Welcome to the fifth edition of the AWS Serverless ICYMI (in case you missed it) quarterly recap. Every quarter, we share all of the most recent product launches, feature enhancements, blog posts, webinars, Twitch live streams, and other interesting things that you might have missed!
If you didn’t see them, check our previous posts for what happened in 2018:
So, what might you have missed this past quarter? Here’s the recap.
Amazon API Gateway
Amazon API Gateway improved the experience for publishing APIs on the API Gateway Developer Portal. In addition, we also added features like a search capability, feedback mechanism, and SDK-generation capabilities.
Last year, API Gateway announced support for WebSockets. As of early February 2019, it is now possible to build WebSocket-enabled APIs via AWS CloudFormation and AWS Serverless Application Model (AWS SAM). The following diagram shows an example application.
API Gateway is also now supported in AWS Config. This feature enhancement allows API administrators to track changes to their API configuration automatically. With the power of AWS Config, you can automate alerts—and even remediation—with triggered Lambda functions.
In early January, API Gateway also announced a service level agreement (SLA) of 99.95% availability.
AWS Step Functions
AWS Step Functions added the ability to tag Step Function resources and provide access control with tag-based permissions. With this feature, developers can use tags to define access via AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) policies.
In addition to tag-based permissions, Step Functions was one of 10 additional services to have support from the Resource Group Tagging API, which allows a single central point of administration for tags on resources.
In early February, Step Functions released the ability to develop and test applications locally using a local Docker container. This new feature allows you to innovate faster by iterating faster locally.
In late January, Step Functions joined the family of services offering SLAs with an SLA of 99.9% availability. They also increased their service footprint to include the AWS China (Ningxia) and AWS China (Beijing) Regions.
AWS SAM Command Line Interface
AWS SAM Command Line Interface (AWS SAM CLI) released the AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio Code and the AWS Toolkit for IntelliJ. These toolkits are open source plugins that make it easier to develop applications on AWS. The toolkits provide an integrated experience for developing serverless applications in Node.js (Visual Studio Code) as well as Java and Python (IntelliJ), with more languages and features to come.
The toolkits help you get started fast with built-in project templates that leverage AWS SAM to define and configure resources. They also include an integrated experience for step-through debugging of serverless applications and make it easy to deploy your applications from the integrated development environment (IDE).
AWS Serverless Application Repository
AWS Serverless Application Repository applications can now be published to the application repository using AWS CodePipeline. This allows you to update applications in the AWS Serverless Application Repository with a continuous integration and continuous delivery (CICD) process. The CICD process is powered by a pre-built application that publishes other applications to the AWS Serverless Application Repository.
AWS Event Fork Pipelines
AWS Event Fork Pipelines is now available in AWS Serverless Application Repository. AWS Event Fork Pipelines is a suite of nested open-source applications based on AWS SAM. You can deploy Event Fork Pipelines directly from AWS Serverless Application Repository into your AWS account. These applications help you build event-driven serverless applications by providing pipelines for common event-handling requirements.
AWS Cloud9 announced that, in addition to Amazon Linux, you can now select Ubuntu as the operating system for their AWS Cloud9 environment. Before this announcement, you would have to stand up an Ubuntu server and connect AWS Cloud9 to the instance by using SSH. With native support for Ubuntu, you can take advantage of AWS Cloud9 features, such as instance lifecycle management for cost efficiency and preconfigured tooling environments.
AWS Cloud9 also added support for AWS CloudTrail, which allows you to monitor and react to changes made to your AWS Cloud9 environment.
Amazon Kinesis Data Analytics
Amazon Kinesis Data Analytics now supports CloudTrail logging. CloudTrail captures changes made to Kinesis Data Analytics and delivers the logs to an Amazon S3 bucket. This makes it easy for administrators to understand changes made to the application and who made them.
Amazon DynamoDB removed the associated costs of DynamoDB Streams used in replicating data globally. Because of their use of streams to replicate data between Regions, this translates to cost savings in global tables. However, DynamoDB streaming costs remain the same for your applications reading from a replica table’s stream.
DynamoDB added the ability to switch encryption keys used to encrypt data. DynamoDB, by default, encrypts all data at rest. You can use the default encryption, the AWS-owned customer master key (CMK), or the AWS managed CMK to encrypt data. It is now possible to change between the AWS-owned CMK and the AWS managed CMK without having to modify code or applications.
Amazon DynamoDB Local, a local installable version of DynamoDB, has added support for transactional APIs, on-demand capacity, and as many as 20 global secondary indexes per table.
AWS Amplify added support for OAuth 2.0 Authorization Code Grant flows in the native (iOS and Android) and React Native libraries. Previously, you would have to use third-party libraries and handwritten logic to achieve these use cases.
Additionally, Amplify also launched the ability to perform instant cache invalidation and delta deployments on every code commit. To achieve this, Amplify creates unique references to all the build artifacts on each deploy. Amplify has also added the ability to detect and upload only modified artifacts at the time of release to help reduce deployment time.
Amplify also added features for multiple environments, custom resolvers, larger data models, and IAM roles, including multi-factor authentication (MFA).
AWS AppSync increased its availability footprint to the EU (London) Region.
Amazon Cognito increased its service footprint to include the Canada (central) Region. It also published an SLA of 99.9% availability.
Amazon Aurora Serverless increases performance visibility by publishing logs to Amazon CloudWatch.
AWS CodePipeline announces support for deploying static files to Amazon S3. While this may not usually fall under the serverless blogs and announcements, if you’re a developer who builds single-page applications or host static websites, this makes your life easier. Your static site can now be part of your CICD process without custom coding.
We hold several AWS Online Tech Talks covering serverless tech talks throughout the year, so look out for them in the Serverless section of the AWS Online Tech Talks page. Here are the three tech talks that we delivered in Q1:
Security Overview of AWS Lambda: This whitepaper presents a deep dive into the Lambda service through a security lens. It provides a well-rounded picture of the service, which can be useful for new adopters, as well as deepening understanding of Lambda for current users. Read the full whitepaper.
There is always something going on at our Twitch channel! Be sure and follow us so you don’t miss anything! For information about upcoming broadcasts and recent livestreams, keep an eye on AWS on Twitch for more Serverless videos and on the Join us on Twitch AWS page.
In other news
Twitch Series: Building Happy Little APIs
In April, we started a 13-week deep dive into building APIs on AWS as part of our Twitch Build On series. The Building Happy Little APIs series covers the common and not-so-common use cases for APIs on AWS and the features available to customers as they look to build secure, scalable, efficient, and flexible APIs.
Twitch series: Build on Serverless: Season 2
Join Heitor Lessa across 14 weeks, nearly every Wednesday from April 24 – August 7 at 8AM PST/11AM EST/3PM UTC. Heitor is live-building a full-stack, serverless airline-booking application using a bunch of services: Lambda, Amplify, API Gateway, Amazon Cognito, AWS SAM, CloudWatch, AWS AppSync, and others. See the episode guide and sign up for stream reminders.
2019 AWS Summits
The 2019 schedule is in full swing for 2019 AWS Global Summits held in major cities around the world. These free events bring the cloud computing community together to connect, collaborate, and learn about AWS. They attract technologists from all industries and skill levels who want to discover how AWS can help them innovate quickly and deliver flexible, reliable solutions at scale. Get notified when to register and learn more at the AWS Global Summit Program website.
Still looking for more?
The Serverless landing page has lots of information. The Lambda resources page contains case studies, webinars, whitepapers, customer stories, reference architectures, and even more Getting Started tutorials. Check it out!