Serverless Applications with Node.js
Using AWS Lambda and Claudia.js
Slobodan Stojanović and Aleksandar Simović
Foreword by Gojko Adzic
  • February 2019
  • ISBN 9781617294723
  • 352 pages
  • printed in black & white

Teaches you how to get simple stuff done in AWS Lambda quickly, without trying to change the way you structure or run projects.

From the Foreword by Gojko Adzic, Neuri Consulting

Serverless Applications with Node.js walks you through building serverless apps on AWS using JavaScript. Inside, you'll discover what Claudia.js brings to the table as you build and deploy a scalable event-based serverless application, based around a pizzeria that’s fully integrated with AWS services, including Lambda and API Gateway. Each chapter is filled with exercises, examples, tips, and more to make sure you’re ready to bring what you’ve learned into your own work.

About the Technology

The benefits of cloud-hosted serverless web apps are undeniable: lower complexity, quicker time to market, and easier scalability than traditional, server-dependent designs. And thanks to JavaScript support in AWS Lambda and powerful new serverless API tools like the Claudia.js library, you can build and deploy serverless apps end to end without learning a new language.

About the book

Serverless Applications with Node.js teaches you to design and build serverless web apps on AWS using JavaScript, Node, and Claudia.js. You’ll master the basics of writing AWS Lambda functions, along with core serverless patterns like API Gateway. Along the way, you’ll practice your new skills by building a working chatbot and a voice assistant with Amazon Alexa. You’ll also discover techniques for migrating existing apps to a serverless platform.

Table of Contents detailed table of contents

Part 1: Serverless Pizzeria

1 Introduction to serverless

1.1 Servers and washing machines

1.2 The core concepts

1.3 How does serverless work?

1.4 Serverless in practice

1.4.1 Aunt Maria’s serverless pizzeria

1.4.2 A common approach

1.4.3 Serverless approach

1.5 Serverless infrastructure — AWS

1.6 What is Claudia, and how does it fit?

1.7 When and where should you use it?


2 Building your first serverless API

2.1 Assembling pizza ingredients: Building the API

2.1.1 Which pizza can I GET?

2.1.2 Structuring your API

2.1.3 POSTing an order

2.2 How Claudia deploys your API

2.3 Traffic control: How API Gateway works

2.4 When a serverless API is not the solution

2.5 Taste it!

2.5.1 Exercise

2.5.2 Solution


3 Asynchronous work is easy, we Promise()

3.1 Storing the orders

3.2 Promising to deliver in less than 30 minutes!

3.3 Trying out your API

3.4 Getting orders from the database

3.5 Taste it!

3.5.1 Exercise

3.5.2 Solution


4 Pizza delivery: Connecting an external service

4.1 Connecting to an external service

4.2 Connecting to the delivery API

4.2.1 The Some Like It Hot Delivery API

4.2.2 Creating your first delivery request

4.3 Potential issues with async communication

4.3.1 Forgetting to return a promise

4.3.2 Not passing the value from the promise

4.3.3 Not wrapping the external service in a promise

4.3.4 Timeout issues with long async operations

4.4 Taste it!

4.4.1 Exercise

4.4.2 Solution


5 Houston, we have a problem!

5.1 Debugging a serverless app

5.2 Debugging your Lambda function

5.3 X-Ray your app

5.4 Taste it!

5.4.1 Exercise

5.4.2 Solution


6 Level up your API

6.1 Serverless authentication and authorization

6.2 Creating user and identity pools

6.2.1 Controlling API access with Cognito

6.3 Taste it!

6.3.1 Exercise

6.3.2 Solution


7 Working with files

7.1 Storing static files in a serverless application

7.2 Generating thumbnails

7.2.1 Deploying your S3 function

7.3 Taste it!

7.3.1 Exercise

7.3.2 Solution

7.4 End of part 1: Special exercise

7.4.1 Advanced task


Part 2: Let’s talk

8 When pizza is one message away: Chatbots

8.1 Pizza ordering beyond the browser

8.2 Hello from Facebook Messenger

8.3 What kinds of pizzas do you have?

8.4 Speeding up the deployment

8.5 Messenger templates

8.6 How does Claudia Bot Builder work?

8.7 Taste it!

8.7.1 Exercise

8.7.2 Solution


9 Typing…​ Async and delayed responses

9.1 Making chatbots interactive

9.1.1 Click to order: Answering a postback

9.2 Making the chatbot structure more scalable

9.3 Connecting your chatbot to the DynamoDB database

9.4 Getting the user’s location from the chatbot

9.5 Scheduling a delivery

9.6 Small talk: Integrating simple NLP

9.7 Taste it!

9.7.1 Exercise

9.7.2 Solution

9.7.3 Advanced exercise


10 Jarvis, I mean Alexa, order me a pizza

10.1 Can’t talk right now: Sending an SMS with Twilio

10.1.1 An SMS pizza list

10.1.2 Ordering a pizza

10.2 Hey Alexa!

10.2.1 Anatomy of an Alexa skill

10.2.2 Preparing the skill

10.2.3 Ordering pizza with Alexa

10.3 Taste it!

10.3.1 Exercise

10.3.2 Solution

10.4 End of part 2: Special exercise


Part 3: Next Steps

11 Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3

11.1 Testing server-hosted and serverless applications

11.2 How to approach testing serverless applications

11.3 Preparation

11.4 Unit tests

11.5 Mocking your serverless functions

11.6 Integration tests

11.7 Other types of automated testing

11.8 A step beyond: Writing testable serverless functions

11.9 Taste it!

11.9.1 Exercise

11.9.2 Solution


12 Paying for pizza

12.1 Payment transactions

12.1.1 Implementing an online payment

12.2 Implementing your payment service

12.3 Could someone hack your payment service?

12.3.1 Standards

12.3.2 Competence

12.4 Taste it!

12.4.1 Exercise

12.4.2 Solution


13 Migrating your existing Express.js app to AWS Lambda

13.1 Uncle Roberto’s taxi application

13.2 Running an Express.js application in AWS Lambda

13.2.1 Proxy integration

13.2.2 How serverless-express works

13.3 Serving static content

13.4 to MongoDB

13.4.1 Using a managed MongoDB database with your serverless Express.js app

13.5 Limitations of serverless Express.js applications

13.6 Taste it!

13.6.1 Exercise

13.6.2 Solution


14 Migrating to serverless

14.1 Analyzing your current serverless application

14.2 Migrating your existing application to serverless

14.3 Embrace the platform

14.3.1 Serving static files

14.3.2 Storing state

14.3.3 Logs

14.3.4 Continuous integration

14.3.5 Managing environments: Production and development

14.3.6 Sharing secrets

14.3.7 VPC (Virtual Private Cloud)

14.4 Optimizing your application

14.4.1 Bundled or single-purpose functions

14.4.2 Choosing the right memory size for your Lambda function

14.5 Facing the challenges

14.5.1 Handling timeouts

14.5.2 Cold starts

14.5.3 DDoS attacks

14.5.4 Vendor lock-in

14.6 Taste it!


15 Real-world case studies

15.1 CodePen

15.1.1 Before serverless

15.1.2 Serverless migration

15.1.3 Cost of the infrastructure

15.1.4 Testing and challenges

15.2 MindMup

15.2.1 Before serverless

15.2.2 Serverless migration

15.2.3 Cost of the infrastructure

15.2.4 Testing, logs, and challenges



Appendix A: Installation and configuration

A.1 Installing Claudia

A.1.1 Configuring Claudia prerequisites

A.1.2 Creating an AWS profile and getting the keys

A.1.3 Installing Claudia API Builder

A.1.4 Installing Claudia Bot Builder

A.2 Installing the AWS CLI

Appendix B: Facebook Messenger, Twilio, and Alexa configuration

B.1 Facebook Messenger setup

B.1.1 Creating a Facebook page

B.1.2 Creating a Facebook app

B.1.3 Creating a Facebook Messenger chatbot using Claudia Bot Builder

B.1.4 Enabling built-in NLP

B.2 Twilio setup

B.2.1 Creating a Twilio account

B.2.2 Getting a Twilio number

B.2.3 Setting up your Twilio Programmable SMS service

B.3 Alexa skill setup

Appendix C: Stripe and MongoDB setup

C.1 Setting up your Stripe account and retrieving Stripe API keys

C.1.1 Creating a Stripe account

C.1.2 Getting your Stripe API keys

C.2 Installing and configuring MongoDB

C.2.1 Creating an account

C.2.2 Configuring your cluster

Appendix D: The pizza recipe

What's inside

  • Authentication and database storage
  • Asynchronous functions
  • Interesting real-world examples
  • Developing serverless microservices

About the reader

For web developers comfortable with JavaScript and Node.js.

About the authors

Slobodan Stojanović and Aleksandar Simović are AWS Serverless Heroes and core contributors to the Claudia.js project. They are also coauthors of Desolé, an open source serverless errortracking tool, and the lead developers of Claudia Bot Builder.

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