AWS Development — Chalice Framework — 5 minutes for Lambda and API Gateway

Since first days in my IT career I was struggling between 2 choices to be infrastructure administrator or developer — I like both. Circumstances pushed me to be infrastructure administrator, and for some time development was just my hobby.
In recent years I was discovering more and more tools from AWS, which was bringing my dream to be developer and infrastructure administrator at the same time — tools making Infrastructure as code reality.

One of the tools is AWS Chalice framework

Best definition of Chalice Framework is:

AWS Chalice is a Python Serverless Microframework for AWS and allows you to quickly create and deploy applications that use Amazon API Gateway and AWS Lambda.

Chalice provides developers with the options:

  1. Quick deploy resources using integrated deploy tool

Administrators can integrate and deploy Chalice application using CDK, Cloud Formation, Terraform . See AWS blog for CDK deployment

There is always question: Which tool to use — Chalice, SAM, CDK, Flask?

Chalice is suitable for small quick deployment:

  1. Developer — to quick test applications.

The scenario #2 is why I exactly decided to use Chalice.
Talking to customer about his EC2 instance pricing, I got the requirements which must be met:

  • Windows Server with 2 remote users to login


  1. Deploy Lambda and API Gateway which will start/stop instance when users connect to server — this will save cost, as total server usage is not expected to be more than 12 hours.

Implementation: Step 1

  • Docker container with Chalice installed — We are always using containers for Development environment. See Docker file

docker run -v ~/chalice:/root/chalice -v /root/.aws:/root/.aws/ -it -p 2022:22 ubuntu:chalice /bin/bash

chalice new-project control-ec2

cd control-ec2

python3 -m pip show boto3|grep Version|sed 's/Version: /boto3==/'>>requirements.txt #this will add the latest boto3 version to requirements for local testing. You do not to do this if you are ok with code

  • Edit file:

from chalice import Chalice
import boto3
app = Chalice(app_name='control-ec2')

def my_auth(auth_request):
# Validate auth_request.token, and then:
return AuthResponse(routes=['/'], principal_id='arn:aws:::xxxxxxxxxx:root/*')

# Create route to start instance
@app.route('/start/{name}', authorizer=my_auth)
def instance(name):
instances = [name]
ec2 = boto3.client('ec2', region_name='us-west-2')
return {'InstanceId started': name}

# Create route to stop instance
@app.route('/stop/{name}', authorizer=my_auth)
def instance_stop(name):
instances = [name]
ec2 = boto3.client('ec2', region_name='us-west-2')
return {'InstanceId stopped': name}

What we are doing here:

  • Creating Authorizer which allows only IAM user to invoke API method

Note: Change region in boto3 clients and principal id to whatever role/username you need

In less than 5 minutes you have it ready

How to invoke API?

*Method 1:
Python code

import requests
from requests_aws_sign import AWSV4Sign
from boto3 import session

session = session.Session()
credentials = session.get_credentials()
region = session.region_name
service = 'execute-api'

auth = AWSV4Sign(credentials, region, service)
response = requests.get(url, auth=auth)

Note: you need to modify code to pass instance Id, or explicitly specify URLs with instance ID — e.g. 2 files to start and stop instance

aws apigateway test-invoke-method --rest-api-id API_ID --resource-id RESOURCE_ID --http-method GET --path-with-query-string /stop/<instanceId here>

— rest-api-id — returned after chalice deploy or cat .chalice/deployed/prod.json
--resource-id - find in console on particular method , or from
aws apigateway get-resources --rest-api-id API_ID

From solution we implemented only Step 1.
Stay tune how to configure customer side for Steps 2 and 3

Originally published at on September 7, 2020.



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