Tag Archives: Amazon DynamoDB

Genomics workflows, Part 5: automated benchmarking

Post Syndicated from Rostislav Markov original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/architecture/genomics-workflows-part-5-automated-benchmarking/

Launching and running genomics workflows can take hours and involves large pools of compute instances that process data at a petabyte scale. Benchmarking helps you evaluate workflow performance and discover faster and cheaper ways of running them.

In practice, performance evaluations happen irregularly because of the associated heavy lifting. In this blog post, we discuss how life-science research teams can automate evaluations.

Business Benefits

An automated benchmarking solution provides:

  • more accurate enterprise resource planning by performing historical analytics,
  • lower cost to the business by comparing performance on different resource types, and
  • cost transparency to the business by quantifying periodical chargeback.

We’ve used automated benchmarking to compare processing times on different services such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), AWS Batch, AWS ParallelCluster, Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS), and on-premises HPC clusters. Scientists, financiers, technical leaders, and other stakeholders can build reports and dashboards to compare consumption data by consumer, workflow type, and time period.

Design pattern

Our automated benchmarking solution measures performance on two dimensions:

  • Timing: measures the duration of a workflow launch on a specific dataset
  • Pricing: measures the associated cost

This solution can be extended to other performance metrics such as iterations per second or process/thread distribution across compute nodes.

Our requirements include the following:

  • Consistent measurement of timing based on workflow status (such as preparing, waiting, ready, running, failed, complete)
  • Extensible pricing models based on unit prices (the Amazon EC2 Spot price at a specific period of time compared to Amazon EC2 On-Demand pricing)
  • Scalable, cost-efficient, and flexible data store enabling historical benchmarking and estimations
  • Minimal infrastructure management overhead

We choose a serverless design pattern using AWS Step Functions orchestration, AWS Lambda for our application code, and Amazon DynamoDB to track workflow launch IDs and states (as described in Part 3). We assume that the genomics workflows run on AWS Batch with genomics data on Amazon FSx for Lustre (Part 1). AWS Step Functions allows us to break down processing into smaller steps and avoid monolithic application code. Our evaluation process runs in four steps:

  1. Monitor for completed workflow launches in the DynamoDB stream using an Amazon EventBridge pipe with a Step Functions workflow as target. This event-driven approach is more efficient than periodic polling and avoids custom code for parsing status and cost values in all records of the DynamoDB stream.
  2. Collect a list of all compute resources associated with the workflow launch. Design a Lambda function that queries the AWS Batch API (see Part 1) to describe compute environment parameters like the Amazon EC2 instance IDs and their details, such as processing times, instance family/size, and allocation strategy (for example, Spot Instances, Reserved Instances, On-Demand Instances).
  3. Calculate the cost of all consumed resources. We achieve this with another Lambda function, which calculates the total price based on unit prices from the AWS Price List Query API.
  4. Our state machine updates the total price in the DynamoDB table without the need for additional application code.

Figure 1 visualizes these steps.

Automated benchmarking of genomics workflows

Figure 1. Automated benchmarking of genomics workflows

Implementation considerations

AWS Step Functions orchestrates our benchmarking workflow reliably and makes our application code easy to maintain. Figure 2 summarizes the state machine transitions that we’ll describe.

AWS Step Functions state machine for automated benchmarking

Figure 2. AWS Step Functions state machine for automated benchmarking

Gather consumption details

Configure the DynamoDB stream view type to New image so that the entire item is passed through as it appears after it was changed. We set up an Amazon EventBridge pipe with event filtering and the DynamoDB stream as a source. Our event filter uses multiple matching on records with a status of COMPLETE, but no cost entry in order to avoid an infinite loop. Once our state machine has updated the DynamoDB item with the workflow price, the resulting record in the DynamoDB stream will not pass our event filter.

The syntax of our event filter is as follows:

  "dynamodb": {
    "NewImage": {
      "status": {
        "S": ["COMPLETE"]
      "totalCost": {
        "S": [{
          "exists": false

We use an input transformer to simplify follow-on parsing by removing unnecessary metadata from the event.

The consumed resources included in the stream record are the auto-scaling group ID for AWS Batch and the Amazon FSx for Lustre volume ID. We use the DescribeJobs API (describe_jobs in Boto3) to determine which compute resources were used. If the response is a list of EC2 instances, we then look up consumption information including start and end times using the ListJobs API (list_jobs in Boto3) for each compute node. We use describe_volumes with filters on the identified EC2 instances to obtain the size and type of Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) volumes.

Calculate prices

Another Lambda function obtains the associated unit prices of all consumed resources using the GetProducts request of AWS Price List Query API (get_products in Boto3) and then parsing the pricePerUnit value. For Spot Instances, we use describe_spot_price_history of the EC2 client in Boto3 and specify the time range and instance types for which we want to receive prices.

Calculate the price of workflow launches based on the following factors:

  • Number and size of EC2 instances in auto-scaling node groups
  • Size of EBS volumes and Amazon FSx for Lustre
  • Processing duration

Our Python-based Lambda function calculates the total, rounds it, and delivers the price breakdown in the following format:

total_cost: str, instance_cost: str, volume_cost: str, filesystem_cost: str

Lastly, we put the price breakdown to the DynamoDB table using UpdateItem directly from the Amazon States Language.

Note that AWS credits and enterprise discounts might not be reflected in the responses of the AWS Price List Query API unless applied to the particular AWS account. This is often considered best practice in light of least-privilege considerations.

In the past, we’ve also used AWS Cost Explorer instead of the AWS Price List API. AWS Cost Explorer data is updated at least once every 24 hours. You can denote the pending price status in the DynamoDB table item and use the Wait state to delay the calculation process.

The presented solution can be extended to other compute services such as Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS). For Amazon EKS, events are enriched with the cluster ID from the DynamoDB table and the price calculation should also include control plane costs.


Life-science research teams use benchmarking to compare workflow performance and inform their architectural decisions. Such evaluations are effort-intensive and therefore done irregularly.

In this blog post, we showed how life-science research teams can automate benchmarking for their scientific workflows. The insights teams gain from automated benchmarking indicate continuous optimization opportunities, such as by adjusting compute node configuration. The evaluation data is also available on demand for other purposes including chargeback.

Stay tuned for our next post in which we show how to use historical benchmarking data for price estimations of future workflow launches.

Related information

Unit Testing AWS Lambda with Python and Mock AWS Services

Post Syndicated from Kevin Hakanson original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/devops/unit-testing-aws-lambda-with-python-and-mock-aws-services/

When building serverless event-driven applications using AWS Lambda, it is best practice to validate individual components.  Unit testing can quickly identify and isolate issues in AWS Lambda function code.  The techniques outlined in this blog demonstrates unit test techniques for Python-based AWS Lambda functions and interactions with AWS Services.

The full code for this blog is available in the GitHub project as a demonstrative example.

Example use case

Let’s consider unit testing a serverless application which provides an API endpoint to generate a document.  When the API endpoint is called with a customer identifier and document type, the Lambda function retrieves the customer’s name from DynamoDB, then retrieves the document text from DynamoDB for the given document type, finally generating and writing the resulting document to S3.

Figure 1. Example application architecture

Figure 1. Example application architecture

  1. Amazon API Gateway provides an endpoint to request the generation of a document for a given customer.  A document type and customer identifier are provided in this API call.
  2. The endpoint invokes an AWS Lambda function that generates a document using the customer identifier and the document type provided.
  3. An Amazon DynamoDB table stores the contents of the documents and the users name, which are retrieved by the Lambda function.
  4. The resulting text document is stored to Amazon S3.

Our testing goal is to determine if an isolated “unit” of code works as intended. In this blog, we will be writing tests to provide confidence that the logic written in the above AWS Lambda function behaves as we expect. We will mock the service integrations to Amazon DynamoDB and S3 to isolate and focus our tests on the Lambda function code, and not on the behavior of the AWS Services.

Define the AWS Service resources in the Lambda function

Before writing our first unit test, let’s look at the Lambda function that contains the behavior we wish to test.  The full code for the Lambda function is available in the GitHub repository as src/sample_lambda/app.py.

As part of our Best practices for working AWS Lambda functions, we recommend initializing AWS service resource connections outside of the handler function and in the global scope.  Additionally, we can retrieve any relevant environment variables in the global scope so that subsequent invocations of the Lambda function do not repeatedly need to retrieve them.  For organization, we can put the resource and variables in a dictionary:

_LAMBDA_DYNAMODB_RESOURCE = { "resource" : resource('dynamodb'), 
                              "table_name" : environ.get("DYNAMODB_TABLE_NAME","NONE") }

However, globally scoped code and global variables are challenging to test in Python, as global statements are executed on import, and outside of the controlled test flow.  To facilitate testing, we define classes for supporting AWS resource connections that we can override (patch) during testing.  These classes will accept a dictionary containing the boto3 resource and relevant environment variables.

For example, we create a DynamoDB resource class with a parameter “boto3_dynamodb_resource” that accepts a boto3 resource connected to DynamoDB:

class LambdaDynamoDBClass:
    def __init__(self, lambda_dynamodb_resource):
        self.resource = lambda_dynamodb_resource["resource"]
        self.table_name = lambda_dynamodb_resource["table_name"]
        self.table = self.resource.Table(self.table_name)

Build the Lambda Handler

The Lambda function handler is the method in the AWS Lambda function code that processes events. When the function is invoked, Lambda runs the handler method. When the handler exits or returns a response, it becomes available to process another event.

To facilitate unit test of the handler function, move as much of logic as possible to other functions that are then called by the Lambda hander entry point.  Also, pass the AWS resource global variables to these subsequent function calls.  This approach enables us to mock and intercept all resources and calls during test.

In our example, the handler references the global variables, and instantiates the resource classes to setup the connections to specific AWS resources.  (We will be able to override and mock these connections during unit test.)

Then the handler calls the create_letter_in_s3 function to perform the steps of creating the document, passing the resource classes.  This downstream function avoids directly referencing the global context or any AWS resource connections directly.

def lambda_handler(event: APIGatewayProxyEvent, context: LambdaContext) -> Dict[str, Any]:

    global _LAMBDA_S3_RESOURCE

    dynamodb_resource_class = LambdaDynamoDBClass(_LAMBDA_DYNAMODB_RESOURCE)
    s3_resource_class = LambdaS3Class(_LAMBDA_S3_RESOURCE)

    return create_letter_in_s3(
            dynamo_db = dynamodb_resource_class,
            s3 = s3_resource_class,
            doc_type = event["pathParameters"]["docType"],
            cust_id = event["pathParameters"]["customerId"])

Unit testing with mock AWS services

Our Lambda function code has now been written and is ready to be tested, let’s take a look at the unit test code!   The full code for the unit test is available in the GitHub repository as tests/unit/src/test_sample_lambda.py.

In production, our Lambda function code will directly access the AWS resources we defined in our function handler; however, in our unit tests we want to isolate our code and replace the AWS resources with simulations.  This isolation facilitates running unit tests in an isolated environment to prevent accidental access to actual cloud resources.

Moto is a python library for Mocking AWS Services that we will be using to simulate AWS resource our tests.  Moto supports many AWS resources, and it allows you to test your code with little or no modification by emulating functionality of these services.

Moto uses decorators to intercept and simulate responses to and from AWS resources.  By adding a decorator for a given AWS service, subsequent calls from the module to that service will be re-directed to the mock.


Configure Test Setup and Tear-down

The mocked AWS resources will be used during the unit test suite.  Using the setUp() method allows you to define and configure the mocked global AWS Resources before the tests are run.

We define the test class and a setUp() method and initialize the mock AWS resource.  This includes configuring the resource to prepare it for testing, such as defining a mock DynamoDB table or creating a mock S3 Bucket.

class TestSampleLambda(TestCase):
    def setUp(self) -> None:
        dynamodb = boto3.resource("dynamodb", region_name="us-east-1")
            TableName = self.test_ddb_table_name,
            KeySchema = [{"AttributeName": "PK", "KeyType": "HASH"}],
            AttributeDefinitions = [{"AttributeName": "PK", 
                                     "AttributeType": "S"}],
            BillingMode = 'PAY_PER_REQUEST'
        s3_client = boto3.client('s3', region_name="us-east-1")
        s3_client.create_bucket(Bucket = self.test_s3_bucket_name ) 

After creating the mocked resources, the setup function creates resource class object referencing those mocked resources, which will be used during testing.

        mocked_dynamodb_resource = resource("dynamodb")
        mocked_s3_resource = resource("s3")
        mocked_dynamodb_resource = { "resource" : resource('dynamodb'),
                                     "table_name" : self.test_ddb_table_name  }
        mocked_s3_resource = { "resource" : resource('s3'),
                               "bucket_name" : self.test_s3_bucket_name }
        self.mocked_dynamodb_class = LambdaDynamoDBClass(mocked_dynamodb_resource)
        self.mocked_s3_class = LambdaS3Class(mocked_s3_resource)

Test #1: Verify the code writes the document to S3

Our first test will validate our Lambda function writes the customer letter to an S3 bucket in the correct manner.  We will follow the standard test format of arrange, act, assert when writing this unit test.

Arrange the data we need in the DynamoDB table:

def test_create_letter_in_s3(self) -> None:
                                                        "data":"Unit Test Doc Corpi"})
                                                        "data":"Unit Test Customer"})

Act by calling the create_letter_in_s3 function.  During these act calls, the test passes the AWS resources as created in the setUp().

    test_return_value = create_letter_in_s3(
                        dynamo_db = self.mocked_dynamodb_class,
                        doc_type = "UnitTestDoc",
                        cust_id = "UnitTestCust"

Assert by reading the data written to the mock S3 bucket, and testing conformity to what we are expecting:

bucket_key = "UnitTestCust/UnitTestDoc.txt"
    body = self.mocked_s3_class.bucket.Object(bucket_key).get()['Body'].read()

    self.assertEqual(test_return_value["statusCode"], 200)
    self.assertIn("UnitTestCust/UnitTestDoc.txt", test_return_value["body"])
    self.assertEqual(body.decode('ascii'),"Dear Unit Test Customer;\nUnit Test Doc Corpi")

Tests #2 and #3: Data not found error conditions

We can also test error conditions and handling, such as keys not found in the database.  For example, if a customer identifier is submitted, but does not exist in the database lookup, does the logic handle this and return a “Not Found” code of 404?

To test this in test #2, we add data to the mocked DynamoDB table, but then submit a customer identifier that is not in the database.

This test, and a similar test #3 for “Document Types not found”, are implemented in the example test code on GitHub.

Test #4: Validate the handler interface

As the application logic resides in independently tested functions, the Lambda handler function provides only interface validation and function call orchestration.  Therefore, the test for the handler validates that the event is parsed correctly, any functions are invoked as expected, and the return value is passed back.

To emulate the global resource variables and other functions, patch both the global resource classes and logic functions.

    def test_lambda_handler_valid_event_returns_200(self,
                            patch_create_letter_in_s3 : MagicMock,
                            patch_lambda_s3_class : MagicMock,
                            patch_lambda_dynamodb_class : MagicMock

Arrange for the test by setting return values for the patched objects.

patch_lambda_dynamodb_class.return_value = self.mocked_dynamodb_class
        patch_lambda_s3_class.return_value = self.mocked_s3_class

        return_value_200 = {"statusCode" : 200, "body":"OK"}
        patch_create_letter_in_s3.return_value = return_value_200

We need to provide event data when invoking the Lambda handler.  A good practice is to save test events as separate JSON files, rather than placing them inline as code. In the example project, test events are located in the folder “tests/events/”. During test execution, the event object is created from the JSON file using the utility function named load_sample_event_from_file.

test_event = self.load_sample_event_from_file("sampleEvent1")

Act by calling the lambda_handler function.

test_return_value = lambda_handler(event=test_event, context=None)

Assert by ensuring the create_letter_in_s3 function is called with the expected parameters based on the event, and a create_letter_in_s3 function return value is passed back to the caller.  In our example, this value is simply passed with no alterations.


       self.assertEqual(test_return_value, return_value_200)

Tear Down

The tearDown() method is called immediately after the test method has been run and the result is recorded.  In our example tearDown() method, we clean up any data or state created so the next test won’t be impacted.

Running the unit tests

The unittest Unit testing framework can be run using the Python pytest utility.  To ensure network isolation and verify the unit tests are not accidently connecting to AWS resources, the pytest-socket project provides the ability to disable network communication during a test.

pytest -v --disable-socket -s tests/unit/src/

The pytest command results in a PASSED or FAILED status for each test.  A PASSED status verifies that your unit tests, as written, did not encounter errors or issues,


Unit testing is a software development process in which different parts of an application, called units, are individually and independently tested. Tests validate the quality of the code and confirm that it functions as expected. Other developers can gain familiarity with your code base by consulting the tests. Unit tests reduce future refactoring time, help engineers get up to speed on your code base more quickly, and provide confidence in the expected behaviour.

We’ve seen in this blog how to unit test AWS Lambda functions and mock AWS Services to isolate and test individual logic within our code.

AWS Lambda Powertools for Python has been used in the project to validate hander events.   Powertools provide a suite of utilities for AWS Lambda functions to ease adopting best practices such as tracing, structured logging, custom metrics, idempotency, batching, and more.

Learn more about AWS Lambda testing in our prescriptive test guidance, and find additional test examples on GitHub.  For more serverless learning resources, visit Serverless Land.

About the authors:

Tom Romano

Tom Romano is a Solutions Architect for AWS World Wide Public Sector from Tampa, FL, and assists GovTech and EdTech customers as they create new solutions that are cloud-native, event driven, and serverless. He is an enthusiastic Python programmer for both application development and data analytics. In his free time, Tom flies remote control model airplanes and enjoys vacationing with his family around Florida and the Caribbean.

Kevin Hakanson

Kevin Hakanson is a Sr. 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.

Realtime monitoring of microservices and cloud-native applications with IBM Instana SaaS on AWS

Post Syndicated from Eduardo Monich Fronza original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/architecture/realtime-monitoring-of-microservices-and-cloud-native-applications-with-ibm-instana-saas-on-aws/

Customers are adopting microservices architecture to build innovative and scalable applications on Amazon Web Services (AWS). These microservices applications are deployed across multiple AWS services, and customers are looking for comprehensive observability solutions that can help them effectively monitor and manage the performance of their applications in real-time.

IBM Instana is a fully automated application performance management (APM) solution, available to customers as a fully managed software as a service (SaaS) solution on AWS. It is specifically designed to help customers address the challenges of monitoring microservices and cloud-native applications in real-time. It uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide detailed insights into the health and behavior of applications, allowing developers and IT teams to gain real-time insights into their microservices applications, optimize performance, and quickly identify and troubleshoot issues.

This post explains the capabilities of IBM Instana to automatically collect observability metrics, traces, and events from microservices deployed on AWS cloud, as well as on-premises, to provide full visibility into the performance of individual components and applications as a whole.

IBM Instana solution overview

IBM Instana is designed to be highly scalable and adaptable to changing microservices applications environments. Its architecture (Figure 1) consists of several components that work together to provide comprehensive monitoring for microservices and cloud-native applications.

Instana’s main building blocks are host agents and agent sensors that are deployed in a customer’s AWS account and responsible for collecting, aggregating, and sending detailed monitoring information of applications and AWS services to the Instana SaaS backend.

The Instana SaaS backend services provide several key components, including data collectors, storage services, analytics engines, and user interfaces. It allows customers to process and analyze data in real-time, generate actionable insights, have a comprehensive view of their applications and infrastructure performance, enabling them to quickly identify and resolve issues and improve their overall operations.

IBM Instana architecture on AWS

Figure 1. IBM Instana architecture on AWS

Monitoring data

Instana monitors and observes microservices and cloud-native applications by collecting beacons, traces, and one-second metrics:

  • Beacons are small monitoring payloads that are transmitted by a JavaScript agent to the Instana servers, modeling specific events occurring within the lifecycle of a page view of a website; for example, page loading, resource retrieval, and HTTP requests.
  • Traces are detailed records of the requests and transactions that flow through a microservice architecture. They record the sequence of events that occur when a request is processed, including the services that are involved, the duration of each service, and any errors or exceptions that occur. Instana automatically correlates traces across services to provide a complete view of an entire transaction. This allows for easy identification and diagnosis of performance issues.
  • Metrics are numerical values that represent the performance and resource utilization of a microservice or infrastructure component. Metrics are collected by Instana Agents and sent to the Instana backend at regular intervals. Instana Agents collect hundreds of different metrics, including (but not limited to) CPU usage, memory usage, network traffic, and disk I/O.

This information is captured by Instana agents and sensors, which also collect application configurations and events, plus discover application building blocks, including clusters, containers, and services.

IBM Instana agents and sensors

The Instana host agent is a lightweight software component that collects and aggregates data from various sensors before sending the data to the Instana backend. It can be deployed to AWS services, including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS), AWS Fargate, AWS Lambda, or Red Hat OpenShift Service on AWS (ROSA). A single host agent, one per host, is used to collect data from monitored systems.

Once Instana agents are running, they automatically detect applications and services, such as containers running on Amazon EKS, and processes like Nginx, NodeJS, Spring Boot, Postgres, Elasticsearch, or Cassandra. For each component detected, different Instana sensors are automatically downloaded, installed, and configured to monitor the environment.

Instana sensors are small programs that are designed to attach and monitor one specific technology and pass their data to the agent. They are automatically managed, updated, loaded, and unloaded by the host agent.

These sensors can monitor several different AWS services like Lambda, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Aurora, Amazon Simple Queue Service, and Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka. They collect data—like request and error rates, latency, CPU utilization—via AWS APIs and Amazon CloudWatch.

Instana also provides sensors to collect data from applications running on AWS, like IBM MQ, IBM Db2, or Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform. Review IBM’s full list of supported technologies and AWS services.

Instana also provides tracers, which are used with runtimes like Java, .NET, NodeJS, plus others. They modify code execution to capture logs, traces at request level, and send those back to the Instana agent.

With the use of sensors, the host agent collects configuration data and monitors the applications it has detected. The host agent also handles communications with the Instana SaaS backend services. It collects, aggregates and sends logs, traces and records metrics (such as response times, error rates, and resource utilization) every second to the Instana SaaS backend in real-time, using secure and efficient communication protocols.

IBM Instana SaaS

The Instana SaaS backend is the heart of the Instana APM solution and responsible for processing, storing, and analyzing the monitoring data collected from the Instana agents and sensors installed in the customer’s infrastructure.

It consists of several components and services that work together to provide real-time monitoring and analysis of microservices applications, including:

  • Data collectors: Receive and process data from the Instana agents and sensors, and store it in the Instana backend for further analysis.
  • Analytics engine: Analyzes the data collected by the agents and sensors to provide insights into the performance and health of the microservices applications.
  • User interface: Web-based interface that customers use to view and analyze their monitoring data.
  • Alerting engine: Generates alerts when thresholds or anomalies are detected in the monitoring data.
  • Data storage: Time-series database that stores the monitoring data collected by the agents and sensors. Allows customers to query and analyze the data in real-time.
  • Integrations: Integrates with various third-party tools, such as Slack, PagerDuty, and ServiceNow, providing seamless alerting and incident management.

IBM Instana backend: making sense of the situation in real time

The Instana SaaS platform automatically ingests data from agents and continuously updates a dependency map (Figure 2). This map presents every dependency in context, giving users an easy way to understand the interrelationships between application components and services.

This understanding enables users to identify the upstream and downstream impacts of any issue, ensuring that they stay informed about any potential impacts.

An example of an IBM Instana dependency map

Figure 2. An example of an IBM Instana dependency map

Instana traces every request end-to-end without sampling. The traces are analyzed in real-time, providing metrics that make any performance problems immediately visible. In the event of an incident, Instana can illustrate how a single issue can generate a ripple effect and impact a number of directly and indirectly connected services. Using the relationship information from the Dynamic Graph, Instana’s automatic root-cause analysis can precisely aggregate the individual issues into a single incident.

Applications monitoring with IBM Instana

Figure 3. Applications monitoring with IBM Instana

Developers, IT operations, or site reliability engineers (SREs) can access the Instana backend end-user monitoring interface (Figure 3) or end-user monitoring (EUM) interface (Figure 4) to view monitoring data of their workloads. These can be websites, mobile applications, AWS services, and infrastructure levels. From this UI, these personas can access service dashboards that show key performance indicators (KPIs), like response time and error rate.

End-user monitoring with IBM Instana

Figure 4. End-user monitoring with IBM Instana

The following actions demonstrate how an EUM for a JavaScript application, deployed to Amazon S3 can be completed:

  • Developers inject Instana JavaScript code (Figure 5) into the static website (HTML).
  • When a user visits the website, the JavaScript agent sends beacons to the Instana backend.
  • Dashboards show specific events of the website lifecycle, including page loading, JS errors, and HTTP requests.
  • Teams access Instana UI to check performance matrices. They can configure Smart Alerts with custom alerting policies based on specific metrics and KPIs.
  • Smart Alerts can send alerts via various channels, such as email, Slack, or IBM Watson AIOps Webhook.
  • In case of an incident, teams can use Instana to retrieve various performance metrics for root-cause analysis.
  • Developers can resolve the issues and apply the patch.
IBM Instana EUM JavaScript agent

Figure 5. IBM Instana EUM JavaScript agent

Instana also offers Smart Alerts (Figure 6) to provide a more intuitive process of managing alerts. With Smart Alerts, customers can automatically generate alerting configurations using relevant KPIs and automatic threshold detection for use cases like website slowness or website errors.

IBM Instana Smart Alerts

Figure 6. IBM Instana Smart Alerts


In this post, we discussed how IBM Instana provides a comprehensive monitoring solution with the right tools to help you implement a real-time observability and monitoring solution. It allows you to gain insight into your microservices and cloud-native applications, including visibility into AWS services, containers, on-premises infrastructure, and other technologies. Instana can quickly identify and resolve issues before they impact end-users, ensuring that your applications are performing optimally.

As an IT administrator, developer, or business owner, IBM Instana on AWS give a deeper understanding of your applications and help you make data-driven decisions to improve overall performance.

Additional resources

Implementing an event-driven serverless story generation application with ChatGPT and DALL-E

Post Syndicated from David Boyne original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/implementing-an-event-driven-serverless-story-generation-application-with-chatgpt-and-dall-e/

This post demonstrates how to integrate AWS serverless services with artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, ChatGPT, and DALL-E. This full stack event-driven application showcases a method of generating unique bedtime stories for children by using predetermined characters and scenes as a prompt for ChatGPT.

Every night at bedtime, the serverless scheduler triggers the application, initiating an event-driven workflow to create and store new unique AI-generated stories with AI-generated images and supporting audio.

These datasets are used to showcase the story on a custom website built with Next.js hosted with AWS App Runner. After the story is created, a notification is sent to the user containing a URL to view and read the story to the children.

Example notification of a story hosted with Next.js and App Runner

Example notification of a story hosted with Next.js and App Runner

By integrating AWS services with AI technologies, you can now create new and innovative ideas that were previously unimaginable.

The application mentioned in this blog post demonstrates examples of point-to-point messaging with Amazon EventBridge pipes, publish/subscribe patterns with Amazon EventBridge and reacting to change data capture events with DynamoDB Streams.

Understanding the architecture

The following image shows the serverless architecture used to generate stories:

Architecture diagram for Serverless bed time story generation with ChatGPT and DALL-E

Architecture diagram for Serverless bed time story generation with ChatGPT and DALL-E

A new children’s story is generated every day at configured time using Amazon EventBridge Scheduler (Step 1). EventBridge Scheduler is a service capable of scaling millions of schedules with over 200 targets and over 6000 API calls. This example application uses EventBridge scheduler to trigger an AWS Lambda function every night at the same time (7:15pm). The Lambda function is triggered to start the generation of the story.

EventBridge scheduler triggers Lambda function every day at 7:15pm (bed time)

EventBridge scheduler triggers Lambda function every day at 7:15pm (bed time)

The “Scenes” and “Characters” Amazon DynamoDB tables contain the characters involved in the story and a scene that is randomly selected during its creation. As a result, ChatGPT receives a unique prompt each time. An example of the prompt may look like this:

Write a title and a rhyming story on 2 main characters called Parker and Jackson. The story needs to be set within the scene haunted woods and be at least 200 words long


After the story is created, it is then saved in the “Stories” DynamoDB table (Step 2).

Scheduler triggering Lambda function to generate the story and store story into DynamoDB

Scheduler triggering Lambda function to generate the story and store story into DynamoDB

Once the story is created this initiates a change data capture event using DynamoDB Streams (Step 3). This event flows through point-to-point messaging with EventBridge pipes and directly into EventBridge. Input transforms are then used to convert the DynamoDB Stream event into a custom EventBridge event, which downstream consumers can comprehend. Adopting this pattern is beneficial as it allows us to separate contracts from the DynamoDB event schema and not having downstream consumers conform to this schema structure, this mapping allows us to remain decoupled from implementation details.

EventBridge Pipes connecting DynamoDB streams directly into EventBridge.

EventBridge Pipes connecting DynamoDB streams directly into EventBridge.

Upon triggering the StoryCreated event in EventBridge, three targets are triggered to carry out several processes (Step 4). Firstly, AI Images are processed, followed by the creation of audio for the story. Finally, the end user is notified of the completed story through Amazon SNS and email subscriptions. This fan-out pattern enables these tasks to be run asynchronously and in parallel, allowing for faster processing times.

EventBridge pub/sub pattern used to start async processing of notifications, audio, and images.

EventBridge pub/sub pattern used to start async processing of notifications, audio, and images.

An SNS topic is triggered by the `StoryCreated` event to send an email to the end user using email subscriptions (Step 6). The email consists of a URL with the id of the story that has been created. Clicking on the URL takes the user to the frontend application that is hosted with App Runner.

Using SNS to notify the user of a new story

Using SNS to notify the user of a new story

Example email sent to the user

Example email sent to the user

Amazon Polly is used to generate the audio files for the story (Step 6). Upon triggering the `StoryCreated` event, a Lambda function is triggered, and the story description is used and given to Amazon Polly. Amazon Polly then creates an audio file of the story, which is stored in Amazon S3. A presigned URL is generated and saved in DynamoDB against the created story. This allows the frontend application and browser to retrieve the audio file when the user views the page. The presigned URL has a validity of two days, after which it can no longer be accessed or listened to.

Lambda function to generate audio using Amazon Polly, store in S3 and update story with presigned URL

Lambda function to generate audio using Amazon Polly, store in S3 and update story with presigned URL

The `StoryCreated` event also triggers another Lambda function, which uses the OpenAI API to generate an AI image using DALL-E based on the generated story (Step 7). Once the image is generated, the image is downloaded and stored in Amazon S3. Similar to the audio file, the system generates a presigned URL for the image and saves it in DynamoDB against the story. The presigned URL is only valid for two days, after which it becomes inaccessible for download or viewing.

Lambda function to generate images, store in S3 and update story with presigned URL.

Lambda function to generate images, store in S3 and update story with presigned URL.

In the event of a failure in audio or image generation, the frontend application still loads the story, but does not display the missing image or audio at that moment. This ensures that the frontend can continue working and provide value. If you wanted more control and only trigger the user’s notification event once all parallel tasks are complete the aggregator messaging pattern can be considered.

Hosting the frontend Next.js application with AWS App Runner

Next.js is used by the frontend application to render server-side rendered (SSR) pages that can access the stories from the DynamoDB table, which are then hosted with AWS App Runner after being containerized.

Next.js application hosted with App Runner, with permissions into DynamoDB table.

Next.js application hosted with App Runner, with permissions into DynamoDB table.

AWS App Runner enables you to deploy containerized web applications and APIs securely, without needing any prior knowledge of containers or infrastructure. With App Runner, developers can concentrate on their application, while the service handles container startup, running, scaling, and load balancing. After deployment, App Runner provides a secure URL for clients to begin making HTTP requests against.

With App Runner, you have two primary options for deploying your container: source code connections or source images. Using source code connections grants App Runner permission to pull the image file directly from your source code, and with Automatic deployment configured, it can redeploy the application when changes are made. Alternatively, source images provide App Runner with the image’s location in an image registry, and this image is deployed by App Runner.

In this example application, CDK deploys the application using the DockerImageAsset construct with the App Runner construct. Once deployed, App Runner builds and uploads the frontend image to Amazon Elastic Container Registry (ECR) and deploys it. Downstream consumers can access the application using the secure URL provided by App Runner. In this example, the URL is used when the SNS notification is sent to the user when the story is ready to be viewed.

Giving the frontend container permission to DynamoDB table

To grant the Next.js application permission to obtain stories from the Stories DynamoDB table, App Runner instance roles are configured. These roles are optional and can provide the necessary permissions for the container to access AWS services required by the compute service.

If you want to learn more about AWS App Runner, you can explore the free workshop.

Design choices and assumptions

The DynamoDB Time to Live (TTL) feature is ideal for the short-lived nature of daily generated stories. DynamoDB handle the deletion of stories after two days by setting the TTL attribute on each story. Once a story is deleted, it becomes inaccessible through the generated story URLs.

Using Amazon S3 presigned URLs is a method to grant temporary access to a file in S3. This application creates presigned URLs for the audio file and generated images that last for 2 days, after which the URLs for the S3 items become invalid.

Input transforms are used between DynamoDB streams and EventBridge events to decouple the schemas and events consumed by downstream targets. Consuming the events as they are is known as the “conformist” pattern, and couples us to implementation details of DynamoDB streams with downstream EventBridge consumers. This allows the application to remain decoupled from implementation details and remain flexible.


The adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) technology has significantly increased in various industries. ChatGPT, a large language model that can understand and generate human-like responses in natural language, and DALL-E, an image generation system that can create realistic images based on textual descriptions, are examples of such technology. These systems have demonstrated the potential for AI to provide innovative solutions and transform the way we interact with technology.

This blog post explores ways in which you can utilize AWS serverless services with ChatGTP and DALL-E to create a story generation application fronted by a Next.js application hosted with App Runner. EventBridge Scheduler is used to trigger the story creation process then react to change data capture events with DynamoDB streams and EventBridge Pipes, and use Amazon EventBridge to fan out compute tasks to process notifications, images, and audio files.

You can find the documentation and the source code for this application in GitHub.

For more serverless learning resources, visit Serverless Land.

Managing sessions of anonymous users in WebSocket API-based applications

Post Syndicated from James Beswick original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/managing-sessions-of-anonymous-users-in-websocket-api-based-applications/

This post is written by Alexey Paramonov, Solutions Architect, ISV.

This blog post demonstrates how to reconnect anonymous users to WebSocket API without losing their session context. You learn how to link WebSocket API connection IDs to the logical user, what to do when the connection fails, and how to store and recover session information when the user reconnects.

WebSocket APIs are common in modern interactive applications. For example, for watching stock prices, following live chat feeds, collaborating with others in productivity tools, or playing online games. Another example described in “Implementing reactive progress tracking for AWS Step Functions” blog post uses WebSocket APIs to send progress back to the client.

The backend is aware of the client’s connection ID to find the right client to send data to. But if the connection temporarily fails, the client reconnects with a new connection ID. If the backend does not have a mechanism to associate a new connection ID with the same client, the interaction context is lost and the user must start over again. In a live chat feed that could mean skipping to the most recent message with a loss of some previous messages. And in case of AWS Step Functions progress tracking the user would lose progress updates.


The sample uses Amazon API Gateway WebSocket APIs. It uses AWS Lambda for WebSocket connection management and for mocking a teleprinter to generate a stateful stream of characters for testing purposes. There are two Amazon DynamoDB tables for storing connection IDs and user sessions, as well as an optional MediaWiki API for retrieving an article.

The following diagram outlines the architecture:

Reference architecture

  1. The browser generates a random user ID and stores it locally in the session storage. The client sends the user ID inside the Sec-WebSocket-Protocol header to WebSocket API.
  2. The default WebSocket API route OnConnect invokes OnConnect Lambda function and passes the connection ID and the user ID to it. OnConnect Lambda function determines if the user ID exists in the DynamoDB table and either creates a new item or updates the existing one.
  3. When the connection is open, the client sends the Read request to the Teleprinter Lambda function.
  4. The Teleprinter Lambda function downloads an article about WebSocket APIs from Wikipedia and stores it as a string in memory.
  5. The Teleprinter Lambda function checks if there is a previous state stored in the Sessions table in DynamoDB. If it is a new user, the Teleprinter Lambda function starts sending the article from the beginning character by character back to the client via WebSocket API. If it is a returning user, the Teleprinter Lambda function retrieves the last cursor position (the last successfully sent character) from the DynamoDB table and continues from there.
  6. The Teleprinter Lambda function sends 1 character every 100ms back to the client.
  7. The client receives the article and prints it out character by character as each character arrives.
  8. If the connection breaks, the WebSocket API calls the OnDisconnect Lambda function automatically. The function marks the connection ID for the given user ID as inactive.
  9. If the user does not return within 5 minutes, Amazon EventBridge scheduler invokes the OnDelete Lambda function, which deletes items with more than 5 minutes of inactivity from Connections and Sessions tables.

A teleprinter returns data one character at a time instead of a single response. When the Lambda function fetches an article, it feeds it character by character inside the for-loop with a delay of 100ms on every iteration. This demonstrates how the user can continue reading the article after reconnecting and not starting the feed all over again. The pattern could be useful for traffic limiting by slowing down user interactions with the backend.

Understanding sample code functionality

When the user connects to the WebSocket API, the client generates a user ID and saves it in the browser’s session storage. The user ID is a random string. When the client opens a WebSocket connection, the frontend sends the user ID inside the Sec-WebSocket-Protocol header, which is standard for WebSocket APIs. When using the JavaScript WebSocket library, there is no need to specify the header manually. To initialize a new connection, use:

const newWebsocket = new WebSocket(wsUri, userId);

wsUri is the deployed WebSocket API URL and userId is a random string generated in the browser. The userId goes to the Sec-WebSocket-Protocol header because WebSocket APIs generally offer less flexibility in choosing headers compared to RESTful APIs. Another way to pass the user ID to the backend could be a query string parameter.

The backend receives the connection request with the user ID and connection ID. The WebSocket API generates the connection ID automatically. It’s important to include the Sec-WebSocket-Protocol in the backend response, otherwise the connection closes immediately:

    return {
        'statusCode': 200,
        'headers': {
            'Sec-WebSocket-Protocol': userId

The Lambda function stores this information in the DynamoDB Connections table:

            'userId': {'S': userId},
            'connectionId': {'S': connection_id},
            'domainName': {'S': domain_name},
            'stage': {'S': stage},
            'active': {'S': True}

The active attribute indicates if the connection is up. In the case of inactivity over a specified time limit, the OnDelete Lambda function deletes the item automatically. The Put operation comes handy here because you don’t need to query the DB if the user already exists. If it is a new user, Put creates a new item. If it is a reconnection, Put updates the connectionId and sets active to True again.

The primary key for the Connections table is userId, which helps locate users faster as they reconnect. The application relies on a global secondary index (GSI) for locating connectionId. This is necessary for marking the connection inactive when WebSocket API calls OnDisconnect function automatically.

Now the application has connection management, you can retrieve session data. The Teleprinter Lambda function receives a connection ID from WebSocket API. You can query the GSI of Connections table and find if the user exists:

    def get_user_id(connection_id):
        response = ddb.query(
            KeyConditionExpression='connectionId = :c',
                ':c': {'S': connection_id}

        items = response['Items']

        if len(items) == 1:
            return items[0]['userId']['S']

        return None

Another DynamoDB table called Sessions is used to check if the user has an existing session context. If yes, the Lambda function retrieves the cursor position and resumes teletyping. If it is a brand-new user, the Lambda function starts sending characters from the beginning. The function stores a new cursor position if the connection breaks. This makes it easier to detect stale connections and store the current cursor position in the Sessions table.

            Data=bytes(ch, 'utf-8')
    except api_client.exceptions.GoneException as e:
        print(f"Found stale connection, persisting state")
        store_cursor_position(user_id, pos)
        return {
            'statusCode': 410

    def store_cursor_position(user_id, pos):
                'userId': {'S': user_id},
                'cursorPosition': {'N': str(pos)}

After this, the Teleprinter Lambda function ends.

Serving authenticated users

The same mechanism also works for authenticated users. The main difference is it takes a given ID from a JWT token or other form of authentication and uses it instead of a randomly generated user ID. The backend relies on unambiguous user identification and may require only minor changes for handling authenticated users.

Deleting inactive users

The OnDisconnect function marks user connections as inactive and adds a timestamp to ‘lastSeen’ attribute. If the user never reconnects, the application should purge inactive items from Connections and Sessions tables. Depending on your operational requirements, there are two options.

Option 1: Using EventBridge Scheduler

The sample application uses EventBridge to schedule OnDelete function execution every 5 minutes. The following code shows how AWS SAM adds the scheduler to the OnDelete function:

    Type: AWS::Serverless::Function
      Handler: app.handler
      Runtime: python3.9
      CodeUri: handlers/onDelete/
      MemorySize: 128
          CONNECTIONS_TABLE_NAME: !Ref ConnectionsTable
          SESSIONS_TABLE_NAME: !Ref SessionsTable
      - DynamoDBCrudPolicy:
          TableName: !Ref ConnectionsTable
      - DynamoDBCrudPolicy:
          TableName: !Ref SessionsTable
          Type: ScheduleV2
            ScheduleExpression: rate(5 minute)

The Events section of the function definition is where AWS SAM sets up the scheduled execution. Change values in ScheduleExpression to meet your scheduling requirements.

The OnDelete function relies on the GSI to find inactive user IDs. The following code snippet shows how to query connections with more than 5 minutes of inactivity:

    five_minutes_ago = int((datetime.now() - timedelta(minutes=5)).timestamp())

    stale_connection_items = table_connections.query(
        KeyConditionExpression='active = :hk and lastSeen < :rk',
            ':hk': 'False',
            ':rk': five_minutes_ago

After that, the function iterates through the list of user IDs and deletes them from the Connections and Sessions tables:

    # remove inactive connections
    with table_connections.batch_writer() as batch:
        for item in inactive_users:
            batch.delete_item(Key={'userId': item['userId']})

    # remove inactive sessions
    with table_sessions.batch_writer() as batch:
        for item in inactive_users:
            batch.delete_item(Key={'userId': item['userId']})

The sample uses batch_writer() to avoid requests for each user ID.

Option 2: Using DynamoDB TTL

DynamoDB provides a built-in mechanism for expiring items called Time to Live (TTL). This option is easier to implement. With TTL, there’s no need for EventBridge scheduler, OnDelete Lambda function and additional GSI to track time span. To set up TTL, use the ‘lastSeen’ attribute as an object creation time. TTL deletes or archives the item after a specified period of time. When using AWS SAM or AWS CloudFormation templates, add TimeToLiveSpecification to your code.

The TTL typically deletes expired items within 48 hours. If your operational requirements demand faster and more predictable timing, use option 1. For example, if your application aggregates data while the user is offline, use option 1. But if your application stores a static session data, like cursor position used in this sample, option 2 can be an easier alternative.

Deploying the sample


Ensure you can manage AWS resources from your terminal.

  • AWS CLI and AWS SAM CLI installed.
  • You have an AWS account. If not, visit this page.
  • Your user has enough permissions to manage AWS resources.
  • Git is installed.
  • NPM is installed (only for local frontend deployment).

You can find the source code and README here.

The repository contains both the frontend and the backend code. To deploy the sample, follow this procedure:

  1. Open a terminal and clone the repository:
    git clone https://github.com/aws-samples/websocket-sessions-management.git
  2. Navigate to the root of the repository.
  3. Build and deploy the AWS SAM template:
    sam build && sam deploy --guided
  4. Note the value of WebSocketURL in the output. You need it later.

With the backend deployed, test it using the hosted frontend.

Testing the application

Testing the application

You can watch an animated demo here.

Notice that the app has generated a random user ID on startup. The app shows the user ID above in the header.

  1. Paste the WebSocket URL into the text field. You can find the URL in the console output after you have successfully deployed your AWS SAM template. Alternatively, you can navigate to AWS Management Console (make sure you are in the right Region), select the API you have recently deployed, go to “Stages”, select the deployed stage and copy the “WebSocket URL” value.
  2. Choose Connect. The app opens a WebSocket connection.
  3. Choose Tele-read to start receiving the Wikipedia article character by character. New characters appear in the second half of the screen as they arrive.
  4. Choose Disconnect to close WebSocket connection. Reconnect again and choose Tele-read. Your session resumes from where you stopped.
  5. Choose Reset Identity. The app closes the WebSocket connection and changes the user ID. Choose Connect and Tele-read again and your character feed starts from the beginning.

Cleaning up

To clean up the resources, in the root directory of the repository run:

sam delete

This removes all resources provisioned by the template.yml file.


In this post, you learn how to keep track of user sessions when using WebSockets API and not lose the session context when the user reconnects again. Apply learnings from this example to improve your user experience when using WebSocket APIs for web-frontend and mobile applications, where internet connections may be unstable.

For more serverless learning resources, visit  Serverless Land.

Introducing AWS Lambda Powertools for .NET

Post Syndicated from Julian Wood original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/introducing-aws-lambda-powertools-for-net/

This blog post is written by Amir Khairalomoum, Senior Solutions Architect.

Modern applications are built with modular architectural patterns, serverless operational models, and agile developer processes. They allow you to innovate faster, reduce risk, accelerate time to market, and decrease your total cost of ownership (TCO). A microservices architecture comprises many distributed parts that can introduce complexity to application observability. Modern observability must respond to this complexity, the increased frequency of software deployments, and the short-lived nature of AWS Lambda execution environments.

The Serverless Applications Lens for the AWS Well-Architected Framework focuses on how to design, deploy, and architect your serverless application workloads in the AWS Cloud. AWS Lambda Powertools for .NET translates some of the best practices defined in the serverless lens into a suite of utilities. You can use these in your application to apply structured logging, distributed tracing, and monitoring of metrics.

Following the community’s continued adoption of AWS Lambda Powertools for Python, Java, and TypeScript, AWS Lambda Powertools for .NET is now generally available.

This post shows how to use the new open source Powertools library to implement observability best practices with minimal coding. It walks through getting started, with the provided examples available in the Powertools GitHub repository.

About Powertools

Powertools for .NET is a suite of utilities that helps with implementing observability best practices without needing to write additional custom code. It currently supports Lambda functions written in C#, with support for runtime versions .NET 6 and newer. Powertools provides three core utilities:

  • Tracing provides a simpler way to send traces from functions to AWS X-Ray. It provides visibility into function calls, interactions with other AWS services, or external HTTP requests. You can add attributes to traces to allow filtering based on key information. For example, when using the Tracing attribute, it creates a ColdStart annotation. You can easily group and analyze traces to understand the initialization process.
  • Logging provides a custom logger that outputs structured JSON. It allows you to pass in strings or more complex objects, and takes care of serializing the log output. The logger handles common use cases, such as logging the Lambda event payload, and capturing cold start information. This includes appending custom keys to the logger.
  • Metrics simplifies collecting custom metrics from your application, without the need to make synchronous requests to external systems. This functionality allows capturing metrics asynchronously using Amazon CloudWatch Embedded Metric Format (EMF) which reduces latency and cost. This provides convenient functionality for common cases, such as validating metrics against CloudWatch EMF specification and tracking cold starts.

Getting started

The following steps explain how to use Powertools to implement structured logging, add custom metrics, and enable tracing with AWS X-Ray. The example application consists of an Amazon API Gateway endpoint, a Lambda function, and an Amazon DynamoDB table. It uses the AWS Serverless Application Model (AWS SAM) to manage the deployment.

When you send a GET request to the API Gateway endpoint, the Lambda function is invoked. This function calls a location API to find the IP address, stores it in the DynamoDB table, and returns it with a greeting message to the client.

Example application

Example application

The AWS Lambda Powertools for .NET utilities are available as NuGet packages. Each core utility has a separate NuGet package. It allows you to add only the packages you need. This helps to make the Lambda package size smaller, which can improve the performance.

To implement each of these core utilities in a separate example, use the Globals sections of the AWS SAM template to configure Powertools environment variables and enable active tracing for all Lambda functions and Amazon API Gateway stages.

Sometimes resources that you declare in an AWS SAM template have common configurations. Instead of duplicating this information in every resource, you can declare them once in the Globals section and let your resources inherit them.


The following steps explain how to implement structured logging in an application. The logging example shows you how to use the logging feature.

To add the Powertools logging library to your project, install the packages from NuGet gallery, from Visual Studio editor, or by using following .NET CLI command:

dotnet add package AWS.Lambda.Powertools.Logging

Use environment variables in the Globals sections of the AWS SAM template to configure the logging library:

          POWERTOOLS_SERVICE_NAME: powertools-dotnet-logging-sample

Decorate the Lambda function handler method with the Logging attribute in the code. This enables the utility and allows you to use the Logger functionality to output structured logs by passing messages as a string. For example:

public async Task<APIGatewayProxyResponse> FunctionHandler
         (APIGatewayProxyRequest apigProxyEvent, ILambdaContext context)
  Logger.LogInformation("Getting ip address from external service");
  var location = await GetCallingIp();

Lambda sends the output to Amazon CloudWatch Logs as a JSON-formatted line.

  "cold_start": true,
  "xray_trace_id": "1-621b9125-0a3b544c0244dae940ab3405",
  "function_name": "powertools-dotnet-tracing-sampl-HelloWorldFunction-v0F2GJwy5r1V",
  "function_version": "$LATEST",
  "function_memory_size": 256,
  "function_arn": "arn:aws:lambda:eu-west-2:286043031651:function:powertools-dotnet-tracing-sample-HelloWorldFunction-v0F2GJwy5r1V",
  "function_request_id": "3ad9140b-b156-406e-b314-5ac414fecde1",
  "timestamp": "2022-02-27T14:56:39.2737371Z",
  "level": "Information",
  "service": "powertools-dotnet-sample",
  "name": "AWS.Lambda.Powertools.Logging.Logger",
  "message": "Getting ip address from external service"

Another common use case, especially when developing new Lambda functions, is to print a log of the event received by the handler. You can achieve this by enabling LogEvent on the Logging attribute. This is disabled by default to prevent potentially leaking sensitive event data into logs.

[Logging(LogEvent = true)]
public async Task<APIGatewayProxyResponse> FunctionHandler
         (APIGatewayProxyRequest apigProxyEvent, ILambdaContext context)

With logs available as structured JSON, you can perform searches on this structured data using CloudWatch Logs Insights. To search for all logs that were output during a Lambda cold start, and display the key fields in the output, run following query:

fields coldStart='true'
| fields @timestamp, function_name, function_version, xray_trace_id
| sort @timestamp desc
| limit 20
CloudWatch Logs Insights query for cold starts

CloudWatch Logs Insights query for cold starts


Using the Tracing attribute, you can instruct the library to send traces and metadata from the Lambda function invocation to AWS X-Ray using the AWS X-Ray SDK for .NET. The tracing example shows you how to use the tracing feature.

When your application makes calls to AWS services, the SDK tracks downstream calls in subsegments. AWS services that support tracing, and resources that you access within those services, appear as downstream nodes on the service map in the X-Ray console.

You can instrument all of your AWS SDK for .NET clients by calling RegisterXRayForAllServices before you create them.

public class Function
  private static IDynamoDBContext _dynamoDbContext;
  public Function()

To add the Powertools tracing library to your project, install the packages from NuGet gallery, from Visual Studio editor, or by using following .NET CLI command:

dotnet add package AWS.Lambda.Powertools.Tracing

Use environment variables in the Globals sections of the AWS SAM template to configure the tracing library.

      Tracing: Active
          POWERTOOLS_SERVICE_NAME: powertools-dotnet-tracing-sample

Decorate the Lambda function handler method with the Tracing attribute to enable the utility. To provide more granular details for your traces, you can use the same attribute to capture the invocation of other functions outside of the handler. For example:

public async Task<APIGatewayProxyResponse> FunctionHandler
         (APIGatewayProxyRequest apigProxyEvent, ILambdaContext context)
  var location = await GetCallingIp().ConfigureAwait(false);

[Tracing(SegmentName = "Location service")]
private static async Task<string?> GetCallingIp()

Once traffic is flowing, you see a generated service map in the AWS X-Ray console. Decorating the Lambda function handler method, or any other method in the chain with the Tracing attribute, provides an overview of all the traffic flowing through the application.

AWS X-Ray trace service view

AWS X-Ray trace service view

You can also view the individual traces that are generated, along with a waterfall view of the segments and subsegments that comprise your trace. This data can help you pinpoint the root cause of slow operations or errors within your application.

AWS X-Ray waterfall trace view

AWS X-Ray waterfall trace view

You can also filter traces by annotation and create custom service maps with AWS X-Ray Trace groups. In this example, use the filter expression annotation.ColdStart = true to filter traces based on the ColdStart annotation. The Tracing attribute adds these automatically when used within the handler method.

View trace attributes

View trace attributes


CloudWatch offers a number of included metrics to help answer general questions about the application’s throughput, error rate, and resource utilization. However, to understand the behavior of the application better, you should also add custom metrics relevant to your workload.

The metrics utility creates custom metrics asynchronously by logging metrics to standard output using the Amazon CloudWatch Embedded Metric Format (EMF).

In the sample application, you want to understand how often your service is calling the location API to identify the IP addresses. The metrics example shows you how to use the metrics feature.

To add the Powertools metrics library to your project, install the packages from the NuGet gallery, from the Visual Studio editor, or by using the following .NET CLI command:

dotnet add package AWS.Lambda.Powertools.Metrics

Use environment variables in the Globals sections of the AWS SAM template to configure the metrics library:

          POWERTOOLS_SERVICE_NAME: powertools-dotnet-metrics-sample

To create custom metrics, decorate the Lambda function with the Metrics attribute. This ensures that all metrics are properly serialized and flushed to logs when the function finishes its invocation.

You can then emit custom metrics by calling AddMetric or push a single metric with a custom namespace, service and dimensions by calling PushSingleMetric. You can also enable the CaptureColdStart on the attribute to automatically create a cold start metric.

[Metrics(CaptureColdStart = true)]
public async Task<APIGatewayProxyResponse> FunctionHandler
         (APIGatewayProxyRequest apigProxyEvent, ILambdaContext context)
  // Add Metric to capture the amount of time
        metricName: "CallingIP",
        value: 1,
        unit: MetricUnit.Count,
        service: "lambda-powertools-metrics-example",
        defaultDimensions: new Dictionary<string, string>
            { "Metric Type", "Single" }


CloudWatch and AWS X-Ray offer functionality that provides comprehensive observability for your applications. Lambda Powertools .NET is now available in preview. The library helps implement observability when running Lambda functions based on .NET 6 while reducing the amount of custom code.

It simplifies implementing the observability best practices defined in the Serverless Applications Lens for the AWS Well-Architected Framework for a serverless application and allows you to focus more time on the business logic.

You can find the full documentation and the source code for Powertools in GitHub. We welcome contributions via pull request, and encourage you to create an issue if you have any feedback for the project. Happy building with AWS Lambda Powertools for .NET.

For more serverless learning resources, visit Serverless Land.

Implementing reactive progress tracking for AWS Step Functions

Post Syndicated from Benjamin Smith original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/implementing-reactive-progress-tracking-for-aws-step-functions/

This blog post is written by Alexey Paramonov, Solutions Architect, ISV and Maximilian Schellhorn, Solutions Architect ISV

This blog post demonstrates a solution based on AWS Step Functions and Amazon API Gateway WebSockets to track execution progress of a long running workflow. The solution updates the frontend regularly and users are able to track the progress and receive detailed status messages.

Websites with long-running processes often don’t provide feedback to users, leading to a poor customer experience. You might have experienced this when booking tickets, searching for hotels, or buying goods online. These sites often call multiple backend and third-party endpoints and aggregate the results to complete your request, causing the delay. In these long running scenarios, a transparent progress tracking solution can create a better user experience.


The example provided uses:

  • AWS Serverless Application Model (AWS SAM) for deployment: an open-source framework for building serverless applications.
  • AWS Step Functions for orchestrating the workflow.
  • AWS Lambda for mocking long running processes.
  • API Gateway to provide a WebSocket API for bidirectional communications between clients and the backend.
  • Amazon DynamoDB for storing connection IDs from the clients.

The example provides different options to report the progress back to the WebSocket connection by using Step Functions SDK integration, Lambda integrations, or Amazon EventBridge.

The following diagram outlines the example:

  1. The user opens a connection to WebSocket API. The OnConnect and OnDisconnect Lambda functions in the “WebSocket Connection Management” section persist this connection in DynamoDB (see documentation). The connection is bidirectional, meaning that the user can send requests through the open connection and the backend can respond with a new progress status whenever it is available.
  2. The user sends a new order through the WebSocket API. API Gateway routes the request to the “OnOrder” AWS Lambda function, which starts the state machine execution.
  3. As the request propagates through the state machine, we send progress updates back to the user via the WebSocket API using AWS SDK service integrations.
  4. For more customized status responses, we can use a centralized AWS Lambda function “ReportProgress” that updates the WebSocket API.

How to respond to the client?

To send the status updates back to the client via the WebSocket API, three options are explored:

Option 1: AWS SDK integration with API Gateway invocation

As the diagram shows, the API Gateway workflow tasks starting with the prefix “Report:” send responses directly to the client via the WebSocket API. This is an example of the state machine definition for this step:

          'Report: Workflow started':
            Type: Task
            Resource: arn:aws:states:::apigateway:invoke
            ResultPath: $.Params
              ApiEndpoint: !Join [ '.',[ !Ref ProgressTrackingWebsocket, execute-api, !Ref 'AWS::Region', amazonaws.com ] ]
              Method: POST
              Stage: !Ref ApiStageName
              Path.$: States.Format('/@connections/{}', $.ConnectionId)
                Message: 🥁 Workflow started
                Progress: 10
              AuthType: IAM_ROLE
            Next: 'Mock: Inventory check'

This option reports the progress directly without using any additional Lambda functions. This limits the system complexity, reduces latency between the progress update and the response delivered to the client, and potentially reduces costs by reducing Lambda execution duration. A potential drawback is the limited customization of the response and getting familiar with the definition language.

Option 2: Using a Lambda function for reporting the progress status

To further customize response logic, create a Lambda function for reporting. As shown in point 4 of the diagram, you can also invoke a “ReportProgress” function directly from the state machine. This Python code snippet reports the progress status back to the WebSocket API:

apigw_management_api_client = boto3.client('apigatewaymanagementapi', endpoint_url=api_url)
            Data=bytes(json.dumps(event), 'utf-8')

This option allows for more customizations and integration into the business logic of other Lambda functions to track progress in more detail. For example, execution of loops and reporting back on every iteration. The tradeoff is that you must handle exceptions and retries in your code. It also increases overall system complexity and additional costs associated with Lambda execution.

Option 3: Using EventBridge

You can combine option 2 with EventBridge to provide a centralized solution for reporting the progress status. The solution also handles retries with back-off if the “ReportProgress” function can’t communicate with the WebSocket API.

You can also use AWS SDK integrations from the state machine to EventBridge instead of using API Gateway. This has the additional benefit of a loosely coupled and resilient system but you could experience increased latency due to the additional services used. The combination of EventBridge and the Lambda function adds a minimal latency, but it might not be acceptable for short-lived workflows. However, if the workflow takes tens of seconds to complete and involves numerous steps, option 3 may be more suitable.

This is the architecture:

  1. As before.
  2. As before.
  3. AWS SDK integration sends the status message to EventBridge.
  4. The message propagates to the “ReportProgress” Lambda function.
  5. The Lambda function sends the processed message through the WebSocket API back to the client.

Deploying the example


Make sure you can manage AWS resources from your terminal.

  • AWS CLI and AWS SAM CLI installed.
  • You have an AWS account. If not, visit this page.
  • Your user has sufficient permissions to manage AWS resources.
  • Git is installed.
  • NPM is installed (only for local frontend deployment).

To view the source code and documentation, visit the GitHub repo. This contains both the frontend and backend code.

To deploy:

  1. Clone the repository:
    git clone "https://github.com/aws-samples/aws-step-functions-progress-tracking.git"
  2. Navigate to the root of the repository.
  3. Build and deploy the AWS SAM template:
    sam build && sam deploy --guided
  4. Copy the value of WebSocketURL in the output for later.
  5. The backend is now running. To test it, use a hosted frontend.

Alternatively, you can deploy the React-based frontend on your local machine:

  1. Navigate to “progress-tracker-frontend/”:
    cd progress-tracker-frontend
  2. Launch the react app:
    npm start
  3. The command opens the React app in your default browser. If it does not happen automatically, navigate to http://localhost:3000/ manually.

Now the application is ready to test.

Testing the example application

  1. The webpage requests a WebSocket URL – this is the value from the AWS SAM template deployment. Paste it into Enter WebSocket URL in the browser and choose Connect.
  2. On the next page, choose Send Order and watch how the progress changes.

    This sends the new order request to the state machine. As it progresses, you receive status messages back through the WebSocket API.
  3. Optionally, you can inspect the raw messages arriving to the client. Open the Developer tools in your browser and navigate to the Network tab. Filter for WS (stands for WebSocket) and refresh the page. Specify the WebSocket URL, choose Connect and then choose Send Order.

Cleaning up

The services used in this solution are eligible for AWS Free Tier. To clean up the resources, in the root directory of the repository run:

sam delete

This removes all resources provisioned by the template.yml file.


In this post, you learn how to augment your Step Functions workflows with low latency progress tracking via API Gateway WebSockets. Consider adding the progress tracking to your long running workflows to improve the customer experience and provide a reactive look and feel for your application.

Navigate to the GitHub repository and review the implementation to see how your solution could become more user friendly and responsive. Start with examining the template.yml and the state machine’s definition and see how the frontend handles WebSocket communication and message visualization.

For more serverless learning resources, visit  Serverless Land.

Behind the Scenes at AWS – DynamoDB UpdateTable Speedup

Post Syndicated from Jeff Barr original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/behind-the-scenes-at-aws-dynamodb-updatetable-speedup/

We often talk about the Pace of Innovation at AWS, and share the results in this blog, in the AWS What’s New page, and in our weekly AWS on Air streams. Today I would like to talk about a slightly different kind of innovation, the kind that happens behind the scenes.

Each AWS customer uses a different mix of services, and uses those services in unique ways. Every service is instrumented and monitored, and the team responsible for designing, building, running, scaling, and evolving the service pays continuous attention to all of the resulting metrics. The metrics provide insights into how the service is being used, how it performs under load, and in many cases highlights areas for optimization in pursuit of higher availability, better performance, and lower costs.

Once an area for improvement has been identified, a plan is put in to place, changes are made and tested in pre-production environments, then deployed to multiple AWS regions. This happens routinely, and (to date) without fanfare. Each part of AWS gets better and better, with no action on your part.

DynamoDB UpdateTable
In late 2021 we announced the Standard-Infrequent Access table class for Amazon DynamoDB. As Marcia noted in her post, using this class can reduce your storage costs by 60% compared to the existing (Standard) class. She also showed you how you could modify a table to use the new class. The modification operation calls the UpdateTable function, and that function is the topic of this post!

As is the case with just about every AWS launch, customers began to make use of the new table class right away. They created new tables and modified existing ones, benefiting from the lower pricing as soon as the modification was complete.

DynamoDB uses a highly distributed storage architecture. Each table is split into multiple partitions; operations such as changing the storage class are done in parallel across the partitions. After looking at a lot of metrics, the DynamoDB team found ways to increase parallelism and to reduce the amount of time spent managing the parallel operations.

This change had a dramatic effect for Amazon DynamoDB tables over 500 GB in size, reducing the time to update the table class by up to 97%.

Each time we make a change like this, we capture the “before” and “after” metrics, and share the results internally so that other teams can learn from the experience while they are in the process of making similar improvements of their own. Even better, each change that we make opens the door to other ones, creating a positive feedback loop that (once again) benefits everyone that uses a particular service or feature.

Every DynamoDB user can take advantage of this increased performance right away without the need for a version upgrade or downtime for maintenance (DynamoDB does not even have maintenance windows).

Incremental performance and operational improvements like this one are done routinely and without much fanfare. However it is always good to hear back from our customers when their own measurements indicate that some part of AWS became better or faster.

Leadership Principles
As I was thinking about this change while getting ready to write this post, several Amazon Leadership Principles came to mind. The DynamoDB team showed Customer Obsession by implementing a change that would benefit any DynamoDB user with tables over 500 GB in size. To do this they had to Invent and Simplify, coming up with a better way to implement the UpdateTable function.

While you, as an AWS customer, get the benefits with no action needed on your part, this does not mean that you have to wait until we decide to pay special attention to your particular use case. If you are pushing any aspect of AWS to the limit (or want to), I recommend that you make contact with the appropriate service team and let them know what’s going on. You might be running into a quota or other limit, or pushing bandwidth, memory, or other resources to extremes. Whatever the case, the team would love to hear from you!

Stay Tuned
I have a long list of other internal improvements that we have made, and will be working with the teams to share more of them throughout the year.


Text analytics on AWS: implementing a data lake architecture with OpenSearch

Post Syndicated from Francisco Losada original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/architecture/text-analytics-on-aws-implementing-a-data-lake-architecture-with-opensearch/

Text data is a common type of unstructured data found in analytics. It is often stored without a predefined format and can be hard to obtain and process.

For example, web pages contain text data that data analysts collect through web scraping and pre-process using lowercasing, stemming, and lemmatization. After pre-processing, the cleaned text is analyzed by data scientists and analysts to extract relevant insights.

This blog post covers how to effectively handle text data using a data lake architecture on Amazon Web Services (AWS). We explain how data teams can independently extract insights from text documents using OpenSearch as the central search and analytics service. We also discuss how to index and update text data in OpenSearch and evolve the architecture towards automation.

Architecture overview

This architecture outlines the use of AWS services to create an end-to-end text analytics solution, starting from the data collection and ingestion up to the data consumption in OpenSearch (Figure 1).

Data lake architecture with OpenSearch

Figure 1. Data lake architecture with OpenSearch

  1. Collect data from various sources, such as SaaS applications, edge devices, logs, streaming media, and social networks.
  2. Use tools like AWS Database Migration Service (AWS DMS), AWS DataSync, Amazon Kinesis, Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka (Amazon MSK), AWS IoT Core, and Amazon AppFlow to ingest the data into the AWS data lake, depending on the data source type.
  3. Store the ingested data in the raw zone of the Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) data lake—a temporary area where data is kept in its original form.
  4. Validate, clean, normalize, transform, and enrich the data through a series of pre-processing steps using AWS Glue or Amazon EMR.
  5. Place the data that is ready to be indexed in the indexing zone.
  6. Use AWS Lambda to index the documents into OpenSearch and store them back in the data lake with a unique identifier.
  7. Use the clean zone as the source of truth for teams to consume the data and calculate additional metrics.
  8. Develop, train, and generate new metrics using machine learning (ML) models with Amazon SageMaker or artificial intelligence (AI) services like Amazon Comprehend.
  9. Store the new metrics in the enriching zone along with the identifier of the OpenSearch document.
  10. Use the identifier column from the initial indexing phase to identify the correct documents and update them in OpenSearch with the newly calculated metrics using AWS Lambda.
  11. Use OpenSearch to search through the documents and visualize them with metrics using OpenSearch Dashboards.


Data lake orchestration among teams

This architecture allows data teams to work independently on text documents at different stages of their lifecycles. The data engineering team manages the raw and indexing zones, who also handle data ingestion and preprocessing for indexing in OpenSearch.

The cleaned data is stored in the clean zone, where data analysts and data scientists generate insights and calculate new metrics. These metrics are stored in the enrich zone and indexed as new fields in the OpenSearch documents by the data engineering team (Figure 2).

Data lake orchestration among teams

Figure 2. Data lake orchestration among teams

Let’s explore an example. Consider a company that periodically retrieves blog site comments and performs sentiment analysis using Amazon Comprehend. In this case:

  1. The comments are ingested into the raw zone of the data lake.
  2. The data engineering team processes the comments and stores them in the indexing zone.
  3. A Lambda function indexes the comments into OpenSearch, enriches the comments with the OpenSearch document ID, and saves it in the clean zone.
  4. The data science team consumes the comments and performs sentiment analysis using Amazon Comprehend.
  5. The sentiment analysis metrics are stored in the metrics zone of the data lake. A second Lambda function updates the comments in OpenSearch with the new metrics.

If the raw data does not require any preprocessing steps, the indexing and clean zones can be combined. You can explore this specific example, along with code implementation, in the AWS samples repository.

Schema evolution

As your data progresses through data lake stages, the schema changes and gets enriched accordingly. Continuing with our previous example, Figure 3 explains how the schema evolves.

Schema evolution through the data lake stages

Figure 3. Schema evolution through the data lake stages

  1. In the raw zone, there is a raw text field received directly from the ingestion phase. It’s best practice to keep a raw version of the data as a backup, or in case the processing steps need to be repeated later.
  2. In the indexing zone, the clean text field replaces the raw text field after being processed.
  3. In the clean zone, we add a new ID field that is generated during indexing and identifies the OpenSearch document of the text field.
  4. In the enrich zone, the ID field is required. Other fields with metric names are optional and represent new metrics calculated by other teams that will be added to OpenSearch.

Consumption layer with OpenSearch

In OpenSearch, data is organized into indices, which can be thought of as tables in a relational database. Each index consists of documents—similar to table rows—and multiple fields, similar to table columns. You can add documents to an index by indexing and updating them using various client APIs for popular programming languages.

Now, let’s explore how our architecture integrates with OpenSearch in the indexing and updating stage.

Indexing and updating documents using Python

The index document API operation allows you to index a document with a custom ID, or assigns one if none is provided. To speed up indexing, we can use the bulk index API to index multiple documents in one call.

We need to store the IDs back from the index operation to later identify the documents we’ll update with new metrics. Let’s explore two ways of doing this:

  • Use the requests library to call the REST Bulk Index API (preferred): the response returns the auto-generated IDs we need.
  • Use the Python Low-Level Client for OpenSearch: The IDs are not returned and need to be pre-assigned to later store them. We can use an atomic counter in Amazon DynamoDB to do so. This allows multiple Lambda functions to index documents in parallel without ID collisions.

As in Figure 4, the Lambda function:

  1. Increases the atomic counter by the number of documents that will index into OpenSearch.
  2. Gets the value of the counter back from the API call.
  3. Indexes the documents using the range that goes between [current counter value, current counter value – number of documents].
Storing the IDs back from the bulk index operation using the Python Low-Level Client for OpenSearch

Figure 4. Storing the IDs back from the bulk index operation using the Python Low-Level Client for OpenSearch

Data flow automation

As architectures evolve towards automation, the data flow between data lake stages becomes event-driven. Following our previous example, we can automate the processing steps of the data when moving from the raw to the indexing zone (Figure 5).

Event-driven automation for data flow

Figure 5. Event-driven automation for data flow

With Amazon EventBridge and AWS Step Functions, we can automatically trigger our pre-processing AWS Glue jobs so our data gets pre-processed without manual intervention.

The same approach can be applied to the other data lake stages to achieve a fully automated architecture. Explore this implementation for an automated language use case.


In this blog post, we covered designing an architecture to effectively handle text data using a data lake on AWS. We explained how different data teams can work independently to extract insights from text documents at different lifecycle stages using OpenSearch as the search and analytics service.

Genomics workflows, Part 4: processing archival data

Post Syndicated from Rostislav Markov original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/architecture/genomics-workflows-part-4-processing-archival-data/

Genomics workflows analyze data at petabyte scale. After processing is complete, data is often archived in cold storage classes. In some cases, like studies on the association of DNA variants against larger datasets, archived data is needed for further processing. This means manually initiating the restoration of each archived object and monitoring the progress. Scientists require a reliable process for on-demand archival data restoration so their workflows do not fail.

In Part 4 of this series, we look into genomics workloads processing data that is archived with Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). We design a reliable data restoration process that informs the workflow when data is available so it can proceed. We build on top of the design pattern laid out in Parts 1-3 of this series. We use event-driven and serverless principles to provide the most cost-effective solution.

Use case

Our use case focuses on data in Amazon Simple Storage Service Glacier (Amazon S3 Glacier) storage classes. The S3 Glacier Instant Retrieval storage class provides the lowest-cost storage for long-lived data that is rarely accessed but requires retrieval in milliseconds.

The S3 Glacier Flexible Retrieval and S3 Glacier Deep Archive provide further cost savings, with retrieval times ranging from minutes to hours. We focus on the latter in order to provide the most cost-effective solution.

You must first restore the objects before accessing them. Our genomics workflow will pause until the data restore completes. The requirements for this workflow are:

  • Reliable launch of the restore so our workflow doesn’t fail (due to S3 Glacier service quotas, or because not all objects were restored)
  • Event-driven design to mirror the event-driven nature of genomics workflows and perform the retrieval upon request
  • Cost-effective and easy-to-manage by using serverless services
  • Upfront detection of archived data when formulating the genomics workflow task, avoiding idle computational tasks that incur cost
  • Scalable and elastic to meet the restore needs of large, archived datasets

Solution overview

Genomics workflows take multiple input parameters to prepare the initiation, such as launch ID, data path, workflow endpoint, and workflow steps. We store this data, including workflow configurations, in an S3 bucket. An AWS Fargate task reads from the S3 bucket and prepares the workflow. It detects if the input parameters include S3 Glacier URLs.

We use Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS) to decouple S3 Glacier index creation from object restore actions (Figure 1). This increases the reliability of our process.

Solution architecture for S3 Glacier object restore

Figure 1. Solution architecture for S3 Glacier object restore

An AWS Lambda function creates the index of all objects in the specified S3 bucket URLs and submits them as an SQS message.

Another Lambda function polls the SQS queue and submits the request(s) to restore the S3 Glacier objects to S3 Standard storage class.

The function writes the job ID of each S3 Glacier restore request to Amazon DynamoDB. After the restore is complete, Lambda sets the status of the workflow to READY. Only then can any computing jobs start, such as with AWS Batch.

Implementation considerations

We consider the use case of Snakemake with Tibanna, which we detailed in Part 2 of this series. This allows us to dive deeper on launch details.

Snakemake is an open-source utility for whole-genome-sequence mapping in directed acyclic graph format. Snakemake uses Snakefiles to declare workflow steps and commands. Tibanna is an open-source, AWS-native software that runs bioinformatics data pipelines. It supports Snakefile syntax, plus other workflow languages, including Common Workflow Language and Workflow Description Language (WDL).

We recommend using Amazon Genomics CLI if Tibanna is not needed for your use case, or Amazon Omics if your workflow definitions are compliant with the supported WDL and Nextflow specifications.

Formulate the restore request

The Snakemake Fargate launch container detects if the S3 objects under the requested S3 bucket URLs are stored in S3 Glacier. The Fargate launch container generates and puts a JSON binary base call (BCL) configuration file into an S3 bucket and exits successfully. This file includes the launch ID of the workflow, corresponding with the DynamoDB item key, plus the S3 URLs to restore.

Query the S3 URLs

Once the JSON BCL configuration file lands in this S3 bucket, the S3 Event Notification PutObject event invokes a Lambda function. This function parses the configuration file and recursively queries for all S3 object URLs to restore.

Initiate the restore

The main Lambda function then submits messages to the SQS queue that contains the full list of S3 URLs that need to be restored. SQS messages also include the launch ID of the workflow. This is to ensure we can bind specific restoration jobs to specific workflow launches. If all S3 Glacier objects belong to Flexible Retrieval storage class, the Lambda function puts the URLs in a single SQS message, enabling restoration with Bulk Glacier Job Tier. The Lambda function also sets the status of the workflow to WAITING in the corresponding DynamoDB item. The WAITING state is used to notify the end user that the job is waiting on the data-restoration process and will continue once the data restoration is complete.

A secondary Lambda function polls for new messages landing in the SQS queue. This Lambda function submits the restoration request(s)—for example, as a free-of-charge Bulk retrieval—using the RestoreObject API. The function subsequently writes the S3 Glacier Job ID of each request in our DynamoDB table. This allows the main Lambda function to check if all Job IDs associated with a workflow launch ID are complete.

Update status

The status of our workflow launch will remain WAITING as long as the Glacier object restore is incomplete. The AWS CloudTrail logs of completed S3 Glacier Job IDs invoke our main Lambda function (via an Amazon EventBridge rule) to update the status of the restoration job in our DynamoDB table. With each invocation, the function checks if all Job IDs associated with a workflow launch ID are complete.

After all objects have been restored, the function updates the workflow launch with status READY. This launches the workflow with the same launch ID prior to the restore.


In this blog post, we demonstrated how life-science research teams can make use of their archival data for genomic studies. We designed an event-driven S3 Glacier restore process, which retrieves data upon request. We discussed how to reliably launch the restore so our workflow doesn’t fail. Also, we determined upfront if an S3 Glacier restore is needed and used the WAITING state to prevent our workflow from failing.

With this solution, life-science research teams can save money using Amazon S3 Glacier without worrying about their day-to-day work or manually administering S3 Glacier object restores.

Related information

Enabling load-balancing of non-HTTP(s) traffic on AWS Wavelength

Post Syndicated from Sheila Busser original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/enabling-load-balancing-of-non-https-traffic-on-aws-wavelength/

This blog post is written by Jack Chen, Telco Solutions Architect, and Robert Belson, Developer Advocate.

AWS Wavelength embeds AWS compute and storage services within 5G networks, providing mobile edge computing infrastructure for developing, deploying, and scaling ultra-low-latency applications. AWS recently introduced support for Application Load Balancer (ALB) in AWS Wavelength zones. Although ALB addresses Layer-7 load balancing use cases, some low latency applications that get deployed in AWS Wavelength Zones rely on UDP-based protocols, such as QUIC, WebRTC, and SRT, which can’t be load-balanced by Layer-7 Load Balancers. In this post, we’ll review popular load-balancing patterns on AWS Wavelength, including a proposed architecture demonstrating how DNS-based load balancing can address customer requirements for load-balancing non-HTTP(s) traffic across multiple Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances. This solution also builds a foundation for automatic scale-up and scale-down capabilities for workloads running in an AWS Wavelength Zone.

Load balancing use cases in AWS Wavelength

In the AWS Regions, customers looking to deploy highly-available edge applications often consider Amazon Elastic Load Balancing (Amazon ELB) as an approach to automatically distribute incoming application traffic across multiple targets in one or more Availability Zones (AZs). However, at the time of this publication, AWS-managed Network Load Balancer (NLB) isn’t supported in AWS Wavelength Zones and ALB is being rolled out to all AWS Wavelength Zones globally. As a result, this post will seek to document general architectural guidance for load balancing solutions on AWS Wavelength.

As one of the most prominent AWS Wavelength use cases, highly-immersive video streaming over UDP using protocols such as WebRTC at scale often require a load balancing solution to accommodate surges in traffic, either due to live events or general customer access patterns. These use cases, relying on Layer-4 traffic, can’t be load-balanced from a Layer-7 ALB. Instead, Layer-4 load balancing is needed.

To date, two infrastructure deployments involving Layer-4 load balancers are most often seen:

  • Amazon EC2-based deployments: Often the environment of choice for earlier-stage enterprises and ISVs, a fleet of EC2 instances will leverage a load balancer for high-throughput use cases, such as video streaming, data analytics, or Industrial IoT (IIoT) applications
  • Amazon EKS deployments: Customers looking to optimize performance and cost efficiency of their infrastructure can leverage containerized deployments at the edge to manage their AWS Wavelength Zone applications. In turn, external load balancers could be configured to point to exposed services via NodePort objects. Furthermore, a more popular choice might be to leverage the AWS Load Balancer Controller to provision an ALB when you create a Kubernetes Ingress.

Regardless of deployment type, the following design constraints must be considered:

  • Target registration: For load balancing solutions not managed by AWS, seamless solutions to load balancer target registration must be managed by the customer. As one potential solution, visit a recent HAProxyConf presentation, Practical Advice for Load Balancing at the Network Edge.
  • Edge Discovery: Although DNS records can be populated into Amazon Route 53 for each carrier-facing endpoint, DNS won’t deterministically route mobile clients to the most optimal mobile endpoint. When available, edge discovery services are required to most effectively route mobile clients to the lowest latency endpoint.
  • Cross-zone load balancing: Given the hub-and-spoke design of AWS Wavelength, customer-managed load balancers should proxy traffic only to that AWS Wavelength Zone.

Solution overview – Amazon EC2

In this solution, we’ll present a solution for a highly-available load balancing solution in a single AWS Wavelength Zone for an Amazon EC2-based deployment. In a separate post, we’ll cover the needed configurations for the AWS Load Balancer Controller in AWS Wavelength for Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) clusters.

The proposed solution introduces DNS-based load balancing, a technique to abstract away the complexity of intelligent load-balancing software and allow your Domain Name System (DNS) resolvers to distribute traffic (equally, or in a weighted distribution) to your set of endpoints.

Our solution leverages the weighted routing policy in Route 53 to resolve inbound DNS queries to multiple EC2 instances running within an AWS Wavelength zone. As EC2 instances for a given workload get deployed in an AWS Wavelength zone, Carrier IP addresses can be assigned to the network interfaces at launch.

Through this solution, Carrier IP addresses attached to AWS Wavelength instances are automatically added as DNS records for the customer-provided public hosted zone.

To determine how Route 53 responds to queries, given an arbitrary number of records of a public hosted zone, Route53 offers numerous routing policies:

Simple routing policy – In the event that you must route traffic to a single resource in an AWS Wavelength Zone, simple routing can be used. A single record can contain multiple IP addresses, but Route 53 returns the values in a random order to the client.

Weighted routing policy – To route traffic more deterministically using a set of proportions that you specify, this policy can be selected. For example, if you would like Carrier IP A to receive 50% of the traffic and Carrier IP B to receive 50% of the traffic, we’ll create two individual A records (one for each Carrier IP) with a weight of 50 and 50, respectively. Learn more about Route 53 routing policies by visiting the Route 53 Developer Guide.

The proposed solution leverages weighted routing policy in Route 53 DNS to route traffic to multiple EC2 instances running within an AWS Wavelength zone.

Reference architecture

The following diagram illustrates the load-balancing component of the solution, where EC2 instances in an AWS Wavelength zone are assigned Carrier IP addresses. A weighted DNS record for a host (e.g., www.example.com) is updated with Carrier IP addresses.

DNS-based load balancing

When a device makes a DNS query, it will be returned to one of the Carrier IP addresses associated with the given domain name. With a large number of devices, we expect a fair distribution of load across all EC2 instances in the resource pool. Given the highly ephemeral mobile edge environments, it’s likely that Carrier IPs could frequently be allocated to accommodate a workload and released shortly thereafter. However, this unpredictable behavior could yield stale DNS records, resulting in a “blackhole” – routes to endpoints that no longer exist.

Time-To-Live (TTL) is a DNS attribute that specifies the amount of time, in seconds, that you want DNS recursive resolvers to cache information about this record.

In our example, we should set to 30 seconds to force DNS resolvers to retrieve the latest records from the authoritative nameservers and minimize stale DNS responses. However, a lower TTL has a direct impact on cost, as a result of increased number of calls from recursive resolvers to Route53 to constantly retrieve the latest records.

The core components of the solution are as follows:

Alongside the services above in the AWS Wavelength Zone, the following services are also leveraged in the AWS Region:

  • AWS Lambda – a serverless event-driven function that makes API calls to the Route 53 service to update DNS records.
  • Amazon EventBridge– a serverless event bus that reacts to EC2 instance lifecycle events and invokes the Lambda function to make DNS updates.
  • Route 53– cloud DNS service with a domain record pointing to AWS Wavelength-hosted resources.

In this post, we intentionally leave the specific load balancing software solution up to the customer. Customers can leverage various popular load balancers available on the AWS Marketplace, such as HAProxy and NGINX. To focus our solution on the auto-registration of DNS records to create functional load balancing, this solution is designed to support stateless workloads only. To support stateful workloads, sticky sessions – a process in which routes requests to the same target in a target group – must be configured by the underlying load balancer solution and are outside of the scope of what DNS can provide natively.

Automation overview

Using the aforementioned components, we can implement the following workflow automation:

Event-driven Auto Scaling Workflow

Amazon CloudWatch alarm can trigger the Auto Scaling group Scale out or Scale in event by adding or removing EC2 instances. Eventbridge will detect the EC2 instance state change event and invoke the Lambda function. This function will update the DNS record in Route53 by either adding (scale out) or deleting (scale in) a weighted A record associated with the EC2 instance changing state.

Configuration of the automatic auto scaling policy is out of the scope of this post. There are many auto scaling triggers that you can consider using, based on predefined and custom metrics such as memory utilization. For the demo purposes, we will be leveraging manual auto scaling.

In addition to the core components that were already described, our solution also utilizes AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) policies and CloudWatch. Both services are key components to building AWS Well-Architected solutions on AWS. We also use AWS Systems Manager Parameter Store to keep track of user input parameters. The deployment of the solution is automated via AWS CloudFormation templates. The Lambda function provided should be uploaded to an AWS Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) bucket.

Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC), subnets, Carrier Gateway, and Route Tables are foundational building blocks for AWS-based networking infrastructure. In our deployment, we are creating a new VPC, one subnet in an AWS Wavelength zone of your choice, a Carrier Gateway, and updating the route table for this subnet to point the default route to the Carrier Gateway.

Wavelength VPC architecture.

Deployment prerequisites

The following are prerequisites to deploy the described solution in your account:

  • Access to an AWS Wavelength zone. If your account is not allow-listed to use AWS Wavelength zones, then opt-in to AWS Wavelength zones here.
  • Public DNS Hosted Zone hosted in Route 53. You must have access to a registered public domain to deploy this solution. The zone for this domain should be hosted in the same account where you plan to deploy AWS Wavelength workloads.
    If you don’t have a public domain, then you can register a new one. Note that there will be a service charge for the domain registration.
  • Amazon S3 bucket. For the Lambda function that updates DNS records in Route 53, store the source code as a .zip file in an Amazon S3 bucket.
  • Amazon EC2 Key pair. You can use an existing Key pair for the deployment. If you don’t have a KeyPair in the region where you plan to deploy this solution, then create one by following these instructions.
  • 4G or 5G-connected device. Although the infrastructure can be deployed independent of the underlying connected devices, testing the connectivity will require a mobile device on one of the Wavelength partner’s networks. View the complete list of Telecommunications providers and Wavelength Zone locations to learn more.


In this post, we demonstrated how to implement DNS-based load balancing for workloads running in an AWS Wavelength zone. We deployed the solution that used the EventBridge Rule and the Lambda function to update DNS records hosted by Route53. If you want to learn more about AWS Wavelength, subscribe to AWS Compute Blog channel here.

Genomics workflows, Part 3: automated workflow manager

Post Syndicated from Rostislav Markov original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/architecture/genomics-workflows-part-3-automated-workflow-manager/

Genomics workflows are high-performance computing workloads. Life-science research teams make use of various genomics workflows. With each invocation, they specify custom sets of data and processing steps, and translate them into commands. Furthermore, team members stay to monitor progress and troubleshoot errors, which can be cumbersome, non-differentiated, administrative work.

In Part 3 of this series, we describe the architecture of a workflow manager that simplifies the administration of bioinformatics data pipelines. The workflow manager dynamically generates the launch commands based on user input and keeps track of the workflow status. This workflow manager can be adapted to many scientific workloads—effectively becoming a bring-your-own-workflow-manager for each project.

Use case

In Part 1, we demonstrated how life-science research teams can use Amazon Web Services to remove the heavy lifting of conducting genomic studies, and our design pattern was built on AWS Step Functions with AWS Batch. We mentioned that we’ve worked with life-science research teams to put failed job logs onto Amazon DynamoDB. Some teams prefer to use command-line interface tools, such as the AWS Command Line Interface; other interfaces, such as PyBDA with Apache Spark, or CWL experimental grammar in combination with the Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) API, are also used when access to the AWS Management Console is prohibited. In our use case, scientists used the console to easily update table items, plus initiate retry via DynamoDB streams.

In this blog post, we extend this idea to a new frontend layer in our design pattern. This layer automates command generation and monitors the invocations of a variety of workflows—becoming a workflow manager. Life-science research teams use multiple workflows for different datasets and use cases, each with different syntax and commands. The workflow manager we create removes the administrative burden of formulating workflow-specific commands and tracking their launches.

Solution overview

We allow scientists to upload their requested workflow configuration as objects in Amazon S3. We use S3 Event Notifications on PUT requests to invoke an AWS Lambda function. The function parses the uploaded S3 object and registers the new launch request as a DynamoDB item using the PutItem operation. Each item corresponds with a distinct launch request, stored as key-value pair. Item values store the:

  • S3 data path containing genomic datasets
  • Workflow endpoint
  • Preferred compute service (optional)

Another Lambda function monitors for change data captures in the DynamoDB Stream (Figure 1). With each PutItem operation, the Lambda function prepares a workflow invocation, which includes translating the user input into the syntax and launch commands of the respective workflow.

In the case of Snakemake (discussed in Part 2), the function creates a Snakefile that declares processing steps and commands. The function spins up an AWS Fargate task that builds the computational tasks, distributes them with AWS Batch, and monitors for completion. An AWS Step Functions state machine orchestrates job processing, for example, initiated by Tibanna.

Amazon CloudWatch provides a consolidated overview of performance metrics, like time elapsed, failed jobs, and error types. We store log data, including status updates and errors, in Amazon CloudWatch Logs. A third Lambda function parses those logs and updates the status of each workflow launch request in the corresponding DynamoDB item (Figure 1).

Workflow manager for genomics workflows

Figure 1. Workflow manager for genomics workflows

Implementation considerations

In this section, we describe some of our past implementation considerations.

Register new workflow requests

DynamoDB items are key-value pairs. We use launch IDs as key, and the value includes the workflow type, compute engine, S3 data path, the S3 object path to the user-defined configuration file and workflow status. Our Lambda function parses the configuration file and generates all commands plus ancillary artifacts, such as Snakefiles.

Launch workflows

Launch requests are picked by a Lambda function from the DynamoDB stream. The function has the following required parameters:

  • Launch ID: unique identifier of each workflow launch request
  • Configuration file: the Amazon S3 path to the configuration sheet with launch details (in s3://bucket/object format)
  • Compute service (optional): our workflow manager allows to select a particular service on which to run computational tasks, such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) or AWS ParallelCluster with Slurm Workload Manager. The default is the pre-defined compute engine.

These points assume that the configuration sheet is already uploaded into an accessible location in an S3 bucket. This will issue a new Snakemake Fargate launch task. If either of the parameters is not provided or access fails, the workflow manager returns MissingRequiredParametersError.

Log workflow launches

Logs are written to CloudWatch Logs automatically. We write the location of the CloudWatch log group and log stream into the DynamoDB table. To send logs to Amazon CloudWatch, specify the awslogs driver in the Fargate task definition settings in your provisioning template.

Our Lambda function writes Fargate task launch logs from CloudWatch Logs to our DynamoDB table. For example, OutOfMemoryError can occur if the process utilizes more memory than the container is allocated.

AWS Batch job state logs are written to the following log group in CloudWatch Logs: /aws/batch/job. Our Lambda function writes status updates to the DynamoDB table. AWS Batch jobs may encounter errors, such as being stuck in RUNNABLE state.

Manage state transitions

We manage the status of each job in DynamoDB. Whenever a Fargate task changes state, it is picked up by a CloudWatch rule that references the Fargate compute cluster. This CloudWatch rule invokes a notifier Lambda function that updates the workflow status in DynamoDB.


In this blog post, we demonstrated how life-science research teams can simplify genomic analysis across an array of workflows. These workflows usually have their own command syntax and workflow management system, such as Snakemake. The presented workflow manager removes the administrative burden of preparing and formulating workflow launches, increasing reliability.

The pattern is broadly reusable with any scientific workflow and related high-performance computing systems. The workflow manager provides persistence to enable historical analysis and comparison, which enables us to automatically benchmark workflow launches for cost and performance.

Stay tuned for Part 4 of this series, in which we explore how to enable our workflows to process archival data stored in Amazon Simple Storage Service Glacier storage classes.

Related information

Configuration driven dynamic multi-account CI/CD solution on AWS

Post Syndicated from Anshul Saxena original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/devops/configuration-driven-dynamic-multi-account-ci-cd-solution-on-aws/

Many organizations require durable automated code delivery for their applications. They leverage multi-account continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipelines to deploy code and run automated tests in multiple environments before deploying to Production. In cases where the testing strategy is release specific, you must update the pipeline before every release. Traditional pipeline stages are predefined and static in nature, and once the pipeline stages are defined it’s hard to update them. In this post, we present a configuration driven dynamic CI/CD solution per repository. The pipeline state is maintained and governed by configurations stored in Amazon DynamoDB. This gives you the advantage of automatically customizing the pipeline for every release based on the testing requirements.

By following this post, you will set up a dynamic multi-account CI/CD solution. Your pipeline will deploy and test a sample pet store API application. Refer to Automating your API testing with AWS CodeBuild, AWS CodePipeline, and Postman for more details on this application. New code deployments will be delivered with custom pipeline stages based on the pipeline configuration that you create. This solution uses services such as AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK), AWS CloudFormation, Amazon DynamoDB, AWS Lambda, and AWS Step Functions.

Solution overview

The following diagram illustrates the solution architecture:

The image represents the solution workflow, highlighting the integration of the AWS components involved.

Figure 1: Architecture Diagram

  1. Users insert/update/delete entry in the DynamoDB table.
  2. The Step Function Trigger Lambda is invoked on all modifications.
  3. The Step Function Trigger Lambda evaluates the incoming event and does the following:
    1. On insert and update, triggers the Step Function.
    2. On delete, finds the appropriate CloudFormation stack and deletes it.
  4. Steps in the Step Function are as follows:
    1. Collect Information (Pass State) – Filters the relevant information from the event, such as repositoryName and referenceName.
    2. Get Mapping Information (Backed by CodeCommit event filter Lambda) – Retrieves the mapping information from the Pipeline config stored in the DynamoDB.
    3. Deployment Configuration Exist? (Choice State) – If the StatusCode == 200, then the DynamoDB entry is found, and Initiate CloudFormation Stack step is invoked, or else StepFunction exits with Successful.
    4. Initiate CloudFormation Stack (Backed by stack create Lambda) – Constructs the CloudFormation parameters and creates/updates the dynamic pipeline based on the configuration stored in the DynamoDB via CloudFormation.

Code deliverables

The code deliverables include the following:

  1. AWS CDK app – The AWS CDK app contains the code for all the Lambdas, Step Functions, and CloudFormation templates.
  2. sample-application-repo – This directory contains the sample application repository used for deployment.
  3. automated-tests-repo– This directory contains the sample automated tests repository for testing the sample repo.

Deploying the CI/CD solution

  1. Clone this repository to your local machine.
  2. Follow the README to deploy the solution to your main CI/CD account. Upon successful deployment, the following resources should be created in the CI/CD account:
    1. A DynamoDB table
    2. Step Function
    3. Lambda Functions
  3. Navigate to the Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) console in your main CI/CD account and search for a bucket with the name: cloudformation-template-bucket-<AWS_ACCOUNT_ID>. You should see two CloudFormation templates (templates/codepipeline.yaml and templates/childaccount.yaml) uploaded to this bucket.
  4. Run the childaccount.yaml in every target CI/CD account (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Prod) by going to the CloudFormation Console. Provide the main CI/CD account number as the “CentralAwsAccountId” parameter, and execute.
  5. Upon successful creation of Stack, two roles will be created in the Child Accounts:
    1. ChildAccountFormationRole
    2. ChildAccountDeployerRole

Pipeline configuration

Make an entry into devops-pipeline-table-info for the Repository name and branch combination. A sample entry can be found in sample-entry.json.

The pipeline is highly configurable, and everything can be configured through the DynamoDB entry.

The following are the top-level keys:

RepoName: Name of the repository for which AWS CodePipeline is configured.
RepoTag: Name of the branch used in CodePipeline.
BuildImage: Build image used for application AWS CodeBuild project.
BuildSpecFile: Buildspec file used in the application CodeBuild project.
DeploymentConfigurations: This key holds the deployment configurations for the pipeline. Under this key are the environment specific configurations. In our case, we’ve named our environments Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Prod. You can configure to any name you like, but make sure that the entries in json are the same as in the codepipeline.yaml CloudFormation template. This is because there is a 1:1 mapping between them. Sub-level keys under DeploymentConfigurations are as follows:

  • EnvironmentName. This is the top-level key for environment specific configuration. In our case, it’s Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Prod. Sub level keys under this are:
    • <Env>AwsAccountId: AWS account ID of the target environment.
    • Deploy<Env>: A key specifying whether or not the artifact should be deployed to this environment. Based on its value, the CodePipeline will have a deployment stage to this environment.
    • ManualApproval<Env>: Key representing whether or not manual approval is required before deployment. Enter your email or set to false.
    • Tests: Once again, this is a top-level key with sub-level keys. This key holds the test related information to be run on specific environments. Each test based on whether or not it will be run will add an additional step to the CodePipeline. The tests’ related information is also configurable with the ability to specify the test repository, branch name, buildspec file, and build image for testing the CodeBuild project.


  1. Make an entry into the devops-pipeline-table-info DynamoDB table in the main CI/CD account. A sample entry can be found in sample-entry.json. Make sure to replace the configuration values with appropriate values for your environment. An explanation of the values can be found in the Pipeline Configuration section above.
  2. After the entry is made in the DynamoDB table, you should see a CloudFormation stack being created. This CloudFormation stack will deploy the CodePipeline in the main CI/CD account by reading and using the entry in the DynamoDB table.

Customize the solution for different combinations such as deploying to an environment while skipping for others by updating the pipeline configurations stored in the devops-pipeline-table-info DynamoDB table. The following is the pipeline configured for the sample-application repository’s main branch.

The image represents the dynamic CI/CD pipeline deployed in your account.

The image represents the dynamic CI/CD pipeline deployed in your account.

The image represents the dynamic CI/CD pipeline deployed in your account.

The image represents the dynamic CI/CD pipeline deployed in your account.

Figure 2: Dynamic Multi-Account CI/CD Pipeline

Clean up your dynamic multi-account CI/CD solution and related resources

To avoid ongoing charges for the resources that you created following this post, you should delete the following:

  1. The pipeline configuration stored in the DynamoDB
  2. The CloudFormation stacks deployed in the target CI/CD accounts
  3. The AWS CDK app deployed in the main CI/CD account
  4. Empty and delete the retained S3 buckets.


This configuration-driven CI/CD solution provides the ability to dynamically create and configure your pipelines in DynamoDB. IDEMIA, a global leader in identity technologies, adopted this approach for deploying their microservices based application across environments. This solution created by AWS Professional Services allowed them to dynamically create and configure their pipelines per repository per release. As Kunal Bajaj, Tech Lead of IDEMIA, states, “We worked with AWS pro-serve team to create a dynamic CI/CD solution using lambdas, step functions, SQS, and other native AWS services to conduct cross-account deployments to our different environments while providing us the flexibility to add tests and approvals as needed by the business.”

About the authors:

Anshul Saxena

Anshul is a Cloud Application Architect at AWS Professional Services and works with customers helping them in their cloud adoption journey. His expertise lies in DevOps, serverless architectures, and architecting and implementing cloud native solutions aligning with best practices.

Libin Roy

Libin is a Cloud Infrastructure Architect at AWS Professional Services. He enjoys working with customers to design and build cloud native solutions to accelerate their cloud journey. Outside of work, he enjoys traveling, cooking, playing sports and weight training.

How SOCAR built a streaming data pipeline to process IoT data for real-time analytics and control

Post Syndicated from DoYeun Kim original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/big-data/how-socar-built-a-streaming-data-pipeline-to-process-iot-data-for-real-time-analytics-and-control/

SOCAR is the leading Korean mobility company with strong competitiveness in car-sharing. SOCAR has become a comprehensive mobility platform in collaboration with Nine2One, an e-bike sharing service, and Modu Company, an online parking platform. Backed by advanced technology and data, SOCAR solves mobility-related social problems, such as parking difficulties and traffic congestion, and changes the car ownership-oriented mobility habits in Korea.

SOCAR is building a new fleet management system to manage the many actions and processes that must occur in order for fleet vehicles to run on time, within budget, and at maximum efficiency. To achieve this, SOCAR is looking to build a highly scalable data platform using AWS services to collect, process, store, and analyze internet of things (IoT) streaming data from various vehicle devices and historical operational data.

This in-car device data, combined with operational data such as car details and reservation details, will provide a foundation for analytics use cases. For example, SOCAR will be able to notify customers if they have forgotten to turn their headlights off or to schedule a service if a battery is running low. Unfortunately, the previous architecture didn’t enable the enrichment of IoT data with operational data and couldn’t support streaming analytics use cases.

AWS Data Lab offers accelerated, joint-engineering engagements between customers and AWS technical resources to create tangible deliverables that accelerate data and analytics modernization initiatives. The Build Lab is a 2–5-day intensive build with a technical customer team.

In this post, we share how SOCAR engaged the Data Lab program to assist them in building a prototype solution to overcome these challenges, and to build the basis for accelerating their data project.

Use case 1: Streaming data analytics and real-time control

SOCAR wanted to utilize IoT data for a new business initiative. A fleet management system, where data comes from IoT devices in the vehicles, is a key input to drive business decisions and derive insights. This data is captured by AWS IoT and sent to Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka (Amazon MSK). By joining the IoT data to other operational datasets, including reservations, car information, device information, and others, the solution can support a number of functions across SOCAR’s business.

An example of real-time monitoring is when a customer turns off the car engine and closes the car door, but the headlights are still on. By using IoT data related to the car light, door, and engine, a notification is sent to the customer to inform them that the car headlights should be turned off.

Although this real-time control is important, they also want to collect historical data—both raw and curated data—in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) to support historical analytics and visualizations by using Amazon QuickSight.

Use case 2: Detect table schema change

The first challenge SOCAR faced was existing batch ingestion pipelines that were prone to breaking when schema changes occurred in the source systems. Additionally, these pipelines didn’t deliver data in a way that was easy for business analysts to consume. In order to meet the future data volumes and business requirements, they needed a pattern for the automated monitoring of batch pipelines with notification of schema changes and the ability to continue processing.

The second challenge was related to the complexity of the JSON files being ingested. The existing batch pipelines weren’t flattening the five-level nested structure, which made it difficult for business users and analysts to gain business insights without any effort on their end.

Overview of solution

In this solution, we followed the serverless data architecture to establish a data platform for SOCAR. This serverless architecture allowed SOCAR to run data pipelines continuously and scale automatically with no setup cost and without managing servers.

AWS Glue is used for both the streaming and batch data pipelines. Amazon Kinesis Data Analytics is used to deliver streaming data with subsecond latencies. In terms of storage, data is stored in Amazon S3 for historical data analysis, auditing, and backup. However, when frequent reading of the latest snapshot data is required by multiple users and applications concurrently, the data is stored and read from Amazon DynamoDB tables. DynamoDB is a key-value and document database that can support tables of virtually any size with horizontal scaling.

Let’s discuss the components of the solution in detail before walking through the steps of the entire data flow.

Component 1: Processing IoT streaming data with business data

The first data pipeline (see the following diagram) processes IoT streaming data with business data from an Amazon Aurora MySQL-Compatible Edition database.

Whenever a transaction occurs in two tables in the Aurora MySQL database, this transaction is captured as data and then loaded into two MSK topics via AWS Database Management (AWS DMS) tasks. One topic conveys the car information table, and the other topic is for the device information table. This data is loaded into a single DynamoDB table that contains all the attributes (or columns) that exist in the two tables in the Aurora MySQL database, along with a primary key. This single DynamoDB table contains the latest snapshot data from the two DB tables, and is important because it contains the latest information of all the cars and devices for the lookup against the streaming IoT data. If the lookup were done on the database directly with the streaming data, it would impact the production database performance.

When the snapshot is available in DynamoDB, an AWS Glue streaming job runs continuously to collect the IoT data and join it with the latest snapshot data in the DynamoDB table to produce the up-to-date output, which is written into another DynamoDB table.

The up-to-date data in DynamoDB is used for real-time monitoring and control that SOCAR’s Data Analytics team performs for safety maintenance and fleet management. This data is ultimately consumed by a number of apps to perform various business activities, including route optimization, real-time monitoring for oil consumption and temperature, and to identify a driver’s driving pattern, tire wear and defect detection, and real-time car crash notifications.

Component 2: Processing IoT data and visualizing the data in dashboards

The second data pipeline (see the following diagram) batch processes the IoT data and visualizes it in QuickSight dashboards.

There are two data sources. The first is the Aurora MySQL database. The two database tables are exported into Amazon S3 from the Aurora MySQL cluster and registered in the AWS Glue Data Catalog as tables. The second data source is Amazon MSK, which receives streaming data from AWS IoT Core. This requires you to create a secure AWS Glue connection for an Apache Kafka data stream. SOCAR’s MSK cluster requires SASL_SSL as a security protocol (for more information, refer to Authentication and authorization for Apache Kafka APIs). To create an MSK connection in AWS Glue and set up connectivity, we use the following CLI command:

aws glue create-connection —connection-input
'{"Name":"kafka-connection","Description":"kafka connection example",
// "KAFKA_CUSTOM_CERT": "s3://bucket/prefix/cert.pem",

Component 3: Real-time control

The third data pipeline processes the streaming IoT data in millisecond latency from Amazon MSK to produce the output in DynamoDB, and sends a notification in real time if any records are identified as an outlier based on business rules.

AWS IoT Core provides integrations with Amazon MSK to set up real-time streaming data pipelines. To do so, complete the following steps:

  1. On the AWS IoT Core console, choose Act in the navigation pane.
  2. Choose Rules, and create a new rule.
  3. For Actions, choose Add action and choose Kafka.
  4. Choose the VPC destination if required.
  5. Specify the Kafka topic.
  6. Specify the TLS bootstrap servers of your Amazon MSK cluster.

You can view the bootstrap server URLs in the client information of your MSK cluster details. The AWS IoT rule was created with the Kafka topic as an action to provide data from AWS IoT Core to Kafka topics.

SOCAR used Amazon Kinesis Data Analytics Studio to analyze streaming data in real time and build stream-processing applications using standard SQL and Python. We created one table from the Kafka topic using the following code:

CREATE TABLE table_name (
column_name1 VARCHAR,
column_name2 VARCHAR(100),
column_name3 VARCHAR,
column_name4 as TO_TIMESTAMP (`time_column`, 'EEE MMM dd HH:mm:ss z yyyy'),
PARTITIONED BY (column_name5)
'connector'= 'kafka',
'topic' = 'topic_name',
'properties.bootstrap.servers' = '<bootstrap servers shown in the MSK client info dialog>',
'format' = 'json',
'properties.group.id' = 'testGroup1',
'scan.startup.mode'= 'earliest-offset'

Then we applied a query with business logic to identify a particular set of records that need to be alerted. When this data is loaded back into another Kafka topic, AWS Lambda functions trigger the downstream action: either load the data into a DynamoDB table or send an email notification.

Component 4: Flattening the nested structure JSON and monitoring schema changes

The final data pipeline (see the following diagram) processes complex, semi-structured, and nested JSON files.

This step uses an AWS Glue DynamicFrame to flatten the nested structure and then land the output in Amazon S3. After the data is loaded, it’s scanned by an AWS Glue crawler to update the Data Catalog table and detect any changes in the schema.

Data flow: Putting it all together

The following diagram illustrates our complete data flow with each component.

Let’s walk through the steps of each pipeline.

The first data pipeline (in red) processes the IoT streaming data with the Aurora MySQL business data:

  1. AWS DMS is used for ongoing replication to continuously apply source changes to the target with minimal latency. The source includes two tables in the Aurora MySQL database tables (carinfo and deviceinfo), and each is linked to two MSK topics via AWS DMS tasks.
  2. Amazon MSK triggers a Lambda function, so whenever a topic receives data, a Lambda function runs to load data into DynamoDB table.
  3. There is a single DynamoDB table with columns that exist from the carinfo table and the deviceinfo table of the Aurora MySQL database. This table consists of all the data from two tables and stores the latest data by performing an upsert operation.
  4. An AWS Glue job continuously receives the IoT data and joins it with data in the DynamoDB table to produce the output into another DynamoDB target table.
  5. This target table contains the final data, which includes all the device and car status information from the IoT devices as well as metadata from the Aurora MySQL table.

The second data pipeline (in green) batch processes IoT data to use in dashboards and for visualization:

  1. The car and reservation data (in two DB tables) is exported via a SQL command from the Aurora MySQL database with the output data available in an S3 bucket. The folders that contain data are registered as an S3 location for the AWS Glue crawler and become available via the AWS Glue Data Catalog.
  2. The MSK input topic continuously receives data from AWS IoT. Each car has a number of IoT devices, and each device captures data and sends it to an MSK input topic. The Amazon MSK S3 sink connector is configured to export data from Kafka topics to Amazon S3 in JSON formats. In addition, the S3 connector exports data by guaranteeing exactly-once delivery semantics to consumers of the S3 objects it produces.
  3. The AWS Glue job runs in a daily batch to load the historical IoT data into Amazon S3 and into two tables (refer to step 1) to produce the output data in an Enriched folder in Amazon S3.
  4. Amazon Athena is used to query data from Amazon S3 and make it available as a dataset in QuickSight for visualizing historical data.

The third data pipeline (in blue) processes streaming IoT data from Amazon MSK with millisecond latency to produce the output in DynamoDB and send a notification:

  1. An Amazon Kinesis Data Analytics Studio notebook powered by Apache Zeppelin and Apache Flink is used to build and deploy its output as a Kinesis Data Analytics application. This application loads data from Amazon MSK in real time, and users can apply business logic to select particular events coming from the IoT real-time data, for example, the car engine is off and the doors are closed, but the headlights are still on. The particular event that users want to capture can be sent to another MSK topic (Outlier) via the Kinesis Data Analytics application.
  2. Amazon MSK triggers a Lambda function, so whenever a topic receives data, a Lambda function runs to send an email notification to users that are subscribed to an Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) topic. An email is published using an SNS notification.
  3. The Kinesis Data Analytics application loads data from AWS IoT, applies business logic, and then loads it into another MSK topic (output). Amazon MSK triggers a Lambda function when data is received, which loads data into a DynamoDB Append table.
  4. Amazon Kinesis Data Analytics Studio is used to run SQL commands for ad hoc interactive analysis on streaming data.

The final data pipeline (in yellow) processes complex, semi-structured, and nested JSON files, and sends a notification when a schema evolves.

  1. An AWS Glue job runs and reads the JSON data from Amazon S3 (as a source), applies logic to flatten the nested schema using a DynamicFrame, and pivots out array columns from the flattened frame.
  2. The output is stored in Amazon S3 and is automatically registered to the AWS Glue Data Catalog table.
  3. Whenever there is a new attribute or change in the JSON input data at any level in the nested structure, the new attribute and change are captured in Amazon EventBridge as an event from the AWS Glue Data Catalog. An email notification is published using Amazon SNS.


As a result of the four-day Build Lab, the SOCAR team left with a working prototype that is custom fit to their needs, gaining a clear path to production. The Data Lab allowed the SOCAR team to build a new streaming data pipeline, enrich IoT data with operational data, and enhance the existing data pipeline to process complex nested JSON data. This establishes a baseline architecture to support the new fleet management system beyond the car-sharing business.

About the Authors

DoYeun Kim is the Head of Data Engineering at SOCAR. He is a passionate software engineering professional with 19+ years experience. He leads a team of 10+ engineers who are responsible for the data platform, data warehouse and MLOps engineering, as well as building in-house data products.

SangSu Park is a Lead Data Architect in SOCAR’s cloud DB team. His passion is to keep learning, embrace challenges, and strive for mutual growth through communication. He loves to travel in search of new cities and places.

YoungMin Park is a Lead Architect in SOCAR’s cloud infrastructure team. His philosophy in life is-whatever it may be-to challenge, fail, learn, and share such experiences to build a better tomorrow for the world. He enjoys building expertise in various fields and basketball.

Younggu Yun is a Senior Data Lab Architect at AWS. He works with customers around the APAC region to help them achieve business goals and solve technical problems by providing prescriptive architectural guidance, sharing best practices, and building innovative solutions together. In his free time, his son and he are obsessed with Lego blocks to build creative models.

Vicky Falconer leads the AWS Data Lab program across APAC, offering accelerated joint engineering engagements between teams of customer builders and AWS technical resources to create tangible deliverables that accelerate data analytics modernization and machine learning initiatives.

What to consider when modernizing APIs with GraphQL on AWS

Post Syndicated from Lewis Tang original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/architecture/what-to-consider-when-modernizing-apis-with-graphql-on-aws/

In the next few years, companies will build over 500 million new applications, more than has been developed in the previous 40 years combined (see IDC article). API operations enable innovation. They are the “front door” to applications and microservices, and an integral layer in the application stack. In recent years, GraphQL has emerged as a modern API approach. With GraphQL, companies can improve the performance of their applications and the speed in which development teams can build applications. In this post, we will discuss how GraphQL works and how integrating it with AWS services can help you build modern applications. We will explore the options for running GraphQL on AWS.

How GraphQL works

Imagine you have an API frontend implemented with GraphQL for your ecommerce application. As shown in Figure 1, there are different services in your ecommerce system backend that are accessible via different technologies. For example, user profile data is stored in a highly scalable NoSQL table. Orders are accessed through a REST API. The current inventory stock is checked through an AWS Lambda function. And the pricing information is in an SQL database.

How GraphQL works

Figure 1. How GraphQL works

Without using GraphQL, client applications must make multiple separate calls to each one of these services. Because each service is exposed through different API endpoints, the complexity of accessing data from the client side increases significantly. In order to get the data, you have to make multiple calls. In some cases, you might over fetch data as the data source would send you an entire payload including data you might not need. In some other circumstances, you might under fetch data as a single data source would not have all your required data.

A GraphQL API combines the data from all these different services into a single payload that the client defines based on its needs. For example, a smartphone has a smaller screen than a desktop application. A smartphone application might require less data. The data is retrieved from multiple data sources automatically. The client just sees a single constructed payload. This payload might be receiving user profile data from Amazon DynamoDB, or order details from Amazon API Gateway. Or it could involve the injection of specific fields with inventory availability and price data from AWS Lambda and Amazon Aurora.

When modernizing frontend APIs with GraphQL, you can build applications faster because your frontend developers don’t need to wait for backend service teams to create new APIs for integration. GraphQL simplifies data access by interacting with data from multiple data sources using a single API. This reduces the number of API requests and network traffic, which results in improved application performance. Furthermore, GraphQL subscriptions enable two-way communication between the backend and client. It supports publishing updates to data in real time to subscribed clients. You can create engaging applications in real time with use cases such as updating sports scores, bidding statuses, and more.

Options for running GraphQL on AWS

There are two main options for running GraphQL implementation on AWS, fully managed on AWS using AWS AppSync, and self-managed GraphQL.

I. Fully managed using AWS AppSync

The most straightforward way to run GraphQL is by using AWS AppSync, a fully managed service. AWS AppSync handles the heavy lifting of securely connecting to data sources, such as Amazon DynamoDB, and to develop GraphQL APIs. You can write business logic against these data sources by choosing code templates that implement common GraphQL API patterns. Your APIs can also interact with other AWS AppSync functionality such as caching, to improve performance. Use subscriptions to support real-time updates, and client-side data stores to keep offline devices in sync. AWS AppSync will scale automatically to support varied API request loads. You can find more details from the AWS AppSync features page.

AWS AppSync in an ecommerce system implementation

Figure 2. AWS AppSync in an ecommerce system implementation

Let’s take a closer look at this GraphQL implementation with AWS AppSync in an ecommerce system. In Figure 2, a schema is created to define types and capabilities of the desired GraphQL API. You can tie the schema to a Resolver function. The schema can either be created to mirror existing data sources, or AWS AppSync can create tables automatically based the schema definition. You can also use GraphQL features for data discovery without viewing the backend data sources.

After a schema definition is established, an AWS AppSync client can be configured with an operation request, such as a query operation. The client submits the operation request to GraphQL Proxy along with an identity context and credentials. The GraphQL Proxy passes this request to the Resolver, which maps and initiates the request payload against pre-configured AWS data services. These can be an Amazon DynamoDB table for user profile, an AWS Lambda function for inventory service, and more. The Resolver initiates calls to one or all of these services within a single API call. This minimizes CPU cycles and network bandwidth needs. The Resolver then returns the response to the client. Additionally, the client application can change data requirements in code on demand. The AWS AppSync GraphQL API will dynamically map requests for data accordingly, enabling faster prototyping and development.

II. Self-Managed GraphQL

If you want the flexibility of selecting a particular open-source project, you may choose to run your own GraphQL API layer. Apollo, graphql-ruby, Juniper, gqlgen, and Lacinia are some popular GraphQL implementations. You can leverage AWS Lambda or container services such as Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) and Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Services (EKS) to run GraphQL open-source implementations. This gives you the ability to fine-tune the operational characteristics of your API.

When running a GraphQL API layer on AWS Lambda, you can take advantage of the serverless benefits of automatic scaling, paying only for what you use, and not having to manage your servers. You can create a private GraphQL API using Amazon ECS, EKS, or AWS Lambda, which can only be accessed from your Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). With Apollo GraphQL open-source implementation, you can create a Federated GraphQL that allows you to combine GraphQL APIs from multiple microservices into a single API, illustrated in Figure 3. The Apollo GraphQL Federation with AWS AppSync post shows a concrete example of how to integrate an AWS AppSync API with an Apollo Federation gateway. It uses specification-compliant queries and directives.

Apollo GraphQL implementation on AWS Lambda

Figure 3. Apollo GraphQL implementation on AWS Lambda

When choosing self-managed GraphQL implementation, you have to spend time writing non-business logic code to connect data sources. You must implement authorization, authentication, and integrate other common functionalities. This can be caches to improve performance, subscriptions to support real-time updates, and client-side data stores to keep offline devices in sync. Because of these responsibilities, you have less time to focus on the business logic of application.

Similarly, backend development teams and API operators of an open-source GraphQL implementation must provision and maintain their own GraphQL servers. Remember that even with a serverless model, API developers and operators are still responsible for monitoring, performance tuning, and troubleshooting the API platform service.


Modernizing APIs with GraphQL gives your frontend application the ability to fetch just the data that’s needed from multiple data sources with an API call. You can build modern mobile and web applications faster, because GraphQL simplifies API management. You have flexibility to run an open-source GraphQL implementation most closely aligned with your needs on AWS Lambda, Amazon ECS, and Amazon EKS. With AWS AppSync, you can set up GraphQL quickly and increase your development velocity by reducing the amount of non-business API logic code.

Further reading:

How a blockchain startup built a prototype solution to solve the need of analytics for decentralized applications with AWS Data Lab

Post Syndicated from Dr. Quan Hoang Nguyen original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/big-data/how-a-blockchain-startup-built-a-prototype-solution-to-solve-the-need-of-analytics-for-decentralized-applications-with-aws-data-lab/

This post is co-written with Dr. Quan Hoang Nguyen, CTO at Fantom Foundation.

Here at Fantom Foundation (Fantom), we have developed a high performance, highly scalable, and secure smart contract platform. It’s designed to overcome limitations of the previous generation of blockchain platforms. The Fantom platform is permissionless, decentralized, and open source. The majority of decentralized applications (dApps) hosted on the Fantom platform lack an analytics page that provides information to the users. Therefore, we would like to build a data platform that supports a web interface that will be made public. This will allow users to search for a smart contract address. The application then displays key metrics for that smart contract. Such an analytics platform can give insights and trends for applications deployed on the platform to the users, while the developers can continue to focus on improving their dApps.

AWS Data Lab offers accelerated, joint-engineering engagements between customers and AWS technical resources to create tangible deliverables that accelerate data and analytics modernization initiatives. Data Lab has three offerings: the Build Lab, the Design Lab, and a Resident Architect. The Build Lab is a 2–5 day intensive build with a technical customer team. The Design Lab is a half-day to 2-day engagement for customers who need a real-world architecture recommendation based on AWS expertise, but aren’t yet ready to build. Both engagements are hosted either online or at an in-person AWS Data Lab hub. The Resident Architect provides AWS customers with technical and strategic guidance in refining, implementing, and accelerating their data strategy and solutions over a 6-month engagement.

In this post, we share the experience of our engagement with AWS Data Lab to accelerate the initiative of developing a data pipeline from an idea to a solution. Over 4 weeks, we conducted technical design sessions, reviewed architecture options, and built the proof of concept data pipeline.

Use case review

The process started with us engaging with our AWS Account team to submit a nomination for the data lab. This followed by a call with the AWS Data Lab team to assess the suitability of requirements against the program. After the Build Lab was scheduled, an AWS Data Lab Architect engaged with us to conduct a series of pre-lab calls to finalize the scope, architecture, goals, and success criteria for the lab. The scope was to design a data pipeline that would ingest and store historical and real-time on-chain transactions data, and build a data pipeline to generate key metrics. Once ingested, data should be transformed, stored, and exposed via REST-based APIs and consumed by a web UI to display key metrics. For this Build Lab, we choose to ingest data for Spooky, which is a decentralized exchange (DEX) deployed on the Fantom platform and had the largest Total Value Locked (TVL) at that time. Key metrics such number of wallets that have interacted with the dApp over time, number of tokens and their value exchanged for the dApp over time, and number of transactions for the dApp over time were selected to visualize through a web-based UI.

We explored several architecture options and picked one for the lab that aligned closely with our end goal. The total historical data for the selected smart contract was approximately 1 GB since deployment of dApp on the Fantom platform. We used FTMScan, which allows us to explore and search on the Fantom platform for transactions, to estimate the rate of transfer transactions to be approximately three to four per minute. This allowed us to design an architecture for the lab that can handle this data ingestion rate. We agreed to use an existing application known as the data producer that was developed internally by the Fantom team to ingest on-chain transactions in real time. On checking transactions’ payload size, it was found to not exceed 100 kb for each transaction, which gave us the measure of number of files that will be created once ingested through the data producer application. A decision was made to ingest the past 45 days of historic transactions to populate the platform with enough data to visualize key metrics. Because the feature of backdating exists within the data producer application, we agreed to use that. The Data Lab Architect also advised us to consider using AWS Database Migration Service (AWS DMS) to ingest historic transactions data post lab. As a last step, we decided to build a React-based webpage with Material-UI that allows users to enter a smart contract address and choose the time interval, and the app fetches the necessary data to show the metrics value.

Solution overview

We collectively agreed to incorporate the following design principles for the data lab architecture:

  • Simplified data pipelines
  • Decentralized data architecture
  • Minimize latency as much as possible

The following diagram illustrates the architecture that we built in the lab.

We collectively defined the following success criteria for the Build Lab:

  • End-to-end data streaming pipeline to ingest on-chain transactions
  • Historical data ingestion of the selected smart contract
  • Data storage and processing of on-chain transactions
  • REST-based APIs to provide time-based metrics for the three defined use cases
  • A sample web UI to display aggregated metrics for the smart contract

Prior to the Build Lab

As a prerequisite for the lab, we configured the data producer application to use the AWS Software Development Kit (AWS SDK) and PUTRecords API operation to send transactions data to an Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) bucket. For the Build Lab, we built additional logic within the application to ingest historic transactions data together with real-time transactions data. As a last step, we verified that transactions data was captured and ingested into a test S3 bucket.

AWS services used in the lab

We used the following AWS services as part of the lab:

  • AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) – We created multiple IAM roles with appropriate trust relationships and necessary permissions that can be used by multiple services to read and write on-chain transactions data and generated logs.
  • Amazon S3 – We created an S3 bucket to store the incoming transactions data as JSON-based files. We created a separate S3 bucket to store incoming transaction data that failed to be transformed and will be reprocessed later.
  • Amazon Kinesis Data Streams – We created a new Kinesis data stream in on-demand mode, which automatically scales based on data ingestion patterns and provides hands-free capacity management. This stream was used by the data producer application to ingest historical and real-time on-chain transactions. We discussed having the ability to manage and predict cost, and therefore were advised to use the provisioned mode when reliable estimates were available for throughput requirements. We were also advised to continue to use on-demand mode until the data traffic patterns were unpredictable.
  • Amazon Kinesis Data Firehose – We created a Firehose delivery stream to transform the incoming data and writes it to the S3 bucket. To minimize latency, we set the delivery stream buffer size to 1 MiB and buffer interval to 60 seconds. This would ensure a file is written to the S3 bucket when either of the two conditions are satisfied regardless of the order. Transactions data written to the S3 bucket was in JSON Lines format.
  • Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS) – We set up an SQS queue of the type Standard and an access policy for that SQS queue to allow incoming messages generated from S3 bucket event notifications.
  • Amazon DynamoDB – In order to pick a data store for on-chain transactions, we needed a service that can store transactions payload of unstructured data with varying schemas, provides the ability to cache query results, and is a managed service. We picked DynamoDB for those reasons. We created a single DynamoDB table that holds the incoming transactions data. After analyzing the access query patterns, we decided to use the address field of the smart contract as the partition key and the timestamp field as the sort key. The table was created with auto scaling of read and write capacity modes because the actual usage requirements would be hard to predict at that time.
  • AWS Lambda – We created the following functions:
    • A Python-based Lambda function to perform transformations on the incoming data from the data producer application to flatten the JSON structure, convert the Unix-based epoch timestamp to a date/time value, and convert hex-based string values to a decimal value representing the number of tokens.
    • A second Lambda function to parse incoming SQS queue messages. This message contained values for bucket_name and object_key, which holds the reference to a newly created object within the S3 bucket. The Lambda function logic included parsing of this value to obtain the reference to the S3 object, get the contents of the object, read it into a data frame object using the AWS SDK for pandas (awswrangler) library, convert it into a Pandas data frame object, and use the put_df API call to write a Pandas data frame object as an item into a DynamoDB table. We choose to use Pandas due to familiarity with the library and functions required to perform data transform operations.
    • Three separate Lambda functions that contains the logic to query the DynamoDB table and retrieve items to aggregate and calculate metrics values. This calculated metrics value within the Lambda function was formatted as an HTTP response to expose as REST-based APIs.
  • Amazon API Gateway – We created a REST based API endpoint that uses Lambda proxy integration to pass a smart contract address and time-based interval in minutes as a query string parameter to the backend Lambda function. The response from the Lambda function was a metrics value. We also enabled cross-origin resource sharing (CORS) support within API Gateway to successfully query from the web UI that resides in a different domain.
  • Amazon CloudWatch – We used a Lambda function in-built mechanism to send function metrics to CloudWatch. Lambda functions come with a CloudWatch Logs log group and a log stream for each instance of your function. The Lambda runtime environment sends details of each invocation to the log stream, and relays logs and other output from your function’s code.

Iterative development approach

Across 4 days of the Build Lab, we undertook iterative development. We started by developing the foundational layer and iteratively added extra features through testing and data validation. This allowed us to develop confidence of the solution being built as we tested the output of the metrics through a web-based UI and verified with the actual data. As errors got discovered, we deleted the entire dataset and reran all the jobs to verify results and resolve those errors.

Lab outcomes

In 4 days, we built an end-to-end streaming pipeline ingesting 45 days of historical data and real-time on-chain transactions data for the selected Spooky smart contract. We also developed three REST-based APIs for the selected metrics and a sample web UI that allows users to insert a smart contract address, choose a time frequency, and visualize the metrics values. In a follow-up call, our AWS Data Lab Architect shared post-lab guidance around the next steps required to productionize the solution:

  • Scaling of the proof of concept to handle larger data volumes
  • Security best practices to protect the data while at rest and in transit
  • Best practices for data modeling and storage
  • Building an automated resilience technique to handle failed processing of the transactions data
  • Incorporating high availability and disaster recovery solutions to handle incoming data requests, including adding of the caching layer


Through a short engagement and small team, we accelerated this project from an idea to a solution. This experience gave us the opportunity to explore AWS services and their analytical capabilities in-depth. As a next step, we will continue to take advantage of AWS teams to enhance the solution built during this lab to make it ready for the production deployment.

Learn more about how the AWS Data Lab can help your data and analytics on the cloud journey.

About the Authors

Dr. Quan Hoang Nguyen is currently a CTO at Fantom Foundation. His interests include DLT, blockchain technologies, visual analytics, compiler optimization, and transactional memory. He has experience in R&D at the University of Sydney, IBM, Capital Markets CRC, Smarts – NASDAQ, and National ICT Australia (NICTA).

Ankit Patira is a Data Lab Architect at AWS based in Melbourne, Australia.

Let’s Architect! Architecting with Amazon DynamoDB

Post Syndicated from Luca Mezzalira original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/architecture/lets-architect-architecting-with-amazon-dynamodb/

NoSQL databases are an essential part of the technology industry in today’s world. Why are we talking about NoSQL databases? NoSQL databases often allow developers to be in control of the structure of the data, and they are a good fit for big data scenarios and offer fast performance.

In this issue of Let’s Architect!, we explore Amazon DynamoDB capabilities and potential solutions to apply in your architectures. A key strength of DynamoDB is the capability of operating at scale globally; for instance, multiple products built by Amazon are powered by DynamoDB. During Prime Day 2022, the service also maintained high availability while delivering single-digit millisecond responses, peaking at 105.2 million requests-per-second. Let’s start!

Data modeling with DynamoDB

Working with a new database technology means understanding exactly how it works and the best design practices for taking full advantage of its features.

In this video, the key principles for modeling DynamoDB tables are discussed, plus practical patterns to use while defining your data models are explored and how data modeling for NoSQL databases (like DynamoDB) is different from modeling for traditional relational databases.

With this video, you can learn about the main components of DynamoDB, some design considerations that led to its creation, and all the best practices for efficiently using primary keys, secondary keys, and indexes. Peruse the original paper to learn more about DyanamoDB in Dynamo: Amazon’s Highly Available Key-value Store.

Amazon DynamoDB uses partitioning to provide horizontal scalability

Amazon DynamoDB uses partitioning to provide horizontal scalability

Single-table vs. multi-table in Amazon DynamoDB

When considering single-table versus multi-table in DynamoDB, it is all about your application’s needs. It is possible to avoid naïve lifting-and-shifting your relational data model into DynamoDB tables. In this post, you will discover different use cases on when to use single-table compared with multi-table designs, plus understand certain data-modeling principles for DynamoDB.

Use a single-table design to provide materialized joins in Amazon DynamoDB

Use a single-table design to provide materialized joins in Amazon DynamoDB

Optimizing costs on DynamoDB tables

Infrastructure cost is an important dimension for every customer. Despite your role inside an organization, you should monitor opportunities for optimizing costs, when possible.
For this reason, we have created a guide on DynamoDB tables cost-optimization that provides several suggestions for reducing your bill at the end of the month.

Build resilient applications with Amazon DynamoDB global tables: Part 1

When you operate global systems that are spread across multiple AWS regions, dealing with data replication and writes across regions can be a challenge. DynamoDB global tables help by providing the performance of DynamoDB across multiple regions with data synchronization and multi-active database where each replica can be used for both writing and reading data.

Another use case for global tables are resilient applications with the lowest possible recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO). In this blog series, we show you how to approach such a scenario.

Amazon DynamoDB active-active architecture

Amazon DynamoDB active-active architecture

See you next time!

Thanks for joining our discussion on DynamoDB. See you in a few weeks, when we explore cost optimization!

Other posts in this series

Looking for more architecture content?

AWS Architecture Center provides reference architecture diagrams, vetted architecture solutions, Well-Architected best practices, patterns, icons, and more!

ICYMI: Serverless Q3 2022

Post Syndicated from David Boyne original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/serverless-icymi-q3-2022/

Welcome to the 19th 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, Twitch 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.

AWS Lambda

AWS has now introduced tiered pricing for Lambda. With tiered pricing, customers who run large workloads on Lambda can automatically save on their monthly costs. Tiered pricing is based on compute duration measured in GB-seconds. The tiered pricing breaks down as follows:

With tiered pricing, you can save on the compute duration portion of your monthly Lambda bills. This allows you to architect, build, and run large-scale applications on Lambda and take advantage of these tiered prices automatically. To learn more about Lambda cost optimizations, watch the new serverless office hours video.

Developers are using AWS SAM CLI to simplify serverless development making it easier to build, test, package, and deploy their serverless applications.  For JavaScript and TypeScript developers, you can now simplify your Lambda development further using esbuild in the AWS SAM CLI.

Code example of esbuild with SAM

Together with esbuild and SAM Accelerate, you can rapidly iterate on your code changes in the AWS Cloud. You can approximate the same levels of productivity as when testing locally, while testing against a realistic application environment in the cloud. esbuild helps simplify Lambda development with support for tree shaking, minification, source maps, and loaders. To learn more about this feature, read the documentation.

Lambda announced support for Attribute-Based Access Control (ABAC). ABAC is designed to simplify permission management using access permissions based on tags. These can be attached to IAM resources, such as IAM users, and roles. ABAC support for Lambda functions allows you to scale your permissions as your organization innovates. It gives granular access to developers without requiring a policy update when a user or project is added, removed, or updated. To learn more about ABAC, read about ABAC for Lambda.

AWS Lambda Powertools is an open-source library to help customers discover and incorporate serverless best practices more easily. Powertools for TypeScript is now generally available and currently focused on three observability features: distributed tracing (Tracer), structured logging (Logger), and asynchronous business and application metrics (Metrics). Powertools is helping builders around the world with more than 10M downloads it is also available in Python and Java programming languages.

To learn more:

AWS Step Functions

Amazon States Language (ASL) provides a set of functions known as intrinsics that perform basic data transformations. Customers have asked for additional intrinsics to perform more data transformation tasks, such as formatting JSON strings, creating arrays, generating UUIDs, and encoding data. Step functions have now added 14 new intrinsic functions which can be grouped into six categories:

Intrinsic functions allow you to reduce the use of other services to perform basic data manipulations in your workflow. Read the release blog for use-cases and more details.

Step Functions expanded its AWS SDK integrations with support for Amazon Pinpoint API 2.0, AWS Billing Conductor,  Amazon GameSparks, and 195 more AWS API actions. This brings the total to 223 AWS Services and 10,000+ API Actions.

Amazon EventBridge

EventBridge released support for bidirectional event integrations with Salesforce, allowing customers to consume Salesforce events directly into their AWS accounts. Customers can also utilize API Destinations to send EventBridge events back to Salesforce, completing the bidirectional event integrations between Salesforce and AWS.

EventBridge also released the ability to start receiving events from GitHub, Stripe, and Twilio using quick starts. Customers can subscribe to events from these SaaS applications and receive them directly onto their EventBridge event bus for further processing. With Quick Starts, you can use AWS CloudFormation templates to create HTTP endpoints for your event bus that are configured with security best practices.

To learn more:

Amazon DynamoDB

DynamoDB now supports bulk imports from Amazon S3 into new DynamoDB tables. You can use bulk imports to help you migrate data from other systems, load test your applications, facilitate data sharing between tables and accounts, or simplify your disaster recovery and business continuity plans. Bulk imports support CSV, DynamoDB JSON, and Amazon Ion as input formats. You can get started with DynamoDB import via API calls or the AWS Management Console. To learn more, read the documentation or follow this guide.

DynamoDB now supports up to 100 actions per transaction. With Amazon DynamoDB transactions, you can group multiple actions together and submit them as a single all-or-nothing operation. The maximum number of actions in a single transaction has now increased from 25 to 100. The previous limit of 25 actions per transaction would sometimes require writing additional code to break transactions into multiple parts. Now with 100 actions per transaction, builders will encounter this limit much less frequently. To learn more about best practices for transactions, read the documentation.

Amazon SNS

SNS has introduced the public preview of message data protection to help customers discover and protect sensitive data in motion without writing custom code. With message data protection for SNS, you can scan messages in real time for PII/PHI data and receive audit reports containing scan results. You can also prevent applications from receiving sensitive data by blocking inbound messages to an SNS topic or outbound messages to an SNS subscription. These scans include people’s names, addresses, social security numbers, credit card numbers, and prescription drug codes.

To learn more:

EDA Day – London 2022

The Serverless DA team hosted the world’s first event-driven architecture (EDA) day in London on September 1. This brought together prominent figures in the event-driven architecture community, AWS, and customer speakers, and AWS product leadership from EventBridge and Step Functions.

EDA day covered 13 sessions, 3 workshops, and a Q&A panel. The conference was keynoted by Gregor Hohpe and speakers included Sheen Brisals and Sarah Hamilton from Lego, Toli Apostolidis from Cinch, David Boyne and Marcia Villalba from Serverless DA, and the AWS product team leadership for the panel. Customers could also interact with EDA experts at the Serverlesspresso bar and the Ask the Experts whiteboard.

Gregor Hohpe talking at EDA Day London 2022

Gregor Hohpe talking at EDA Day London 2022

Picture of the crowd at EDA day 2022 in London

Serverless snippets collection added to Serverless Land

Serverless Land is a website that is maintained by the Serverless Developer Advocate team to help you build with workshops, patterns, blogs, and videos. The team has extended Serverless Land and introduced the new AWS Serverless snippets collection. Builders can use serverless snippets to find and integrate tools, code examples, and Amazon CloudWatch Logs Insights queries to help with their development workflow.

Serverless Blog Posts


Jul 13 – Optimizing Node.js dependencies in AWS Lambda

Jul 15 – Simplifying serverless best practices with AWS Lambda Powertools for TypeScript

Jul 15 – Creating a serverless Apache Kafka publisher using AWS Lambda 

Jul 18 – Understanding AWS Lambda scaling and throughput

Jul 19 – Introducing Amazon CodeWhisperer in the AWS Lambda console (In preview)

Jul 19 – Scaling AWS Lambda permissions with Attribute-Based Access Control (ABAC)

Jul 25 – Migrating mainframe JCL jobs to serverless using AWS Step Functions

Jul 28 – Using AWS Lambda to run external transactions on Db2 for IBM i


Aug 1 – Using certificate-based authentication for iOS applications with Amazon SNS

Aug 4 – Introducing tiered pricing for AWS Lambda

Aug 5 – Securely retrieving secrets with AWS Lambda

Aug 8 – Estimating cost for Amazon SQS message processing using AWS Lambda

Aug 9 – Building AWS Lambda governance and guardrails

Aug 11 – Introducing the new AWS Serverless Snippets Collection

Aug 12 – Introducing bidirectional event integrations with Salesforce and Amazon EventBridge

Aug 17 – Using custom consumer group ID support for AWS Lambda event sources for MSK and self-managed Kafka

Aug 24 – Speeding up incremental changes with AWS SAM Accelerate and nested stacks

Aug 29 – Deploying AWS Lambda functions using AWS Controllers for Kubernetes (ACK)

Aug 30 – Building cost-effective AWS Step Functions workflows


Sep 05 – Introducing new intrinsic functions for AWS Step Functions

Sep 08 – Introducing message data protection for Amazon SNS

Sep 14 – Lifting and shifting a web application to AWS Serverless: Part 1

Sep 14 – Lifting and shifting a web application to AWS Serverless: Part 2


Serverless Office Hours – Tues 10AM PT

Weekly live virtual office hours. In each session we talk about a specific topic or technology related to serverless and open it up to helping you with your real serverless challenges and issues. Ask us anything you want about serverless technologies and applications.

YouTube: youtube.com/serverlessland
Twitch: twitch.tv/aws


Jul 5 – AWS SAM Accelerate GA + more!

Jul 12 – Infrastructure as actual code

Jul 19 – The AWS Step Functions Workflows Collection

Jul 26 – AWS Lambda Attribute-Based Access Control (ABAC)


Aug 2 – AWS Lambda Powertools for TypeScript/Node.js

Aug 9 – AWS CloudFormation Hooks

Aug 16 – Java on Lambda best-practices

Aug 30 – Alex de Brie: DynamoDB Misconceptions


Sep 06 – AWS Lambda Cost Optimization

Sep 13 – Amazon EventBridge Salesforce integration

Sep 20 – .NET on AWS Lambda best practices

FooBar Serverless YouTube channel

Marcia Villalba frequently publishes new videos on her popular serverless YouTube channel. You can view all of Marcia’s videos at https://www.youtube.com/c/FooBar_codes.


Jul 7 – Amazon Cognito – Add authentication and authorization to your web apps

Jul 14 – Add Amazon Cognito to an existing application – NodeJS-Express and React

Jul 21 – Introduction to Amazon CloudFront – Add CDN to your applications

Jul 28 – Add Amazon S3 storage and use a CDN in an existing application


Aug 04 – Testing serverless application locally – Demo with Node.js, Express, and React

Aug 11 – Building Amazon CloudWatch dashboards with AWS CDK

Aug 19 – Let’s code – Lift and Shift migration to Serverless of Node.js, Express, React and Mongo app

Aug 25 – Let’s code – Lift and Shift migration to Serverless, migrating Authentication and Authorization

Aug 29 – Deploying AWS Lambda functions using AWS Controllers for Kubernetes (ACK)


Sep 1 – Run Artillery in a Lambda function | Load test your serverless applications

Sep 8 – Let’s code – Lift and Shift migration to Serverless, migrating Storage with Amazon S3 and CloudFront

Sep 15 – What are Event-Driven Architectures? Why we care?

Sep 22 – Queues – Point to Point Messaging – Exploring Event-Driven Patterns

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.

Integrating Salesforce with AWS DynamoDB using Amazon AppFlow bi-directionally

Post Syndicated from Abhijit Vaidya original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/architecture/integrating-salesforce-with-aws-dynamodb-using-amazon-appflow-bi-directionally/

In this blog post, we demonstrate how to integrate Salesforce Lightning with Amazon DynamoDB by using Amazon AppFlow and Amazon EventBridge services bi-directionally. This is an event-driven, serverless-based microservice, allowing Salesforce users to update configuration data stored in DynamoDB tables without giving AWS account access from AWS Command Line Interface or AWS Management Console.

This architecture describes a contact center application that utilizes DynamoDB database to store configuration data, including holiday data, across different global regions. Updating this data in a table is a manual process, which includes creating a support ticket and waiting for completion of the support request. The architecture herein allows authorized business users to update the configuration data in DynamoDB directly from the Salesforce screen and not relying on manual update process.

Solution overview

As demonstrated in Figure 1, Amazon AppFlow consumes events payload from salesforce and Lambda updates the DynamoDB table after processing the payload. In parallel, a scheduled based flow sends response back to salesforce object as a notification and sends a SNS email notification to users. Contact center application (Amazon Connect) reads data from DynamoDB table.

Architecture overview

Figure 1. Architecture overview

  1. Event (data add or delete) occurring on a particular object in Salesforce is captured by Amazon AppFlow (event-based flow); event payload displays as “Input” in AWS environment.
  2. An EventBridge bus receives the “Input” payload.
  3. The EventBridge bus triggers the AWS Lambda (Lambda-1).
  4. Lambda-1 processes the “Input” payload, then performs a write operation (data add or delete) on a DynamoDB table.
  5. A write operation on the table triggers DynamoDB streams.
  6. DynamoDB stream triggers Lambda (Lambda-2).
  7. Lambda-2 processes the payload from DynamoDB streams. It saves the results in .csv file format, with a “Success” or “Fail” flag. This .csv file is uploaded to an S3 bucket.
  8. A second flow (schedule-based) is configured in Amazon AppFlow. This reads the S3 bucket at a regular interval of time to find new .csv files created by Lambda-2.
  9. A schedule-based flow transfers the .csv file data as an event-status output to the Salesforce object, notifying the user that their event has been successfully handled in DynamoDB table.
  10. In parallel, DynamoDB streams trigger Lambda (Lambda-3), which processes the payload and initiates an Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) notification based on the status of the event request.
  11. Amazon SNS sends an email to the user detailing that the event created in the Salesforce object was successfully completed in DynamoDB table.
  12. If any of the two flows break due to any unforeseen events, their statuses are instantly captured and streamed to an EventBridge bus.
  13. The EventBridge bus triggers Lambda (Lambda-5).
  14. Lambda-5 tries to analyze the error causing failure and tries to get the flow to a working state again. If Lambda-5 fails, it initiates an Amazon SNS email to the solution support team to manually fix the Amazon AppFlow error and get the solution active again.
  15. Meanwhile, whenever an Amazon Connect contact center receives a call, it triggers Lambda (Lambda-4), which holds read-only access to DynamoDB table.
  16. Lambda-4 fetches the data stored by Lambda-1 in DynamoDB table and provides that data to a contact center in Amazon Connect.


  • An AWS account with permissions to access all the required
  • An active Salesforce account with administration-level permissions set
  • Python 3.X version setup for developing Lambda-1 to -5

Implementation and development

1. Development steps on the Salesforce end

Note: We recommend working with a Salesforce expert. These steps can help initiate the development from Salesforce end.

a. Use the Platform Event feature to allow the data flow from Salesforce environment to AWS environment and then back to Salesforce from AWS environment using Amazon AppFlow.
b. Salesforce Connected Apps and web server flow used for integrating Amazon AppFlow with Salesforce.
c. New permissions set and new integration users are created to restrict the access to custom object.

2. Development steps on the AWS end

a. Create a new connection in Amazon AppFlow with “Salesforce” as the source
The “Client ID” and “Client Secret” of Salesforce Managed Connected App are stored in AWS Secrets Manager, which is encrypted by custom keys generated in AWS Key Management Service.

To setup an Amazon AppFlow connection with Salesforce, a stand-alone Lambda function is created using Python Boto3 API. This creates a connection in Amazon AppFlow using the “Client ID” and “Client Secret” of Salesforce connected app.

For more details regarding setting up the Salesforce connection in Amazon AppFlow, refer to the Amazon AppFlow User Guide.

b. Create new event-based input flow in Amazon AppFlow, using Salesforce as the source with the newly created connection
Select the “Salesforce events” option as per the business use case. For representation in this blog, “Telephony” is chosen as salesforce events. Select Amazon EventBridge as the destination. Create new “partner event source” for successful creation of input flow, as in Figure 2.

Configure an event-based flow in Amazon AppFlow

Figure 2. Configure an event-based flow in Amazon AppFlow

c. Handling large size input flow event payloads
Post successful creation of “Partner event source”, specify the S3 bucket for events that are larger than 256 KB, Amazon AppFlow sends a URL of the S3 object to the event bus instead of the event payload.

d. Configuring details for input flow
Select trigger pattern of input flow as “Run flow on event”, as shown in Figure 3.

Trigger pattern for creating input flow

Figure 3. Trigger pattern for creating input flow

As displayed in Figure 4, we can configure data field mapping, validation rules, and filters with Amazon AppFlow. This enables us to enrich and modify event data before it is sent to the event bus. Post this, input flow create action is complete.

Mapping Salesforce object fields with Amazon EventBridge bus

Figure 4. Mapping Salesforce object fields with Amazon EventBridge bus

e. Associating Amazon AppFlow generated partner event source with the event bus in the Amazon EventBridge dashboard
Before activating the flow, access the Amazon EventBridge console to associate the AppFlow generated partner-event-source with the event bus (Figure 5).

Associating input flow partner event source with the Amazon EventBridge bus

Figure 5. Associating input flow partner event source with the Amazon EventBridge bus

f. Post Amazon EventBridge bus association, activate the input flow
After associating the bus with input flow, navigate back to Amazon AppFlow console and click the “Activate flow” button for the input flow. Once active, input flow is ready to consume the event payload from Salesforce.

g. Amazon EventBridge bus triggering Lambda function
The EventBridge bus receives an event payload from the input flow and triggers Lambda (Lambda-1) to process that raw event payload and write the output results in a designated DynamoDB table. A sample of event input payload is in Figure 6. This payload content depends on the use case for which developer is working.

Input event payload sample from Salesforce

Figure 6. Input event payload sample from Salesforce

Lambda-1 adds the record-ID in the DynamoDB table, which is a unique event ID for each Salesforce event as shown in Figure 7.

Data added in Amazon DynamoDB table by Lambda-1

Figure 7. Data added in Amazon DynamoDB table by Lambda-1

h. Configuring DynamoDB streams
Within “Export and Streams” option in the DynamoDB table, enable the “DynamoDB stream details” and in the trigger section click on “Create trigger” option and select  Lambda-2 and Lambda -3, as detailed in Figure 8.

Configuring Amazon DynamoDB streams

Figure 8. Configuring Amazon DynamoDB streams

Lambda-2 stores the event output results and a success flag value in a .csv file that is created for every unique event; the .csv file is uploaded to an S3 bucket with the file name structure “Salesforce event recorded-event action-timestamp.csv”. For example:

Example 1: “abcd1234-event-created- 2022-05-19-11_23_51.csv” (data added)
Example 2: “abcd1234-event-deleted- 2022-05-19-11_24_50.csv” (data deleted)

i. Create new schedule-based flow (output flow) in Amazon AppFlow
The source is the S3 bucket folder where the .csv file is uploaded by Lambda-2. Select the destination as “Salesforce”, and choose the Salesforce object that is used to create the input flow (Figure 9). Revisit Step b for reference.

Configuring a schedule-based output flow

Figure 9. Configuring a schedule-based output flow

Output flow sends a response back to the same Salesforce object from which data addition/deletion event request was made. This confirms to the user that a data addition/deletion event created in Salesforce was successfully invoked in Dynamo DB table as well.

j. Error handling in output flow
In case output flow fails to write the response back to the Salesforce object, choose the option “Stop the current flow run”.

k. Configuring output flow as a run-on schedule
Output flow is a schedule-based flow that runs at specific time. Within the flow trigger window, select “Run flow on schedule”. Update the other fields, such as “Repeats”, “Every”, “Start date”, and “Starting at” per your specific needs. Within “Transfer mode”, select “Incremental transfer”. Refer to Figure 10.

Trigger pattern for schedule-based output flow

Figure 10. Trigger pattern for schedule-based output flow

l. Amazon AppFlow to Salesforce object mapping for output flow
Select Mapping method as “Manually map fields” and Destination record preference as “Upsert records”, as in Figure 11.

Output Flow will update the event record status in the Salesforce object, with success status flag value in the .csv file based on the unique “Record ID” that every Salesforce event payload contains. Once the field mapping is completed, output flow is active.

Manually mapping data fields with Salesforce

Figure 11. Manually mapping data fields with Salesforce

m. Real-time monitoring and failure handling
In case input/output flow breaks for unforeseen reasons, a rule is configured in EventBridge bus console that invokes Lambda (Lambda-5). Lambda-5 tries to handle the error and reactivate the flow. In case this action fails, Lambda sends an Amazon SNS email to the solution support team informing of the failure in Amazon AppFlow and the cause.

n. Integrating DynamoDB with Amazon Connect
Lambda (Lambda-4) is configured with contact center in Amazon Connect. As the call comes to contact center, Lambda-4 fetches the relevant data from the DynamoDB table. Amazon Connect operates per this data.


To avoid incurring future charges, delete any AWS resources that are no longer needed.


This post demonstrates the approach for developing an event-driven, serverless application that integrates DynamoDB with Salesforce using Amazon AppFlow bi-directionally. The contact center is based in Amazon Connect and functions dependent on the real-time data in a DynamoDB table—without manual intervention. The manual process can take a minimum of 24 hours, but the same action can be automatically completed using a self-service, UI-based form in the user’s Salesforce account.

This solution can be tailored depending on the business or technical requirement, differing how the data is consumed by multiple AWS services.