AWS Lambda
Developer Guide

Tutorial: Using AWS Lambda with Amazon Simple Notification Service

You can use a Lambda function in one AWS account to subscribe to an Amazon SNS topic in a separate AWS account. In this tutorial, you use the AWS Command Line Interface to perform AWS Lambda operations such as creating a Lambda function, creating an Amazon SNS topic and granting permissions to allow these two resources to access each other.


This tutorial assumes that you have some knowledge of basic Lambda operations and the Lambda console. If you haven't already, follow the instructions in Getting Started to create your first Lambda function.

To follow the procedures in this guide, you will need a command line terminal or shell to run commands. Commands are shown in listings preceded by a prompt symbol ($) and the name of the current directory, when appropriate:

~/lambda-project$ this is a command this is output

For long commands, an escape character (\) is used to split a command over multiple lines.

On Linux and macOS, use your preferred shell and package manager. On Windows 10, you can install the Windows Subsystem for Linux to get a Windows-integrated version of Ubuntu and Bash.

In the tutorial, you use two accounts. The AWS CLI commands illustrate this by using two named profiles, each configured for use with a different account. If you use profiles with different names, or the default profile and one named profile, modify the commands as needed.

Create an Amazon SNS Topic

From account A, create the source Amazon SNS topic.

$ aws sns create-topic --name lambda-x-account --profile accountA

Note the topic ARN that is returned by the command. You will need it when you add permissions to the Lambda function to subscribe to the topic.

Create the Execution Role

From account B, create the execution role that gives your function permission to access AWS resources.

To create an execution role

  1. Open the roles page in the IAM console.

  2. Choose Create role.

  3. Create a role with the following properties.

    • Trusted entityAWS Lambda.

    • PermissionsAWSLambdaBasicExecutionRole.

    • Role namelambda-sns-role.

The AWSLambdaBasicExecutionRole policy has the permissions that the function needs to write logs to CloudWatch Logs.

Create a Lambda Function

From account B, create the function that processes events from Amazon SNS. The following example code receives an Amazon SNS event input and processes the messages that it contains. For illustration, the code writes some of the incoming event data to CloudWatch Logs.


For sample code in other languages, see Sample Function Code.

Example index.js

console.log('Loading function'); exports.handler = function(event, context, callback) { // console.log('Received event:', JSON.stringify(event, null, 4)); var message = event.Records[0].Sns.Message; console.log('Message received from SNS:', message); callback(null, "Success"); };

To create the function

  1. Copy the sample code into a file named index.js.

  2. Create a deployment package.

    $ zip index.js
  3. Create a Lambda function with the create-function command.

    $ aws lambda create-function --function-name SNS-X-Account \ --zip-file fileb:// --handler index.handler --runtime nodejs8.10 \ --role arn:aws:iam::01234567891B:role/service-role/lambda-sns-execution-role \ --timeout 60 --profile accountB

Note the function ARN that is returned by the command. You will need it when you add permissions to allow Amazon SNS to invoke your function.

Set Up Cross-Account Permissions

From account A, grant permission to account B to subscribe to the topic:

$ aws sns add-permission --label lambda-access --aws-account-id 12345678901B \ --topic-arn arn:aws:sns:us-east-2:12345678901A:lambda-x-account \ --action-name Subscribe ListSubscriptionsByTopic Receive --profile accountA

From account B, add the Lambda permission to allow invocation from Amazon SNS.

$ aws lambda add-permission --function-name SNS-X-Account \ --source-arn arn:aws:sns:us-east-2:12345678901A:lambda-x-account \ --statement-id sns-x-account --action "lambda:InvokeFunction" \ --principal --profile accountB { "Statement": "{\"Condition\":{\"ArnLike\":{\"AWS:SourceArn\":\"arn:aws:lambda:us-east-2:12345678901B:function:SNS-X-Account\"}},\"Action\":[\"lambda:InvokeFunction\"],\"Resource\":\"arn:aws:lambda:us-east-2:01234567891A:function:SNS-X-Account\",\"Effect\":\"Allow\",\"Principal\":{\"Service\":\"\"},\"Sid\":\"sns-x-account1\"}" }

Do not use the --source-account parameter to add a source account to the Lambda policy when adding the policy. Source account is not supported for Amazon SNS event sources and will result in access being denied.

Create a Subscription

From account B, subscribe the Lambda function to the topic. When a message is sent to the lambda-x-account topic in account A, Amazon SNS invokes the SNS-X-Account function in account B.

$ aws sns subscribe --protocol lambda \ --topic-arn arn:aws:sns:us-east-2:12345678901A:lambda-x-account \ --notification-endpoint arn:aws:lambda:us-east-2:12345678901B:function:SNS-X-Account \ --profile accountB { "SubscriptionArn": "arn:aws:sns:us-east-2:12345678901A:lambda-x-account:5d906xxxx-7c8x-45dx-a9dx-0484e31c98xx" }

The output contains the ARN of the topic subscription.

Test Subscription

From account A, test the subscription. Type Hello World into a text file and save it as message.txt. Then run the following command:

$ aws sns publish --message file://message.txt --subject Test \ --topic-arn arn:aws:sns:us-east-2:12345678901A:lambda-x-account \ --profile accountA

This will return a message id with a unique identifier, indicating the message has been accepted by the Amazon SNS service. Amazon SNS will then attempt to deliver it to the topic's subscribers. Alternatively, you could supply a JSON string directly to the message parameter, but using a text file allows for line breaks in the message.

To learn more about Amazon SNS, see What is Amazon Simple Notification Service.