AWS Lambda
Developer Guide

Create a Simple Lambda Function

Follow the steps in this section to create a simple Lambda function.

To create a Lambda function

  1. Sign in to the AWS Management Console and open the AWS Lambda console.

  2. Note that AWS Lambda offers a simple Hello World function upon introduction under the How it works label and includes a Run option, allowing you to invoke the function as a general introduction. This tutorial introduces additonal options you have to create, test and update your Lambda functions, as well as other features provided by the Lambda console and provides links to each, inviting you to explore each one in depth.

    Choose Create a function under the Get Started section to proceed.


    The console shows the Get Started page only if you do not have any Lambda functions created. If you have created functions already, you will see the Lambda > Functions page. On the list page, choose Create a function to go to the Create function page.

  3. On the Create function page, you are presented with two options:

    • Author from scratch

    • Blueprints

    1. If you'd like to review the blueprints, choose the Blueprints button, which will display the available blueprints. You can also use the Filter to search for specific blueprints. For example:

      • Enter S3 in Filter to get only the list of blueprints available to process Amazon S3 events.

      • Enter dynamodb in Filter to get a list of available blueprints to process Amazon DynamoDB events.

    2. For this Getting Started exercise, choose the Author from scratch button.

  4. In Author from scratch, do the following:

    • In Name*, specify your Lambda function name.

    • In Runtime*, leave the default Node.js 6.10.

    • In Role*, leave the default Choose an existing role.

    • In Existing role*, choose lambda_basic_execution.

    • Choose Create Function.

  5. Under your new function-name page, note the following:

    In the Add triggers panel, you can optionally choose a service that automatically triggers your Lambda function by choosing one of the service options listed.

    1. Depending on which service you select, you are prompted to provide relevant information for that service. For example, if you select DynamoDB, you need to provide the following:

      • The name of the DynamoDB table

      • Batch size

      • Starting position

    2. For this example, do not configure a trigger.

    • In Function code note that code authored in Node.js is provided. It returns a simple "Hello from Lambda" greeting.

    • Handler shows lambda_function.lambda_handler value. It is the filename.handler-function. The console saves the sample code in the file and in the code lambda_handler is the function name that receives the event as a parameter when the Lambda function is invoked. For more information, see Lambda Function Handler (Python).

    • Note the embedded IDE (Integrated Development Environment). To learn more, see Creating Functions Using the AWS Lambda Console Editor.

  6. Other configuration options on this page include:

    • Environment variables – for Lambda functions enable you to dynamically pass settings to your function code and libraries, without making changes to your code. For more information, see Environment Variables.

    • Tags – are key-value pairs that you attach to AWS resources to better organize them. For more information, see Tagging Lambda Functions.

    • Execution role – which allows you to administer security on your function, using defined roles and policies or creating new ones. For more information, see Authentication and Access Control for AWS Lambda.

    • Basic settings – allows you to dictate the memory allocation and timeout limit for your Lambda function. For more information, see AWS Lambda Limits.

    • Network – allows you to select a VPC your function will access. For more information, see Configuring a Lambda Function to Access Resources in an Amazon VPC.

    • Debugging and error handling – allows you to select a Dead Letter Queues resource to analyze failed function invocation retries. It also allows you to enable active tracing. For more information, see Using AWS X-Ray.

    • Concurrency – allows you to allocate a specific limit of concurrent executions allowed for this function. For more information, see Function Level Concurrent Execution Limit.

    • Auditing and compliance – logs function invocations for operational and risk auditing, governance and compliance. For more information, see Using AWS Lambda with AWS CloudTrail.

Invoke the Lambda Function Manually and Verify Results, Logs, and Metrics

Follow the steps to invoke your Lambda function using the sample event data provided in the console.

  1. On the yourfunction page, choose Test.

  2. In the Configure test event page, choose Create new test event and in Event template, leave the default Hello World option. Enter an Event name and note the following sample event template:

    { "key3": "value3", "key2": "value2", "key1": "value1" }

    You can change key and values in the sample JSON, but don't change the event structure. If you do change any keys and values, you must update the sample code accordingly. Choose Save and test.

  3. AWS Lambda executes your function on your behalf. The handler in your Lambda function receives and then processes the sample event.

  4. Upon successful execution, view results in the console.

    Note the following:

    • The Execution result section shows the execution status as succeeded and also shows the function execution results, returned by the return statement.


      The console always uses the RequestResponse invocation type (synchronous invocation) when invoking a Lambda function which causes AWS Lambda to return a response immediately. For more information, see Invocation Types.

    • The Summary section shows the key information reported in the Log output section (the REPORT line in the execution log).

    • The Log output section shows the log AWS Lambda generates for each execution. These are the logs written to CloudWatch by the Lambda function. The AWS Lambda console shows these logs for your convenience.

    Note that the Click here link shows logs in the CloudWatch console. The function then adds logs to Amazon CloudWatch in the log group that corresponds to the Lambda function.

  5. Run the Lambda function a few times to gather some metrics that you can view in the next step.

  6. Choose the Monitoring tab to view the CloudWatch metrics for your Lambda function. This page shows the CloudWatch metrics.

    Note the following:

    • The X-axis shows the past 24 hours from the current time.

    • Invocation count shows the number of invocations during this interval.

    • Invocation duration shows how long it took for your Lambda function to run. It shows minimum, maximum, and average time of execution.

    • Invocation errors show the number of times your Lambda function failed. You can compare the number of times your function executed and how many times it failed (if any).

    • Throttled invocation metrics show whether AWS Lambda throttled your Lambda function invocation. For more information, see AWS Lambda Limits.

    • Concurrent execution metrics show the number of concurrent invocations of your Lambda function. For more information, see Managing Concurrency.

    • The AWS Lambda console shows these CloudWatch metrics for your convenience. You can see these metrics in the Amazon CloudWatch console by clicking any of these metrics.

    For more information on these metrics and what they mean, see AWS Lambda CloudWatch Metrics.