AWS now lets you bring your favourite language to serverless development

Amazon Web Services announced Lambda Layers and Lambda Runtime API, allowing 'builders' to bring their own language to Lambda.

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) has opened up its serverless language support, allowing "builders" to bring their own language to AWS Lambda.

See also: AWS says so long developers and hello 'builders'

Making the announcement at AWS re:Invent on Wednesday, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels said the offering comes in response to customers having their own favourite language and making sure that AWS isn't restricting them.

The announcement comes in two parts, with the introduction of two new features aimed at making serverless development easier.

Lambda Layers is a way to centrally manage code and data that is shared across multiple functions; while Lambda Runtime API, is a simple interface to use any programming language, or a specific language version, for developing functions.

According to Vogels, the two features can be used together, as runtimes can be shared as layers so that developers can pick them up and use their desired programming language when authoring Lambda functions.

AWS is making C++ and Rust runtimes available soon, and is also working with partners to provide more open source runtimes including: Erlang (Alert Logic), Elixir (Alert Logic), Cobol (Blu Age), N|Solid (NodeSource), and PHP (Stackery).

Just as developers have their own favourite language, Vogels said they have their own preferred tools, too.

"Everyone wants to just build business logic," he said. "Serverless is the ideal environment to stitch things together ... it's about what are the right tools for us to use to develop what you want."

As a result, Vogels also launched Custom Runtimes, which allows developers to bring their own execution environment to serverless.

AWS announced the general availability of the AWS Toolkit for PyCharm, as well as the developer preview of the AWS Toolkits for IntelliJ and Visual Studio Code, which are under active development in GitHub.

"These open source toolkits will enable you to easily develop serverless applications, including a full create, step-through debug, and deploy experience in the IDE and language of your choice, be it Python, Java, Node.js, or .NET," AWS explained in a statement.

AWS also rolled out WebSocket support for API Gateway, giving customers access to multiple compute environments. You can start, for example, moving things from EC2 to serverless without having to change APIs. This helps customers transition from a traditional compute environment into the serverless world, Vogels said.

AWS Well-Architected Tool

Building on the five pillars that Vogels said encapsulate a set of "core strategies and best practices for architecting systems in the cloud" -- operational excellence, security, reliability, performance efficiency, and cost optimisation -- AWS also announced the AWS Well-Architected Tool.

Effectivel, it's a package of resources to help customers measure and improve their architecture using AWS best practices. It includes videos on several topics such as "security events," as well as best-practice guidelines and improvement plans.

The AWS Well-Architected Tool is a self-service tool designed to help architects review AWS workloads at any time, without the need for an AWS Solutions Architect.

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Disclosure: Asha McLean travelled to AWS re:Invent as a guest of AWS