Protocol wrapper for Cumulus JS files
Last updated 3 years ago by kkelly51 .
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$ cnpm install @cumulus-test/sled 
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Cumulus sled (Javascript)

Implements an AWS Lambda handler that adapts incoming messages in the Cumulus protocol to a format more easily consumable by Cumulus tasks, invokes the tasks, and then adapts their response back to the Cumulus message protocol to be sent to the next task.

Tasks being run within a sled are written as AWS Lambda handlers themselves, receiving the usual event, context, and callback arguments. Their event object, however, contains only two keys:

  • input: The task's input, typically the payload of the message, produced at runtime
  • config: The task's configuration, with any templated variables resolved

Tasks return or call back with their logical output, which typically goes in the payload of the resulting Cumulus message.

Expectations for input, config, and return values are all defined by the tasks, and should be well documented. Tasks should thoughtfully consider their inputs and return values, as breaking changes may have cascading effects on tasks throughout a workflow. Configuration changes are slightly less impactful, but must be communicated to those using the task.


example/ contains an example handler that prints some diagnostics and returns its event.

example/messages/ contains example inputs and outputs produced by the handler.

To run the example, execute node index.js local <message-name> in this directory, where <message-name> is the basename of the example message under example/messages/ to use as input and output, e.g. basic or jsonpath.


To use the sled:

  1. Update the task in question to accept/return the above inputs and outputs. Remove all code dealing with the Cumulus message protocol.

  2. Add a cumulus.json file to the root of the task. It should look like the following:

       "task": {
         "entrypoint": "my-module.my_handler"

    Where the entrypoint specifies the task's handler function, identical to how it would be provided to AWS Lambda. If not defined, the sled will assume that index.handler should be used (the Lambda default).

  3. Create a zip file of the task, as you ordinarily would for AWS Lambda

  4. Run npm run build in this directory. A minimal set of code will be produced in the dist directory.

  5. Copy the contents of the dist directory (a directory named cumulus-sled) into the task's zip file

  6. Upload the zip file to AWS Lambda, and specify the Lambda Handler as cumulus-sled.handler

  7. Put it in a Cumulus workflow!


This implementation has a few major advantages over the previous library-based approach:

  1. It's very low overhead. It requires no transpilation, and the deployed code size is only around 100KB
  2. It explicitly prevents tasks from making assumptions about data structures like meta and cumulus_meta that are owned internally and may therefore be broken in future updates. To gain access to fields in these structures, tasks must be passed the data explicitly in the workflow configuration.
  3. It provides clearer ownership of the various data structures. Operators own meta. Cumulus owns cumulus_meta. Tasks define their own config, input, and output formats.
  4. The sled greatly simplifies running Lambda functions not explicitly created for Cumulus. Add a cumulus.json (if needed), update the Lambda to read event.input instead of event, and the handler can "speak" Cumulus.
  5. The approach greatly simplifies testing for tasks, as tasks don't need to set up cumbersome structures to emulate the message protocol and can just supply handlers their inputs and outputs.


Please feel free to extend and modify the code. Because it is run so many places, it requires more careful testing and review than most other code.

We would love to add support for languages other than Javascript. If you know Python well, please consider helping create a Python sled!

Current Tags

  • 1.1.0-alpha.c0ebdcd8                                ...           canary (3 years ago)
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8 Versions

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