Serverless Framework Ruby Sinatra API backed by DynamoDB on AWS

This template demonstrates how to develop and deploy a simple Ruby Sinatra API service backed by DynamoDB running on AWS Lambda using the traditional Serverless Framework.

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Serverless Framework Ruby Sinatra API service backed by DynamoDB on AWS

Inspired and based off of aws-python-flask-api. Credit goes to @pgrzesik for the inspiration of this example and writing of this README that was shamelessly copied and updated to accomodated Ruby/Sinatra.

Anatomy of the template

This template configures a single function, api, which is responsible for handling all incoming requests thanks to configured http events. To learn more about http event configuration options, please refer to http event docs. As the events are configured in a way to accept all incoming requests, Sinatra framework is responsible for routing and handling requests internally. The implementation takes advantage of serverless-rack, which allows you to wrap Rack applications such as Sinatra apps. To learn more about serverless-rack, please refer to corresponding GitHub repository. The template also relies on serverless-ruby-layer plugin for packaging dependencies from the Gemfile. For more details about serverless-ruby-layer configuration, please refer to corresponding GitHub repository.

Additionally, the template also handles provisioning of a DynamoDB database that is used for storing data about users. The Sinatra application exposes two endpoints, POST /users and GET /user/{userId}, which allow to create and retrieve users.



Ruby install of 2.7.*


Install dependencies with:

npm install

and then perform deployment with:

serverless deploy

After running deploy, you should see output similar to:

Serverless: Packaging Ruby Rack handler...
Serverless: Backing up current bundle...
Serverless: Packaging gem dependencies...
Serverless: Packaging service...
Serverless: Excluding development dependencies...
Serverless: Restoring backed up bundle...
Serverless: Creating Stack...
Serverless: Checking Stack create progress...
Serverless: Stack create finished...
Serverless: Uploading CloudFormation file to S3...
Serverless: Uploading artifacts...
Serverless: Uploading service file to S3 (2.68 MB)...
Serverless: Validating template...
Serverless: Updating Stack...
Serverless: Checking Stack update progress...
Serverless: Stack update finished...
Service Information
service: aws-ruby-sinatra-dynamodb-api
stage: dev
region: us-east-1
stack: aws-ruby-sinatra-dynamodb-api-dev
resources: 13
api keys:
  ANY -
  ANY -{proxy+}
  api: aws-ruby-sinatra-dynamodb-api-dev-api

Note: In current form, after deployment, your API is public and can be invoked by anyone. For production deployments, you might want to configure an authorizer. For details on how to do that, refer to http event docs.


After successful deployment, you can create a new user by calling the corresponding endpoint:

curl --request POST '' --header 'Content-Type: application/json' --data-raw '{"name": "John", "userId": "someUserId"}'

Which should result in the following response:


You can later retrieve the user by userId by calling the following endpoint:


Which should result in the following response:


If you try to retrieve user that does not exist, you should receive the following response:

{"error":"Could not find user with provided \"userId\""}

Local development

Thanks to capabilities of serverless-rack, it is also possible to run your application locally.

bundle install --path vendor/bundle
serverless rack serve

Additionally, you will need to emulate DynamoDB locally, which can be done by using serverless-dynamodb-local plugin. In order to do that, execute the following commands:

serverless plugin install -n serverless-dynamodb-local
serverless dynamodb install

It will add the plugin to devDependencies in package.json file as well as to plugins section in serverless.yml. Additionally, it will also install DynamoDB locally.

You should also add the following config to custom section in serverless.yml:

      migrate: true
      - dev

We can take advantage of IS_OFFLINE environment variable set by serverless-rack plugin which will create a local DynamoDB client in api.rb:

client_options = if ENV['IS_OFFLINE']
                     region: 'localhost',
                     endpoint: 'http://localhost:8000',
dynamodb_client =

Now you can start DynamoDB local with the following command:

serverless dynamodb start

At this point, you can run your application locally with the following command:

serverless rack serve

For additional local development capabilities of serverless-rack and serverless-dynamodb-local plugins, please refer to corresponding GitHub repositories: