This is a brief overview of Sparta’s core concepts. Additional information regarding specific features is available from the menu.

Terms and Concepts

At a high level, Sparta transforms a go binary’s registered lambda functions into a set of independently addressable AWS Lambda functions . Additionally, Sparta provides microservice authors an opportunity to satisfy other requirements such as defining the IAM Roles under which their function will execute in AWS, additional infrastructure requirements, and telemetry and alerting information (via CloudWatch).

The table below summarizes some of the primary Sparta terminology.

Service Name

Sparta applications are deployed as a single unit, using the ServiceName as a stable logical identifier. The ServiceName is used as your application's CloudFormation StackName
    stackName := "MyUniqueServiceName"
      "Simple Sparta application",

Sparta Lambda Function

A Sparta-compatible lambda is a standard AWS Lambda Go function. The following function signatures are supported:
  • func ()
  • func () error
  • func (TIn), error
  • func () (TOut, error)
  • func (context.Context) error
  • func (context.Context, TIn) error
  • func (context.Context) (TOut, error)
  • func (context.Context, TIn) (TOut, error)
where the TIn and TOut parameters represent encoding/json un/marshallable types. Supplying an invalid signature will produce a run time error as in:
ERRO[0000] Lambda function (Hello World) has invalid returns: handler
returns a single value, but it does not implement error exit status 1


To support accessing other AWS resources in your go function, Sparta allows you to define and link IAM Roles with tightly defined sparta.IAMRolePrivilege values. This allows you to define the minimal set of privileges under which your go function will execute. The Privilege.Resource field value may also be a StringExpression referencing a CloudFormation dynamically provisioned entity.
lambdaFn.RoleDefinition.Privileges = append(lambdaFn.RoleDefinition.Privileges,
    Actions:  []string{"s3:GetObject", "s3:HeadObject"},
    Resource: "arn:aws:s3:::MyS3Bucket",


To configure AWS Lambda Event Sources, Sparta provides both sparta.LambdaPermission and service-specific Permission types; eg: sparta.CloudWatchEventsPermission. The service-specific Permission types automatically register your lambda function with the remote AWS service, using each service's specific API.
cloudWatchEventsPermission := sparta.CloudWatchEventsPermission{}
cloudWatchEventsPermission.Rules = make(map[string]sparta.CloudWatchEventsRule, 0)
cloudWatchEventsPermission.Rules["Rate5Mins"] = sparta.CloudWatchEventsRule{
  ScheduleExpression: "rate(5 minutes)",
lambdaFn.Permissions = append(lambdaFn.Permissions, cloudWatchEventsPermission)

Dynamic Resources

Sparta applications can specify other AWS Resources (eg, SNS Topics) as part of their application. The dynamic resource outputs can be referenced by Sparta lambda functions via gocf.Ref and gocf.GetAtt functions.
snsTopicName := sparta.CloudFormationResourceName("SNSDynamicTopic")
snsTopic := &gocf.SNSTopic{
  DisplayName: gocf.String("Sparta Application SNS topic"),
lambdaFn := sparta.HandleAWSLambda(sparta.LambdaName(echoDynamicSNSEvent),

lambdaFn.Permissions = append(lambdaFn.Permissions, sparta.SNSPermission{
	BasePermission: sparta.BasePermission{
		SourceArn: gocf.Ref(snsTopicName),


To support Sparta lambda functions discovering dynamically assigned AWS values (eg, S3 Bucket Names), Sparta provides sparta.Discover.
func echoS3DynamicBucketEvent(ctx context.Context,
	s3Event awsLambdaEvents.S3Event) (*awsLambdaEvents.S3Event, error) {

	discoveryInfo, discoveryInfoErr := sparta.Discover()
		"Event":        s3Event,
		"Discovery":    discoveryInfo,
		"DiscoveryErr": discoveryInfoErr,
	}).Info("Event received")

  // Use discoveryInfo to determine the bucket name to which RawMessage should be stored

Given a set of registered Sparta lambda function, a typical provision build to create a new service follows this workflow. Items with dashed borders are opt-in user behaviors.

graph TD classDef stdOp fill:#FFF,stroke:#A00,stroke-width:2px; classDef userHook fill:#B5B2A1,stroke:#A00,stroke-width:2px,stroke-dasharray: 5, 5; iam[Verify Static IAM Roles] class iam stdOp; preBuild[WorkflowHook - PreBuild] class preBuild userHook; compile[Cross Compile for AWS AMI] postBuild[WorkflowHook - PostBuild] class postBuild userHook; package[ZIP archive] class package stdOp; userArchive[WorkflowHook - Archive] class userArchive userHook; upload[Upload Archive to S3] packageAssets[Conditionally ZIP S3 Site Assets] uploadAssets[Upload S3 Assets] class upload,packageAssets,uploadAssets stdOp; preMarshall[WorkflowHook - PreMarshall] class preMarshall userHook; generate[Marshal to CloudFormation] class generate stdOp; decorate[Call Lambda Decorators - Dynamic AWS Resources] class decorate stdOp; serviceDecorator[Service Decorator] class serviceDecorator userHook; postMarshall[WorkflowHook - PostMarshall] class postMarshall stdOp; uploadTemplate[Upload Template to S3] updateStack[Create/Update Stack] inplaceUpdates[In-place λ code updates] wait[Wait for Complete/Failure Result] class uploadTemplate,updateStack,inplaceUpdates,wait stdOp; iam-->preBuild preBuild-->|go|compile compile-->postBuild postBuild-->package package-->packageAssets package-->userArchive userArchive-->upload packageAssets-->uploadAssets uploadAssets-->generate upload-->generate generate-->preMarshall preMarshall-->decorate decorate-->serviceDecorator serviceDecorator-->postMarshall postMarshall-->uploadTemplate uploadTemplate-->|standard|updateStack uploadTemplate-->|inplace|inplaceUpdates updateStack-->wait
This diagram is rendered with Mermaid. Please open an issue if it doesn't render properly.

During provisioning, Sparta uses AWS Lambda-backed Custom Resources to support operations for which CloudFormation doesn’t yet support (eg, API Gateway creation).

Next Steps

Walk through a starting Sparta Application.