Sidecar packages, deploys, and executes AWS Lambda functions from your Laravel application.

Packages

May 20th, 2021

sidecar.jpg

Sidecar is a package by the Hammerstone team that takes the pain out of the packaging, deploying, and executing of AWS Lambda functions from your Laravel application.

Sidecar supports both Laravel 7 and 8 and requires PHP 7.2 or newer.

Laravel Vapor brought the power of serverless to Laravel. Using Vapor, you can run your plain ol' Laravel apps on a serverless platform and get incredible speed, security, and reliability.

Sidecar brings the ease of Vapor to non-PHP functions. Common use cases could be taking screenshots with headless Chrome, running FFmpeg, doing some data work with Python, generating images, or rendering your Javascript frontend server-side.

Or maybe you want to run a single Ruby script without configuring Ruby on your server. Or Java. Or even Powershell for some reason?

You can use any of the runtimes supported by Lambda:

  • Node.js 14
  • Node.js 12
  • Node.js 10
  • Python 3.8
  • Python 3.7
  • Python 3.6
  • Python 2.7
  • Ruby 2.7
  • Ruby 2.5
  • Java 11
  • Java 8
  • Go 1.x
  • .NET Core 3.1
  • .NET Core 2.1

Sidecar comes with a sidecar:configure command that interactively walks you through setting up the correct permissions in AWS so that you don't have to mess around in the IAM UI.

Once you have your credentials configured, making your first Lambda requires only two things:

  • A PHP class
  • The files you want to be deployed to Lambda

Let's assume we're going to use Node to generate an image. Your function class could look like this:

1namespace App\Sidecar;
2
3use Hammerstone\Sidecar\LambdaFunction;
4
5class GenerateImage extends LambdaFunction
6{
7 public function handler()
8 {
9 // Define your handler function.
10 // (Javascript file + export name.)
11 return 'resources/lambda/image.handler';
12 }
13
14 public function package()
15 {
16 // All files and folders needed for the function.
17 // In this case some JS files and some fonts.
18 return [
19 'resources/lambda',
20 'resources/fonts',
21 ];
22 }
23}

With your function configured, you can deploy and activate it with a simple command:

1php artisan sidecar:deploy --activate

The above command creates your Lambda function on AWS and prepares it for use.

You can execute this function anywhere in your Laravel application simply by calling execute on the class, passing any data you want to the Lambda function.

1$image = GenerateImage::execute([
2 'text' => 'This image was generated on Lambda!'
3]);

This article is a very brief overview of what Sidecar can do. Sidecar also handles:

  • Separate environments
  • Async execution
  • Multiple, concurrent async execution
  • Configurable memory, timeout, and runtime per function
  • Separate deploy and activate steps for zero downtime or version drift
  • Retrieving logs and timings per execution
  • Returning Lambda execution results directly to the browser as Laravel responses

To read the full documentation see https://hammerstone.dev/sidecar/docs or visit the GitHub repository at https://github.com/hammerstonedev/sidecar.

Please note that this is a v0.1.0 release. Issues are being addressed quickly, and features are being added as they move towards a 1.0 release. Feel free to reach out to the author directly on Twitter at twitter.com/aarondfrancis.

Filed in:

Aaron Francis

Laravel developer. Building at https://hammerstone.dev.

COO & CTO at Resolute Property Tax Solutions.