What are the steps to deploy a serverless architecture using AWS Lambda and API Gateway?

12 June 2024

In the current era of cloud computing, serverless architecture has emerged as a cutting-edge approach for deploying applications. This model frees you from the complexities of server management and lets you focus solely on writing code. AWS Lambda and API Gateway are two pivotal services provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS) that facilitate the creation of a serverless architecture. If you're planning to deploy a serverless application, follow the steps outlined below to understand how to use AWS Lambda and API Gateway effectively.

Setting Up Your AWS Account and IAM Roles

Before diving into creating Lambda functions and setting up an API Gateway, begin by setting up your AWS account and configuring the appropriate AWS IAM roles.

AWS Account

Creating an AWS account is straightforward. Visit the AWS website and sign up with your email. Complete the registration by providing necessary details like contact information and payment method. Once your account is activated, you can access the AWS Management Console to start utilizing AWS services.


After setting up your AWS account, the next step is to configure AWS IAM (Identity and Access Management) roles. IAM roles provide the necessary permissions for different AWS services to interact with each other securely.

  1. Navigate to IAM Service: In the AWS Management Console, go to the IAM service.
  2. Create a Role: Click on "Roles" and then "Create Role."
  3. Choose a Service: Select "Lambda" as the service that will use this role.
  4. Attach Policies: Attach the needed policies like "AWSLambdaBasicExecutionRole" which allows Lambda functions to write logs to CloudWatch.
  5. Review and Create: Provide a role name and review the configuration. Click "Create role."

Once you have set up your AWS account and configured IAM roles, you’re ready to create your first Lambda function.

Creating and Configuring AWS Lambda Functions

AWS Lambda allows you to run code without provisioning or managing servers. Your code is executed in response to various events. Follow these steps to create a Lambda function.

Step-by-Step Guide to Create Lambda Function

  1. Navigate to AWS Lambda: Open the AWS Management Console and navigate to AWS Lambda.
  2. Create a Function: Click on "Create function." Choose "Author from scratch."
  3. Function Configuration:
    • Name: Provide a name for your function.
    • Runtime: Select the runtime for your code (e.g., Python, Node.js).
    • Role: Use the existing IAM role you created earlier.
  4. Function Code:
    • Upload Code: Either write your code directly in the inline editor or upload a zip file containing your code.
    • Handler: Specify the entry point of your Lambda function, for example, index.handler for Node.js.
  5. Environment Variables: Configure any necessary environment variables.
  6. Memory and Timeout: Allocate the required memory and set the timeout duration.
  7. Review and Create: Review the configuration and create the function.

Example Lambda Function

Here’s a simple example of a "Hello World" Lambda function using Node.js:

exports.handler = async (event) => {
    const response = {
        statusCode: 200,
        body: JSON.stringify('Hello from Lambda!'),
    return response;

Once you deploy the function, you can test it in the AWS Lambda console.

Setting Up API Gateway

An API Gateway acts as a front door for your application to access data, business logic, or functionality from your backend services. Setting up an API Gateway involves creating an API, defining resources, and integrating them with Lambda functions.

Creating Your First API

  1. Navigate to API Gateway: In the AWS Management Console, go to API Gateway.
  2. Create API:
    • REST API: Choose "REST API" and click "Build."
    • API Name: Provide a name and description for your API.
    • Endpoint Type: Select "Regional" to ensure your API is accessible in a specific AWS region.
  3. Create Resource:
    • Click on "Actions" and select "Create Resource."
    • Resource Name: Name your resource (e.g., /hello).
    • Resource Path: The path will be automatically generated based on the resource name.

Integrating Lambda Function with API Gateway

  1. Create Method: Select the created resource and click "Create Method." Choose "GET" and click the checkmark.
  2. Integration Type:
    • Lambda Function: Choose "Lambda Function" as the integration type.
    • Lambda Region: Select your AWS region.
    • Lambda Function: Enter the name of your Lambda function.
  3. Deploy API:
    • Click on "Actions" and select "Deploy API."
    • Deployment Stage: Create a new stage (e.g., "prod") and deploy.

Example Deployment

Once deployed, you will receive an Invoke URL which you can use to test your API. This URL will trigger your Lambda function when accessed.

curl -X GET https://your-api-id.execute-api.your-region.amazonaws.com/prod/hello

The response should be "Hello from Lambda!"

Testing and Monitoring

After deploying your serverless application, it’s crucial to test and monitor its performance. AWS provides several tools for this purpose.

Testing Your API

  1. Postman: Use tools like Postman to send requests to your API and verify the responses.
  2. AWS CLI: Utilize the AWS CLI to interact with your API programmatically.

Monitoring and Logging

  1. CloudWatch:
    • Logs: AWS CloudWatch collects and stores logs from your Lambda functions.
    • Metrics: Monitor metrics like invocation count, error count, and duration.
  2. X-Ray: AWS X-Ray provides insights into the performance of your serverless applications by tracing the requests as they travel through your services.

Example CLI Command

Here’s how you can invoke your Lambda function using AWS CLI:

aws lambda invoke --function-name YourLambdaFunctionName output.txt

This command will execute your Lambda function and store the result in output.txt.

Deploying a serverless architecture using AWS Lambda and API Gateway can significantly streamline your development process. By following the outlined steps—setting up your AWS account and IAM roles, creating and configuring Lambda functions, setting up API Gateway, and testing and monitoring—you can efficiently deploy scalable and cost-effective serverless applications. Remember, the key to a successful deployment is understanding the integration between different AWS services and leveraging them effectively.

By embracing serverless architecture, you not only eliminate the overhead of server management but also ensure your applications are highly scalable and cost-efficient. Dive into AWS Lambda and API Gateway, and start building your next generation of serverless applications today!

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