C# and AWS Lambdas, Part 1 - Hello World

Want to learn more about AWS Lambda and .NET? Check out my A Cloud Guru course on ASP.NET Web API and Lambda.

Full source code available here.

This is the first in a series of posts on using .NET with AWS Lambdas. It will start with the simplest example that converts a lowercase string to an uppercase string, but by the end, you will be running a .NET Web API powered by Lambda, fronted by an API gateway where all the infrastructure is set up by Pulumi - this will take a few posts over the next while.

Getting Started

Install the AWS Lambda Templates.

1dotnet new -i Amazon.Lambda.Templates

Now you can create projects based on these templates.

Here is the full list of available templates.

 1Templates                                                 Short Name                                        Language          Tags                  
 2----------------------------------------------------      --------------------------------------------      ------------      ----------------------
 3Order Flowers Chatbot Tutorial                            lambda.OrderFlowersChatbot                        [C#]              AWS/Lambda/Function   
 4Lambda Custom Runtime Function (.NET 5.0)                 lambda.CustomRuntimeFunction                      [C#], F#          AWS/Lambda/Function   
 5Lambda Detect Image Labels                                lambda.DetectImageLabels                          [C#], F#          AWS/Lambda/Function   
 6Lambda Empty Function                                     lambda.EmptyFunction                              [C#], F#          AWS/Lambda/Function   
 7Lex Book Trip Sample                                      lambda.LexBookTripSample                          [C#]              AWS/Lambda/Function   
 8Lambda Simple Application Load Balancer Function          lambda.SimpleApplicationLoadBalancerFunction      [C#]              AWS/Lambda/Function   
 9Lambda Simple DynamoDB Function                           lambda.DynamoDB                                   [C#], F#          AWS/Lambda/Function   
10Lambda Simple Kinesis Firehose Function                   lambda.KinesisFirehose                            [C#]              AWS/Lambda/Function   
11Lambda Simple Kinesis Function                            lambda.Kinesis                                    [C#], F#          AWS/Lambda/Function   
12Lambda Simple S3 Function                                 lambda.S3                                         [C#], F#          AWS/Lambda/Function   
13Lambda Simple SNS Function                                lambda.SNS                                        [C#]              AWS/Lambda/Function   
14Lambda Simple SQS Function                                lambda.SQS                                        [C#]              AWS/Lambda/Function   
15Lambda ASP.NET Core Web API                               serverless.AspNetCoreWebAPI                       [C#], F#          AWS/Lambda/Serverless 
16Lambda ASP.NET Core Web Application with Razor Pages      serverless.AspNetCoreWebApp                       [C#]              AWS/Lambda/Serverless 
17Serverless Detect Image Labels                            serverless.DetectImageLabels                      [C#], F#          AWS/Lambda/Serverless 
18Lambda DynamoDB Blog API                                  serverless.DynamoDBBlogAPI                        [C#]              AWS/Lambda/Serverless 
19Lambda Empty Serverless                                   serverless.EmptyServerless                        [C#], F#          AWS/Lambda/Serverless 
20Lambda Giraffe Web App                                    serverless.Giraffe                                F#                AWS/Lambda/Serverless 
21Serverless Simple S3 Function                             serverless.S3                                     [C#], F#          AWS/Lambda/Serverless 
22Step Functions Hello World                                serverless.StepFunctionsHelloWorld                [C#], F#          AWS/Lambda/Serverless 
23Serverless WebSocket API                                  serverless.WebSocketAPI                           [C#]              AWS/Lambda/Serverless 

The Application

For this example, we are going to use lambda.EmptyFunction.

1dotnet new lambda.EmptyFunction --name HelloWorldLambda

This sets up two new projects, one for the Lambda, and one for the tests.

There seems to be a bug in the template as it is missing line 6, this is very important. Without it, you will get errors like - An assembly specified in the application dependencies manifest (HelloWorldLambda.deps.json) was not found: package: ‘Amazon.Lambda.Core’, version: ‘1.1.0’

Be sure to add


to HelloWorldLambda.csproj.

 1<Project Sdk="Microsoft.NET.Sdk">
 2  <PropertyGroup>
 3    <TargetFramework>netcoreapp3.1</TargetFramework>
 4    <GenerateRuntimeConfigurationFiles>true</GenerateRuntimeConfigurationFiles>
 5    <AWSProjectType>Lambda</AWSProjectType>
 6    <CopyLocalLockFileAssemblies>true</CopyLocalLockFileAssemblies>
 7  </PropertyGroup>
 8  <ItemGroup>
 9    <PackageReference Include="Amazon.Lambda.Core" Version="1.1.0" />
10    <PackageReference Include="Amazon.Lambda.Serialization.SystemTextJson" Version="2.0.1" />
11  </ItemGroup>

The code of the Lambda can stay the same, it takes an input string and converts it to uppercase, and returns a string.

 1using Amazon.Lambda.Core;
 3// Assembly attribute to enable the Lambda function's JSON input to be converted into a .NET class.
 4[assembly: LambdaSerializer(typeof(Amazon.Lambda.Serialization.SystemTextJson.DefaultLambdaJsonSerializer))]
 6namespace HelloWorldLambda
 8    public class Function
 9    {
11        /// <summary>
12        /// A simple function that takes a string and does a ToUpper
13        /// </summary>
14        /// <param name="input"></param>
15        /// <param name="context"></param>
16        /// <returns></returns>
17        public string FunctionHandler(string input, ILambdaContext context)
18        {
19            return input?.ToUpper();
20        }
21    }

Build this, and zip up all the files in the bin/debug/netcoreapp3.1 directory. This zip will be uploaded to the AWS soon.

The Lambda Function

For this post, I’m going to show how to create the Lambda using the AWS UI. In a later post, I’ll create it with Pulumi.

Open the AWS Lambada page - https://console.aws.amazon.com/lambda.

Click Create Function.

Give the function a name - HelloWorld is a good choice. Change the runtime to .NET Core 3.1 (C#/PowerShell).

Click Create Function in the bottom right (no shown in the image above).

Upload the zip created above by clicking Action in the Function Code section of the screen.

Edit the Handler to read


This matches the namespace in the application we created.

Open the test tool in the top right of the screen and click “Configure test events”.

Set the event name, and replace the body with this “hello world”.

That’s everything setup. Let’s run it.

Running the Lambda

Hit the “Test” button in the top right.

You should see something like - “Execution result: succeeded(logs)”. Expand the Details and you will see “HELLO WORLD” and a bunch of other information about the execution of the Lambda.

That’s it, a C# .NET Core 3.1 Hello World Lambda is up and running.

In the next post, I’ll do something a little more interesting, I’ll put an API Gateway in front of a Lambda, so the Lambda can be called from the web.

Full source code available here.

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