AWS Shop example: the API Gateway (1)


You might have noticed that we skipped the API Gateway up to now [1]. I will write two blogs about the API Gateway. In this one, we follow the simplest route: from sending the message to the API gateway, and let the API Gateway deliver the message at the Lambda function:

In the next blog, I will add the functionality for using a DNS entry:

API Gateway

When you go to the API gateway in the region where the shop is running, you can already see the APIs. Click on the link AMIS_api_gateway:

You will come on the screen with resources. Resources are your end points: it is the latest part of the link we use when we send data to the API Gateway. Let’s look at these links: you might have seen the following text when you roll out the shop in your own environment:

Try for yourself: use the following commands to see if the rollout was successful:

cd ~/AMIS-Blog-AWS/shop-1/client

./ AMIS1


cd ~/AMIS-Blog-AWS/shop-1/client

./ AMIS1

Both in the long URL and in the nice URL of our own domain, the last part of the URL is the shop resource. It is possible to use multiple resources and connect them to each other. In theory, we could have added a resource for the cash machines (/shop/sales), and add another resources under shop for when new stock arrives at a shop and use a url that ends with /shop/newstock for that. We didn’t implement that, our cash machines use /shop, so click on /shop:

You can see, that we implemented just one method: a POST method. Let’s see what is possible here: click on the Actions button, then on Create Method:

You can see an extra drop down list under POST, click on it: you can see that you can specify multiple kinds of methods to this resource. Or you can use just one method: ANY for all of them. With ANY you can use (for example) the Lambda function to determine the type of method and then act on that.

Click on the X next to the drop down window and on POST now:

You can now see what the API gateway does (or: can do) for us. We use the Lambda function AMIS_accept (as you see on the right side of this screen), but we could send the message to other AWS services. Click on Integration Request:

You can send the message to lots of other AWS services, for a list click on the radio button before AWS service:

Fill in your region (on the moment I write this blog, I am using eu-west-1, but you can use any region). When you use the scrollbar to go down, you will see an impressive list of services…

When you click on the Lambda Function radio button, then you can see the configuration for sending messages to our Lambda function. You see, that the checkbox Use Lambda Proxy integration is checked. Hoover over the information button next to it: when you get too much information about the request in the event data of the Lambda function (we currently don’t do anything with it), you might consider to uncheck this checkbox. For now, we leave it as it is. Click on Stages in the left menu:


On this moment, our shop uses just one stage: the prod stage. When you click on prod, you will see many settings of the API Gateway. The most important one is, the Invoke URL that you see on top of the screen. You might have noticed that this URL is the same as the URL you saw on the last lines of the output of ./

Try for yourself: use the following commands to see if the rollout was successful:

cd ~/AMIS-Blog-AWS/shop-1/client

./ AMIS1

The first part of the URL is the same, the only part that you don’t see here is the resource (/shop). And that makes sense, as it is possible to add multiple resources under one URL.

Another option that can be useful is the API cache. Click on the checkbox for API cache:

When you get a lot of GET requests and the answers are the same for some time, then you can enable the cache. Requests will not be sent to other AWS services, this might save you time, AWS resources and therefore money. You can specify the cache capacity, can specify to encrypt the cache data (or not) and can set the time to live (TTL) in seconds. For our shop example we don’t use this, so switch it back to off.

Another nice option is throttling: this is enabled by default. In our case, the allowed rate might be much too high: there is no way in which our cash machines will send 10000 requests per second. Throttling the number of requests per second might lower your bill when some nice fellow will send you thousands of rubbish messages per second. Your cash machines should be able to resend the message, though. Click on Logs/Tracing now:

Logging and tracing

You might have seen in CloudWatch, that the API gateway is sending logs to CloudWatch. You can configure that in this screen:

With this configuration, you will get a lot of data in CloudWatch logs. Let’s look at that: go to the CloudWatch service, and click on Log groups:

You see two log groups for the API Gateway: one with just a welcome message and the other one with data. Let’s look in the log group with the data (in my case it is called API-Gateway-Execution-Logs_wxyltugII4):. When you click on the link of the log stream, then you see the data that is generated for one message:

This is rather much, you can choose to log only error messages or not to log the full request/responses data.

To enable logging, you have to specify the role that the API Gateway may use. Go back to the API Gateway, and click on Settings:

You can see that the ARN (Amazon Resource Name) is filled with a role that will be used when something is logged. The role should use a policy that allows the access.


The API Gateway has very many options, in the beginning the number of screens and the number of options (and the possibilities) can be overwhelming. My advise is: play with it. Try things out. And get a feeling what option is where…

A small exercise to play along: I didn’t show you where you could find the role that the API gateway uses to send log data to CloudWatch. Can you, when you see the name of the ARN, find the role and the policy that is used? Hint: look back at the blog about Lambda to see where the roles and the policies in AWS are configured…

Play along

I scripted the solution [2]. You can follow along and create this solution in your own environment, see the file in the vagrant directory and see the introduction blog for more information.


[1] This is the fifth blog about this shop. Links to the previous blogs:

– Introduction:

– Lambda and IAM:

– SNS:

– DynamoDB:

[2] , directory shop-1

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Next Post

AWS Shop example: API Gateway (2)

Introduction Last time, I talked about the API Gateway [1]. The URL that we used last time has randomness in it: it looks like When you destroy the API Gateway objects and redeploy them, you will get another URL. That’s not nice: we don’t want to change the URL […]
%d bloggers like this: