Serverless Tapir

This blog post could start with a drawing of a tapir that has a pair of tiny angel wings and sits on a cloud. Unfortunately, I cannot draw. But I can code. So in this article will tell how to run a Tapir program with AWS Lambda and API Gateway.


Tapir is an amazing scala framework that allows defining http endpoints as scala values. Let’s look at the example that I borrowed from the official documentation:

import sttp.tapir._
import sttp.tapir.json.circe._

type Limit = Int
type AuthToken = String
case class BooksFromYear(genre: String, year: Int)
case class Book(title: String)

val booksListing: Endpoint[(BooksFromYear, Limit, AuthToken), String, List[Book], Nothing] = 
    .in(("books" / path[String]("genre") / path[Int]("year")).mapTo(BooksFromYear))
    .in(query[Limit]("limit").description("Maximum number of books to retrieve"))

This is a representation of a single endpoint with a noticeable feature that it does not have any logic attached. The endpoint is solely a description of input parameters and outputs like response bodies.

In order to make this definition runnable, we have to use an interpreter. Here is an example implementation in akka-http:

import sttp.tapir.server.akkahttp._
import akka.http.scaladsl.server.Route
import scala.concurrent.Future

val booksListingRoute: Route =
    booksListing.toRoute { case (bfy: BooksFromYear, limit: Limit, at: AuthToken) =>
      Future.successful(Right(List(Book("The Sorrows of Young Werther"))))

The logic of the route is generic, there is no explicit use of the akka-http response codes or marshallers. There are in fact many options of server interpreters such as play, http4s, finatra and vert.x. However, these frameworks help only with writing the code. The next steps are most likely the docker packaging, the definition of the kubernetes manifests and deployment scripts.

Deploying an application takes a signification amount of effort. I want to have the code up and running quickly and easily, preferably with a single bash command. Tapir, AWS Lambda and AWS CDK will help me with this venture. The complete code can be found in the github repo.

Implementing the interpreter

We start with an interpreter that transform Tapir code in an AWS Lambda. We will follow these steps:

  • define the logic to transform a Tapir request into the Lambda-specific request.
  • then Tapir parses this request and gives me the inputs like query and path params, an input body and headers.
  • the next step is to execute the user-defined logic using these inputs as arguments.
  • finally, the response from the user-defined logic is transformed back into the response that Lambda understands.

AWs Lambda itself does not know anything about http. It is just an execution environment. We utilize the API Gateway Http API. It parses the request and invokes our lambda as soon as the request is ready to be processed. Http API passes the parsed request in a predefined format. I use the "com.amazonaws" % "aws-lambda-java-events" to have the predefined java classes APIGatewayV2HTTPEvent and APIGatewayV2HTTPResponse that correspond to the Http API request and response models.

As mentioned above the implementation starts mapping the APIGatewayV2HTTPEvent into Tapir’s ServerRequest.

class HttpApiServerRequest(event: APIGatewayV2HTTPEvent) extends ServerRequest {
  def method: Method = Method(event.getRequestContext.getHttp.getMethod.toUpperCase)

  def protocol: String = event.getRequestContext.getHttp.getProtocol

  def uri: URI =
    new URI(s"https://${event.getRequestContext.getDomainName}${event.getRawPath}?${event.getRawQueryString}")

  def connectionInfo: ConnectionInfo = ConnectionInfo(
    local = None,
    remote = Some(InetSocketAddress.createUnresolved(event.getRequestContext.getHttp.getSourceIp, 0)),
    secure = Some(true)

  lazy val headers: Seq[(String, String)] = event.getHeaders.asScala.toList
  def header(name: String): Option[String] = event.getHeaders.getIgnoreCase(name)

A couple of moments are worth clarification here.

First of all, Http API passes all the headers with lower cased names, so the header lookup is done ignoring the case.

Secondly, in the ConnectionInfo we have only the remote client, there is no port given to the lambda. The communication to Http API is always secure.

The next step after defining the server request is the DecodeInputsContext. As the name suggests, this class is used by Tapir during the inputs extraction.

class HttpApiDecodeInputsContext(event: APIGatewayV2HTTPEvent, pathConsumed: Int = 0) extends DecodeInputsContext {
  def method: Method = Method(event.getRequestContext.getHttp.getMethod.toUpperCase)

  def nextPathSegment: (Option[String], DecodeInputsContext) = {
    val path = event.getRawPath.drop(pathConsumed)
    val nextStart = path.dropWhile(_ == '/')
    val segment = nextStart.split("/", 2) match {
      case Array("") => None
      case Array(s) => Some(s)
      case Array(s, _) => Some(s)
    val charactersConsumed = + (path.length - nextStart.length)

    (segment, new HttpApiDecodeInputsContext(event, pathConsumed + charactersConsumed))

  def header(name: String): List[String] = 

  def headers: Seq[(String, String)] = event.getHeaders.asScala.toList

  def queryParameter(name: String): Seq[String] =

  def queryParameters: QueryParams = QueryParams.fromMap(event.getQueryStringParameters.asScala.toMap)

  def bodyStream: Any =
    throw new UnsupportedOperationException("Trying to read streaming body from a non-streaming request")

  def serverRequest: ServerRequest = new HttpApiServerRequest(event)

Multivalued headers and query params are combined with commas in Http API. So we split them back into a List.

The body is always passed into the lambda as a string so the whole incoming request is consumed before the lambda invocation. That’s why the body cannot be streamed, and the bodyStream has no implementation.

Now that we know how to map the lambda input into the input that Tapir understands, let’s implement the routes. The same way akka http has akka.http.scaladsl.server.Route, or http4s has org.http4s.HttpRoutes, we will also have a Route type:

type Route = PartialFunction[APIGatewayV2HTTPEvent, APIGatewayV2HTTPResponse]

Tapir also requires a MonadError implementation. For akka http there is an instance of a MonadError based on Future. That’s why the akka http routes return Futures as results. A lambda function that runs on top of the Lambda Java runtime requires functions to be simple blocking functions with a signature def onEvent(event: APIGatewayV2HTTPEvent): APIGatewayV2HTTPResponse. I chose Try to be the result type of the Lambda logic. The example conversion of a function with some business logic into a Lambda route would be:

import scala.util.{Success, Try}
import sttp.tapir.server.httpapi._  

def logic(bfy: BooksFromYear, limit: Limit, at: AuthToken): Try[Either[String, List[Book]]] = {
  Success(Right(List(Book("The Sorrows of Young Werther"))))
val serverEndpoint = bookListing.serverLogic((logic _).tupled)
val booksListingRoute: Route = serverEndpoint.toRoute

The Route is a partial function. If the http request matches the Tapir endpoint definition then we execute the logic for this endpoint. If no then we try another route. This check is expressed via the isDefinedAt method of the partial function. We use the sttp.tapir.server.internal.DecodeInputs, pass the context and let Tapir parse the request for us.

def isDefinedAt(event: APIGatewayV2HTTPEvent): Boolean = {
  DecodeInputs(e.input, new HttpApiDecodeInputsContext(event)) match {
    case _: DecodeInputsResult.Values => true
    case _: DecodeInputsResult.Failure => false

When the http request matches our endpoint, it’s time to run the actual application logic. The result of the DecodeInputs is just a sequence of values. Thus, we map these values into scala classes, so that we get a tuple of case classes, like (BooksFromYear, Limit, AuthToken) in the example above. This conversion is the responsibility of sttp.tapir.server.internal.InputValues.

def apply(event: APIGatewayV2HTTPEvent): APIGatewayV2HTTPResponse = {
  DecodeInputs(e.input, new HttpApiDecodeInputsContext(event)) match {
    case values: DecodeInputsResult.Values =>
      InputValues(e.input, values) match {
        case InputValuesResult.Value(params, _) => valueToResponse(params.asAny)
        case InputValuesResult.Failure(input, failure) => handleDecodeFailure(input, failure)
    case DecodeInputsResult.Failure(input, failure) => handleDecodeFailure(input, failure)

The next step, after the inputs are successfully parsed, is to pass these inputs into the user-defined logic.

def valueToResponse(value: Any): APIGatewayV2HTTPResponse = {
  endpoint.logic(TryMonadError)(value.asInstanceOf[I]) match {
    case Success(Right(result)) => OutputToHttpApiResponse(ServerDefaults.StatusCodes.success, endpoint.output, result)
    case Success(Left(err)) => OutputToHttpApiResponse(ServerDefaults.StatusCodes.error, endpoint.errorOutput, err)
    case Failure(e) => OutputToHttpApiResponse(StatusCode.InternalServerError, e.getMessage)

The only thing left is to map the Tapir’s output to the response type that Http API understands. This is what OutputToHttpApiResponse does in the valueToResponse method. The implementation requires some lines of code and it can be found here.

We put the functionality that is described in the toRoute function. The Route is a partial function, so we can compose multiple routes into a single one via the orElse method. If none of the routes matches the request, we use the predefined EmptyRoute that answers with the 404 response code.

implicit class RichHttpApiServerEndpoint[I, E, O](endpoint: ServerEndpoint[I, E, O, Nothing, Try]) {
  def toRoute: Route = {
    // the partial function that is described above

implicit class RichHttpApiServerEndpoints[I, E, O](serverEndpoints: List[ServerEndpoint[_, _, _, Nothing, Try]]) {
  def toRoutes: Route = {
      .foldRight(EmptyRoute)(_ orElse _)

Let’s also provide an interface that has to be implemented in order to have a complete lambda. This interface requires a list of ServerEndpoints and then uses these endpoints to process a request.

trait HttpApiFunction {
  val serverEndpoints: List[ServerEndpoint[_, _, _, Nothing, Try]]
  def onEvent(event: APIGatewayV2HTTPEvent): APIGatewayV2HTTPResponse = {

object BookFunction extends HttpApiFunction {
  override val serverEndpoints = List(booksListingRoute)

Lambdas will have the handler that points to the your.package.BookFunction::onEvent. The class will be instantiated by the Java runtime and the onEvent function will be invoked for every http request.

Packaging the Lambda

I am not using lambda layers, so the Lambda function has to contain all of the dependencies. The fat jar is packaged using the sbt-assembly plugin. The only interesting part of this process is the merge conflict resolution. The reference configurations are concatenated, and some files with conflict names are discarded.

assemblyMergeStrategy in assembly := {
  case PathList("META-INF", _@_*) => MergeStrategy.discard
  case PathList(ps@_*) if ps.last endsWith "reference-overrides.conf" => MergeStrategy.concat
  case PathList(ps@_*) if ps.last endsWith "module-info.class" => MergeStrategy.discard
  case x =>
    val oldStrategy = (assemblyMergeStrategy in assembly).value


The interpreter is ready, it can be used to compose Tapir endpoints together into a single Route. The Lambda function is also bundled into a fat jar. Everything is ready for uploading and running this jar. We can go into the AWS ui, click a couple of buttons, create the lambda and upload the code. However, this is a manual process. The whole idea of the experiment, that is described in this article, is to have an easy and automatic process of deploying applications.

In order to automate the lambda creation process, we will use AWS Cloud Development Kit. This is a tool that allows defining the AWS infrastructure in Java and transforming this definition into CloudFormation stacks. CloudFormation then makes sure that the infrastructure is created in AWS.

Let’s create a function that receives an HttpApiFunction and the name of the Lambda function. This function creates a so-called App, that contains all the resources. Then it synthesizes the Cloudformation template based on the code.

def deploy(httpApiFunction: HttpApiFunction, title: String): Unit = {
  val app = new awscdk.core.App()

All the resources have scopes. The top-level scope is the App. Each app is a set of Stacks. Every Stack corresponds to a Cloudformation stack. For us, it is enough to create a single Stack.

val stack = new Stack(app, s"$title-stack")

The first meaningful resource that we create is the lambda function. It is a lambda that is based on the Java 8 runtime. It sets the handler method to be the def onEvent(event: APIGatewayV2HTTPEvent): APIGatewayV2HTTPResponse of our lambda class. Additionally, we set the local path of the fat jar file that we have bundled. This jar is automatically uploaded by CDK into an s3 bucket. Then this s3 object is used as the source for the lambda function.

val function = lambda.Function.Builder.create(stack, s"$title-lambda")
  .handler(s"${httpApiFunction.getClass.getName.replace("$", "")}::onEvent")

After the lambda is present, we create the API Gateway Http API.

val api = HttpApi.Builder.create(stack, s"$title-api")

After both lambda and API are set up, we need to bind them together so that Http API passes the requests into lambda. For this to happen, we create a Lambda integration.

val integration = LambdaProxyIntegration.Builder.create()

The last step is to define all the http routes and point them to the same lambda function. Tapir’s ability to transform endpoints into Open API helps us construct the routes. For every path in the Open API specification, we create a route in the Http API.

private def apiRoutes(httpApiFunction: HttpApiFunction, integration: LambdaProxyIntegration): List[AddRoutesOptions] = {
  val openAPI ="any name", "v1")
    .map { case (path, pathItem) => 
    val methods = => HttpMethod.GET) ++ => HttpMethod.POST) ++ => HttpMethod.DELETE)

That’s it. Now we pass our lambda class into the deployment function, run the cdk deploy command in the terminal, and after a short time, our code is up and running in AWS.

object Main extends App {
  HttpApiCdkServer.deploy(BookFunction, "my-bookshop")

Cdk also allows adding outputs into stacks. One of such outputs can be the url of the Http API that we deployed.

CfnOutput.Builder.create(stack, "api-url").exportName("url").value(api.getUrl).build()

This output is shown after the cdk deploy succeeds.

✅  my-bookshop-stack

my-bookshop-stack.apiurl =

Calling this url results in the request being handled by our lambda that is described above.

curl -v -H "X-Auth-Token: Bearer token"

    "title": "The Sorrows of Young Werther"


In this article, I showed how to run the Tapir application in Lambda and automatically deploy the code with CDK. I believe that the use of CDK brings a lot of benefit into scala applications because it keeps the infrastructure close to the code. The infrastructure has the same version as the code does. This helps us to be sure that the required infrastructure is created at the deployment time. In addition, CDK gives a way to deploy with a command.

The code for this article can be found in the github repo.