly reliable messaging system for large messages. The use of serverless services including Lambda functions, Step Functions, ElastiCache, DynamoDB, and S3 meet the requirements of modern audit systems to be scalable and reliable. The architecture shared in this blog post is suitable for a highly regulated environment to store and track messages that are larger than typical logging systems, records sized between 256k and 6MB. The architecture serves as a blueprint that can be extended and adapted to fit further serverless use cases.

For serverless learning resources, visit Serverless Land.

Top Architecture Blog Posts of 2023

Post Syndicated from Andrea Courtright original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/architecture/top-architecture-blog-posts-of-2023/

2023 was a rollercoaster year in tech, and we at the AWS Architecture Blog feel so fortunate to have shared in the excitement. As we move into 2024 and all of the new technologies we could see, we want to take a moment to highlight the brightest stars from 2023.

As always, thanks to our readers and to the many talented and hardworking Solutions Architects and other contributors to our blog.

I give you our 2023 cream of the crop!

#10: Build a serverless retail solution for endless aisle on AWS

In this post, Sandeep and Shashank help retailers and their customers alike in this guided approach to finding inventory that doesn’t live on shelves.

Building endless aisle architecture for order processing

Figure 1. Building endless aisle architecture for order processing

Check it out!

#9: Optimizing data with automated intelligent document processing solutions

Who else dreads wading through large amounts of data in multiple formats? Just me? I didn’t think so. Using Amazon AI/ML and content-reading services, Deependra, Anirudha, Bhajandeep, and Senaka have created a solution that is scalable and cost-effective to help you extract the data you need and store it in a format that works for you.

AI-based intelligent document processing engine

Figure 2: AI-based intelligent document processing engine

Check it out!

#8: Disaster Recovery Solutions with AWS managed services, Part 3: Multi-Site Active/Passive

Disaster recovery posts are always popular, and this post by Brent and Dhruv is no exception. Their creative approach in part 3 of this series is most helpful for customers who have business-critical workloads with higher availability requirements.

Warm standby with managed services

Figure 3. Warm standby with managed services

Check it out!

#7: Simulating Kubernetes-workload AZ failures with AWS Fault Injection Simulator

Continuing with the theme of “when bad things happen,” we have Siva, Elamaran, and Re’s post about preparing for workload failures. If resiliency is a concern (and it really should be), the secret is test, test, TEST.

Architecture flow for Microservices to simulate a realistic failure scenario

Figure 4. Architecture flow for Microservices to simulate a realistic failure scenario

Check it out!

#6: Let’s Architect! Designing event-driven architectures

Luca, Laura, Vittorio, and Zamira weren’t content with their four top-10 spots last year – they’re back with some things you definitely need to know about event-driven architectures.

Let's Architect

Figure 5. Let’s Architect artwork

Check it out!

#5: Use a reusable ETL framework in your AWS lake house architecture

As your lake house increases in size and complexity, you could find yourself facing maintenance challenges, and Ashutosh and Prantik have a solution: frameworks! The reusable ETL template with AWS Glue templates might just save you a headache or three.

Reusable ETL framework architecture

Figure 6. Reusable ETL framework architecture

Check it out!

#4: Invoking asynchronous external APIs with AWS Step Functions

It’s possible that AWS’ menagerie of services doesn’t have everything you need to run your organization. (Possible, but not likely; we have a lot of amazing services.) If you are using third-party APIs, then Jorge, Hossam, and Shirisha’s architecture can help you maintain a secure, reliable, and cost-effective relationship among all involved.

Invoking Asynchronous External APIs architecture

Figure 7. Invoking Asynchronous External APIs architecture

Check it out!

#3: Announcing updates to the AWS Well-Architected Framework

The Well-Architected Framework continues to help AWS customers evaluate their architectures against its six pillars. They are constantly striving for improvement, and Haleh’s diligence in keeping us up to date has not gone unnoticed. Thank you, Haleh!

Well-Architected logo

Figure 8. Well-Architected logo

Check it out!

#2: Let’s Architect! Designing architectures for multi-tenancy

The practically award-winning Let’s Architect! series strikes again! This time, Luca, Laura, Vittorio, and Zamira were joined by Federica to discuss multi-tenancy and why that concept is so crucial for SaaS providers.

Let's Architect

Figure 9. Let’s Architect

Check it out!

And finally…

#1: Understand resiliency patterns and trade-offs to architect efficiently in the cloud

Haresh, Lewis, and Bonnie revamped this 2022 post into a masterpiece that completely stole our readers’ hearts and is among the top posts we’ve ever made!

Resilience patterns and trade-offs

Figure 10. Resilience patterns and trade-offs

Check it out!

Bonus! Three older special mentions

These three posts were published before 2023, but we think they deserve another round of applause because you, our readers, keep coming back to them.

Thanks again to everyone for their contributions during a wild year. We hope you’re looking forward to the rest of 2024 as much as we are!

AWS Weekly Roundup — .Net Runtime for AWS Lambda, PartyRock Hackathon, and more — February 26, 2024

Post Syndicated from Veliswa Boya original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-weekly-roundup-net-runtime-for-aws-lambda-partyrock-hackathon-and-more-february-26-2024/

The Community AWS re:invent 2023 re:caps continue! Recently, I was invited to participate in one of these events hosted by the AWS User Group Kenya, and was able to learn and spend time with this amazing community.

AWS User Group Kenya

AWS User Group Kenya

Last week’s launches
Here are some launches that got my attention during the previous week.

.NET 8 runtime for AWS Lambda – AWS Lambda now supports .NET 8 as both a managed runtime and container base image. This support provides you with .NET 8 features that include API enhancements, improved Native Ahead of Time (Native AOT) support, and improved performance. .NET 8 supports C# 12, F# 8, and PowerShell 7.4. You can develop Lambda functions in .NET 8 using the AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio, the AWS Extensions for .NET CLI, AWS Serverless Application Model (AWS SAM), AWS CDK, and other infrastructure as code tools.

For a full list of AWS announcements, be sure to keep an eye on the What’s New at AWS page.

Other AWS news
Here are some additional projects, programs, and news items that you might find interesting:

Earlier this month, I used this image to call attention to the PartyRock Hackathon that’s currently in progress. The deadline to join the hackathon is fast approaching so be sure to signup before time runs out.

Amazon API Gateway – Amazon API Gateway processed over 100 trillion API requests in 2023, and we continue to see growing demand for API-driven applications. API Gateway is a fully-managed service that enables you to create, publish, maintain, monitor, and secure APIs at any scale. Customers that onboarded large workloads on API Gateway in 2023 told us they chose the service for its availability, security, and serverless architecture. Those in regulated industries value API Gateway’s private endpoints, which are isolated from the public internet and only accessible from your Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC).

AWS open source news and updates – My colleague Ricardo writes this weekly open source newsletter in which he highlights new open source projects, tools, and demos from the AWS Community.

Upcoming AWS events
Season 3 of the Build on Generative AI Twitch show has kicked off. Join every Monday on Twitch at 9AM PST/Noon EST/18h CET to learn among others, how you can build generative AI-enabled applications.

If you’re in the EMEA timezone, there is still time to register and watch the AWS Innovate Online Generative AI & Data Edition taking place on February 29. Innovate Online events are free, online, and designed to inspire and educate you about building on AWS. Whether you’re in the Americas, Asia Pacific & Japan, or EMEA region, learn here about future AWS Innovate Online events happening in your timezone.

AWS Community re:Invent re:Caps – Join a Community re:Cap event organized by volunteers from AWS User Groups and AWS Cloud Clubs around the world to learn about the latest announcements from AWS re:Invent.

You can browse all upcoming in-person and virtual events here.

That’s all for this week. Check back next Monday for another Weekly Roundup!


This post is part of our Weekly Roundup series. Check back each week for a quick roundup of interesting news and announcements from AWS.

AWS Weekly Roundup — AWS Control Tower new API, TLS 1.3 with API Gateway, Private Marketplace Catalogs, and more — February 19, 2024

Post Syndicated from Irshad Buchh original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-weekly-roundup-aws-control-tower-new-api-tls-1-3-with-api-gateway-private-marketplace-catalogs-and-more-february-19-2024/

Over the past week, our service teams have continued to innovate on your behalf, and a lot has happened in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) universe that I want to tell you about. I’ll also share about all the AWS Community events and initiatives that are happening around the world.

Let’s dive in!

Last week’s launches
Here are some launches that got my attention during the previous week.

AWS Control Tower introduces APIs to register organizational units – With these new APIs, you can extend governance to organizational units (OUs) using APIs and automate your OU provisioning workflow. The APIs can also be used for OUs that are already under AWS Control Tower governance to re-register OUs after landing zone updates. These APIs include AWS CloudFormation support, allowing customers to manage their OUs with infrastructure as code (IaC).

API Gateway now supports TLS 1.3 – By using TLS 1.3 with API Gateway as the centralized point of control, developers can secure communication between the client and the gateway; uphold the confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity of their API traffic; and benefit from API Gateway’s integration with AWS Certificate Manager (ACM) for centralized deployment of SSL certificates using TLS.

Amazon OpenSearch Service now lets you update cluster volume without blue/green – While blue/green deployments are meant to avoid any disruption to your clusters because the deployment uses additional resources on the domain, it is recommended that you perform them during low traffic periods. Now, you can update volume-related cluster configuration without requiring a blue/green deployment, ensuring minimal performance impact on your online traffic and avoiding any potential disruption to your cluster operations.

Amazon GuardDuty Runtime Monitoring protects clusters running in shared VPC – With this launch, customers who are already opted into automated agent management in GuardDuty will benefit from a renewed 30-day trial of GuardDuty Runtime Monitoring, where we will automatically start monitoring the resources (clusters) deployed in a shared VPC setup. Customers also have the option to manually manage the agent and provision the virtual private cloud (VPC) endpoint in their shared VPC environment.

AWS Marketplace now supports managing Private Marketplace catalogs for OUs – This capability supports distinct product catalogs per business unit or development environment, empowering organizations to align software procurement with specific needs. Additionally, customers can designate a trusted member account as a delegated administrator for Private Marketplace administration, reducing the operational burden on management account administrators. With this launch, organizations can procure more quickly by providing administrators with the agile controls they need to scale their procurement governance across distinct business and user needs.

For a full list of AWS announcements, be sure to keep an eye on the What’s New at AWS page.

Other AWS news

Join AWS Cloud Clubs Captains – The C3 cohort of AWS Cloud Club Captains is open for applications from February 5–23, 2024, at 5:00 PM EST.

AWS open source news and updates – Our colleague Ricardo writes this weekly open source newsletter highlighting new open source projects, tools, and demos from the AWS Community.

Upcoming AWS events

Check your calendars and sign up for upcoming AWS events:

Building with Generative AI on AWS using PartyRock, Amazon Bedrock and Amazon Q – You will gain skills in prompt engineering and using the Amazon Bedrock API. We will also explore how to “chat with your documents” through knowledge bases, Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG), embeddings, and agents. We will also use next-generation developer tools Amazon Q and Amazon CodeWhisperer to assist in coding and debugging.

Location: AWS Skills Center, 1550-G Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA

AI/ML security – Artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) and especially generative AI  have become top of mind for many organizations, but even the companies who want to move forward with this new and transformative technology are hesitating. They don’t necessarily understand how they can ensure that what they build will be secure. This webinar explains how they can do that.

AWS Jam Session – Canada Edition – AWS JAM is a gamified learning platform where you come to play, learn, and validate your AWS skills. The morning will include a mix of challenges across various technical domains – security, serverless, AI/ML, analytics, and more. The afternoon will be focused on a different specialty domain each month. You can form teams of up to four people to solve the challenges. There will be prizes for the top three winning teams.

Whether you’re in the Americas, Asia Pacific and Japan, or the EMEA region, there’s an upcoming AWS Innovate Online event that fits your time zone. Innovate Online events are free, online, and designed to inspire and educate you about AWS.

AWS Summits are a series of free online and in-person events that bring the cloud computing community together to connect, collaborate, and learn about AWS. These events are designed to educate you about AWS products and services and help you develop the skills needed to build, deploy, and operate your infrastructure and applications. Find an AWS Summit near you and register or set a notification to know when registration opens for a Summit that interests you.

AWS Community re:Invent re:Caps – Join a Community re:Cap event organized by volunteers from AWS User Groups and AWS Cloud Clubs around the world to learn about the latest announcements from AWS re:Invent.

You can browse all upcoming in-person and virtual events.

That’s all for this week. Check back next Monday for another Weekly Roundup!

– Irshad

This post is part of our Weekly Roundup series. Check back each week for a quick roundup of interesting news and announcements from AWS!

Re-platforming Java applications using the updated AWS Serverless Java Container

Post Syndicated from Julian Wood original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/re-platforming-java-applications-using-the-updated-aws-serverless-java-container/

This post is written by Dennis Kieselhorst, Principal Solutions Architect.

The combination of portability, efficiency, community, and breadth of features has made Java a popular choice for businesses to build their applications for over 25 years. The introduction of serverless functions, pioneered by AWS Lambda, changed what you need in a programming language and runtime environment. Functions are often short-lived, single-purpose, and do not require extensive infrastructure configuration.

This blog post shows how you can modernize a legacy Java application to run on Lambda with minimal code changes using the updated AWS Serverless Java Container.

Deployment model comparison

Classic Java enterprise applications often run on application servers such as JBoss/ WildFly, Oracle WebLogic and IBM WebSphere, or servlet containers like Apache Tomcat. The underlying Java virtual machine typically runs 24/7 and serves multiple requests using its multithreading capabilities.

Typical long running Java application server

Typical long running Java application server

When building Lambda functions with Java, an HTTP server is no longer required and there are other considerations for running code in a Lambda environment. Code runs in an execution environment, which processes a single invocation at a time. Functions can run for up to 15 minutes with a maximum of 10 Gb allocated memory.

Functions are triggered by events such as an HTTP request with a corresponding payload. An Amazon API Gateway HTTP request invokes the function with the following JSON payload:

Amazon API Gateway HTTP request payload

Amazon API Gateway HTTP request payload

The code to process these events is different from how you implement it in a traditional application.

AWS Serverless Java Container

The AWS Serverless Java Container makes it easier to run Java applications written with frameworks such as Spring, Spring Boot, or JAX-RS/Jersey in Lambda.

The container provides adapter logic to minimize code changes. Incoming events are translated to the Servlet specification so that frameworks work as before.

AWS Serverless Java Container adapter

AWS Serverless Java Container adapter

Version 1 of this library was released in 2018. Today, AWS is announcing the release of version 2, which supports the latest Jakarta EE specification, along with Spring Framework 6.x, Spring Boot 3.x and Jersey 3.x.

Example: Modifying a Spring Boot application

This following example illustrates how to migrate a Spring Boot 3 application. You can find the full example for Spring and other frameworks in the GitHub repository.

  1. Add the AWS Serverless Java dependency to your Maven POM build file (or Gradle accordingly):
  2. <dependency>
  3. Spring Boot, by default, embeds Apache Tomcat to deal with HTTP requests. The examples use Amazon API Gateway to handle inbound HTTP requests so you can exclude the dependency.
  4. <build>

    The AWS Serverless Java Container accepts API Gateway proxy requests and transforms them into a plain Java object. The library also transforms outputs into a suitable API Gateway response object.

    Once you run your build process, Maven’s Shade-plugin now produces an Uber-JAR that bundles all dependencies, which you can upload to Lambda.

  5. The Lambda runtime must know which handler method to invoke. You can configure and use the SpringDelegatingLambdaContainerHandler implementation or implement your own handler Java class that delegates to AWS Serverless Java Container. This is useful if you want to add additional functionality.
  6. Configure the handler name in the runtime settings of your function.
  7. Configure the handler name

    Configure the handler name

  8. Configure an environment variable named MAIN_CLASS to let the generic handler know where to find your original application main class, which is usually annotated with @SpringBootApplication.
  9. Configure MAIN_CLASS environment variable

    Configure MAIN_CLASS environment variable

    You can also configure these settings using infrastructure as code (IaC) tools such as AWS CloudFormation, the AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK), or the AWS Serverless Application Model (AWS SAM).

    In an AWS SAM template, the related changes are as follows. Full templates are part of the GitHub repository.

    Handler: com.amazonaws.serverless.proxy.spring.SpringDelegatingLambdaContainerHandler 
        MAIN_CLASS: com.amazonaws.serverless.sample.springboot3.Application

    Optimizing memory configuration

    When running Lambda functions, start-up time and memory footprint are important considerations. The amount of memory you configure for your Lambda function also determines the amount of virtual CPU available. Adding more memory proportionally increases the amount of CPU, and therefore increases the overall computational power available. If a function is CPU-, network- or memory-bound, adding more memory can improve performance.

    Lambda charges for the total amount of gigabyte-seconds consumed by a function. Gigabyte-seconds are a combination of total memory (in gigabytes) and duration (in seconds). Increasing memory incurs additional cost. However, in many cases, increasing the memory available causes a decrease in the function duration due to the additional CPU available. As a result, the overall cost increase may be negligible for additional performance, or may even decrease.

    Choosing the memory allocated to your Lambda functions is an optimization process that balances speed (duration) and cost. You can manually test functions by selecting different memory allocations and measuring the completion time. AWS Lambda Power Tuning is a tool to simplify and automate the process, which you can use to optimize your configuration.

    Power Tuning uses AWS Step Functions to run multiple concurrent versions of a Lambda function at different memory allocations and measures the performance. The function runs in your AWS account, performing live HTTP calls and SDK interactions, to measure performance in a production scenario.

    Improving cold-start time with AWS Lambda SnapStart

    Traditional applications often have a large tree of dependencies. Lambda loads the function code and initializes dependencies during Lambda lifecycle initialization phase. With many dependencies, this initialization time may be too long for your requirements. AWS Lambda SnapStart for Java based functions can deliver up to 10 times faster startup performance.

    Instead of running the function initialization phase on every cold-start, Lambda SnapStart runs the function initialization process at deployment time. Lambda takes a snapshot of the initialized execution environment. This snapshot is encrypted and persisted in a tiered cache for low latency access. When the function is invoked and scales, Lambda resumes the execution environment from the persisted snapshot instead of running the full initialization process. This results in lower startup latency.

    To enable Lambda SnapStart you must first enable the configuration setting, and also publish a function version.

    Enabling SnapStart

    Enabling SnapStart

    Ensure you point your API Gateway endpoint to the published version or an alias to ensure you are using the SnapStart enabled function.

    The corresponding settings in an AWS SAM template contain the following:

      ApplyOn: PublishedVersions
    AutoPublishAlias: my-function-alias

    Read the Lambda SnapStart compatibility considerations in the documentation as your application may contain specific code that requires attention.


    When building serverless applications with Lambda, you can deliver features faster, but your language and runtime must work within the serverless architectural model. AWS Serverless Java Container helps to bridge between traditional Java Enterprise applications and modern cloud-native serverless functions.

    You can optimize the memory configuration of your Java Lambda function using AWS Lambda Power Tuning tool and enable SnapStart to optimize the initial cold-start time.

    The self-paced Java on AWS Lambda workshop shows how to build cloud-native Java applications and migrate existing Java application to Lambda.

    Explore the AWS Serverless Java Container GitHub repo where you can report related issues and feature requests.

    For more serverless learning resources, visit Serverless Land.

AWS Weekly Roundup — Amazon Q in AWS Glue, Amazon PartyRock Hackathon, CDK Migrate, and more — February 5, 2024

Post Syndicated from Veliswa Boya original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/aws-weekly-roundup-amazon-q-in-aws-glue-amazon-partyrock-hackathon-cdk-migrate-and-more-february-5-2024/

With all the generative AI announcements at AWS re:invent 2023, I’ve committed to dive deep into this technology and learn as much as I can. If you are too, I’m happy that among other resources available, the AWS community also has a space that I can access for generative AI tools and guides.

Last week’s launches
Here are some launches that got my attention during the previous week.

Amazon Q data integration in AWS Glue (Preview) – Now you can use natural language to ask Amazon Q to author jobs, troubleshoot issues, and answer questions about AWS Glue and data integration. Amazon Q was launched in preview at AWS re:invent 2023, and is a generative AI–powered assistant to help you solve problems, generate content, and take action.

General availability of CDK Migrate – CDK Migrate is a component of the AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK) that enables you to migrate AWS CloudFormation templates, previously deployed CloudFormation stacks, or resources created outside of Infrastructure as Code (IaC) into a CDK application. This feature was launched alongside the CloudFormation IaC Generator to give you an end-to-end experience that enables you to create an IaC configuration based off a resource, as well as its relationships. You can expect the IaC generator to have a huge impact for a common use case we’ve seen.

For a full list of AWS announcements, be sure to keep an eye on the What’s New at AWS page.

Other AWS news
Here are some additional projects, programs, and news items that you might find interesting:

Amazon API Gateway processed over 100 trillion API requests in 2023, demonstrating the growing demand for API-driven applications. API Gateway is a fully-managed API management service. Customers from all industry verticals told us they’re adopting API Gateway for multiple reasons. First, its ability to scale to meet the demands of even the most high-traffic applications. Second, its fully-managed, serverless architecture, which eliminates the need to manage any infrastructure, and frees customers to focus on their core business needs.

Join the PartyRock Generative AI Hackathon by AWS. This is a challenge for you to get hands-on building generative AI-powered apps. You’ll use Amazon PartyRock, an Amazon Bedrock Playground, as a fast and fun way to learn about Prompt Engineering and Foundational Models (FMs) to build a functional app with generative AI.

AWS open source news and updates – My colleague Ricardo writes this weekly open source newsletter in which he highlights new open source projects, tools, and demos from the AWS Community.

Upcoming AWS events
Whether you’re in the Americas, Asia Pacific & Japan, or EMEA region, there’s an upcoming AWS Innovate Online event that fits your timezone. Innovate Online events are free, online, and designed to inspire and educate you about AWS.

AWS Summits are a series of free online and in-person events that bring the cloud computing community together to connect, collaborate, and learn about AWS. These events are designed to educate you about AWS products and services and help you develop the skills needed to build, deploy, and operate your infrastructure and applications. Find an AWS Summit near you and register or set a notification to know when registration opens for a Summit that interests you.

AWS Community re:Invent re:Caps – Join a Community re:Cap event organized by volunteers from AWS User Groups and AWS Cloud Clubs around the world to learn about the latest announcements from AWS re:Invent.

You can browse all upcoming in-person and virtual events.

That’s all for this week. Check back next Monday for another Weekly Roundup!


This post is part of our Weekly Roundup series. Check back each week for a quick roundup of interesting news and announcements from AWS!

Consuming private Amazon API Gateway APIs using mutual TLS

Post Syndicated from James Beswick original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/consuming-private-amazon-api-gateway-apis-using-mutual-tls/

This post is written by Thomas Moore, Senior Solutions Architect and Josh Hart, Senior Solutions Architect.

A previous blog post explores using Amazon API Gateway to create private REST APIs that can be consumed across different AWS accounts inside a virtual private cloud (VPC). Private cross-account APIs are useful for software vendors (ISVs) and SaaS companies providing secure connectivity for customers, and organizations building internal APIs and backend microservices.

Mutual TLS (mTLS) is an advanced security protocol that provides two-way authentication via certificates between a client and server. mTLS requires the client to send an X.509 certificate to prove its identity when making a request, together with the default server certificate verification process. This ensures that both parties are who they claim to be.

mTLS connection process

The mTLS connection process illustrated in the diagram above:

  1. Client connects to the server.
  2. Server presents its certificate, which is verified by the client.
  3. Client presents its certificate, which is verified by the server.
  4. Encrypted TLS connection established.

Customers use mTLS because it offers stronger security and identity verification than standard TLS connections. mTLS helps prevent man-in-the-middle attacks and protects against threats such as impersonation attempts, data interception, and tampering. As threats become more advanced, mTLS provides an extra layer of defense to validate connections.

Implementing mTLS increases overhead for certificate management, but for applications transmitting valuable or sensitive data, the extra security is important. If security is a priority for your systems and users, you should consider deploying mTLS.

Regional API Gateway endpoints have native support for mTLS but private API Gateway endpoints do not support mTLS, so you must terminate mTLS before API Gateway. The previous blog post shows how to build private mTLS APIs using a self-managed verification process inside a container running an NGINX proxy. Since then, Application Load Balancer (ALB) now supports mTLS natively, simplifying the architecture.

This post explores building mTLS private APIs using this new feature.

Application Load Balancer mTLS configuration

You can enable mutual authentication (mTLS) on a new or existing Application Load Balancer. By enabling mTLS on the load balancer listener, clients are required to present trusted certificates to connect. The load balancer validates the certificates before allowing requests to the backends.

Application Load Balancer mTLS configuration

There are two options available when configuring mTLS on the Application Load Balancer: Passthrough mode and Verify with trust store mode.

In Passthrough mode, the client certificate chain is passed as an X-Amzn-Mtls-Clientcert HTTP header for the application to inspect for authorization. In this scenario, there is still a backend verification process. The benefit in adding the ALB to the architecture is that you can perform application (layer 7) routing, such as path-based routing, allowing more complex application routing configurations.

In Verify with trust store mode, the load balancer validates the client certificate and only allows clients providing trusted certificates to connect. This simplifies the management and reduces load on backend applications.

This example uses AWS Private Certificate Authority but the steps are similar for third-party certificate authorities (CA).

To configure the certificate Trust Store for the ALB:

  1. Create an AWS Private Certificate Authority. Specify the Common Name (CN) to be the domain you use to host the application at (for example, api.example.com).
  2. Export the CA using either the CLI or the Console and upload the resulting Certificate.pem to an Amazon S3 bucket.
  3. Create a Trust Store, point this at the certificate uploaded in the previous step.
  4. Update the listener of your Application Load Balancer to use this trust store and select the required mTLS verification behavior.
  5. Generate certificates for the client application against the private certificate authority, for example using the following commands:
openssl req -new -newkey rsa:2048 -days 365 -keyout my_client.key -out my_client.csr

aws acm-pca issue-certificate –certificate-authority-arn arn:aws:acm-pca:us-east-1:111122223333:certificate-authority/certificate_authority_id–csr fileb://my_client.csr –signing-algorithm “SHA256WITHRSA” –validity Value=365,Type=”DAYS” –template-arn arn:aws:acm-pca:::template/EndEntityCertificate/V1

aws acm-pca get-certificate -certificate-authority-arn arn:aws:acm-pca:us-east-1:111122223333:certificate-authority/certificate_authority_id–certificate-arn arn:aws:acm-pca:us-east-1:account_id:certificate-authority/certificate_authority_id/certificate/certificate_id–output text

For more details on this part of the process, see Use ACM Private CA for Amazon API Gateway Mutual TLS.

Private API Gateway mTLS verification using an ALB

Using the ALB Verify with trust store mode together with API Gateway can enable private APIs with mTLS, without the operational burden of a self-managed proxy service.

You can use this pattern to access API Gateway in the same AWS account, or cross-account.

Private API Gateway mTLS verification using an ALB

The same account pattern allows clients inside the VPC to consume the private API Gateway by calling the Application Load Balancer URL. The ALB is configured to verify the provided client certificate against the trust store before passing the request to the API Gateway.

If the certificate is invalid, the API never receives the request. A resource policy on the API Gateway ensures that can requests are only allowed via the VPC endpoint, and a security group on the VPC endpoint ensures that it can only receive requests from the ALB. This prevents the client from bypassing mTLS by invoking the API Gateway or VPC endpoints directly.

Cross-account private API Gateway mTLS using AWS PrivateLink.

The cross-account pattern using AWS PrivateLink provides the ability to connect to the ALB endpoint securely across accounts and across VPCs. It avoids the need to connect VPCs together using VPC Peering or AWS Transit Gateway and enables software vendors to deliver SaaS services to be consumed by their end customers. This pattern is available to deploy as sample code in the GitHub repository.

The flow of a client request through the cross-account architecture is as follows:

  1. A client in the consumer application sends a request to the producer API endpoint.
  2. The request is routed via AWS PrivateLink to a Network Load Balancer in the consumer account. The Network Load Balancer is a requirement of AWS PrivateLink services.
  3. The Network Load Balancer uses an Application Load Balancer-type Target Group.
  4. The Application Load Balancer listener is configured for mTLS in verify with trust store mode.
  5. An authorization decision is made comparing the client certificate to the chain in the certificate trust store.
  6. If the client certificate is allowed the request is routed to the API Gateway via the execute-api VPC Endpoint. An API Gateway resource policy is used to allow connections only via the VPC endpoint.
  7. Any additional API Gateway authentication and authorization is performed, such as using a Lambda authorizer to validate a JSON Web Token (JWT).

Using the example deployed from the GitHub repo, this is the expected response from a successful request with a valid certificate:

curl –key my_client.key –cert my_client.pem https://api.example.com/widgets 


When passing an invalid certificate, the following response is received:

curl: (35) Recv failure: Connection reset by peer

Custom domain names

An additional benefit to implementing the mTLS solution with an Application Load Balancer is support for private custom domain names. Private API Gateway endpoints do not support custom domain names currently. But in this case, clients first connect to an ALB endpoint, which does support a custom domain. The sample code implements private custom domains using a public AWS Certificate Manager (ACM) certificate on the internal ALB, and an Amazon Route 53 hosted DNS zone. This allows you to provide a static URL to consumers so that if the API Gateway is replaced the consumer does not need to update their code.

Certificate revocation list

Optionally, as another layer of security, you can also configure a certificate revocation list for a trust store on the ALB. Revocation lists allow you to revoke and invalidate issued certificates before their expiry date. You can use this feature to off-boarding customers or denying compromised credentials, for example.

You can add the certificate revocation list to a new or existing trust store. The list is provided via an Amazon S3 URI as a PEM formatted file.


This post explores ways to provide mutual TLS authentication for private API Gateway endpoints. A previous post shows how to achieve this using a self-managed NGINX proxy. This post simplifies the architecture by using the native mTLS support now available for Application Load Balancers.

This new pattern centralizes authentication at the edge, streamlines deployment, and minimizes operational overhead compared to self-managed verification. AWS Private Certificate Authority and certificate revocation lists integrate with managed credentials and security policies. This makes it easier to expose private APIs safely across accounts and VPCs.

Mutual authentication and progressive security controls are growing in importance when architecting secure cloud-based workloads. To get started, visit the GitHub repository.

For more serverless learning resources, visit Serverless Land.

How to build a unified authorization layer for identity providers with Amazon Verified Permissions

Post Syndicated from Akash Kumar original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/how-to-build-a-unified-authorization-layer-for-identity-providers-with-amazon-verified-permissions/

Enterprises often have an identity provider (IdP) for their employees and another for their customers. Using multiple IdPs allows you to apply different access controls and policies for employees and for customers. However, managing multiple identity systems can be complex. A unified authorization layer can ease administration by centralizing access policies for APIs regardless of the user’s IdP. The authorization layer evaluates access tokens from any authorized IdP before allowing API access. This removes authorization logic from the APIs and simplifies specifying organization-wide policies. Potential drawbacks include additional complexity in the authorization layer. However, simplifying the management of policies reduces cost of ownership and the likelihood of errors.

Consider a veterinary clinic that has an IdP for their employees. Their clients, the pet owners, would have a separate IdP. Employees might have different sign-in requirements than the clients. These requirements could include features such as multi-factor authentication (MFA) or additional auditing functionality. Applying identical access controls for clients may not be desirable. The clinic’s scheduling application would manage access from both the clinic employees and pet owners. By implementing a unified authorization layer, the scheduling app doesn’t need to be aware of the different IdPs or tokens. The authorization layer handles evaluating tokens and applying policies, such as allowing the clinic employees full access to appointment data while limiting pet owners to just their pet’s records. In this post, we show you an architecture for this situation that demonstrates how to build a unified authorization layer using multiple Amazon Cognito user pools, Amazon Verified Permissions, and an AWS Lambda authorizer for Amazon API Gateway-backed APIs.

In the architecture, API Gateway exposes APIs to provide access to backend resources. API Gateway is a fully-managed service that allows developers to build APIs that act as an entry point for applications. To integrate API Gateway with multiple IdPs, you can use a Lambda authorizer to control access to the API. The IdP in this architecture is Amazon Cognito, which provides the authentication function for users before they’re authorized by Verified Permissions, which implements fine-grained authorization on resources in an application. Keep in mind that Verified Permissions has limits on policy sizes and requests per second. Large deployments might require a different policy store or a caching layer. The four services work together to combine multiple IdPs into a unified authorization layer. The architecture isn’t limited to the Cognito IdP — third-party IdPs that generate JSON Web Tokens (JWTs) can be used, including combinations of different IdPs.

Architecture overview

This sample architecture relies on user-pool multi-tenancy for user authentication. It uses Cognito user pools to assign authenticated users a set of temporary and least-privilege credentials for application access. Once users are authenticated, they are authorized to access backend functions via a Lambda Authorizer function. This function interfaces with Verified Permissions to apply the appropriate access policy based on user attributes.

This sample architecture is based on the scenario of an application that has two sets of users: an internal set of users, veterinarians, as well as an external set of users, clients, with each group having specific access to the API. Figure 1 shows the user request flow.

Figure 1: User request flow

Figure 1: User request flow

Let’s go through the request flow to understand what happens at each step, as shown in Figure 1:

  1. There two groups of users — External (Clients) and Internal (Veterinarians). These user groups sign in through a web portal that authenticates against an IdP (Amazon Cognito).
  2. The groups attempt to access the get appointment API through API Gateway, along with their JWT tokens with claims and client ID.
  3. The Lambda authorizer validates the claims.

    Note: If Cognito is the IdP, then Verified Permissions can authorize the user from their JWT directly with the IsAuthorizedWithToken API.

  4. After validating the JWT token, the Lambda authorizer makes a query to Verified Permissions with associated policy information to check the request.
  5. API Gateway evaluates the policy that the Lambda authorizer returned, to allow or deny access to the resource.
  6. If allowed, API Gateway accesses the resource. If denied, API Gateway returns a 403 Forbidden error.

Note: To further optimize the Lambda authorizer, the authorization decision can be cached or disabled, depending on your needs. By enabling caching, you can improve the performance, because the authorization policy will be returned from the cache whenever there is a cache key match. To learn more, see Configure a Lambda authorizer using the API Gateway console.


This walkthrough demonstrates the preceding scenario for an authorization layer supporting veterinarians and clients. Each set of users will have their own distinct Amazon Cognito user pool.

Verified Permissions policies associated with each Cognito pool enforce access controls. In the veterinarian pool, veterinarians are only allowed to access data for their own patients. Similarly, in the client pool, clients are only able to view and access their own data. This keeps data properly segmented and secured between veterinarians and clients.

Internal policy

permit (principal in UserGroup::"AllVeterinarians",
   action == Action::"GET/appointment",
   resource in UserGroup::"AllVeterinarians")
   when {principal == resource.Veterinarian };

External policy

permit (principal in UserGroup::"AllClients",
   action == Action::"GET/appointment",
   resource in UserGroup::"AllClients")
   when {principal == resource.owner};

The example internal and external policies, along with Cognito serving as an IdP, allow the veterinarian users to federate in to the application through one IdP, while the external clients must use another IdP. This, coupled with the associated authorization policies, allows you to create and customize fine-grained access policies for each user group.

To validate the access request with the policy store, the Lambda authorizer execution role also requires the verifiedpermissions:IsAuthorized action.

Although our example Verified Permissions policies are relatively simple, Cedar policy language is extensive and allows you to define custom rules for your business needs. For example, you could develop a policy that allows veterinarians to access client records only during the day of the client’s appointment.

Implement the sample architecture

The architecture is based on a user-pool multi-tenancy for user authentication. It uses Amazon Cognito user pools to assign authenticated users a set of temporary and least privilege credentials for application access. After users are authenticated, they are authorized to access APIs through a Lambda function. This function interfaces with Verified Permissions to apply the appropriate access policy based on user attributes.


You need the following prerequisites:

  • The AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) installed and configured for use.
  • Python 3.9 or later, to package Python code for Lambda.

    Note: We recommend that you use a virtual environment or virtualenvwrapper to isolate the sample from the rest of your Python environment.

  • An AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) role or user with enough permissions to create an Amazon Cognito user pool, IAM role, Lambda function, IAM policy, and API Gateway instance.
  • jq for JSON processing in bash script.

    To install on Ubuntu/Debian, use the following command:

    sudo apt-get install jq

    To install on Mac with Homebrew, using the following command:

    brew install jq

  • The GitHub repository for the sample. You can download it, or you can use the following Git command to download it from your terminal.

    Note: This sample code should be used to test the solution and is not intended to be used in a production account.

    $ git clone https://github.com/aws-samples/amazon-cognito-avp-apigateway.git
    $ cd amazon-cognito-avp-apigateway

To implement this reference architecture, you will use the following services:

  • Amazon Verified Permissions is a service that helps you implement and enforce fine-grained authorization on resources within the applications that you build and deploy, such as HR systems and banking applications.
  • Amazon API Gateway is a fully managed service that developers can use to create, publish, maintain, monitor, and secure APIs at any scale.
  • AWS Lambda is a serverless compute service that lets you run code without provisioning or managing servers, creating workload-aware cluster scaling logic, maintaining event integrations, or managing runtimes.
  • Amazon Cognito provides an identity store that scales to millions of users, supports social and enterprise identity federation, and offers advanced security features to protect your consumers and business.

Note: We tested this architecture in the us-east-1 AWS Region. Before you select a Region, verify that the necessary services — Amazon Verified Permissions, Amazon Cognito, API Gateway, and Lambda — are available in those Regions.

Deploy the sample architecture

From within the directory where you downloaded the sample code from GitHub, first run the following command to package the Lambda functions. Then run the next command to generate a random Cognito user password and create the resources described in the previous section.

Note: In this case, you’re generating a random user password for demonstration purposes. Follow best practices for user passwords in production implementations.

$ bash ./helper.sh package-lambda-functions
Successfully completed packaging files.
$ bash ./helper.sh cf-create-stack-gen-password
Successfully created CloudFormation stack.

Validate Cognito user creation

Run the following commands to open the Cognito UI in your browser and then sign in with your credentials. This validates that the previous commands created Cognito users successfully.

Note: When you run the commands, they return the username and password that you should use to sign in.

For internal user pool domain users

$ bash ./helper.sh open-cognito-internal-domain-ui
 Opening Cognito UI...
 URL: xxxxxxxxx
 Please use following credentials to login:
 Username: cognitouser
 Password: xxxxxxxx

For external user pool domain users

$ bash ./helper.sh open-cognito-external-domain-ui
 Opening Cognito UI...
 URL: xxxxxxxxx
 Please use following credentials to login:
 Username: cognitouser
 Password: xxxxxxxx

Validate Cognito JWT upon sign in

Because you haven’t installed a web application that would respond to the redirect request, Cognito will redirect to localhost, which might look like an error. The key aspect is that after a successful sign-in, there is a URL similar to the following in the navigation bar of your browser.


Test the API configuration

Before you protect the API with Cognito so that only authorized users can access it, let’s verify that the configuration is correct and API Gateway serves the API. The following command makes a curl request to API Gateway to retrieve data from the API service.

$ bash ./helper.sh curl-api

API to check the appointment details of PI-T123
URL: https://epgst74zff.execute-api.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/dev/appointment/PI-T123
{"appointment": {"id": "PI-T123", "name": "Dave", "Pet": "Onyx - Dog. 2y 3m", "Phone Number": "+1234567", "Visit History": "Patient History from last visit with primary vet", "Assigned Veterinarian": "Jane"}}

API to check the appointment details of PI-T124
URL: https://epgst74zff.execute-api.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/dev/appointment/PI-T124
{"appointment": {"id": "PI-T124", "name": "Joy", "Pet": "Jelly - Dog. 6y 2m", "Phone Number": "+1368728", "Visit History": "None", "Assigned Veterinarian": "Jane"}}

API to check the appointment details of PI-T125
URL: https://epgst74zff.execute-api.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/dev/appointment/PI-T125
{"appointment": {"id": "PI-T125", "name": "Dave", "Pet": "Sassy - Cat. 1y", "Phone Number": "+1398777", "Visit History": "Patient History from last visit with primary vet", "Assigned Veterinarian": "Adam"}}

Protect the API

In the next step, you deploy a Verified Permissions policy store and a Lambda authorizer. The policy store contains the policies for user authorization. The Lambda authorizer verifies users’ access tokens and authorizes the users through Verified Permissions.

Update and create resources

Run the following command to update existing resources and create a Lambda authorizer and Verified Permissions policy store.

$ bash ./helper.sh cf-update-stack
 Successfully updated CloudFormation stack.

Test the custom authorizer setup

Begin your testing with the following request, which doesn’t include an access token.

Note: Wait for a few minutes to allow API Gateway to deploy before you run the following commands.

$ bash ./helper.sh curl-api
API to check the appointment details of PI-T123
URL: https://epgst74zff.execute-api.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/dev/appointment/PI-T123

API to check the appointment details of PI-T124
URL: https://epgst74zff.execute-api.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/dev/appointment/PI-T124

API to check the appointment details of PI-T125
URL: https://epgst74zff.execute-api.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/dev/appointment/PI-T125

The architecture denied the request with the message “Unauthorized.” At this point, API Gateway expects a header named Authorization (case sensitive) in the request. If there’s no authorization header, API Gateway denies the request before it reaches the Lambda authorizer. This is a way to filter out requests that don’t include required information.

Use the following command for the next test. In this test, you pass the required header, but the token is invalid because it wasn’t issued by Cognito and is instead a simple JWT-format token stored in ./helper.sh. To learn more about how to decode and validate a JWT, see Decode and verify a Cognito JSON token.

$ bash ./helper.sh curl-api-invalid-token
 {"Message":"User is not authorized to access this resource"}

This time the message is different. The Lambda authorizer received the request and identified the token as invalid and responded with the message “User is not authorized to access this resource.”

To make a successful request to the protected API, your code must perform the following steps:

  1. Use a user name and password to authenticate against your Cognito user pool.
  2. Acquire the tokens (ID token, access token, and refresh token).
  3. Make an HTTPS (TLS) request to API Gateway and pass the access token in the headers.

To finish testing, programmatically sign in to the Cognito UI, acquire a valid access token, and make a request to API Gateway. Run the following commands to call the protected internal and external APIs.

$ ./helper.sh curl-protected-internal-user-api

Getting API URL, Cognito Usernames, Cognito Users Password and Cognito ClientId...
User: Jane
Password: Pa%%word-2023-04-17-17-11-32
Resource: PI-T123
URL: https://16qyz501mg.execute-api.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/dev/appointment/PI-T123

Authenticating to get access_token...
Access Token: eyJraWQiOiJIaVRvckxxxxxxxxxx6BfCBKASA

{"appointment": {"id": "PI-T123", "name": "Dave", "Pet": "Onyx - Dog. 2y 3m", "Phone Number": "+1234567", "Visit History": "Patient History from last visit with primary vet", "Assigned Veterinarian": "Jane"}}

User: Adam
Password: Pa%%word-2023-04-17-17-11-32
Resource: PI-T123
URL: https://16qyz501mg.execute-api.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/dev/appointment/PI-T123

Authenticating to get access_token...
Access Token: eyJraWQiOiJIaVRvckxxxxxxxxxx6BfCBKASA

{"Message":"User is not authorized to access this resource"}

User: Adam
Password: Pa%%word-2023-04-17-17-11-32
Resource: PI-T125
URL: https://16qyz501mg.execute-api.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/dev/appointment/PI-T125

Authenticating to get access_token...
Access Token: eyJraWQiOiJIaVRvckxxxxxxxxxx6BfCBKASA

{"appointment": {"id": "PI-T125", "name": "Dave", "Pet": "Sassy - Cat. 1y", "Phone Number": "+1398777", "Visit History": "Patient History from last visit with primary vet", "Assigned Veterinarian": "Adam"}}

Now calling external userpool users for accessing request

$ ./helper.sh curl-protected-external-user-api
User: Dave
Password: Pa%%word-2023-04-17-17-11-32
Resource: PI-T123
URL: https://16qyz501mg.execute-api.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/dev/appointment/PI-T123

Authenticating to get access_token...
Access Token: eyJraWQiOiJIaVRvckxxxxxxxxxx6BfCBKASA

{"appointment": {"id": "PI-T123", "name": "Dave", "Pet": "Onyx - Dog. 2y 3m", "Phone Number": "+1234567", "Visit History": "Patient History from last visit with primary vet", "Assigned Veterinarian": "Jane"}}

User: Joy
Password Pa%%word-2023-04-17-17-11-32
Resource: PI-T123
URL: https://16qyz501mg.execute-api.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/dev/appointment/PI-T123

Authenticating to get access_token...
Access Token: eyJraWQiOiJIaVRvckxxxxxxxxxx6BfCBKASA

{"Message":"User is not authorized to access this resource"}

User: Joy
Password Pa%%word-2023-04-17-17-11-32
Resource: PI-T124
URL: https://16qyz501mg.execute-api.us-east-1.amazonaws.com/dev/appointment/PI-T124

Authenticating to get access_token...
Access Token: eyJraWQiOiJIaVRvckxxxxxxxxxx6BfCBKASA

{"appointment": {"id": "PI-T124", "name": "Joy", "Pet": "Jelly - Dog. 6y 2m", "Phone Number": "+1368728", "Visit History": "None", "Assigned Veterinarian": "Jane"}}

This time, you receive a response with data from the API service. Let’s recap the steps that the example code performed:

  1. The Lambda authorizer validates the access token.
  2. The Lambda authorizer uses Verified Permissions to evaluate the user’s requested actions against the policy store.
  3. The Lambda authorizer passes the IAM policy back to API Gateway.
  4. API Gateway evaluates the IAM policy, and the final effect is an allow.
  5. API Gateway forwards the request to Lambda.
  6. Lambda returns the response.

In each of the tests, internal and external, the architecture denied the request because the Verified Permissions policies denied access to the user. In the internal user pool, the policies only allow veterinarians to see their own patients’ data. Similarly, in the external user pool, the policies only allow clients to see their own data.

Clean up resources

Run the following command to delete the deployed resources and clean up.

$ bash ./helper.sh cf-delete-stack

Additional information

Verified Permissions is integrated with AWS CloudTrail, a service that provides a record of actions taken by a user, role, or AWS service in Verified Permissions. CloudTrail captures API calls for Verified Permissions as events. You can choose to capture actions performed on a Verified Permissions policy store by the Lambda authorizer. Verified Permissions logs can also be injected into your security information and event management (SEIM) solution for security analysis and compliance. For information about API call quotas, see Quotas for Amazon Verified Permission.


In this post, we demonstrated how you can use multiple Amazon Cognito user pools alongside Amazon Verified Permissions to build a single access layer to APIs. We used Cognito in this example, but you could implement the solution with another third-party IdP instead. As a next step, explore the Cedar playground to test policies that can be used with Verified Permissions, or expand this solution by integrating a third-party IdP.

If you have feedback about this post, submit comments in the Comments section below. If you have questions about this post, contact AWS Support.

Want more AWS Security news? Follow us on Twitter.


Akash Kumar

Akash is a Senior Lead Consultant at AWS, based in India. He works with customers for application development, security, and DevOps to modernize and re-architect their workloads to the AWS Cloud. His passion is building innovative solutions and automating infrastructure, enabling customers to focus more on their businesses.

Brett Seib

Brett Seib

Brett is a Senior Solutions Architect, based in Austin, Texas. He is passionate about innovating and using technology to solve business challenges for customers. Brett has several years of experience in the enterprise, Internet of Things (IoT), and data analytics industries, accelerating customer business outcomes.

John Thach

John Thach

John is a Technical Account Manager, based in Houston, Texas. He focuses on enabling customers to implement resilient, secure, and cost-effective solutions by using AWS services. He is passionate about helping customers solve unique challenges through their cloud journeys.

Serverless ICYMI Q4 2023

Post Syndicated from Eric Johnson original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/serverless-icymi-q4-2023/

Welcome to the 24th edition of the AWS Serverless ICYMI (in case you missed it) quarterly recap. Every quarter, we share all the most recent product launches, feature enhancements, blog posts, webinars, live streams, and other interesting things that you might have missed!

In case you missed our last ICYMI, check out what happened last quarter here.

2023 Q4 Calendar

2023 Q4 Calendar


ServerlessVideo at re:Invent 2024

ServerlessVideo at re:Invent 2024

ServerlessVideo is a demo application built by the AWS Serverless Developer Advocacy team to stream live videos and also perform advanced post-video processing. It uses several AWS services including AWS Step Functions, Amazon EventBridge, AWS Lambda, Amazon ECS, and Amazon Bedrock in a serverless architecture that makes it fast, flexible, and cost-effective. Key features include an event-driven core with loosely coupled microservices that respond to events routed by EventBridge. Step Functions orchestrates using both Lambda and ECS for video processing to balance speed, scale, and cost. There is a flexible plugin-based architecture using Step Functions and EventBridge to integrate and manage multiple video processing workflows, which include GenAI.

ServerlessVideo allows broadcasters to stream video to thousands of viewers using Amazon IVS. When a broadcast ends, a Step Functions workflow triggers a set of configured plugins to process the video, generating transcriptions, validating content, and more. The application incorporates various microservices to support live streaming, on-demand playback, transcoding, transcription, and events. Learn more about the project and watch videos from reinvent 2023 at video.serverlessland.com.

AWS Lambda

AWS Lambda enabled outbound IPv6 connections from VPC-connected Lambda functions, providing virtually unlimited scale by removing IPv4 address constraints.

The AWS Lambda and AWS SAM teams also added support for sharing test events across teams using AWS SAM CLI to improve collaboration when testing locally.

AWS Lambda introduced integration with AWS Application Composer, allowing users to view and export Lambda function configuration details for infrastructure as code (IaC) workflows.

AWS added advanced logging controls enabling adjustable JSON-formatted logs, custom log levels, and configurable CloudWatch log destinations for easier debugging. AWS enabled monitoring of errors and timeouts occurring during initialization and restore phases in CloudWatch Logs as well, making troubleshooting easier.

For Kafka event sources, AWS enabled failed event destinations to prevent functions stalling on failing batches by rerouting events to SQS, SNS, or S3. AWS also enhanced Lambda auto scaling for Kafka event sources in November to reach maximum throughput faster, reducing latency for workloads prone to large bursts of messages.

AWS launched support for Python 3.12 and Java 21 Lambda runtimes, providing updated libraries, smaller deployment sizes, and better AWS service integration. AWS also introduced a simplified console workflow to automate complex network configuration when connecting functions to Amazon RDS and RDS Proxy.

Additionally in December, AWS enabled faster individual Lambda function scaling allowing each function to rapidly absorb traffic spikes by scaling up to 1000 concurrent executions every 10 seconds.

Amazon ECS and AWS Fargate

In Q4 of 2023, AWS introduced several new capabilities across its serverless container services including Amazon ECS, AWS Fargate, AWS App Runner, and more. These features help improve application resilience, security, developer experience, and migration to modern containerized architectures.

In October, Amazon ECS enhanced its task scheduling to start healthy replacement tasks before terminating unhealthy ones during traffic spikes. This prevents going under capacity due to premature shutdowns. Additionally, App Runner launched support for IPv6 traffic via dual-stack endpoints to remove the need for address translation.

In November, AWS Fargate enabled ECS tasks to selectively use SOCI lazy loading for only large container images in a task instead of requiring it for all images. Amazon ECS also added idempotency support for task launches to prevent duplicate instances on retries. Amazon GuardDuty expanded threat detection to Amazon ECS and Fargate workloads which users can easily enable.

Also in November, the open source Finch container tool for macOS became generally available. Finch allows developers to build, run, and publish Linux containers locally. A new website provides tutorials and resources to help developers get started.

Finally in December, AWS Migration Hub Orchestrator added new capabilities for replatforming applications to Amazon ECS using guided workflows. App Runner also improved integration with Route 53 domains to automatically configure required records when associating custom domains.

AWS Step Functions

In Q4 2023, AWS Step Functions announced the redrive capability for Standard Workflows. This feature allows failed workflow executions to be redriven from the point of failure, skipping unnecessary steps and reducing costs. The redrive functionality provides an efficient way to handle errors that require longer investigation or external actions before resuming the workflow.

Step Functions also launched support for HTTPS endpoints in AWS Step Functions, enabling easier integration with external APIs and SaaS applications without needing custom code. Developers can now connect to third-party HTTP services directly within workflows. Additionally, AWS released a new test state capability that allows testing individual workflow states before full deployment. This feature helps accelerate development by making it faster and simpler to validate data mappings and permissions configurations.

AWS announced optimized integrations between AWS Step Functions and Amazon Bedrock for orchestrating generative AI workloads. Two new API actions were added specifically for invoking Bedrock models and training jobs from workflows. These integrations simplify building prompt chaining and other techniques to create complex AI applications with foundation models.

Finally, the Step Functions Workflow Studio is now integrated in the AWS Application Composer. This unified builder allows developers to design workflows and define application resources across the full project lifecycle within a single interface.

Amazon EventBridge

Amazon EventBridge announced support for new partner integrations with Adobe and Stripe. These integrations enable routing events from the Adobe and Stripe platforms to over 20 AWS services. This makes it easier to build event-driven architectures to handle common use cases.

Amazon SNS

In Q4, Amazon SNS added native in-place message archiving for FIFO topics to improve event stream durability by allowing retention policies and selective replay of messages without provisioning separate resources. Additional message filtering operators were also introduced including suffix matching, case-insensitive equality checks, and OR logic for matching across properties to simplify routing logic implementation for publishers and subscribers. Finally, delivery status logging was enabled through AWS CloudFormation.

Amazon SQS

Amazon SQS has introduced several major new capabilities and updates. These improve visibility, throughput, and message handling for users. Specifically, Amazon SQS enabled AWS CloudTrail logging of key SQS APIs. This gives customers greater visibility into SQS activity. Additionally, SQS increased the throughput quota for the high throughput mode of FIFO queues. This was significantly increased in certain Regions. It also boosted throughput in Asia Pacific Regions. Furthermore, Amazon SQS added dead letter queue redrive support. This allows you to redrive messages that failed and were sent to a dead letter queue (DLQ).

Serverless at AWS re:Invent

Serverless videos from re:Invent

Serverless videos from re:Invent

Visit the Serverless Land YouTube channel to find a list of serverless and serverless container sessions from reinvent 2023. Hear from experts like Chris Munns and Julian Wood in their popular session, Best practices for serverless developers, or Nathan Peck and Jessica Deen in Deploying multi-tenant SaaS applications on Amazon ECS and AWS Fargate.

EDA Day Nashville

EDA Day Nashville

EDA Day Nashville

The AWS Serverless Developer Advocacy team hosted an event-driven architecture (EDA) day conference on October 26, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. This inaugural GOTO EDA day convened over 200 attendees ranging from prominent EDA community members to AWS speakers and product managers. Attendees engaged in 13 sessions, two workshops, and panels covering EDA adoption best practices. The event built upon 2022 content by incorporating additional topics like messaging, containers, and machine learning. It also created opportunities for students and underrepresented groups in tech to participate. The full-day conference facilitated education, inspiration, and thoughtful discussion around event-driven architectural patterns and services on AWS.

Videos from EDA Day are now available on the Serverless Land YouTube channel.

Serverless blog posts




Serverless container blog posts




Serverless Office Hours

Serverless office hours: Q4 videos




Containers from the Couch

Containers from the Couch









Still looking for more?

The Serverless landing page has more information. The Lambda resources page contains case studies, webinars, whitepapers, customer stories, reference architectures, and even more Getting Started tutorials.

You can also follow the Serverless Developer Advocacy team on Twitter to see the latest news, follow conversations, and interact with the team.

And finally, visit the Serverless Land and Containers on AWS websites for all your serverless and serverless container needs.

How to implement client certificate revocation list checks at scale with API Gateway

Post Syndicated from Arthur Mnev original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/how-to-implement-client-certificate-revocation-list-checks-at-scale-with-api-gateway/

ityAs you design your Amazon API Gateway applications to rely on mutual certificate authentication (mTLS), you need to consider how your application will verify the revocation status of a client certificate. In your design, you should account for the performance and availability of your verification mechanism to make sure that your application endpoints perform reliably.

In this blog post, I demonstrate an architecture that will help you on your journey to implement custom revocation checks against your certificate revocation list (CRL) for API Gateway. You will also learn advanced Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and AWS Lambda techniques to achieve higher performance and scalability.

Choosing the right certificate verification method

One of your first considerations is whether to use a CRL or the Online Certificate Status Protocol (OCSP), if your certificate authority (CA) offers this option. For an in-depth analysis of these two options, see my earlier blog post, Choosing the right certificate revocation method in ACM Private CA. In that post, I demonstrated that OCSP is a good choice when your application can tolerate high latency or a failure for certificate verification due to TLS service-to-OCSP connectivity. When you rely on mutual TLS authentication in a high-rate transactional environment, increased latency or OCSP reachability failures may affect your application. We strongly recommend that you validate the revocation status of your mutual TLS certificates. Verifying your client certificate status against the CRL is the correct approach for certificate verification if you require reliability and lower, predictable latency. A potential exception to this approach is the use case of AWS Certificate Manager Private Certificate Authority (AWS Private CA) with an OCSP responder hosted on AWS CloudFront.

With an AWS Private CA OCSP responder hosted on CloudFront, you can reduce the risks of network and latency challenges by relying on communication between AWS native services. While this post focuses on the solution that targets CRLs originating from any CA, if you use AWS Private CA with an OCSP responder, you should consider generating an OCSP request in your Lambda authorizer.

Mutual authentication with API Gateway

API Gateway mutual TLS authentication (mTLS) requires you to define a root of trust that will contain your certificate authority public key. During the mutual TLS authentication process, API Gateway performs the undifferentiated heavy lifting by offloading the certificate authentication and negotiation process. During the authentication process, API Gateway validates that your certificate is trusted, has valid dates, and uses a supported algorithm. Additionally, you can refer to the API Gateway documentation and related blog post for details about the mutual TLS authentication process on API Gateway.

Implementing mTLS certificate verification for API Gateway

In the remainder of this blog post, I’ll describe the architecture for a scalable implementation of a client certificate verification mechanism against a CRL on your API Gateway.

The certificate CRL verification process presented here relies on a custom Lambda authorizer that validates the certificate revocation status against the CRL. The Lambda authorizer caches CRL data to optimize the query time for subsequent requests and allows you to define custom business logic that could go beyond CRL verification. For example, you could include other, just-in-time authorization decisions as a part of your evaluation logic.

Implementation mechanisms

This section describes the implementation mechanisms that help you create a high-performing extension to the API Gateway mutual TLS authentication process.

Data repository for your certificate revocation list

API Gateway mutual TLS configuration uses Amazon S3 as a repository for your root of trust. The design for this sample implementation extends the use of S3 buckets to store your CRL and the public key for the certificate authority that signed the CRL.

We strongly recommend that you maintain an updated CRL and verify its signature before data processing. This process is automatic if you use AWS Private CA, because AWS Private CA will update your CRL automatically on revocation. AWS Private CA also allows you to retrieve the CA’s public key by using an API call.

Certificate validation

My sample implementation architecture uses the API Gateway Lambda authorizer to validate the serial number of the client certificate used in the mutual TLS authentication session against the list of serial numbers present in the CRL you publish to the S3 bucket. In the process, the API Gateway custom authorizer will read the client certificate serial number, read and validate the CRL’s digital signature, search for the client’s certificate serial number within the CRL, and return the authorization policy based on the findings.

Optimizing for performance

The mechanisms that enable a predictable, low-latency performance are CRL preprocessing and caching. Your CRL is an ASN.1 data structure that requires a relatively high computing time for processing. Preprocessing your CRL into a simple-to-parse data structure reduces the computational cost you would otherwise incur for every validation; caching the CRL will help you reduce the validation latency and improve predictability further.

Performance optimizations

The process of parsing and validating CRLs is computationally expensive. In the case of large CRL files, parsing the CRL in the Lambda authorizer on every request can result in high latency and timeouts. To improve latency and reduce compute costs, this solution optimizes for performance by preprocessing the CRL and implementing function-level caching.

Preprocessing and generation of a cached CRL file

The first optimization happens when S3 receives a new CRL object. As shown in Figure 1, the S3 PutObject event invokes a preprocessing Lambda that validates the signature of your uploaded CRL and decodes its ASN.1 format. The output of the preprocessing Lambda function is the list of the revoked certificate serial numbers from the CRL, in a data structure that is simpler to read by your programming language of choice, and that won’t require extensive parsing by your Lambda authorizer. The asynchronous approach mitigates the impact of CRL processing on your API Gateway workload.

Figure 1: Sample implementation flow of the pre-processing component

Figure 1: Sample implementation flow of the pre-processing component

Client certificate lookup in a CRL

The optimization happens as part of your Lambda authorizer that retrieves the preprocessed CRL data generated from the first step and searches through the data structure for your client certificate serial number. If the Lambda authorizer finds your client’s certificate serial number in the CRL, the authorization request fails, and the Lambda authorizer generates a “Deny” policy. Searching through a read-optimized data structure prepared by your preprocessing step is the second optimization that reduces the lookup time and the compute requirements.

Function-level caching

Because of the preprocessing, the Lambda authorizer code no longer needs to perform the expensive operation of decoding the ASN.1 data structures of the original CRL; however, network transfer latency will remain and may impact your application.

To improve performance, and as a third optimization, the Lambda service retains the runtime environment for a recently-run function for a non-deterministic period of time. If the function is invoked again during this time period, the Lambda function doesn’t have to initialize and can start running immediately. This is called a warm start. Function-level caching takes advantage of this warm start to hold the CRL data structure in memory persistently between function invocations so the Lambda function doesn’t have to download the preprocessed CRL data structure from S3 on every request.

The duration of the Lambda container’s warm state depends on multiple factors, such as usage patterns and parallel requests processed by your function. If, in your case, API use is infrequent or its usage pattern is spiky, pre-provisioned concurrency is another technique that can further reduce your Lambda startup times and the duration of your warm cache. Although provisioned concurrency does have additional costs, I recommend you evaluate its benefits for your specific environment. You can also check out the blog dedicated to this topic, Scheduling AWS Lambda Provisioned Concurrency for recurring peak usage.

To validate that the Lambda authorizer has the latest copy of the CRL data structure, the S3 ETag value is used to determine if the object has changed. The preprocessed CRL object’s ETag value is stored as a Lambda global variable, so its value is retained between invocations in the same runtime environment. When API Gateway invokes the Lambda authorizer, the function checks for existing global preprocessed CRL data structure and ETag variables. The process will only retrieve a read-optimized CRL when the ETag is absent, or its value differs from the ETag of the preprocessed CRL object in S3.

Figure 2 demonstrates this process flow.

Figure 2: Sample implementation flow for the Lambda authorizer component

Figure 2: Sample implementation flow for the Lambda authorizer component

In summary, you will have a Lambda container with a persistent in-memory lookup data structure for your CRL by doing the following:

  • Asynchronously start your preprocessing workflow by using the S3 PutObject event so you can generate and store your preprocessed CRL data structure in a separate S3 object.
  • Read the preprocessed CRL from S3 and its ETag value and store both values in global variables.
  • Compare the value of the ETag stored in your global variables to the current ETag value of the preprocessed CRL S3 object, to reduce unnecessary downloads if the current ETag value of your S3 object is the same as the previous value.
  • We recommend that you avoid using built-in API Gateway Lambda authorizer result caching, because the status of your certificate might change, and your authorization decision would rest on out-of-date verification results.
  • Consider setting a reserved concurrency for your CRL verification function so that API Gateway can invoke your function even if the overall capacity for your account in your AWS Region is exhausted.

The sample implementation flow diagram in Figure 3 demonstrates the overall architecture of the solution.

Figure 3: Sample implementation flow for the overall CRL verification architecture

Figure 3: Sample implementation flow for the overall CRL verification architecture

The workflow for the solution overall is as follows:

  1. An administrator publishes a CRL and its signing CA’s certificate to their non-public S3 bucket, which is accessible by the Lambda authorizer and preprocessor roles.
  2. An S3 event invokes the Lambda preprocessor to run upon CRL upload. The function retrieves the CRL from S3, validates its signature against the issuing certificate, and parses the CRL.
  3. The preprocessor Lambda stores the results in an S3 bucket with a name in the form <crlname>.cache.json.
  4. A TLS client requests an mTLS connection and supplies its certificate.
  5. API Gateway completes mTLS negotiation and invokes the Lambda authorizer.
  6. The Lambda authorizer function parses the client’s mTLS certificate, retrieves the cached CRL object, and searches the object for the serial number of the client’s certificate.
  7. The authorizer function returns a deny policy if the certificate is revoked or in error.
  8. API Gateway, if authorized, proceeds with the integrated function or denies the client’s request.


In this post, I presented a design for validating your API Gateway mutual TLS client certificates against a CRL, with support for extra-large certificate revocation files. This approach will help you align with the best security practices for validating client certificates and use advanced S3 access and Lambda caching techniques to minimize time and latency for validation.

If you have feedback about this post, submit comments in the Comments section below. If you have questions about this post, start a new thread on the AWS Security, Identity, and Compliance re:Post or contact AWS Support.

Arthur Mnev

Arthur is a Senior Specialist Security Architect for AWS Industries. He spends his day working with customers and designing innovative approaches to help customers move forward with their initiatives, improve their security posture, and reduce security risks in their cloud journeys. Outside of work, Arthur enjoys being a father, skiing, scuba diving, and Krav Maga.

Rafael Cassolato de Meneses

Rafael Cassolato de Meneses

Rafael Cassolato is a Solutions Architect with 20+ years in IT, holding bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Computer Science and 10 AWS certifications. Specializing in migration and modernization, Rafael helps strategic AWS customers achieve their business goals and solve technical challenges by leveraging AWS’s cloud platform.

How Sonar built a unified API on AWS

Post Syndicated from Patrick Madec original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/architecture/how-sonar-built-a-unified-api-on-aws/

SonarCloud, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) product developed by Sonar, seamlessly integrates into developers’ CI/CD workflows to increase code quality and identify vulnerabilities. Over the last few months, Sonar’s cloud engineers have worked on modernizing SonarCloud to increase the lead time to production.

Following Domain Driven Design principles, Sonar split the application into multiple business domains, each owned by independent teams. They also built a unified API to expose these domains publicly.

This blog post will explore Sonar’s design for SonarCloud’s unified API, utilizing Elastic Load Balancing, AWS PrivateLink, and Amazon API Gateway. Then, we’ll uncover the benefits aligned with the AWS Well-Architected Framework including enhanced security and minimal operational overhead.

This solution isn’t exclusive to Sonar; it’s a blueprint for organizations modernizing their applications towards domain-driven design or microservices with public service exposure.


SonarCloud’s core was initially built as a monolithic application on AWS, managed by a single team. Over time, it gained widespread adoption among thousands of organizations, leading to the introduction of new features and contributions from multiple teams.

In response to this growth, Sonar recognized the need to modernize its architecture. The decision was made to transition to domain-driven design, aligning with the team’s structure. New functionalities are now developed within independent domains, managed by dedicated teams, while existing components are gradually refactored using the strangler pattern.

This transformation resulted in SonarCloud being composed of multiple domains, and securely exposing them to customers became a key challenge. To address this, Sonar’s engineers built a unified API, a solution we’ll explore in the following section.

Solution overview

Figure 1 illustrates the architecture of the unified API, the gateway through which end-users access SonarCloud services. It is built on an Application Load Balancer and Amazon API Gateway private APIs.

Unified API architecture

Figure 1. Unified API architecture

The VPC endpoint for API Gateway spans three Availability Zones (AZs), providing an Elastic Network Interface (ENI) in each private subnet. Meanwhile, the ALB is configured with an HTTPS listener, linked to a target group containing the IP addresses of the ENIs.

To streamline access, we’ve established an API Gateway custom domain at api.example.com. Within this domain, we’ve created API mappings for each domain. This setup allows for seamless routing, with paths like /domain1 leading directly to the corresponding domain1 private API of the API Gateway service.

Here is how it works:

  1. The user makes a request to api.example.com/domain1, which is routed to the ALB using Amazon Route53 for DNS resolution.
  2. The ALB terminates the connection, decrypts the request and sends it to one of the VPC endpoint ENIs. At this point, the domain name and the path of the request respectively match our custom domain name, api.example.com, and our API mapping for /domain1.
  3. Based on the custom domain name and API mapping, the API Gateway service routes the request to the domain1 private API.

In this solution, we leverage the two following functionalities of the Amazon API Gateway:

  • Private REST APIs in Amazon API Gateway can only be accessed from your virtual private cloud by using an interface VPC endpoint. This is an ENI that you create in your VPC.
  • API Gateway custom domains allow you to set up your API’s hostname. The default base URL for an API is:

    With custom domains you can define a more intuitive URL, such as:
    https://api.example.com/domain1This is not supported for private REST APIs by default so we are using a workaround documented in https://github.com/aws-samples/.


In this post, we described the architecture of a unified API built by Sonar to securely expose multiple domains through a single API endpoint. To conclude, let’s review how this solution is aligned with the best practices of the AWS Well-Architected Framework.


The unified API approach improves the security of the application by reducing the attack surface as opposed to having a public API per domain. AWS Web Application Firewall (WAF) used on the ALB protects the application from common web exploits. AWS Shield, enabled by default on Amazon CloudFront, provides Network/Transport layer protection against DDoS attacks.

Operational Excellence

The design allows each team to independently deploy application and infrastructure changes behind a dedicated private API Gateway. This leads to a minimal operational overhead for the platform team and was a requirement. In addition, the architecture is based on managed services, which scale automatically as SonarCloud usage evolves.


The solution is built using AWS services providing high-availability by default across Availability Zones (AZs) in the AWS Region. Requests throttling can be configured on each private API Gateway to protect the underlying resources from being overwhelmed.


Amazon CloudFront increases the performance of the API, especially for users located far from the deployment AWS Region. The traffic flows through the AWS network backbone which offers superior performance for accessing the ALB.


The ALB is used as the single entry-point and brings an extra cost as opposed to exposing multiple public API Gateways. This is a trade-off for enhanced security and customer experience.


By using serverless managed services, Sonar is able to match the provisioned infrastructure with the customer demand. This avoids overprovisioning resources and reduces the environmental impact of the solution.

Further reading

The serverless attendee’s guide to AWS re:Invent 2023

Post Syndicated from Marcia Villalba original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/the-serverless-attendees-guide-to-aws-reinvent-2023/

AWS re:Invent 2023 is fast approaching, bringing together tens of thousands of Builders in Las Vegas in November. However, even if you can’t attend in person, you can catch up with sessions on-demand.

Breakout sessions are lecture-style 60-minute informative sessions presented by AWS experts, customers, or partners. These sessions cover beginner (100 level) topics to advanced and expert (300–400 level) topics. The sessions are recorded and uploaded a few days after to the AWS Events YouTube channel.

This post shares the “must watch” breakout sessions related to serverless architectures and services.

Sessions related to serverless architecture


SVS401 | Best practices for serverless developers
Provides architectural best practices, optimizations, and useful shortcuts that experts use to build secure, high-scale, and high-performance serverless applications.

Chris Munns, Startup Tech Leader, AWS
Julian Wood, Principal Developer Advocate, AWS

SVS305 | Refactoring to serverless
Shows how you can refactor your application to serverless with real-life examples.

Gregor Hohpe, Senior Principal Evangelist, AWS
Sindhu Pillai, Senior Solutions Architect, AWS

SVS308 | Building low-latency, event-driven applications
Explores building serverless web applications for low-latency and event-driven support. Marvel Snap share how they achieve low-latency in their games using serverless technology.

Marcia Villalba, Principal Developer Advocate, AWS
Brenna Moore, Second Dinner

SVS309 | Improve productivity by shifting more responsibility to developers
Learn about approaches to accelerate serverless development with faster feedback cycles, exploring best practices and tools. Watch a live demo featuring an improved developer experience for building serverless applications while complying with enterprise governance requirements.

Heeki Park, Principal Solutions Architect, AWS
Sam Dengler, Capital One

GBL203-ES | Building serverless-first applications with MAPFRE
This session is delivered in Spanish. Learn what modern, serverless-first applications are and how to implement them with services such as AWS Lambda or AWS Fargate. Find out how MAPFRE have adopted and implemented a serverless strategy.

Jesus Bernal, Senior Solutions Architect, AWS
Iñigo Lacave, MAPFRE
Mat Jovanovic, MAPFRE

Sessions related to AWS Lambda


BOA311 | Unlocking serverless web applications with AWS Lambda Web Adapter
Learn about the AWS Lambda Web Adapter and how it integrates with familiar frameworks and tools. Find out how to migrate existing web applications to serverless or create new applications using AWS Lambda.

Betty Zheng, Senior Developer Advocate, AWS
Harold Sun, Senior Solutions Architect, AWS

OPN305 | The pragmatic serverless Python developer
Covers an opinionated approach to setting up a serverless Python project, including testing, profiling, deployments, and operations. Learn about many open source tools, including Powertools for AWS Lambda—a toolkit that can help you implement serverless best practices and increase developer velocity.

Heitor Lessa, Principal Solutions Architect, AWS
Ran Isenberg, CyberArk

XNT301 | Build production-ready serverless .NET apps with AWS Lambda
Explores development and architectural best practices when building serverless applications with .NET and AWS Lambda, including when to run ASP.NET on Lambda, code structure, and using native AOT to massively increase performance.

James Eastham, Senior Cloud Architect, AWS
Craig Bossie, Solutions Architect, AWS

COM306 | “Rustifying” serverless: Boost AWS Lambda performance with Rust
Discover how to deploy Rust functions using AWS SAM and cargo-lambda, facilitating a smooth development process from your local machine. Explore how to integrate Rust into Python Lambda functions effortlessly using tools like PyO3 and maturin, along with the AWS SDK for Rust. Uncover how Rust can optimize Lambda functions, including the development of Lambda extensions, all without requiring a complete rewrite of your existing code base.

Efi Merdler-Kravitz, Cloudex

COM305 | Demystifying and mitigating AWS Lambda cold starts
Examines the Lambda initialization process at a low level, using benchmarks comparing common architectural patterns, and then benchmarking various RAM configurations and payload sizes. Next, measure and discuss common mistakes that can increase initialization latency, explore and understand proactive initialization, and learn several strategies you can use to thaw your AWS Lambda cold starts.

AJ Stuyvenberg, Datadog

Sessions related to event-driven architecture


API302 | Building next gen applications with event driven architecture
Learn about common integration patterns and discover how you can use AWS messaging services to connect microservices and coordinate data flow using minimal custom code. Learn and plan for idempotency, handling duplicating events and building resiliency into your architectures.

Eric Johnson, Principal Developer Advocate, AWS

API303 | Navigating the journey of serverless event-driven architecture
Learn about the journey businesses undertake when adopting EDAs, from initial design and implementation to ongoing operation and maintenance. The session highlights the many benefits EDAs can offer organizations and focuses on areas of EDA that are challenging and often overlooked. Through a combination of patterns, best practices, and practical tips, this session provides a comprehensive overview of the opportunities and challenges of implementing EDAs and helps you understand how you can use them to drive business success.

David Boyne, Senior Developer Advocate, AWS

API309 | Advanced integration patterns and trade-offs for loosely coupled apps
In this session, learn about common design trade-offs for distributed systems, how to navigate them with design patterns, and how to embed those patterns in your cloud automation.

Dirk Fröhner, Principal Solutions Architect, AWS
Gregor Hohpe, Senior Principal Evangelist, AWS

SVS205 | Getting started building serverless event-driven applications
Learn about the process of prototyping a solution from concept to a fully featured application that uses Amazon API Gateway, AWS Lambda, Amazon EventBridge, AWS Step Functions, Amazon DynamoDB, AWS Application Composer, and more. Learn why serverless is a great tool set for experimenting with new ideas and how the extensibility and modularity of serverless applications allow you to start small and quickly make your idea a reality.

Emily Shea, Head of Application Integration Go-to-Market, AWS
Naren Gakka, Solutions Architect, AWS

API206 | Bringing workloads together with event-driven architecture
Attend this session to learn the steps to bring your existing container workloads closer together using event-driven architecture with minimal code changes and a high degree of reusability. Using a real-life business example, this session walks through a demo to highlight the power of this approach.

Dhiraj Mahapatro, Principal Solutions Architect, AWS
Nicholas Stumpos, JPMorgan Chase & Co

COM301 | Advanced event-driven patterns with Amazon EventBridge
Gain an understanding of the characteristics of EventBridge and how it plays a pivotal role in serverless architectures. Learn the primary elements of event-driven architecture and some of the best practices. With real-world use cases, explore how the features of EventBridge support implementing advanced architectural patterns in serverless.

Sheen Brisals, The LEGO Group

Sessions related to serverless APIs


SVS301 | Building APIs: Choosing the best API solution and strategy for your workloads
Learn about access patterns and how to evaluate the best API technology for your applications. The session considers the features and benefits of Amazon API Gateway, AWS AppSync, Amazon VPC Lattice, and other options.

Josh Kahn, Tech Leader Serverless, AWS
Arthi Jaganathan, Principal Solutions Architect, AWS

SVS323 | I didn’t know Amazon API Gateway did that
This session provides an introduction to Amazon API Gateway and the problems it solves. Learn about the moving parts of API Gateway and how it works, including common and not-so-common use cases. Discover why you should use API Gateway and what it can do.

Eric Johnson, Principal Developer Advocate, AWS

FWM201 | What’s new with AWS AppSync for enterprise API developers
Join this session to learn about all the exciting new AWS AppSync features released this year that make it even more seamless for API developers to realize the benefits of GraphQL for application development.

Michael Liendo, Senior Developer Advocate, AWS
Brice Pellé, Principal Product Manager, AWS

FWM204 | Implement real-time event patterns with WebSockets and AWS AppSync
Learn how the PGA Tour uses AWS AppSync to deliver real-time event updates to their app users; review new features, like enhanced filtering options and native integration with Amazon EventBridge; and provide a sneak peek at what’s coming next.

Ryan Yanchuleff, Senior Solutions Architect, AWS
Bill Fine, Senior Product Manager, AWS
David Provan, PGA Tour

Sessions related to AWS Step Functions


API401 | Advanced workflow patterns and business processes with AWS Step Functions
Learn about architectural best practices and repeatable patterns for building workflows and cost optimizations, and discover handy cheat codes that you can use to build secure, high-scale, high-performance serverless applications

Ben Smith, Principal Developer Advocate, AWS

BOA304 | Using AI and serverless to automate video production
Learn how to use Step Functions to build workflows using AI services and how to use Amazon EventBridge real-time events.

Marcia Villalba, Principal Developer Advocate, AWS

SVS204 | Building Serverlesspresso: Creating event-driven architectures
This session explores the design decisions that were made when building Serverlesspresso, how new features influenced the development process, and lessons learned when creating a production-ready application using this approach. Explore useful patterns and options for extensibility that helped in the design of a robust, scalable solution that costs about one dollar per day to operate. This session includes examples you can apply to your serverless applications and complex architectural challenges for larger applications.

James Beswick, Senior Manager Developer Advocacy, AWS

API310 | Scale interactive data analysis with Step Functions Distributed Map
Learn how to build a data processing or other automation once and readily scale it to thousands of parallel processes with serverless technologies. Explore how this approach simplifies development and error handling while improving speed and lowering cost. Hear from an AWS customer that refactored an existing machine learning application to use Distributed Map and the lessons they learned along the way.

Adam Wagner, Principal Solutions Architect, AWS
Roberto Iturralde, Vertex Pharmaceuticals

Sessions related to handling data using serverless services and serverless databases


SVS307 | Scaling your serverless data processing with Amazon Kinesis and Kafka
Explore how to build scalable data processing applications using AWS Lambda. Learn practical insights into integrating Lambda with Amazon Kinesis and Apache Kafka using their event-driven models for real-time data streaming and processing.

Julian Wood, Principal Developer Advocate, AWS

DAT410 | Advanced data modeling with Amazon DynamoDB
This session shows you advanced techniques to get the most out of DynamoDB. Learn how to “think in DynamoDB” by learning the DynamoDB foundations and principles for data modeling. Learn practical strategies and DynamoDB features to handle difficult use cases in your application.

Alex De Brie – Independent consultant

COM308 | Serverless data streaming: Amazon Kinesis Data Streams and AWS Lambda
Explore the intricacies of creating scalable, production-ready data streaming architectures using Kinesis Data Streams and Lambda. Delve into tips and best practices essential to navigating the challenges and pitfalls inherent to distributed systems that arise along the way, and observe how AWS services work and interact.

Anahit Pogosova, Solita

Additional resources

If you are attending the event, there are many chalk talks, workshops, and other sessions to visit. See ServerlessLand for a full list of all the serverless sessions and also the Serverless Hero, Danielle Heberling’s Serverless re:Invent attendee guide for her top picks.

Visit us in the AWS Village in the Expo Hall where you can find the Serverless and Containers booth and enjoy a free cup of coffee at Serverlesspresso.

For more serverless learning resources, visit Serverless Land.

Sending and receiving webhooks on AWS: Innovate with event notifications

Post Syndicated from James Beswick original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/sending-and-receiving-webhooks-on-aws-innovate-with-event-notifications/

This post is written by Daniel Wirjo, Solutions Architect, and Justin Plock, Principal Solutions Architect.

Commonly known as reverse APIs or push APIs, webhooks provide a way for applications to integrate to each other and communicate in near real-time. It enables integration for business and system events.

Whether you’re building a software as a service (SaaS) application integrating with your customer workflows, or transaction notifications from a vendor, webhooks play a critical role in unlocking innovation, enhancing user experience, and streamlining operations.

This post explains how to build with webhooks on AWS and covers two scenarios:

  • Webhooks Provider: A SaaS application that sends webhooks to an external API.
  • Webhooks Consumer: An API that receives webhooks with capacity to handle large payloads.

It includes high-level reference architectures with considerations, best practices and code sample to guide your implementation.

Sending webhooks

To send webhooks, you generate events, and deliver them to third-party APIs. These events facilitate updates, workflows, and actions in the third-party system. For example, a payments platform (provider) can send notifications for payment statuses, allowing ecommerce stores (consumers) to ship goods upon confirmation.

AWS reference architecture for a webhook provider

The architecture consists of two services:

  • Webhook delivery: An application that delivers webhooks to an external endpoint specified by the consumer.
  • Subscription management: A management API enabling the consumer to manage their configuration, including specifying endpoints for delivery, and which events for subscription.

AWS reference architecture for a webhook provider

Considerations and best practices for sending webhooks

When building an application to send webhooks, consider the following factors:

Event generation: Consider how you generate events. This example uses Amazon DynamoDB as the data source. Events are generated by change data capture for DynamoDB Streams and sent to Amazon EventBridge Pipes. You then simplify the DynamoDB response format by using an input transformer.

With EventBridge, you send events in near real time. If events are not time-sensitive, you can send multiple events in a batch. This can be done by polling for new events at a specified frequency using EventBridge Scheduler. To generate events from other data sources, consider similar approaches with Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) Event Notifications or Amazon Kinesis.

Filtering: EventBridge Pipes support filtering by matching event patterns, before the event is routed to the target destination. For example, you can filter for events in relation to status update operations in the payments DynamoDB table to the relevant subscriber API endpoint.

Delivery: EventBridge API Destinations deliver events outside of AWS using REST API calls. To protect the external endpoint from surges in traffic, you set an invocation rate limit. In addition, retries with exponential backoff are handled automatically depending on the error. An Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS) dead-letter queue retains messages that cannot be delivered. These can provide scalable and resilient delivery.

Payload Structure: Consider how consumers process event payloads. This example uses an input transformer to create a structured payload, aligned to the CloudEvents specification. CloudEvents provides an industry standard format and common payload structure, with developer tools and SDKs for consumers.

Payload Size: For fast and reliable delivery, keep payload size to a minimum. Consider delivering only necessary details, such as identifiers and status. For additional information, you can provide consumers with a separate API. Consumers can then separately call this API to retrieve the additional information.

Security and Authorization: To deliver events securely, you establish a connection using an authorization method such as OAuth. Under the hood, the connection stores the credentials in AWS Secrets Manager, which securely encrypts the credentials.

Subscription Management: Consider how consumers can manage their subscription, such as specifying HTTPS endpoints and event types to subscribe. DynamoDB stores this configuration. Amazon API Gateway, Amazon Cognito, and AWS Lambda provide a management API for operations.

Costs: In practice, sending webhooks incurs cost, which may become significant as you grow and generate more events. Consider implementing usage policies, quotas, and allowing consumers to subscribe only to the event types that they need.

Monetization: Consider billing consumers based on their usage volume or tier. For example, you can offer a free tier to provide a low-friction access to webhooks, but only up to a certain volume. For additional volume, you charge a usage fee that is aligned to the business value that your webhooks provide. At high volumes, you offer a premium tier where you provide dedicated infrastructure for certain consumers.

Monitoring and troubleshooting: Beyond the architecture, consider processes for day-to-day operations. As endpoints are managed by external parties, consider enabling self-service. For example, allow consumers to view statuses, replay events, and search for past webhook logs to diagnose issues.

Advanced Scenarios: This example is designed for popular use cases. For advanced scenarios, consider alternative application integration services noting their Service Quotas. For example, Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS) for fan-out to a larger number of consumers, Lambda for flexibility to customize payloads and authentication, and AWS Step Functions for orchestrating a circuit breaker pattern to deactivate unreliable subscribers.

Receiving webhooks

To receive webhooks, you require an API to provide to the webhook provider. For example, an ecommerce store (consumer) may rely on notifications provided by their payment platform (provider) to ensure that goods are shipped in a timely manner. Webhooks present a unique scenario as the consumer must be scalable, resilient, and ensure that all requests are received.

AWS reference architecture for a webhook consumer

In this scenario, consider an advanced use case that can handle large payloads by using the claim-check pattern.

AWS reference architecture for a webhook consumer

At a high-level, the architecture consists of:

  • API: An API endpoint to receive webhooks. An event-driven system then authorizes and processes the received webhooks.
  • Payload Store: S3 provides scalable storage for large payloads.
  • Webhook Processing: EventBridge Pipes provide an extensible architecture for processing. It can batch, filter, enrich, and send events to a range of processing services as targets.

Considerations and best practices for receiving webhooks

When building an application to receive webhooks, consider the following factors:

Scalability: Providers typically send events as they occur. API Gateway provides a scalable managed endpoint to receive events. If unavailable or throttled, providers may retry the request, however, this is not guaranteed. Therefore, it is important to configure appropriate rate and burst limits. Throttling requests at the entry point mitigates impact on downstream services, where each service has its own quotas and limits. In many cases, providers are also aware of impact on downstream systems. As such, they send events at a threshold rate limit, typically up to 500 transactions per second (TPS).

Considerations and best practices for receiving webhooks

In addition, API Gateway allows you to validate requests, monitor for any errors, and protect against distributed denial of service (DDoS). This includes Layer 7 and Layer 3 attacks, which are common threats to webhook consumers given public exposure.

Authorization and Verification: Providers can support different authorization methods. Consider a common scenario with Hash-based Message Authentication Code (HMAC), where a shared secret is established and stored in Secrets Manager. A Lambda function then verifies integrity of the message, processing a signature in the request header. Typically, the signature contains a timestamped nonce with an expiry to mitigate replay attacks, where events are sent multiple times by an attacker. Alternatively, if the provider supports OAuth, consider securing the API with Amazon Cognito.

Payload Size: Providers may send a variety of payload sizes. Events can be batched to a single larger request, or they may contain significant information. Consider payload size limits in your event-driven system. API Gateway and Lambda have limits of 10 Mb and 6 Mb. However, DynamoDB and SQS are limited to 400kb and 256kb (with extension for large messages) which can represent a bottleneck.

Instead of processing the entire payload, S3 stores the payload. It is then referenced in DynamoDB, via its bucket name and object key. This is known as the claim-check pattern. With this approach, the architecture supports payloads of up to 6mb, as per the Lambda invocation payload quota.

Considerations and best practices for receiving webhooks

Idempotency: For reliability, many providers prioritize delivering at-least-once, even if it means not guaranteeing exactly once delivery. They can transmit the same request multiple times, resulting in duplicates. To handle this, a Lambda function checks against the event’s unique identifier against previous records in DynamoDB. If not already processed, you create a DynamoDB item.

Ordering: Consider processing requests in its intended order. As most providers prioritize at-least-once delivery, events can be out of order. To indicate order, events may include a timestamp or a sequence identifier in the payload. If not, ordering may be on a best-efforts basis based on when the webhook is received. To handle ordering reliably, select event-driven services that ensure ordering. This example uses DynamoDB Streams and EventBridge Pipes.

Flexible Processing: EventBridge Pipes provide integrations to a range of event-driven services as targets. You can route events to different targets based on filters. Different event types may require different processors. For example, you can use Step Functions for orchestrating complex workflows, Lambda for compute operations with less than 15-minute execution time, SQS to buffer requests, and Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) for long-running compute jobs. EventBridge Pipes provide transformation to ensure only necessary payloads are sent, and enrichment if additional information is required.

Costs: This example considers a use case that can handle large payloads. However, if you can ensure that providers send minimal payloads, consider a simpler architecture without the claim-check pattern to minimize cost.


Webhooks are a popular method for applications to communicate, and for businesses to collaborate and integrate with customers and partners.

This post shows how you can build applications to send and receive webhooks on AWS. It uses serverless services such as EventBridge and Lambda, which are well-suited for event-driven use cases. It covers high-level reference architectures, considerations, best practices and code sample to assist in building your solution.

For standards and best practices on webhooks, visit the open-source community resources Webhooks.fyi and CloudEvents.io.

For more serverless learning resources, visit Serverless Land.

Architecting for scale with Amazon API Gateway private integrations

Post Syndicated from James Beswick original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/architecting-for-scale-with-amazon-api-gateway-private-integrations/

This post is written by Lior Sadan, Sr. Solutions Architect, and Anandprasanna Gaitonde,
Sr. Solutions Architect.

Organizations use Amazon API Gateway to build secure, robust APIs that expose internal services to other applications and external users. When the environment evolves to many microservices, customers must ensure that the API layer can handle the scale without compromising security and performance. API Gateway provides various API types and integration options, and builders must consider how each option impacts the ability to scale the API layer securely and performantly as the microservices environment grows.

This blog post compares architecture options for building scalable, private integrations with API Gateway for microservices. It covers REST and HTTP APIs and their use of private integrations, and shows how to develop secure, scalable microservices architectures.


Here is a typical API Gateway implementation with backend integrations to various microservices:

A typical API Gateway implementation with backend integrations to various microservices

API Gateway handles the API layer, while integrating with backend microservices running on Amazon EC2, Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS), or Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS). This blog focuses on containerized microservices that expose internal endpoints that the API layer then exposes externally.

To keep microservices secure and protected from external traffic, they are typically implemented within an Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) in a private subnet, which is not accessible from the internet. API Gateway offers a way to expose these resources securely beyond the VPC through private integrations using VPC link. Private integration forwards external traffic sent to APIs to private resources, without exposing the services to the internet and without leaving the AWS network. For more information, read Best Practices for Designing Amazon API Gateway Private APIs and Private Integration.

The example scenario has four microservices that could be hosted in one or more VPCs. It shows the patterns integrating the microservices with front-end load balancers and API Gateway via VPC links.

While VPC links enable private connections to microservices, customers may have additional needs:

  • Increase scale: Support a larger number of microservices behind API Gateway.
  • Independent deployments: Dedicated load balancers per microservice enable teams to perform blue/green deployments independently without impacting other teams.
  • Reduce complexity: Ability to use existing microservice load balancers instead of introducing additional ones to achieve API Gateway integration
  • Low latency: Ensure minimal latency in API request/response flow.

API Gateway offers HTTP APIs and REST APIs (see Choosing between REST APIs and HTTP APIs) to build RESTful APIs. For large microservices architectures, the API type influences integration considerations:

VPC link supported integrations Quota on VPC links per account per Region

Network Load Balancer (NLB)



Network Load Balancer (NLB), Application Load Balancer (ALB), and AWS Cloud Map


This post presents four private integration options taking into account the different capabilities and quotas of VPC link for REST and HTTP APIs:

  • Option 1: HTTP API using VPC link to multiple NLBs or ALBs.
  • Option 2: REST API using multiple VPC links.
  • Option 3: REST API using VPC link with NLB.
  • Option 4: REST API using VPC link with NLB and ALB targets.

Option 1: HTTP API using VPC link to multiple NLBs or ALBs

HTTP APIs allow connecting a single VPC link to multiple ALBs, NLBs, or resources registered with an AWS Cloud Map service. This provides a fan out approach to connect with multiple backend microservices. However, load balancers integrated with a particular VPC link should reside in the same VPC.

Option 1: HTTP API using VPC link to multiple NLB or ALBs

Two microservices are in a single VPC, each with its own dedicated ALB. The ALB listeners direct HTTPS traffic to the respective backend microservice target group. A single VPC link is connected to two ALBs in that VPC. API Gateway uses path-based routing rules to forward requests to the appropriate load balancer and associated microservice. This approach is covered in Best Practices for Designing Amazon API Gateway Private APIs and Private Integration – HTTP API. Sample CloudFormation templates to deploy this solution are available on GitHub.

You can add additional ALBs and microservices within VPC IP space limits. Use the Network Address Usage (NAU) to design the distribution of microservices across VPCs. Scale beyond one VPC by adding VPC links to connect more VPCs, within VPC link quotas. You can further scale this by using routing rules like path-based routing at the ALB to connect more services behind a single ALB (see Quotas for your Application Load Balancers). This architecture can also be built using an NLB.


  • High degree of scalability. Fanning out to multiple microservices using single VPC link and/or multiplexing capabilities of ALB/NLB.
  • Direct integration with existing microservices load balancers eliminates the need for introducing new components and reducing operational burden.
  • Lower latency for API request/response thanks to direct integration.
  • Dedicated load balancers per microservice enable independent deployments for microservices teams.

Option 2: REST API using multiple VPC links

For REST APIs, the architecture to support multiple microservices may differ due to these considerations:

  • NLB is the only supported private integration for REST APIs.
  • VPC links for REST APIs can have only one target NLB.

Option 2: REST API using multiple VPC links

A VPC link is required for each NLB, even if the NLBs are in the same VPC. Each NLB serves one microservice, with a listener to route API Gateway traffic to the target group. API Gateway path-based routing sends requests to the appropriate NLB and corresponding microservice. The setup required for this private integration is similar to the example described in Tutorial: Build a REST API with API Gateway private integration.

To scale further, add additional VPC link and NLB integration for each microservice, either in the same or different VPCs based on your needs and isolation requirements. This approach is limited by the VPC links quota per account per Region.


  • Single NLB in the request path reduces operational complexity.
  • Dedicated NLBs for each enable independent microservice deployments.
  • No additional hops in the API request path results in lower latency.


  • Limits scalability due to a one-to-one mapping of VPC links to NLBs and microservices limited by VPC links quota per account per Region.

Option 3: REST API using VPC link with NLB

The one-to-one mapping of VPC links to NLBs and microservices in option 2 has scalability limits due to VPC link quotas. An alternative is to use multiple microservices per NLB.

Option 3: REST API using VPC link with NLB

A single NLB fronts multiple microservices in a VPC by using multiple listeners, with each listener on a separate port per microservice. Here, NLB1 fronts two microservices in one VPC. NLB2 fronts two other microservices in a second VPC. With multiple microservices per NLB, routing is defined for the REST API when choosing the integration point for a method. You define each service using a combination of selecting the VPC Link, which is integrated with a specific NLB, and a specific port that is assigned for each microservice at the NLB Listener and addressed from the Endpoint URL.

To scale out further, add additional listeners to existing NLBs, limited by Quotas for your Network Load Balancers. In cases where each microservice has its dedicated load balancer or access point, those are configured as targets to the NLB. Alternatively, integrate additional microservices by adding additional VPC links.


  • Larger scalability – limited by NLB listener quotas and VPC link quotas.
  • Managing fewer NLBs supporting multiple microservices reduces operational complexity.
  • Low latency with a single NLB in the request path.


  • Shared NLB configuration limits independent deployments for individual microservices teams.

Option 4: REST API using VPC link with NLB and ALB targets

Customers often build microservices with ALB as their access point. To expose these via API Gateway REST APIs, you can take advantage of ALB as a target for NLB. This pattern also increases the number of microservices supported compared to the option 3 architecture.

Option 4: REST API using VPC link with NLB and ALB targets

A VPC link (VPCLink1) is created with NLB1 in a VPC1. ALB1 and ALB2 front-end the microservices mS1 and mS2, added as NLB targets on separate listeners. VPC2 has a similar configuration. Your isolation needs and IP space determine if microservices can reside in one or multiple VPCs.

To scale out further:

  • Create additional VPC links to integrate new NLBs.
  • Add NLB listeners to support more ALB targets.
  • Configure ALB with path-based rules to route requests to multiple microservices.


  • High scalability integrating services using NLBs and ALBs.
  • Independent deployments per team is possible when each ALB is dedicated to a single microservice.


  • Multiple load balancers in the request path can increase latency.

Considerations and best practices

Beyond the scaling considerations of scale with VPC link integration discussed in this blog, there are other considerations:


This blog explores building scalable API Gateway integrations for microservices using VPC links. VPC links enable forwarding external traffic to backend microservices without exposing them to the internet or leaving the AWS network. The post covers scaling considerations based on using REST APIs versus HTTP APIs and how they integrate with NLBs or ALBs across VPCs.

While API type and load balancer selection have other design factors, it’s important to keep the scaling considerations discussed in this blog in mind when designing your API layer architecture. By optimizing API Gateway implementation for performance, latency, and operational needs, you can build a robust, secure API to expose microservices at scale.

For more serverless learning resources, visit Serverless Land.

Operating models for Web App Security Governance in AWS

Post Syndicated from Chamandeep Singh original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/architecture/operating-models-for-web-app-security-governance-in-aws/

For most organizations, protecting their high value assets is a top priority. AWS Web Application Firewall (AWS WAF) is an industry leading solution that protects web applications from the evolving threat landscape, which includes common web exploits and bots. These threats affect availability, compromise security, or can consume excessive resources. Though AWS WAF is a managed service, the operating model of this critical first layer of defence is often overlooked.

Operating models for a core service like AWS WAF differ depending on your company’s technology footprint, and use cases are dependent on workloads. While some businesses were born in the public cloud and have modern applications, many large established businesses have classic and legacy workloads across their business units. We will examine three distinct operating models using AWS WAF, AWS Firewall Manager service (AWS FMS), AWS Organizations, and other AWS services.

Operating Models

I. Centralized

The centralized model works well for organizations where the applications to be protected by AWS WAF are similar, and rules can be consistent. With multi-tenant environments (where tenants share the same infrastructure or application), AWS WAF can be deployed with the same web access control lists (web ACLs) and rules for consistent security. Content management systems (CMS) also benefit from this model, since consistent web ACL and rules can protect multiple websites hosted on their CMS platform. This operating model provides uniform protection against web-based attacks and centralized administration across multiple AWS accounts. For managing all your accounts and applications in AWS Organizations, use AWS Firewall Manager.

AWS Firewall Manager simplifies your AWS WAF administration and helps you enforce AWS WAF rules on the resources in all accounts in an AWS Organization, by using AWS Config in the background. The compliance dashboard gives you a simplified view of the security posture. A centralized information security (IS) team can configure and manage AWS WAF’s managed and custom rules.

AWS Managed Rules are designed to protect against common web threats, providing an additional layer of security for your applications. By leveraging AWS Managed Rules and their pre-configured rule groups, you can streamline the management of WAF configurations. This reduces the need for specialized teams to handle these complex tasks and thereby alleviates undifferentiated heavy lifting.

A centralized operating pattern (see Figure 1) requires IS teams to construct an AWS WAF policy by using AWS FMS and then implement it at scale in each and every account. Keeping current on the constantly changing threat landscape can be time-consuming and expensive. Security teams will have the option of selecting one or more rule groups from AWS Managed Rules or an AWS Marketplace subscription for each web ACL, along with any custom rule needed.

Centralized operating model for AWS WAF

Figure 1. Centralized operating model for AWS WAF

AWS Config managed rule sets ensure AWS WAF logging, rule groups, web ACLs, and regional and global AWS WAF deployments have no empty rule sets. Managed rule sets simplify compliance monitoring and reporting, while assuring security and compliance. AWS CloudTrail monitors changes to AWS WAF configurations, providing valuable auditing capability of your operating environment.

This model places the responsibility for defining, enforcing, and reviewing security policies, as well as remediating any issues, squarely on the security administrator and IS team. While comprehensive, this approach may require careful management to avoid potential bottlenecks, especially in larger-scale operations.

II. Distributed

Many organizations start their IT operations on AWS from their inception. These organizations typically have multi-skilled infrastructure and development teams and a lean operating model. The distributed model shown in Figure 2 is a good fit for them. In this case, the application team understands the underlying infrastructure components and the Infrastructure as Code (IaC) that provisions them. It makes sense for these development teams to also manage the interconnected application security components, like AWS WAF.

The application teams own the deployment of AWS WAF and the setup of the Web ACLs for their respective applications. Typically, the Web ACL will be a combination of baseline rule groups and use case specific rule groups, both deployed and managed by the application team.

One of the challenges that comes with the distributed deployment is the inconsistency in rules’ deployment which can result in varying levels of protection. Conflicting priorities within application teams can sometimes compromise the focus on security, prioritizing feature rollouts over comprehensive risk mitigation, for example. A strong governance model can be very helpful in situations like these, where the security team might not be responsible for deploying the AWS WAF rules, but do need security posture visibility. AWS Security services like Security Hub and Config rules can help set these parameters. For example, some of the managed Config rules and Security Hub controls check if AWS WAF is enabled for Application Load Balancer (ALB) and Amazon API Gateway, and also if the associated Web ACL is empty.

Distributed operating model for AWS WAF

Figure 2. Distributed operating model for AWS WAF

III. Hybrid

An organization that has a diverse range of customer-facing applications hosted in a number of different AWS accounts can benefit from a hybrid deployment operating model. Organizations whose infrastructure is managed by a combination of an in-house security team, third-party vendors, contractors, and a managed cybersecurity operations center (CSOC) can also use this model. In this case, the security team can build and enforce a core AWS WAF rule set using AWS Firewall Manager. Application teams, can build and manage additional rules based on the requirements of the application. For example, use case specific rule groups will be different for PHP applications as compared to WordPress-based applications.

Information security teams can specify how core rule groups are ordered. The application administrator has the ability to add rules and rule groups that will be executed between the two rule group sets. This approach ensures that adequate security is applied to all legacy and modern applications, and developers can still write and manage custom rules for enhanced protection.

Organizations should adopt a collaborative DevSecOps model of development, where both the security team and the application development teams will build, manage, and deploy security rules. This can also be considered a hybrid approach combining the best of the central and distributed models, as shown in Figure 3.

Hybrid operating model for AWS WAF

Figure 3. Hybrid operating model for AWS WAF

Governance is shared between the centralized security team responsible for baseline rules sets deployed across all AWS accounts, and the individual application team responsible for AWS WAF custom rule sets. To maintain security and compliance, AWS Config checks Amazon CloudFront, AWS AppSync, Amazon API Gateway, and ALB for AWS WAF association with managed rule sets. AWS Security Hub combines and prioritizes AWS Firewall Manager security findings, enabling visibility into AWS WAF rule conformance across AWS accounts and resources. This model requires close coordination between the two teams to ensure that security policies are consistent and all security issues are effectively addressed.

The AWS WAF incident response strategy includes detecting, investigating, containing, and documenting incidents, alerting personnel, developing response plans, implementing mitigation measures, and continuous improvement based on lessons learned. Threat modelling for AWS WAF involves identifying assets, assessing threats and vulnerabilities, defining security controls, testing and monitoring, and staying updated on threats and AWS WAF updates.


Using the appropriate operating model is key to ensuring that the right web application security controls are implemented. It accounts for the needs of both business and application owners. In the majority of implementations, the centralized and hybrid model works well, by providing a stratified policy enforcement. However, the distributed method can be used to manage specific use cases. Amazon Firewall Manager services can be used to streamline the management of centralized and hybrid operating models across AWS Organizations.

How SeatGeek uses AWS Serverless to control authorization, authentication, and rate-limiting in a multi-tenant SaaS application

Post Syndicated from Umesh Kalaspurkar original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/architecture/how-seatgeek-uses-aws-to-control-authorization-authentication-and-rate-limiting-in-a-multi-tenant-saas-application/

SeatGeek is a ticketing platform for web and mobile users, offering ticket purchase and reselling for sports games, concerts, and theatrical productions. In 2022, SeatGeek had an average of 47 million daily tickets available, and their mobile app was downloaded 33+ million times.

Historically, SeatGeek used multiple identity and access tools internally. Applications were individually managing authorization, leading to increased overhead and a need for more standardization. SeatGeek sought to simplify the API provided to customers and partners by abstracting and standardizing the authorization layer. They were also looking to introduce centralized API rate-limiting to prevent noisy neighbor problems in their multi-tenant SaaS application.

In this blog, we will take you through SeatGeek’s journey and explore the solution architecture they’ve implemented. As of the publication of this post, many B2B customers have adopted this solution to query terabytes of business data.

Building multi-tenant SaaS environments

Multi-tenant SaaS environments allow highly performant and cost-efficient applications by sharing underlying resources across tenants. While this is a benefit, it is important to implement cross-tenant isolation practices to adhere to security, compliance, and performance objectives. With that, each tenant should only be able to access their authorized resources. Another consideration is the noisy neighbor problem that occurs when one of the tenants monopolizes excessive shared capacity, causing performance issues for other tenants.

Authentication, authorization, and rate-limiting are critical components of a secure and resilient multi-tenant environment. Without these mechanisms in place, there is a risk of unauthorized access, resource-hogging, and denial-of-service attacks, which can compromise the security and stability of the system. Validating access early in the workflow can help eliminate the need for individual applications to implement similar heavy-lifting validation techniques.

SeatGeek had several criteria for addressing these concerns:

  1. They wanted to use their existing Auth0 instance.
  2. SeatGeek did not want to introduce any additional infrastructure management overhead; plus, they preferred to use serverless services to “stitch” managed components together (with minimal effort) to implement their business requirements.
  3. They wanted this solution to scale as seamlessly as possible with demand and adoption increases; concurrently, SeatGeek did not want to pay for idle or over-provisioned resources.

Exploring the solution

The SeatGeek team used a combination of Amazon Web Services (AWS) serverless services to address the aforementioned criteria and achieve the desired business outcome. Amazon API Gateway was used to serve APIs at the entry point to SeatGeek’s cloud environment. API Gateway allowed SeatGeek to use a custom AWS Lambda authorizer for integration with Auth0 and defining throttling configurations for their tenants. Since all the services used in the solution are fully serverless, they do not require infrastructure management, are scaled up and down automatically on-demand, and provide pay-as-you-go pricing.

SeatGeek created a set of tiered usage plans in API Gateway (bronze, silver, and gold) to introduce rate-limiting. Each usage plan had a pre-defined request-per-second rate limit configuration. A unique API key was created by API Gateway for each tenant. Amazon DynamoDB was used to store the association of existing tenant IDs (managed by Auth0) to API keys (managed by API Gateway). This allowed us to keep API key management transparent to SeatGeek’s tenants.

Each new tenant goes through an onboarding workflow. This is an automated process managed with Terraform. During new tenant onboarding, SeatGeek creates a new tenant ID in Auth0, a new API key in API Gateway, and stores association between them in DynamoDB. Each API key is also associated with one of the usage plans.

Once onboarding completes, the new tenant can start invoking SeatGeek APIs (Figure 1).

SeatGeek's fully serverless architecture

Figure 1. SeatGeek’s fully serverless architecture

  1. Tenant authenticates with Auth0 using machine-to-machine authorization. Auth0 returns a JSON web token representing tenant authentication success. The token includes claims required for downstream authorization, such as tenant ID, expiration date, scopes, and signature.
  2. Tenant sends a request to the SeatGeak API. The request includes the token obtained in Step 1 and application-specific parameters, for example, retrieving the last 12 months of booking data.
  3. API Gateway extracts the token and passes it to Lambda authorizer.
  4. Lambda authorizer retrieves the token validation keys from Auth0. The keys are cached in the authorizer, so this happens only once for each authorizer launch environment. This allows token validation locally without calling Auth0 each time, reducing latency and preventing an excessive number of requests to Auth0.
  5. Lambda authorizer performs token validation, checking tokens’ structure, expiration date, signature, audience, and subject. In case validation succeeds, Lambda authorizer extracts the tenant ID from the token.
  6. Lambda authorizer uses tenant ID extracted in Step 5 to retrieve the associated API key from DynamoDB and return it back to API Gateway.
  7. The API Gateway uses API key to check if the client making this particular request is above the rate-limit threshold, based on the usage plan associated with API key. If the rate limit is exceeded, HTTP 429 (“Too Many Requests”) is returned to the client. Otherwise, the request will be forwarded to the backend for further processing.
  8. Optionally, the backend can perform additional application-specific token validations.

Architecture benefits

The architecture implemented by SeatGeek provides several benefits:

  • Centralized authorization: Using Auth0 with API Gateway and Lambda authorizer allows for standardization the API authentication and removes the burden of individual applications having to implement authorization.
  • Multiple levels of caching: Each Lambda authorizer launch environment caches token validation keys in memory to validate tokens locally. This reduces token validation time and helps to avoid excessive traffic to Auth0. In addition, API Gateway can be configured with up to 5 minutes of caching for Lambda authorizer response, so the same token will not be revalidated in that timespan. This reduces overall cost and load on Lambda authorizer and DynamoDB.
  • Noisy neighbor prevention: Usage plans and rate limits prevent any particular tenant from monopolizing the shared resources and causing a negative performance impact for other tenants.
  • Simple management and reduced total cost of ownership: Using AWS serverless services removed the infrastructure maintenance overhead and allowed SeatGeek to deliver business value faster. It also ensured they didn’t pay for over-provisioned capacity, and their environment could scale up and down automatically and on demand.


In this blog, we explored how SeatGeek used AWS serverless services, such as API Gateway, Lambda, and DynamoDB, to integrate with external identity provider Auth0, and implemented per-tenant rate limits with multi-tiered usage plans. Using AWS serverless services allowed SeatGeek to avoid undifferentiated heavy-lifting of infrastructure management and accelerate efforts to build a solution addressing business requirements.

Build a serverless retail solution for endless aisle on AWS

Post Syndicated from Sandeep Mehta original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/architecture/building-serverless-endless-aisle-retail-architectures-on-aws/

In traditional business models, retailers handle order-fulfillment processes from start to finish—including inventory management, owning or leasing warehouses, and managing supply chains. But many retailers aren’t set up to carry additional inventory.

The “endless aisle” business model is an alternative solution for lean retailers that are carrying enough in-store inventory while wanting to avoid revenue loss. Endless aisle is also known as drop-shipping, or fulfilling orders through automated integration with product partners. Such automation results in a customer’s ability to place an order on a tablet or kiosk when they cannot find a specific product of their choice on in-store shelves.

Why is the endless aisle concept important for businesses and customers alike? It means that:

  • Businesses no longer need to stock products more than shelf deep.
  • End customers can easily place an order at the store and get it shipped directly to their home or place of choice.

Let’s explore these concepts further.

Solution overview

When customers are in-store and looking to order items that are not available on shelves, a store associate can scan the SKU code on a tablet. The kiosk experience is similar, where the customer can search for the item themselves by typing in its name.

For example, if a customer visits a clothing store that only stocks the items on shelves and finds the store is out of a product in their size, preferred color, or both, the associate can scan the SKU and check whether the item is available to ship. The application then raises a request with a store’s product partner. The request returns the available products the associate can show to the customer, who can then choose to place an order. When the order is processed, it is directly fulfilled by the partner.

Serverless endless aisle reference architecture

Figure 1 illustrates how to architect a serverless endless aisle architecture for order processing.

Building endless aisle architecture for order processing

Figure 1. Building endless aisle architecture for order processing

Website hosting and security

We’ll host the endless aisle website on Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) with Amazon CloudFront for better response time. CloudFront is a content delivery network (CDN) service built for high performance and security. CloudFront can reduce the latency to other AWS services by providing access at the edge and by caching the static content, while dynamic content is provided by Amazon API Gateway integration for our use case. A Web Application Firewall (WAF) is used after CloudFront for protection against internet threats, such as cross-site scripting (XSS) and SQL injection.

Amazon Cognito is used for managing the application user pool, and provides security for who can then access the application.

Solution walkthrough

Let’s review the architecture steps in detail.

Step 1. The store associate logs into the application with their username and password. When the associate or customer scans the bar code/SKU, the following process flow is executed.

Step 2. The front-end application translates the SKU code into a product number and invokes the Get Item API.

Step 3. An invoked getItem AWS Lambda function handles the API call.

This architecture’s design pattern supports multiple partner integration and allows reusability of the code. The design can be integrated with any partner with the ability to integrate using APIs, and the partner-specific transformation is built separately using Lambda functions.

We’ll use Amazon DynamoDB for storing partner information metadata—for example, partner_id, partner_name, partner APIs.

Step 4. The getItem Lambda function fetches partner information from an DynamoDB table. It transforms the request body using a Transformation Lambda function.

Step 5. The getItem Lambda function calls the right partner API. Upon receiving a request, the partner API returns the available product (based on SKU code) with details such as size, color, and any other variable parameter, along with images.

It can also provide links to similar available products the customer may be interested in based on the selected product. This helps retail clients increase their revenue and offer products that aren’t available at a given time on their shelves.

The customer then selects from the available products. Having selected the right product with specific details on parameters such as color, size, quantity, and more, they add them to the cart and begin the check-out process. The customer enters their shipping address and payment information to place an order.

Step 6. The orders are pushed to an Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS) queue named create-order-queue. Amazon SQS provides a straightforward and reliable way for customers to decouple and connect micro-services together using queues.

Step 7. Amazon SQS ensures that there is no data loss and orders are processed from the queue by the orders API. The createOrder Lambda function pulls the messages from Amazon SQS and processes them.

Step 8. The orders API body is then transformed into the message format expected by the partner API. This transformation can be done by a Lambda function defined in the configuration in the ‘partners-table’ DynamoDB table.

Step 9. A partner API is called using the endpoint URL, which is obtained from the partners-table. When the order is placed, a confirmation will be returned by the partner API response. With this confirmation, order details are entered in another DynamoDB table called orders-table.

Step 10. With DynamoDB stream, you can track any insert or update to the DynamoDB table.

Step 11. A notifier Lambda function invokes Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES) to notify the store about order activity.

Step 12. The processed orders are integrated with the customer’s ERP application for the reconciliation process. This can be achieved by Amazon Eventbridge rule that invokes a dataSync Lambda function.


For this walkthrough, you’ll need the following prerequisites:


Locally install CDK library:

npm install -g aws-cdk

Build an Infrastructure package to create deployable assets, which will be used in CloudFormation template.

cd serverless-partner-integration-endless-aisle && sh build.sh

Synthesize CloudFormation template

To see the CloudFormation template generated by the CDK, execute the below steps.

cd serveless-partner-integration-endless-aisle/infrastructure

cdk bootstrap && cdk synth

Check the output files in the “cdk.out” directory. AWS CloudFormation template is created for deployment in your AWS account.


Use CDK to deploy/redeploy your stack to an AWS Account.

Set store email address for notifications. If a store wants to get updates about customer orders, they can set STORE_EMAIL value with store email. You will receive a verification email in this account, after which SES can send you order updates.

export STORE_EMAIL=”[email protected]” - Put your email here.

Set up AWS credentials with the information found in this developer guide.

Now run:

cdk deploy


After the deployment, CDK will output Amazon Cloudfront URL to use for testing.

  • If you have provided STORE_EMAIL address during the set up, then approve the email link received from Amazon SES in your inbox. This will allow order notifications to your inbox.
  • Create a sample user by using the following command, that you can use to login to the website.
    aws cognito-idp admin-create-user --user-pool-id <REACT_APP_USER_POOL_ID> --username <UserName> --user-attributes Name="email",Value="<USER_EMAIL>" Name="email_verified",Value=true
  • The user will receive password in their email.
  • Open CloudFront URL in a web browser. Login to the website with the username and password. It will ask you to reset your password.
  • Explore different features such as Partner Lookup, Product search, Placing an order, and Order Lookup.

Cleaning up

To avoid incurring future charges, delete the resources, delete the cloud formation stack when not needed.

The following command will delete the infrastructure and website stack created in your AWS account:

cdk destroy


In this blog, we demonstrated how to build an in-store digital channel for retail customers. You can now build your endless aisle application using the architecture described in this blog and integrate with your partners, or reach out to accelerate your retail business.

Further reading

Protect APIs with Amazon API Gateway and perimeter protection services

Post Syndicated from Pengfei Shao original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/protect-apis-with-amazon-api-gateway-and-perimeter-protection-services/

As Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers build new applications, APIs have been key to driving the adoption of these offerings. APIs simplify client integration and provide for efficient operations and management of applications by offering standard contracts for data exchange. APIs are also the front door to hosted applications that need to be effectively secured, monitored, and metered to provide resilient infrastructure.

In this post, we will discuss how to help protect your APIs by building a perimeter protection layer with Amazon CloudFront, AWS WAF, and AWS Shield and putting it in front of Amazon API Gateway endpoints. Amazon API Gateway is a fully managed AWS service that you can use to create, publish, maintain, monitor, and secure REST, HTTP, and WebSocket APIs at any scale.

Solution overview

CloudFront, AWS WAF, and Shield provide a layered security perimeter that co-resides at the AWS edge and provides scalable, reliable, and high-performance protection for applications and content. For more information, see the AWS Best Practices for DDoS Resiliency whitepaper.

By using CloudFront as the front door to APIs that are hosted on API Gateway, globally distributed API clients can get accelerated API performance. API Gateway endpoints that are hosted in an AWS Region gain access to scaled distributed denial of service (DDoS) mitigation capacity across the AWS global edge network.

When you protect CloudFront distributions with AWS WAF, you can protect your API Gateway API endpoints against common web exploits and bots that can affect availability, compromise security, or consume excessive resources. AWS Managed Rules for AWS WAF help provide protection against common application vulnerabilities or other unwanted traffic, without the need for you to write your own rules. AWS WAF rate-based rules automatically block traffic from source IPs when they exceed the thresholds that you define, which helps to protect your application against web request floods, and alerts you to sudden spikes in traffic that might indicate a potential DDoS attack.

Shield mitigates infrastructure layer DDoS attacks against CloudFront distributions in real time, without observable latency. When you protect a CloudFront distribution with Shield Advanced, you gain additional detection and mitigation against large and sophisticated DDoS attacks, near real-time visibility into attacks, and integration with AWS WAF. When you configure Shield Advanced automatic application layer DDoS mitigation, Shield Advanced responds to application layer (layer 7) attacks by creating, evaluating, and deploying custom AWS WAF rules.

To take advantage of the perimeter protection layer built with CloudFront, AWS WAF, and Shield, and to help avoid exposing API Gateway endpoints directly, you can use the following approaches to restrict API access through CloudFront only. For more information about these approaches, see the Security Overview of Amazon API Gateway whitepaper.

  1. CloudFront can insert the X-API-Key header before it forwards the request to API Gateway, and API Gateway validates the API key when receiving the requests. For more information, see Protecting your API using Amazon API Gateway and AWS WAF — Part 2.
  2. CloudFront can insert a custom header (not X-API-Key) with a known secret that is shared with API Gateway. An AWS Lambda custom request authorizer that is configured in API Gateway validates the secret. For more information, see Restricting access on HTTP API Gateway Endpoint with Lambda Authorizer.
  3. CloudFront can sign the request with AWS Signature Version 4 by using Lambda@Edge before it sends the request to API Gateway. Configured AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) authorization in API Gateway validates the signature and verifies the identity of the requester.

Although the X-API-Key header approach is straightforward to implement at a lower cost, it’s only applicable to customers who are using REST API endpoints. If the X-API-Key header already exists, CloudFront will overwrite it. The custom header approach addresses this limitation, but it has an additional cost due to the use of the Lambda authorizer. With both approaches, there is an operational overhead for managing keys and rotating the keys periodically. Also, it isn’t a security best practice to use long-term secrets for authorization.

By using the AWS Signature Version 4 approach, you can minimize this type of operational overhead through the use of requests signed with Signature Version 4 in Lambda@Edge. The signing uses temporary credentials that AWS Security Token Service (AWS STS) provides, and built-in API Gateway IAM authorization performs the request signature validation. There is an additional Lambda@Edge cost in this approach. This approach supports the three API endpoint types available in API Gateway — REST, HTTP, and WebSocket — and it helps secure requests by verifying the identity of the requester, protecting data in transit, and protecting against potential replay attacks. We describe this approach in detail in the next section.

Solution architecture

Figure 1 shows the architecture of the Signature Version 4 solution.

Figure 1: High-level flow of a client request with sequence of events

Figure 1: High-level flow of a client request with sequence of events

The sequence of events that occurs when the client sends a request is as follows:

  1. A client sends a request to an API endpoint that is fronted by CloudFront.
  2. AWS WAF inspects the request at the edge location according to the web access control list (web ACL) rules that you configured. With Shield Advanced automatic application-layer mitigation enabled, when Shield Advanced detects a DDoS attack and identifies the attack signatures, Shield Advanced creates AWS WAF rules inside an associated web ACL to mitigate the attack.
  3. CloudFront handles the request and invokes the Lambda@Edge function before sending the request to API Gateway.
  4. The Lambda@Edge function signs the request with Signature Version 4 by adding the necessary headers.
  5. API Gateway verifies the Lambda@Edge function with the necessary permissions and sends the request to the backend.
  6. An unauthorized client sends a request to an API Gateway endpoint, and it receives the HTTP 403 Forbidden message.

Solution deployment

The sample solution contains the following main steps:

  1. Preparation
  2. Deploy the CloudFormation template
  3. Enable IAM authorization in API Gateway
  4. Confirm successful viewer access to the CloudFront URL
  5. Confirm that direct access to the API Gateway API URL is blocked
  6. Review the CloudFront configuration
  7. Review the Lambda@Edge function and its IAM role
  8. Review the AWS WAF web ACL configuration
  9. (Optional) Protect the CloudFront distribution with Shield Advanced

Step 1: Preparation

Before you deploy the solution, you will first need to create an API Gateway endpoint.

To create an API Gateway endpoint

  1. Choose the following Launch Stack button to launch a CloudFormation stack in your account.

    Select this image to open a link that starts building the CloudFormation stack

    Note: The stack will launch in the US East (N. Virginia) Region (us-east-1). To deploy the solution to another Region, download the solution’s CloudFormation template, and deploy it to the selected Region.

    When you launch the stack, it creates an API called PetStoreAPI that is deployed to the prod stage.

  2. In the Stages navigation pane, expand the prod stage, select GET on /pets/{petId}, and then copy the Invoke URL value of https://api-id.execute-api.region.amazonaws.com/prod/pets/{petId}. {petId} stands for a path variable.
  3. In the address bar of a browser, paste the Invoke URL value. Make sure to replace {petId} with your own information (for example, 1), and press Enter to submit the request. A 200 OK response should return with the following JSON payload:
      "id": 1,
      "type": "dog",
      "price": 249.99

In this post, we will refer to this API Gateway endpoint as the CloudFront origin.

Step 2: Deploy the CloudFormation template

The next step is to deploy the CloudFormation template of the solution.

The CloudFormation template includes the following:

  • A CloudFront distribution that uses an API Gateway endpoint as the origin
  • An AWS WAF web ACL that is associated with the CloudFront distribution
  • A Lambda@Edge function that is used to sign the request with Signature Version 4 and that the CloudFront distribution invokes before the request is forwarded to the origin on the CloudFront distribution
  • An IAM role for the Lambda@Edge function

To deploy the CloudFormation template

  1. Choose the following Launch Stack button to launch a CloudFormation stack in your account.

    Select this image to open a link that starts building the CloudFormation stack

    Note: The stack will launch in the US East N. Virginia Region (us-east-1). To deploy the solution to another Region, download the solution’s CloudFormation template, provide the required parameters, and deploy it to the selected Region.

  2. On the Specify stack details page, update with the following:
    1. For Stack name, enter APIProtection
    2. For the parameter APIGWEndpoint, enter the API Gateway endpoint in the following format. Make sure to replace <Region> with your own information.


  3. Choose Next to continue the stack deployment.

It takes a couple of minutes to finish the deployment. After it finishes, the Output tab lists the CloudFront domain URL, as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: CloudFormation template output

Figure 2: CloudFormation template output

Step 3: Enable IAM authorization in API Gateway

Before you verify the solution, you will enable IAM authorization on the API endpoint first, which enforces Signature Version 4 verification at API Gateway. The following steps are applied for a REST API; you could also enable IAM authorization on an HTTP API or WebSocket API.

To enable IAM authorization in API Gateway

  1. In the API Gateway console, choose the name of your API.
  2. In the Resources pane, choose the GET method for the resource /pets. In the Method Execution pane, choose Method Request.
  3. Under Settings, for Authorization, choose the pencil icon (Edit). Then, in the dropdown list, choose AWS_IAM, and choose the check mark icon (Update).
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the resource /pets/{petId}.
  5. Deploy your API so that the changes take effect. When deploying, choose prod as the stage.
Figure 3: Enable IAM authorization in API Gateway

Figure 3: Enable IAM authorization in API Gateway

Step 4: Confirm successful viewer access to the CloudFront URL

Now that you’ve deployed the setup, you can verify that you are able to access the API through the CloudFront distribution.

To confirm viewer access through CloudFront

  1. In the CloudFormation console, choose the APIProtection stack.
  2. On the stack Outputs tab, copy the value for the CFDistribution entry and append /prod/pets to it, then open the URL in a new browser tab or window. The result should look similar to the following, which confirms successful viewer access through CloudFront.
    Figure 4: Successful API response when accessing API through CloudFront distribution

    Figure 4: Successful API response when accessing API through CloudFront distribution

Step 5: Confirm that direct access to the API Gateway API URL is blocked

Next, verify whether direct access to the API Gateway API endpoint is blocked.

Copy your API Gateway endpoint URL and append /prod/pets to it, then open the URL in a new browser tab or window. The result should look similar to the following, which confirms that direct viewer access through API Gateway is blocked.

Figure 5: API error response when attempting to access API Gateway directly

Figure 5: API error response when attempting to access API Gateway directly

Step 6: Review CloudFront configuration

Now that you’ve confirmed that access to the API Gateway endpoint is restricted to CloudFront only, you will review the CloudFront configuration that enables this restriction.

To review the CloudFront configuration

  1. In the CloudFormation console, choose the APIProtection stack. On the stack Resources tab, under the CFDistribution entry, copy the distribution ID.
  2. In the CloudFront console, select the distribution that has the distribution ID that you noted in the preceding step. On the Behaviors tab, select the behavior with path pattern Default (*).
  3. Choose Edit and scroll to the Cache key and origin requests section. You can see that Origin request policy is set to AllViewerExceptHostHeader, which allows CloudFront to forward viewer headers, cookies, and query strings to origins except the Host header. This policy is intended for use with the API Gateway origin.
  4. Scroll down to the Function associations – optional section.
    Figure 6: CloudFront configuration – Function association with origin request

    Figure 6: CloudFront configuration – Function association with origin request

    You can see that a Lambda@Edge function is associated with the origin request event; CloudFront invokes this function before forwarding requests to the origin. You can also see that the Include body option is selected, which exposes the request body to Lambda@Edge for HTTP methods like POST/PUT, and the request payload hash will be used for Signature Version 4 signing in the Lambda@Edge function.

Step 7: Review the Lambda@Edge function and its IAM role

In this step, you will review the Lambda@Edge function code and its IAM role, and learn how the function signs the request with Signature Version 4 before forwarding to API Gateway.

To review the Lambda@Edge function code

  1. In the CloudFormation console, choose the APIProtection stack.
  2. On the stack Resources tab, choose the Sigv4RequestLambdaFunction link to go to the Lambda function, and review the function code. You can see that it follows the Signature Version 4 signing process and uses an AWS access key to calculate the signature. The AWS access key is a temporary security credential provided when the IAM role for Lambda is being assumed.

To review the IAM role for Lambda

  1. In the CloudFormation console, choose the APIProtection stack.
  2. On the stack Resources tab, choose the Sigv4RequestLambdaFunctionExecutionRole link to go to the IAM role. Expand the permission policy to review the permissions. You can see that the policy allows the API Gateway endpoint to be invoked.
                "Action": [
                "Resource": [
                "Effect": "Allow"

Because IAM authorization is enabled, when API Gateway receives the request, it checks whether the client has execute-api:Invoke permission for the API and route before handling the request.

Step 8: Review AWS WAF web ACL configuration

In this step, you will review the web ACL configuration in AWS WAF.

AWS Managed Rules for AWS WAF helps provide protection against common application vulnerabilities or other unwanted traffic. The web ACL for this solution includes several AWS managed rule groups as an example. The Amazon IP reputation list managed rule group helps to mitigate bots and reduce the risk of threat actors by blocking problematic IP addresses. The Core rule set (CRS) managed rule group helps provide protection against exploitation of a wide range of vulnerabilities, including some of the high risk and commonly occurring vulnerabilities described in the OWASP Top 10. The Known bad inputs managed rule group helps to reduce the risk of threat actors by blocking request patterns that are known to be invalid and that are associated with exploitation or discovery of vulnerabilities, like Log4J.

AWS WAF supports rate-based rules to block requests originating from IP addresses that exceed the set threshold per 5-minute time span, until the rate of requests falls below the threshold. We have used one such rule in the following example, but you could layer the rules for better security posture. You can configure multiple rate-based rules, each with a different threshold and scope (like URI, IP list, or country) for better protection. For more information on best practices for AWS WAF rate-based rules, see The three most important AWS WAF rate-based rules.

To review the web ACL configuration

  1. In the CloudFormation console, choose the APIProtection stack.
  2. On the stack Outputs tab, choose the EdgeLayerWebACL link to go to the web ACL configuration, and then choose the Rules tab to review the rules for this web ACL. On the Rules tab, you can see that the web ACL includes the following rule and rule groups.
    Figure 7: AWS WAF web ACL configuration

    Figure 7: AWS WAF web ACL configuration

  3. Choose the Associated AWS resources tab. You should see that the CloudFront distribution is associated to this web ACL.

Step 9: (Optional) Protect the CloudFront distribution with Shield Advanced

In this optional step, you will protect your CloudFront distribution with Shield Advanced. This adds additional protection on top of the protection provided by AWS WAF managed rule groups and rate-based rules in the web ACL that is associated with the CloudFront distribution.

Note: Proceed with this step only if you have subscribed to an annual subscription to Shield Advanced.

AWS Shield is a managed DDoS protection service that is offered in two tiers: AWS Shield Standard and AWS Shield Advanced. All AWS customers benefit from the automatic protection of Shield Standard, at no additional cost. Shield Standard helps defend against the most common, frequently occurring network and transport layer DDoS attacks that target your website or applications. AWS Shield Advanced is a paid service that requires a 1-year commitment—you pay one monthly subscription fee, plus usage fees based on gigabytes (GB) of data transferred out. Shield Advanced provides expanded DDoS attack protection for your applications.

Besides providing visibility and additional detection and mitigation against large and sophisticated DDoS attacks, Shield Advanced also gives you 24/7 access to the Shield Response Team (SRT) and cost protection against spikes in your AWS bill that might result from a DDoS attack against your protected resources. When you use both Shield Advanced and AWS WAF to help protect your resources, AWS waives the basic AWS WAF fees for web ACLs, rules, and web requests for your protected resources. You can grant permission to the SRT to act on your behalf, and also configure proactive engagement so that SRT contacts you directly when the availability and performance of your application is impacted by a possible DDoS attack.

Shield Advanced automatic application-layer DDoS mitigation compares current traffic patterns to historic traffic baselines to detect deviations that might indicate a DDoS attack. When you enable automatic application-layer DDoS mitigation, if your protected resource doesn’t yet have a history of normal application traffic, we recommend that you set to Count mode until a history of normal application traffic has been established. Shield Advanced establishes baselines that represent normal traffic patterns after protecting resources for at least 24 hours and is most accurate after 30 days. To mitigate against application layer attacks automatically, change the AWS WAF rule action to Block after you’ve established a normal traffic baseline.

To help protect your CloudFront distribution with Shield Advanced

  1. In the WAF & Shield console, in the AWS Shield section, choose Protected Resources, and then choose Add resources to protect.
  2. For Resource type, select CloudFront distribution, and then choose Load resources.
  3. In the Select resources section, select the CloudFront distribution that you used in Step 6 of this post. Then choose Protect with Shield Advanced.
  4. In the Automatic application layer DDoS mitigation section, choose Enable. Leave the AWS WAF rule action as Count, and then choose Next.
  5. (Optional, but recommended) Under Associated health check, choose one Amazon Route 53 health check to associate with the protection, and then choose Next. The Route 53 health check is used to enable health-based detection, which can improve responsiveness and accuracy in attack detection and mitigation. Associating the protected resource with a Route 53 health check is also one of the prerequisites to be protected with proactive engagement. You can create the health check by following these best practices.
  6. (Optional) In the Select SNS topic to notify for DDoS detected alarms section, select the SNS topic that you want to use for notification for DDoS detected alarms, then choose Next.
  7. Choose Finish configuration.

With automatic application-layer DDoS mitigation configured, Shield Advanced creates a rule group in the web ACL that you have associated with your resource. Shield Advanced depends on the rule group for automatic application-layer DDoS mitigation.

To review the rule group created by Shield Advanced

  1. In the CloudFormation console, choose the APIProtection stack. On the stack Outputs tab, look for the EdgeLayerWebACL entry.
  2. Choose the EdgeLayerWebACL link to go to the web ACL configuration.
  3. Choose the Rules tab, and look for the rule group with the name that starts with ShieldMitigationRuleGroup, at the bottom of the rule list. This rule group is managed by Shield Advanced, and is not viewable.
    Figure 8: Shield Advanced created rule group for DDoS mitigation

    Figure 8: Shield Advanced created rule group for DDoS mitigation


Here are some further considerations as you implement this solution:


In this blog post, we introduced managing public-facing APIs through API Gateway, and helping protect API Gateway endpoints by using CloudFront and AWS perimeter protection services (AWS WAF and Shield Advanced). We walked through the steps to add Signature Version 4 authentication information to the CloudFront originated API requests, providing trusted access to the APIs. Together, these actions present a best practice approach to build a DDoS-resilient architecture that helps protect your application’s availability by preventing many common infrastructure and application layer DDoS attacks.

If you have feedback about this post, submit comments in the Comments section below. If you have questions about this post, contact AWS Support.

Want more AWS Security news? Follow us on Twitter.

Pengfei Shao

Pengfei Shao

Pengfei is a Senior Technical Account Manager at AWS based in Stockholm, with more than 20 years of experience in Telecom and IT industry. His main focus is to help AWS Enterprise Support customers to remain operationally healthy, secure, and cost efficient in AWS. He is also focusing on AWS Edge Services domain, and loves to work with customers to solve their technical challenges.

Manoj Gupta

Manoj Gupta

Manoj is a Senior Solutions Architect at AWS. He’s passionate about building well-architected cloud-focused solutions by using AWS services with security, networking, and serverless as his primary focus areas. Before AWS, he worked in application and system architecture roles, building solutions across various industries. Outside of work, when he gets free time, he enjoys the outdoors and walking trails with his family.