What is the AWS Serverless Application Model?

Description of the image

The introduction of cloud technology has brought multifold development within itself. Consequently, operations are being shifted to a cloud-based model for easy access, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness.

One part of this cloud-based advancement is serverless architecture. Amazon is one of the top contributors to cloud technology. Its division, AWS Serverless Application Model (SAM), plays a significant role in the development of the serverless ecosystem. 

This is ideal for those who want to focus on the functionality of the application, as the SAM framework has been designed to help simplify the creation and management of serverless applications. 

About AWS Serverless Application Model

The AWS Serverless Application Model is an open-source framework that helps build serverless applications easily and efficiently. A serverless application combines Lambda functions, event sources, and other resources to perform tasks.

AWS SAM can be used to retrieve shorthand syntax to express functions, databases, APIs, and event source mappings. Moreover, using the AWS SAM, you can define the application you want and model it through YAML. 

AWS SAM also helps in deployment by transforming and expanding the SAM syntax into AWS Cloud Formation syntax. This helps save time when building, testing, and deploying any serverless application. 

Components of AWS SAM

AWS Serverless Application Model framework consists of the following two main components:

AWS SAM Templates

The AWS SAM template specification helps define the serverless application. These templates consist of simple and clean syntax that makes it easier to describe the functions, permissions, APIs, configurations, and events for the serverless application that you want to build.

The AWS SAM template file enables you to operate on a single, deployable entity that represents your serverless application. These templates can be used on YAML easily, helping developers complete complex features with just a few lines of code.

AWS SAM Command Line Interface (CLI)

The AWS SAM Command Line Interface is the tool that you employ to build the serverless application that you have defined using the AWS SAM templates. The CLI consists of commands that help verify the functionality of the AWS SAM template files.

This includes testing if the code is written according to the specification, invoking Lambda functions locally, debugging Lambda functions, packaging and deploying serverless applications to the cloud, among other things.

The AWS SAM CLI provides an environment similar to Lambda, allowing the users to develop, test, and debug applications. 


Why Choose AWS Serverless Application Model?

AWS SAM has been created to help build, test, and deploy serverless applications on the Amazon Web easily, quickly, and efficiently. The use of AWS SAM provides the following benefits:

Single Deployment Configuration

AWS SAM packs together all the similar components and resources to operate under a single CloudFormation stack, further deploying them as a single-version entity. This singular entity is configured to be shared with all the resources.

Using the AWS SAM, you can easily deploy all the related resources at once. Moreover, it is easier to organise associated components on a single stack. The single deployment configuration of AWS SAM also enables the sharing of configurations, such as memory and timeouts between resources, easily. 

Local Testing And Debugging

The AWS SAM Command Line Interface enables you to build, test, and debug serverless applications locally by providing a Lambda-like execution environment. This helps catch issues and bugs upfront, therefore helping debug your code easily and ensure its smooth running on the cloud without any discrepancies.

This helps reduce the testing and debugging costs in the cloud. In addition, the AWS SAM enables you to step through your code to understand what it is doing. AWS SAM also offers multiple toolkits for different IDEs to help find issues before releasing the application.

AWS Cloud Formation Extension

Since AWS SAM is an extension of the AWS CloudFormation, you can enjoy the reliable deployment capabilities of CloudFormation. By using the various features available in AWS CloudFormation, such as intrinsic functions and a full resource suite, AWS SAM also enables you to make compatible serverless applications with best practices. 

The use of AWS SAM also allows you to access other template features available in AWS CloudFormation, making it more concise and less configurable and is thus preferable.

Built-In Best Practices

AWS SAM allows you to define and deploy the application configuration as config, enabling you to enforce best practices, such as code reviews, safe deployments through AWS CodeDeploy, and tracing with AWS X-Ray. 

Integration With Various Development Tools

AWS SAM also provides the benefit of easily leveraging other AWS services and tools to help make serverless application development easier. You can easily find new applications in the AWS Serverless Application Repository.

This includes using AWS Cloud9 IDE to test and debug SAM-based serverless applications, AWS CodePipeline, AWS CodeBuild, and AWS CodeDeploy to build a deployment pipeline, etc. You can also use AWS CodeStar for a code repository and a configured CI/CD pipeline. 

Steps To Build A Serverless Application With AWS SAM

The use of AWS SAM is preferred due to the time-saving, cost-efficiency, and ease of use it provides when building serverless applications. With multiple resources available with the use of AWS SAM, you can create complex serverless applications in no time. 

Following are the basic steps that you must follow to build a serverless application using AWS SAM:

Install SAM CLI

The first step is to install AWS SAM CLI on your desktop. You can find the application for Windows, MacOs, as well as Linux on the official page

Download a sample AWS SAM Application

The next step is to download a basic SAM template to create a default application. You can start by choosing the Hello World Example. Once downloaded, you will need to enter the name of the application, the runtime, the dependency, and the template. 

Upon entering the details, the AWS SAM will automatically generate the directory and code for the application. 

Build the Application

Run the command ‘sam build’ to build the application, post which SAM CLI will convert the template into CloudFormation syntaxes. 

Deploy the application to AWS Lambda

Convert the code to a zip file and upload it to Amazon S3. This will allow the AWS Lambda service to execute the code automatically. Following this, you can deploy the application using the common 'sam deploy –guided'.

Test Locally

Enter the common ‘sam local start-api’ to stimulate the REST API by starting a new local endpoint. To test your application, install the Docker setup and use the Curl command to test it.

For a detailed guide, you can visit the documents section of AWS. 


AWS Serverless Application Model is a powerful framework that helps simplify the process of building and delivering serverless applications. By providing a comprehensive set of tools and templates, SAM enables developers to deploy applications quickly and efficiently.

Read More

Follow us on

Table of Contents

    Subscribe to Us

    Always Get Notified