AWS Lambda Client Package

A simple client package for the Amazon Web Services ('AWS') Lambda API <>.

aws.lambda is a simple client package for the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Lambda API.

To use the package, you will need an AWS account and to enter your credentials into R. Your keypair can be generated on the IAM Management Console under the heading Access Keys. Note that you only have access to your secret key once. After it is generated, you need to save it in a secure location. New keypairs can be generated at any time if yours has been lost, stolen, or forgotten. The aws.iam package profiles tools for working with IAM, including creating roles, users, groups, and credentials programmatically; it is not needed to use IAM credentials.

By default, all cloudyr packages for AWS services allow the use of credentials specified in a number of ways, beginning with:

  1. User-supplied values passed directly to functions.

  2. Environment variables, which can alternatively be set on the command line prior to starting R or via an or .Renviron file, which are used to set environment variables in R during startup (see ? Startup). Or they can be set within R:

    Sys.setenv("AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID" = "mykey",
               "AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY" = "mysecretkey",
               "AWS_DEFAULT_REGION" = "us-east-1",
               "AWS_SESSION_TOKEN" = "mytoken")
  3. If R is running an EC2 instance, the role profile credentials provided by aws.ec2metadata.

  4. Profiles saved in a /.aws/credentials "dot file" in the current working directory. The `"default" profile is assumed if none is specified.

  5. A centralized ~/.aws/credentials file, containing credentials for multiple accounts. The `"default" profile is assumed if none is specified.

Profiles stored locally or in a centralized location (e.g., ~/.aws/credentials) can also be invoked via:

# use your 'default' account credentials
# use an alternative credentials profile
aws.signature::use_credentials(profile = "bob")

Temporary session tokens are stored in environment variable AWS_SESSION_TOKEN (and will be stored there by the use_credentials() function). The aws.iam package provides an R interface to IAM roles and the generation of temporary session tokens via the security token service (STS).

Code Examples

The package is still under rapid development, but a simple and literal "Hello, world!" example can be found by doing the following:

# get list of all current functions
funclist <- sapply(list_functions(), get_function_name)
# 'hello world!' example code
hello <- system.file("templates", "helloworld.js", package = "aws.lambda")
# get IAM role for Lambda execution
## Loading required namespace: aws.iam
id <- aws.iam::get_caller_identity()[["Account"]]
role <- paste0("arn:aws:iam::", id, ":role/lambda_basic_execution")
if (!"helloworld" %in% funclist) {
  func <- create_function(name = "helloworld", func = hello, 
                          handler = "helloworld.handler", role = role)
} else {
  func <- get_function("helloworld")
# invoke function
## [1] "Hello, world!"

Obviously this is a trivial lambda function, but the point is that basically anything (in node.js, python, or java) could be written into the "deployment package" and called in this way.

A sligtly more complex example shows how to pass arguments to the lambda function via the function's payload and examine the response.

# example function that performs simple addition
plus <- system.file("templates", "plus.js", package = "aws.lambda")
# get IAM role for Lambda execution
id <- aws.iam::get_caller_identity()[["Account"]]
role <- paste0("arn:aws:iam::", id, ":role/lambda_basic_execution")
if (!"plus" %in% funclist) {
  func <- create_function(name = "plus", func = plus, 
                          handler = "plus.handler", role = role)
} else {
  func <- get_function("plus")
# invoke function
invoke_function(func, payload = list(a = 2, b = 3))
## [1] 5
invoke_function(func, payload = list(a = -5, b = 7))
## [1] 2


CRAN Downloads Build Status

This package is not yet on CRAN. To install the latest development version you can install from the cloudyr drat repository:

# latest stable version
install.packages("aws.s3", repos = c("cloudyr" = ""))

To install the latest development version from GitHub, run the following:

if (!require("ghit")){

cloudyr project logo


CHANGES TO aws.lambda 0.1.6

  • Change get_account() to get_lambda_account() to avoid namespace conflict with aws.iam.

CHANGES TO aws.lambda 0.1.4

  • Bump aws.signature dependency to 0.3.4.

CHANGES TO aws.lambda 0.1.3

  • Rename alias-related functions to avoid namespace clash with aws.iam.

CHANGES TO aws.lambda 0.1.2

  • Update code and documentation.

CHANGES TO aws.lambda 0.1.1

  • Initial release.

Reference manual

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0.2.0 by Jon Harmon, 2 years ago

Report a bug at

Browse source code at

Authors: Thomas J. Leeper [aut] , Jon Harmon [ctb, cre]

Documentation:   PDF Manual  

GPL-3 license

Imports utils, httr, jsonlite, aws.signature, base64enc

Suggests testthat, aws.s3, aws.iam

See at CRAN