AWS Re: Invent: AWS adds more programme languages to Lambda

Bobby Hellard

29 Nov, 2018

AWS is giving developers the choice to integrate their prefered programming languages into Lambda Runtime API and Lambda Layers.

These two new AWS Lambda features enable developers to build custom runtimes and share and manage common code between functions.

Making the announcements on stage in Las Vegas at the cloud giant’s re:Invent conference, CTO Werner Vogels told the crowd: “You asked for it, so we’ve given it to you.”

It turns out, what they wanted was more options with Lambda, more flexibility to use the code they are au fait with. AWS Lambda is an event-driven serverless computing platform the company launched in 2014. It was designed to simplify the building of smaller, on-demand applications that are responsive to events and new information.

Up until now, the platform only supported some programming languages, such as Node.js, Python, Java, Go and NET Core, which had previously limited developers with other language preferences.

The Runtime API for AWS Lambda defines a standardised HTTP-based specification which codifies how Lambda and a function’s runtime communicate. It enables users to build custom runtimes that integrate with Lambda to execute functions in response to events. With the Runtime API, AWS said that developers can use binaries or shell scripts, and their own choice of programming languages and language versions within the Lambda tools.

“We decided to change course and give you the ability to start bringing your own language to Lamda,” said Vogels. “We are launching today, custom runtimes for Landa, where you can bring your own execution environment.

“Now there is no limitation anymore for what kind of language you can use to do serverless development in.”

Lambda functions in a serverless application typically share common dependencies such as SDKs, frameworks, and now runtimes. With layers, AWS said users can centrally manage common components across multiple functions enabling better code reuse.

This announcement swiftly followed news that Ruby, the Japanese object-orientated, general purpose programme language has been made available on AWS Lambda functions.