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Creates a SAM template for a given project

Project description

SAM Template Creator


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The SAM Template Creator helps you set up Infrastructure as Code for an AWS serverless project. It reads your project folder and generates a SAM template containing the necessary functions, globals, environment variables, etc.

Compared to a full-fledged framework like Serverless, the scope of this template creator is limited. But this has advantages as well: the tool is lightweight, generating no additional files except your IaC yaml, and is simple to use. Though it may not suffice for very complex use-cases, it can still provide a starting point to expand upon.


  • python 3.5 or higher
  • pip
  • a serverless project to scan. Currently only Python and Go projects are supported. Support for Node and Java is planned.

Usage Guide / How-to

Install the tool using pip

pip install sam-template-creator

# or alternatively

pip3 install sam-template-creator

Now either go to the root directory of your project and type

sam-template-creator --location .

# or with shorthand argument names

sam-template-creator -l .

Or use an absolute path from any directory

sam-template-creator --location /path/to/project

The script will create a template.yaml file in the root of your project's directory. Check its contents! It might point out some things you have to fill in.

You can also pass some (optional) arguments:

  • language: by default, the tool will guess which language the project is written in. If it does not find the correct language, or if you want an older version of the runtime (the script will default to the latest version), you can use this argument.
  • globals: if used, the memory and timeout of the lambdas will be set globally, instead of per function

With your template created, you should now be able to deploy to AWS using

aws cloudformation package --template-file template.yaml --s3-bucket YOUR-BUCKET-NAME --output-template-file outputSamTemplate.yaml
aws cloudformation deploy --template-file outputSamTemplate.yaml --stack-name PICK-A-STACK-NAME --capabilities CAPABILITY_IAM

Notes on usage

Important! SAM Template Creator requires your project to be organised in a certain way.


The tool will work best if every lambda has its own directory, though it should be able to handle other project structures as well.
The file containing the handler and files it directly refers to will be checked for information on required permissions, environment variables, etc.

If a single zip (for most languages) or executable is present in the folder of the handler file, or a subfolder, the tool assumes this zip contains the code you want to upload.

Naming conventions

  • the name of the Lambda handler function should contain the word 'handler'. The event should end with 'event' and the context should be 'context'. For example def lambda_handler(s3event, context)
  • if part of the name equals a http method, we assume you want to map it to an api gateway method with the path represented by the rest of the name. For example, if your handler's name is def put_hello_world_hander(event, context), the function is mapped to a PUT to /hello/world.
  • if the lambda is triggered by an event source, the name should reflect this. For example, if s3 is the source, the name of the event should contain s3: s3event or s3_event or...
  • the name of your executable should be handler, except if you have an executable in the folder of your lambda, called main. If so, the tool will assume that this executable has the code of your lambda. It will set Handler and CodeUri accordingly.
    For example, if your folder mylambda contains a main file under dist/main, the Handler will become main, with the CodeUri equal to /mylambda/dist/main.
  • if you want to map a function to an api gateway method, the lambda handler should end with the word Request, with the path and method prepended to this word. For example, func PostAddHelloRequest(_ context.Context, event events.APIGatewayProxyRequest) error is mapped to a POST to /add/hello.
  • if the lambda is triggered by an event source, the name should reflect that. For example, if s3 is the source, the name of the event should contain s3, like this: s3event or s3_event or...
  • TODO
  • TODO

Project Structure

There are three main parts to this project

  • reader: contains files that help with reading the files in the project. The class reads an individual file and retrieves resources and other configuration information. Because files will look very different depending on the language, it uses the strategy pattern to aid in these language-specific tasks. For example, when dealing with Python, the PythonStrategy class is used.
  • middleware: these files and functions take the information from the read side and do transforms, adding/removing certain config, before this is passed to the writers.
  • writer: these files are responsible for writing the information to yaml.

Besides these folders, there is a util folder, the file which coordinates the work of the other files and the, which contains the argument parser and calls the coordinator after checking the input.


Unit tests can be run with python -m unittest. A relatively simple it-test is run with the bash script under tests/it-test. It requires a bucket as argument (for uploading the lambda zip) and default AWS credentials.


  • Languages
    • Node
    • Java
  • Incremental templates by checking previous ones for values for timeout, env vars etc. (and maybe notifying user of finds)
  • Robust error handling
  • Ask questions. See you call dynamo, add to template? generate outputs? how many buckets for events? deploy template? use 'middleware' for this
  • More flexibility in location of lambdas: searching more folders, or ability to specify folder structure?
  • Polyglot projects?

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