Hands-On Lab: Building a Serverless Application with AWS Lambda

Are you ready to take your cloud deployment skills to the next level? Do you want to learn how to build a serverless application from scratch? Look no further! In this hands-on lab, we will be exploring the powerful capabilities of AWS Lambda, a fully-managed compute service that allows you to run your code without setting up servers.

What are Serverless Applications?

Before we dive into the lab, let's first understand what serverless applications are. A serverless application is an application that relies on third-party services to provide backend functionality. In other words, developers can outsource infrastructure concerns like servers and databases to third-party cloud providers, and focus on writing their applications without worrying about scaling and maintenance.

What is AWS Lambda?

AWS Lambda is a fully-managed, event-driven compute service by Amazon Web Services (AWS) that lets you run your code without provisioning or managing servers. With AWS Lambda, you can simply upload your code, set the execution environment, and let Lambda handle scaling and high availability automatically.

The Hands-On Lab

In this hands-on lab, we will be building a simple serverless application with AWS Lambda. The application we will be building is a serverless API that receives HTTP requests and returns response data.


Before you start the hands-on lab, ensure that you have the following prerequisites:

Step 1: Setting up the AWS CLI

First, we need to configure the AWS CLI with our AWS account credentials. This allows us to interact with AWS services from our local machine.

  1. Open the terminal and run the following command:
aws configure
  1. Enter your AWS access key ID, secret access key, default region, and default output format when prompted. If you don't have an AWS account, create one here.

Step 2: Creating the Serverless Application

Now that we have the AWS CLI set up, we can create the serverless application.

  1. Create a new directory and navigate into it:
mkdir my-serverless-app
cd my-serverless-app
  1. Initialize a new Node.js project by running:
npm init -y
  1. Install the AWS SDK for Node.js:
npm install aws-sdk --save
  1. Create a new file called index.js and add the following code:
const AWS = require('aws-sdk')
const lambda = new AWS.Lambda();

exports.handler = async (event, context) => {
  const response = {
    statusCode: 200,
    body: JSON.stringify({
      message: "Hello, world!"

  return response;

This code creates an AWS Lambda function that returns a JSON response with the message "Hello, world!".

Step 3: Deploying the Serverless Application

Now that we have created the serverless application, we need to deploy it to AWS Lambda.

  1. Zip the index.js file and the node_modules directory:
zip -r function.zip index.js node_modules

This creates a function.zip file that we will upload to AWS Lambda.

  1. Create the Lambda function by running the following command:
aws lambda create-function --function-name my-serverless-function --zip-file fileb://function.zip --handler index.handler --runtime nodejs14.x --role <YOUR LAMBDA ROLE ARN>

Replace <YOUR LAMBDA ROLE ARN> with the ARN of your Lambda execution role. If you don't know how to create a Lambda execution role, refer to the AWS documentation.

  1. Test the Lambda function by running the following command:
aws lambda invoke response.json --function-name my-serverless-function --payload '{"test": "data"}' --log-type Tail --query 'LogResult' --output text |  base64 -D

This command invokes the Lambda function with a JSON payload and captures the response in a file called response.json.

  1. Check the response by running:
cat response.json

You should see the following output:

  "statusCode": 200,
  "body": "{\"message\":\"Hello, world!\"}"

Congratulations! You have successfully created and deployed a serverless application with AWS Lambda.


In this hands-on lab, we learned about serverless applications and AWS Lambda, and built a simple serverless API using Node.js. We covered the basics of setting up the AWS CLI, creating and deploying a Lambda function, and testing it.

Now that you have completed the lab, it's time to start exploring the wide range of services and features that AWS has to offer. Happy coding!

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