This site runs best with JavaScript enabled.

Build a file upload email subscription with CDK, S3 and SNS

Tomasz Łakomy

November 13, 2020


(Before we start - if you've never heard of AWS Cloud Development Kit, I've created a quick, 64 minute course on egghead.io - Build an App with the AWS Cloud Development Kit)

First steps

Let's start by creating an empty AWS CDK project, to do that run:

mkdir s3-upload-notifier #the name of the project is up to you
cd s3-upload-notifier
cdk init app --language=typescript

After installing all necessary dependencies and creating a project run npm run watch in order to enable a TypeScript compiler in a watch mode.

Next, open up the newly created project in your editor of choice (I'm using VSCode but this makes no difference here).

There's an empty CDK stack created for us lib/s3-upload-notifier-stack:

import * as cdk from '@aws-cdk/core';
export class S3UploadNotifierStack extends cdk.Stack {
constructor(scope: cdk.Construct, id: string, props?: cdk.StackProps) {
super(scope, id, props);
// The code that defines your stack goes here
}
}

Before we move on, let's figure out:

  • what do we want to accomplish?
  • which CDK constructs can help us with our goal?

What do we want to accomplish?

We'd like to be notified via email whenever someone is going to upload an object to a S3 bucket. Perhaps we're teaching an university class and we'd like to be notified whenever someone completes their assignment and uploads it to S3.

Which CDK constructs can help us with our goal?

Obviously we're going to need an S3 bucket to upload the objects to. We could use a pre-existing one, but in this example we're going to create a bucket with out stack.

Next up - since we want to subscribe to an object upload event, we're going to need a SNS (Simple Notification Service) topic to subscribe to and send an email.

We also need to ensure that S3 will send a notification to that topic whenever there is an object upload event.

Let's get to work

First up, let's install all necessary dependencies:

npm install @aws-cdk/aws-s3 @aws-cdk/aws-sns @aws-cdk/aws-s3-notifications @aws-cdk/aws-sns-subscriptions

Next, create an S3 bucket and an SNS topic:

// We're going to leave everything by default, but you might want to enable versioning on the bucket
const dataBucket = new s3.Bucket(this, 'DataBucket');
const topic = new sns.Topic(this, 'Topic');

Afterwards, add an event notification to OBJECT_CREATED event:

// Whenever there's an OBJECT_CREATED event, send a notification to SNS topic
dataBucket.addEventNotification(
s3.EventType.OBJECT_CREATED,
new s3Notifications.SnsDestination(topic),
);

And lastly - we need to create an emailSubscription. But here's a catch - how do we make our CDK stack customizable? After all, we don't want to hardcode an email address in our codebase. Privacy concern aside - what if we simply want to reuse that stack with a different email?

In order to avoid that problem, we're going to use a CfnParameter:

// This value is provided as a CloudFormation parameter
const emailAddress = new cdk.CfnParameter(this, 'subscriptionEmail');
topic.addSubscription(
new snsSubscriptions.EmailSubscription(
// Since we're using TypeScript, we will immediately know if we've forgot to convert the `value` to a `string`
emailAddress.value.toString(),
),
);

Let's deploy it! Run cdk deploy and observe the result:

❌ S3UploadNotifierStack failed: Error: The following CloudFormation Parameters are missing a value: subscriptionEmail

Whoops

Since we're using a CfnParameter in our stack, we need to provide a value, luckily cdk deploy accepts a parameters option:

cdk deploy --profile=aws-cdk --parameters subscriptionEmail="myemail@email.com"

Once the stack has been successfully deployed, you'll get an email sent to address you've provided. After accepting the subscrption, whenever a file will be uploaded to DataBucket, you'll receive an email!

(BTW: If you'd like to experiment further, try calling a lambda function instead)

The end result should look more or less like this:

import * as cdk from '@aws-cdk/core';
import * as s3 from '@aws-cdk/aws-s3';
import * as sns from '@aws-cdk/aws-sns';
import * as s3Notifications from '@aws-cdk/aws-s3-notifications';
import * as snsSubscriptions from '@aws-cdk/aws-sns-subscriptions';
export class S3UploadNotifierStack extends cdk.Stack {
constructor(scope: cdk.Construct, id: string, props?: cdk.StackProps) {
super(scope, id, props);
// We're going to leave everything by default, but you might want to enable versioning on the bucket
const dataBucket = new s3.Bucket(this, 'DataBucket');
const topic = new sns.Topic(this, 'Topic');
// Whenever there's an OBJECT_CREATED event, send a notification to SNS topic
dataBucket.addEventNotification(
s3.EventType.OBJECT_CREATED,
new s3Notifications.SnsDestination(topic),
);
// This value is provided as a CloudFormation parameter
const emailAddress = new cdk.CfnParameter(this, 'subscriptionEmail');
topic.addSubscription(
new snsSubscriptions.EmailSubscription(
// Since we're using TypeScript, we will immediately know if we've forgot to convert the `value` to a `string`
emailAddress.value.toString(),
),
);
}
}

31 lines of code!

As an experiment, you can check out the CloudFormation template that CDK uses under the hood for this stack, running cdk synth > template.yml will generate a 255 lines of YAML.

I don't know about you, but I prefer to maintain 31 lines vs. 255 😎

You can check out the source code for this example here: https://github.com/tlakomy/cdk-s3-upload-notifier

Share articleBuy Me A Beer

Join the Newsletter



Tomasz Łakomy © 2020