Development / Serverless

AWS Serverless Express Is All Grown Up Now

17 Dec 2020 3:00am, by

When Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Tim Wagner, aka the father of serverless computing, first came up with the idea of event-driven computing they didn’t think Lambda serverless computing would become a new computing paradigm. Oh well, you can’t get them all right.

It didn’t happen immediately. Lambda launched with Node.js support. That helped bring over many customers because who already knew JavaScript. But customers wanted more. They wanted familiar frameworks, such as Express, on which to build their Lambda-based web applications. Enter the Serverless Express GitHub project.

This was quickly very successful. Developers could create Lambda projects using the tools and frameworks they already knew. And, they loved it. Today, the aws-serverless-express NPM package gets over 1.3-million downloads per month, and its GitHub repository has over 3.7K stars. Serverless Express has also graduated from AWS Labs.

What Serverless Express didn’t have, though, was corporate support. Now, Tim Wagner, Lambda’s inventor and CEO of Vendia — short for Venn Diagram — with its serverless, distributed application interoperability platform, is also actively supporting and sponsoring the aws-serverless-express open-source project.

Why? Vendia wants the serverless community to succeed. After all, Lambda, and other serverless offerings power “Vendia’s implementations and help us deliver scalable, low-cost code and data sharing solutions for our customers.” If Serverless Express is successful, not only will you win with your projects, so will Vendia. The goal, the company states, “is to give developers a simple, scalable platform that meets them where they are, and then helps them gain the best of what the cloud has to offer…without unnecessary retraining, rewriting, or porting exercises.”

To help this happen, the original author of Serverless Express, Brett Andrews, has joined Vendia. The plan is to further help customers share code and data effectively by permanently supporting it in Vendia’s repository.

This is, in no way, shape, or form, an attempt to fork Serverless Express. As Andrews and Wagner wrote: “As the original project sponsor, and with the guidance of the project’s original author, AWS trusted us to be thoughtful and proactive stewards of this project. We will continue meeting with AWS monthly to gather customer feedback, and be briefed on upcoming AWS Serverless releases so that we may be a launch partner and provide day 1 support in Serverless Express.”

If you’re already a happy Serverless Express user, you don’t need to do a blessed thing.  For your convenience, Vendia published aws-serverless-express v3.4.0. This uses a direct dependency on the new official package. So, when you upgrade to aws-serverless-express@3.4.0 you’ll get all downstream patches and features without needing to update your code. That’s it. That’s all.

With this, you can run serverless applications and REST APIs using your existing Node.js application framework, on top of AWS Lambda and Amazon API Gateway.

Looking ahead, in January 2021 Vendia will release Serverless Express v4. Its new features will include:

  1. Supports event sources other than API Gateway such as ALB, Lambda Edge, HTTP API, and makes it easy to provide your own custom event source mapping for other services that are integrated with Lambda.
  2. Has improved logging and debugging support.
  3. Is more extensible and simpler to use with an improved developer experience.
  4. Uses Promise resolution by default.
  5. Is upgraded to Node.js 10 (compatible with Node.js 12+).
  6. Makes it easier to work with Custom Domain Names.
  7. Has improved documentation and examples.
  8. Supports Multiple header values.

New to Serverless Express and wondering how to get started? Just follow the Serverless Express Basic Starter on GitHub and you’ll be up and running within five minutes. If you’re already a Lambda user, this is a no brainer. Give this new and the forthcoming versions of Serverless Express a try. You’ll be glad you did.

Amazon Web Services is a sponsor of The New Stack.

A newsletter digest of the week’s most important stories & analyses.