HTTP Functions

With Lambda and API Gateway

An obvious application of a Go Lambda function is to handle an HTTP request. To accomplish this, we need the “serverless” API Gateway service to receive HTTP requests, translate that into an event, invoke our Lambda function, take it’s return value, and turn it into an HTTP response. There’s a lot of cool tech and options behind API Gateway service, but the promise of FaaS is that we don’t have to worry about it. So lets jump straight to our Go function.

Note: This is part of a series about writing and Go Functions-as-a-Service on AWS Lambda and related services like API Gateway, S3 and X-Ray.

If you’d like to experiment with these techniques yourself, check out for a boilerplate app with all the pieces configured correctly and explained in depth.

Go Code – Request Handler

First, we write a HTTP request handler function, which couldn’t be easier in Go:

import ""

func Dashboard(ctx context.Context, e events.APIGatewayProxyRequest) (events.APIGatewayProxyResponse, error) {
	return events.APIGatewayProxyResponse{
		Body: string("<html><body><h1>gofaas dashboard</h1></body></html>\n"),
		Headers: map[string]string{
			"Content-Type": "text/html",
		StatusCode: 200,
	}, nil

From dashboard.go

The APIGatewayProxyRequest struct contains a user’s HTTP request body, headers and metadata. The APIGatewayProxyResponse struct contains our HTTP response body, headers and status code.

This function is essentially error proof, but if it did return an error the API Gateway knows to respond to the user with a 502 Bad Gateway HTTP response.

AWS Config

Next, we need to write a config file that tells AWS where this function fits into the cloud service architecture. Here we create a Go Lambda function and and connect it to a HTTP GET / route.

We are using the AWS Serverless Application Model (SAM), which makes this configuration file nice and simple. Behind the scenes this will be transformed to a config that creates an Application Gateway, Lambda function and proper IAM permissions.

      CodeUri: ./handlers/dashboard/
            Method: GET
            Path: /
          Type: Api
      Handler: main
      Runtime: go1.x
    Type: AWS::Serverless::Function

From template.yml

Package and Deploy

Notice how CodeUri points to a zip file? We need a bit more Go and Makefile glue to package the function.

So we need to write a Go program that Lambda will invoke to call our function. For this we use the Lambda SDK Start helper.

package main

import (

func main() {

From handlers/dashboard/main.go

Then we build a package, a zip file with a Linux binary that Lambda can run.

$ cd handlers/dashboard &&       \
    GOOS=linux go build -o main  \
    zip main

From Makefile

Note how the Go cross-compiler makes it easy to build a Lambda package. This eliminates all cross-platform and dependency management challenges, and gives us a ~3 MB zip file we are confident we can deploy and execute quickly.

Now we can deploy it:

$ aws cloudformation package --output-template-file out.yml --s3-bucket $(BUCKET) --template-file template.yml
$ aws cloudformation deploy --capabilities CAPABILITY_NAMED_IAM --template-file out.yml --stack-name gofaas

From Makefile

The package command uploads the zip file to S3 and writes a new template with the S3 URL. The deploy command creates or updates our Lambda function with the new package. In less than a minute we have a Go HTTP function online.

Finally we can call our function over HTTP:

$ curl
<html><body><h1>gofaas dashboard</h1></body></html>


Building and deploying an HTTP function with Go is fast and easy. We just have to:

  • Write a Go func for a request and response event
  • Write AWS config for Lambda and API Gateway

We no longer have to worry about:

  • Application or infrastructure frameworks
  • HTTP servers
  • Build or runtime containers, instances or clusters
  • Auto scaling
  • Paying for idle servers

Go tools, Lambda and API Gateway make building HTTP services significantly easier.