Using NServiceBus in AWS Lambda with SQS

Component: AWS Lambda (SQS)
NuGet Package NServiceBus.AwsLambda.SQS (0.x)
This is a Preview project
Target NServiceBus Version: 7.x

This sample shows how to host NServiceBus within an AWS Lambda, in this case, a function triggered by incoming SQS messages. This enables hosting message handlers in AWS Lambda, gaining the abstraction of message handlers implemented using IHandleMessages<T> and also taking advantage of NServiceBus's extensible message-processing pipeline.

When hosting NServiceBus within AWS Lambda, the function handler (as identified by the function-handler property in the aws-lambda-tools-defaults.json) hosts an NServiceBus endpoint that is capable of processing multiple message types.


The sample includes a CloudFormation template, which will deploy the Lambda and create the necessary queues to run the sample.

The Amazon.Lambda.Tools CLI can be used to deploy the template to an AWS account.

  1. Install the Amazon.Lambda.Tools CLI
  2. Make sure an S3 bucket is available in the AWS region of choice

Running the sample

It is not possible at this stage to use the AWS .NET Mock Lambda Test Tool to run the sample locally.

Run the following command from the AwsLambda.SQSTrigger directory to deploy the Lambda project:

dotnet lambda deploy-serverless

The deployment will ask for a stack name and an S3 bucket name to deploy the serverless stack.

After that, running the sample will launch a single console window:

  • AWSLambda.Sender is a console application that will send a TriggerMessage to the AwsLambdaSQSTrigger queue, which is monitored by the AWS Lambda.
  • The deployed AWSLambda.SQSTrigger project will receive messages from the AwsLambdaSQSTrigger queue and process them using the AWS Lambda runtime.

To try the AWS Lambda:

  1. From the AwsLambda.Sender window, press Enter to send a TriggerMessage to the trigger queue.
  2. The AWS Lambda will receive the TriggerMessage and process it with NServiceBus.
  3. The NServiceBus message handler for TriggerMessage sends a FollowUpMessage.
  4. The AWS Lambda will receive the FollowUpMessage and process it with NServiceBus.
  5. The NServiceBus message handler for FollowUpMessage sends a BackToSenderMessage that will be handled by the AwsLambda.Sender

Code walk-through

The static NServiceBus endpoint must be configured using details that come from the AWS Lambda ILambdaContext. Since that is not available until a message is handled by the function, the NServiceBus endpoint instance is deferred until the first message is processed, using a lambda expression such as:

private static readonly AwsLambdaSQSEndpoint serverlessEndpoint = new AwsLambdaSQSEndpoint(context =>
    var endpointConfiguration = new AwsLambdaSQSEndpointConfiguration("AwsLambdaSQSTrigger");

    var transport = endpointConfiguration.Transport;
    var routing = transport.Routing();
    routing.RouteToEndpoint(typeof(BackToSenderMessage), "AwsLambda.Sender");

    var advanced = endpointConfiguration.AdvancedConfiguration;

    // shows how to write diagnostics to file
    advanced.CustomDiagnosticsWriter(diagnostics =>
        return Task.CompletedTask;

    return endpointConfiguration;

The same class defines the AWS Lambda, which makes up the hosting for the NServiceBus endpoint. The FunctionHandler method hands off processing of the message to NServiceBus:

public async Task FunctionHandler(SQSEvent evnt, ILambdaContext context)
    using (var cancellationTokenSource = new CancellationTokenSource(context.RemainingTime.Subtract(DefaultRemainingTimeGracePeriod)))
        await serverlessEndpoint.Process(evnt, context, cancellationTokenSource.Token);

Meanwhile, the message handlers for TriggerMessage and FollowUpMessage, also hosted within the AWS Lambda project, are regular NServiceBus message handlers which are also capable of sending messages themselves.

public class TriggerMessageHandler : IHandleMessages<TriggerMessage>
    static readonly ILog Log = LogManager.GetLogger<TriggerMessageHandler>();

    public Task Handle(TriggerMessage message, IMessageHandlerContext context)
        Log.Info($"Handling {nameof(TriggerMessage)} in {nameof(TriggerMessageHandler)}");
        return context.SendLocal(new FollowupMessage());
public class FollowupMessageHandler : IHandleMessages<FollowupMessage>
    static readonly ILog Log = LogManager.GetLogger<FollowupMessageHandler>();

    public Task Handle(FollowupMessage message, IMessageHandlerContext context)
        Log.Info($"Handling {nameof(FollowupMessage)}.");
        return context.Send(new BackToSenderMessage());

Removing the sample stack

To remove the deployed stack enter:

dotnet lambda delete-serverless

and provide the previously chosen stack name.


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