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0.13.0 • Public • Published


Another serverless framework for AWS Lambda and API Gateway.


Step 1: Create an AWS IAM role for colly to use when running. Give the role the following policy document:

    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Statement": [
            "Action": [
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Resource": "*"

Step 2: install colly locally.

npm install colly

Step 3: make colly easy to run using a shortcut in your project's package.json file.

// Example package.json file
    "scripts": {
        "colly": "./node_modules/colly/bin/colly"

Step 4: create a colly.json file in the root of your project. To begin with all you need to reference is the name of the IAM policy you created in the step above:

    "awsProfile": "collyRunner"

Step 5: run colly.

npm run colly -- <COMMAND> --<PARAM_NAME> <PARAM_VALUE>

See a list of command instructions below.

Command instructions

Init a new Lambda

colly init-lambda --lambda_name <NAME_OF_LAMBDA>

Run a lambda locally

colly run-lambda --name <NAME_OF_LAMBDA> [--local --env --dry_run]

You can pass the Lambda an event object (use a JSON file in your project directory) and a context object (use a JS file in your project directory):

colly run-lambda --name <NAME_OF_LAMBDA> --local --event <RELATIVE_PATH_TO_JSON_FILE> --context <RELATIVE_PATH_TO_JS_FILE>

Note the context object will need to export an object literal.

When running a lambda locally, colly will attempt to assume the lambda's IAM role. This will enable the lambda to run with the same permissions locally as when it is ran from AWS.


Optional string value option. Use this option to state the environment name you want to associate with the Lambda (e.g. "dev", "test").


Optional flag. Run the Lambda source files locally.


Optional flag. Run the Lambda source files that have been created ready to be deployed locally. This is useful to help you debug if your code runs locally but errors when ran from the Lambda service. Note: the code must have been deployed via the deploy-lambda code first.

Deploy a lambda

colly deploy-lambda --name <NAME_OF_LAMBDA> [--aws_profile <AWS_PROFILE_NAME> --env --dry_run]

When deploying a lambda for the first time, a role will be created for it. This role will be similarly named as the lambda and will be given the AWSLambdaBasicExecutionRole action.

By default your Lambda will run with the absolute minimum AWS privileges a Lambda is given (AWSLambdaBasicExecutionRole). If you want your Lambda to access any additional AWS services then you need to create an IAM Policy and provide Colly with its ARN value.

Add the policy ARN value to the colly.json file or the Lambda function config file using the property customRolePolicyArn. The value in the Lambda function file will take precedence. For example:

    "customRolePolicyArn": "arn:aws:iam::777788889999:policy/myCustomPolicy"


Optional string value option. Use this option to state the environment name you want to associate with the Lambda (e.g. "dev", "test").


Add this option if you want Colly to create the assets for the Lambda deploy, but not actually push to the AWS Lambda service. This is useful for debugging missing dependencies.

Run a deployed lambda from the CLI

colly run-lambda --name <NAME_OF_LAMBDA> --aws_profile <AWS_PROFILE_NAME>

You can pass the deployed Lambda an event object (use a JSON file in your project directory):

colly run-lambda --name <NAME_OF_LAMBDA> --event <RELATIVE_PATH_TO_JSON_FILE> --aws_profile <AWS_PROFILE_NAME>

Get logs from AWS

Creating a log output for NodeJS running on AWS Lambda is very simple. Lambda will log any console.log (or even console.trace ) to AWS Cloudwatch logs. There is no setup required.

However AWS Cloudwatch Logs batches all logs up into collections based on time. Scanning through these can be cumbersome as each batch has its own page in the AWS console.

A better way to view the logs for your Lambda is to use the command colly log-watch. This will take all of your logs and display them in one place.

Get the logs for the lambda:

colly watch-log --name myLambda --aws_profile colly_tester

Search the logs for a key word of phrase:

colly watch-log --name myLambda --aws_profile colly_tester --search error
colly watch-log --name myLambda --aws_profile colly_tester --search "foo bar"

Tail logs:

colly watch-log --name myLambda --aws_profile colly_tester --search error --tail

Search from a moment in time:

colly watch-log --name myLambda --aws_profile colly_tester --search error --tail --start_time 2017-09-01

Encrypting environment variables

While its possible to encrypt environment variables when they are uploaded to AWS Lambda, using encrypted environment variables will mean your code will need to behave differently when running it locally compared to when its deployed. If you have data that you want to encrypt, then if its to be part of your repo you don't want it to be lying around unencrypted.

With this feature you can encrypt a value (for example an API key) and store it in your project config (the colly.json file) immediately without the unencrypted value ever being written into a file.

To enable this functionality you need to create a AWS KMS key and store it in your colly.json file.

colly encrypt-var --name <NAME_OF_ENV_VAR> --value <VALUE_OF_ENV_VAR> --aws_profile <AWS_PROFILE_NAME>

You can also get the encrypted values decrypted using this command:

colly decrypt-var --name <NAME_OF_ENV_VAR> --aws_profile <AWS_PROFILE_NAME>

Use the --env flag to set which environment colly file you want to edit. For example:

colly encrypt-var --name <NAME_OF_ENV_VAR> --value <VALUE_OF_ENV_VAR> --env test

Config file

You can define configuration for colly using config files. By default colly will look for a colly.json file in the root of your project. You can also define a colly file for each work pipeline you want to setup.

For example you can have a test as well as a live pipeline. Example colly config files:

  • colly.json will be used by default.
  • colly.live.json will also be used by default.
  • colly.test.json will be used if you add the param --env test onto any colly task command.

Here's an example with all the options you can define:

    "region": "eu-west-1", // AWS Region you are working from
    "awsProfile": "<PROFILE_NAME>" // The name of the AWS profile you want to authenticate your AWS session with.
    "useBastion": true // set to true if you want to authenticate your AWS session via a bastion service.
    "bastionService": {
        "endpoint": "<URL_TO_BASTION_SERVICE>",
        "certPath": "<ABSOLUTE_PATH_TO_CERT>",
        "cloudServicesRoot": "<ABSOLUTE_PATH_TO_ROOT_FILE>"
    "vpcConfig": {
        "SubnetIds": [ "<SUBNET_ID_1>", "<SUBNET_ID_2>" ], // Minimum of 2 subnets must be provided
        "SecurityGroupIds": [ "SECURITY_GROUP_ID" ]
    "kmsKeyArn": "<KMS_KEY_ARN>",
    "customRolePolicyArn": "<POLICY_ARN>",
    "additionalDeploymentAssets": [ <ARRAY OF ADDITIONAL FILES TO DEPLOY],
    "nameTemplate": "${name}--TEST"


By default Colly will create a module tree of all the Node modules (NodeJS files that are required in from other NodeJS files) that are required in your codebase and deploy them when you run the deploy-lambda command (this is done via webpack's static analysis feature). If your Lambda depends on a file that is not referenced using Node's require command, it will not automatically be deployed.

To ensure Colly does deploy these additional files, you can reference them directly in either the config file (at the root of your project) or via each lambda's function.json file. Create a property called additionalDeploymentAssets in either of these files, use this to define an array of additional asssets for deployments. These should be relative paths from the base of your project. For example:

    "additionalDeploymentAssets": [

If you have this property defined in both a project config file and a lambda file, colly will merge both property values together and deploy all the assets referenced in both lists.


Configuration is done with environment variables. To run a node module directly (rather than via the commands in the bin) you need to set environment variables. Use this pattern:

env <VAR_NAME>="<VAR_VALUE>" node lib/<MODULE_NAME>

For example...

env COLLY__PROJECT_DIR="./test/fixtures/deploy-lambda" ENV="live" node lib/deploy-lambda


There are unit tests that can be ran with this command...

npm test

Some of the tasks need to be manually tested. Here are command examples of running these...

env COLLY__PROJECT_DIR="/<LOCAL_PATH_TO_PROJECT_DIR>/colly/test/fixtures/deploy-lambda" npm run colly deploy-lambda -- --name myLambda --aws_profile colly_tester


npm i colly

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