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Running Tasks

It can be common for Rails engineers to fire up the Rails console for some quick debugging or to run code like a Rake task. That said, console'ing into a Lambda function is simply not an option and requires a different solution for on-demand tasks.

Lamby Runner Event

Running a task on your Rails application can be done by sending your Lambda an event in the following format. This event can happen in any way that makes sense for you. For example, you could use the AWS CLI's invoke feature in a deploy pipeline. Another simple method would be to use the test feature for Lambda within the AWS Console. You cold even use a GitHub Action

"lamby": {
"runner": "./bin/rails db:migrate"

Customizing Runner Patterns

The runner has a single default expression check of %r{\A\./bin/(rails|rake) db:migrate.*} which limits the type of commands executed. This can be cleared to deny any command(s) or you can add addition pattern matchers via the Lamby config. To do so, add lines like these in your app.rb file below the require 'lamby'. For example, the first line would clear all patterns and allow no commands, the second would allow a simple bin file to be added.

Lamby.config.runner_patterns.push %r{\A/bin/foo.*}

Function Timeout Property

You may want to consider changing the Timeout property of your RailsLambda resource in your template.yaml from 30s to something longer. A Lambda function can have a maximum of 15m execution time. Just remember that API Gateway integration will always be limited to 30s under the function's timeout. So these timeouts can operate independently.

GitHub Actions Invoke Example

Similar to the Deploy with GitHub Actions example in our

guide, here is an invoke.yml workflow example that uses the AWS CLI to invoke your function with the needed JSON event format detailed above. Here is an example payload option you could paste into the workflow dispatch window. Note that quotes have to be escaped to flow through to GitHub Actions.

{"lamby":{"runner":"./bin/rails runner \\"puts(\'HELLO\')\\""}}

This example above uses Rails runner to invoke arbitrary code in a non-interactive way. ⚠️ Please ensure the --stack-name value below matches the same value in your bin/_deploy file and replace the myapp-production value with that.

name: Invoke
description: JSON Event Payload
required: true
runs-on: ubuntu-latest
- name: Install AWS CLI
uses: unfor19/install-aws-cli-action@v1
- name: Configure AWS
uses: aws-actions/configure-aws-credentials@v1
aws-access-key-id: { { "${{ secrets.AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID }}" } }
aws-secret-access-key: { { "${{ secrets.AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY }}" } }
aws-region: us-east-1
- name: Invoke
run: |
echo $'${{ github.event.inputs.payload }}' > payload.json
FUNCTION_NAME=$(aws cloudformation describe-stack-resources \
--stack-name "myapp-production" \
--query "StackResources[?LogicalResourceId=='RailsLambda'].PhysicalResourceId" \
--output text)
aws lambda invoke \
--function-name "$FUNCTION_NAME" \
--cli-binary-format raw-in-base64-out \
--payload file://./payload.json \
/dev/stdout | jq -r .body