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AWS SDK for Ruby Rails Plugin

A Ruby on Rails plugin that integrates AWS services with your application using the latest version of AWS SDK For Ruby.


Add this gem to your Rails project's Gemfile:

gem 'aws-sdk-rails'

This gem also brings in the aws-sdk-core and aws-sdk-ses gems. If you want to use other services (such as S3), you will still need to add them to your Gemfile:

gem 'aws-sdk-rails', '~> 3'
gem 'aws-sdk-s3', '~> 1'

You will have to ensure that you provide credentials for the SDK to use. See the latest AWS SDK for Ruby Docs for details.

If you're running your Rails application on Amazon EC2, the AWS SDK will check Amazon EC2 instance metadata for credentials to load. Learn more: IAM Roles for Amazon EC2


AWS SDK uses the Rails logger

The AWS SDK is configured to use the built-in Rails logger for any SDK log output. The logger is configured to use the :info log level. You can change the log level by setting :log_level in the Aws.config hash.

Aws.config.update(log_level: :debug)

Rails 5.2+ Encrypted Credentials

If you are using Rails 5.2+ Encrypted Credentials, the credentials will be decrypted and loaded under the :aws top level key:

# config/credentials.yml.enc
# viewable with: `rails credentials:edit`
  access_key_id: YOUR_KEY_ID
  secret_access_key: YOUR_ACCESS_KEY

Encrypted Credentials will take precedence over any other AWS Credentials that may exist in your environment (eg: credentials from profiles set in ~/.aws/credentials).

If you are using ActiveStorage with S3 then you do not need to specify your credentials in your storage.yml configuration: they will be loaded automatically.

DynamoDB Session Store

You can configure session storage in Rails to use DynamoDB instead of cookies, allowing access to sessions from other applications and devices. You will need to have an existing Amazon DynamoDB session table to use this feature.

You can generate a migration file for the session table using the following command (<MigrationName> is optional):

rails generate dynamo_db:session_store_migration <MigrationName>

The session store migration generator command will generate two files: a migration file, db/migration/#{VERSION}_#{MIGRATION_NAME}.rb, and a configuration YAML file, config/dynamo_db_session_store.yml.

The migration file will create and delete a table with default options. These options can be changed prior to running the migration and are documented in the Table class.

To create the table, run migrations as normal with:

rails db:migrate

Next, configure the Rails session store to be :dynamodb_store by editing config/initializers/session_store.rb to contain the following:

# config/initializers/session_store.rb
Rails.application.config.session_store :dynamodb_store, key: '_your_app_session'

You can now start your Rails application with session support.


You can configure the session store with code, YAML files, or ENV, in this order of precedence. To configure in code, you can directly pass options to your initializer like so:

# config/initializers/session_store.rb
Rails.application.config.session_store :dynamodb_store,
  key: '_your_app_session',
  table_name: 'foo',
  dynamo_db_client: my_ddb_client

Alternatively, you can use the generated YAML configuration file config/dynamo_db_session_store.yml. YAML configuration may also be specified per environment, with environment configuration having precedence. To do this, create config/dynamo_db_session_store/#{Rails.env}.yml files as needed.

For configuration options, see the Configuration class.

Rack Configuration

DynamoDB session storage is implemented in the aws-sessionstore-dynamodb gem. The Rack middleware inherits from the Rack::Session::Abstract::Persisted class, which also includes additional options (such as :key) that can be passed into the Rails initializer.

Cleaning old sessions

By default sessions do not expire. See config/dynamo_db_session_store.yml to configure the max age or stale period of a session.

You can use the DynamoDB Time to Live (TTL) feature on the expire_at attribute to automatically delete expired items.

Alternatively, a Rake task for garbage collection is provided:

rake dynamo_db:collect_garbage

Amazon Simple Email Service (SES) as an ActionMailer Delivery Method

This gem will automatically register SES as an ActionMailer delivery method. You simply need to configure Rails to use it in your environment configuration:

# for e.g.: config/environments/production.rb
config.action_mailer.delivery_method = :ses

Manually setting credentials

If you need to provide different credentials for Action Mailer, you can call client-creating actions manually. For example, you can create an initializer config/initializers/aws.rb with contents similar to the following:

require 'json'

# Assuming a file "path/to/aws_secrets.json" with contents like:
#     { "AccessKeyId": "YOUR_KEY_ID", "SecretAccessKey": "YOUR_ACCESS_KEY" }
# Remember to exclude "path/to/aws_secrets.json" from version control, e.g. by
# adding it to .gitignore
secrets = JSON.load('path/to/aws_secrets.json'))
creds =['AccessKeyId'], secrets['SecretAccessKey'])

  credentials: creds,
  region: 'us-east-1'

Using ARNs with SES

This gem uses Aws::SES::Client#send_raw_email to send emails. This operation allows you to specify a cross-account identity for the email's Source, From, and Return-Path. To set these ARNs, use any of the following headers on your Mail::Message object returned by your Mailer class:





# in your Rails controller
message = MyMailer.send_email(options)
message['X-SES-FROM-ARN'] = 'arn:aws:ses:us-west-2:012345678910:identity/'

Active Support Notification Instrumentation for AWS SDK calls

To add ActiveSupport::Notifications Instrumentation to all AWS SDK client operations call Aws::Rails.instrument_sdk_operations before you construct any SDK clients.

Example usage in config/initializers/instrument_aws_sdk.rb ruby Aws::Rails.instrument_sdk_operations

Events are published for each client operation call with the following event name: <operation>.<serviceId>.aws. For example, S3's put_object has an event name of: The service name will always match the namespace of the service client (eg Aws::S3::Client => 'S3'). The payload of the event is the request context.

You can subscribe to these events as you would other ActiveSupport::Notifications:

“`ruby ActiveSupport::Notifications.subscribe('') do |name, start, finish, id, payload| # process event end

Or use a regex to subscribe to all service notifications

ActiveSupport::Notifications.subscribe(/S3aws/) do |name, start, finish, id, payload| # process event end “`

AWS SQS Active Job

This package provides a lightweight, high performance SQS backend for ActiveJob.

To use AWS SQS ActiveJob as your queuing backend, simply set the active_job.queue_adapter to :amazon or :amazon_sqs (note, :amazon has been used for a number of other Amazon rails adapters such as ActiveStorage, so has been carried forward as convention here). For details on setting the queuing backend see: ActiveJob: Setting the Backend. To use the non-blocking (async) adapter set active_job.queue_adapter to :amazon_sqs_async. If you have a lot of jobs to queue or you need to avoid the extra latency from an SQS call in your request then consider using the async adapter. However, you may also want to configure a async_queue_error_handler to handle errors that may occur when queuing jobs. See the Aws::Rails::SqsActiveJob::Configuration for documentation.

# config/application.rb
module YourApp
  class Application < Rails::Application
    config.active_job.queue_adapter = :amazon_sqs # note: can use either :amazon or :amazon_sqs
    # To use the non-blocking async adapter:
    # config.active_job.queue_adapter = :amazon_sqs_async

# Or to set the adapter for a single job:
class YourJob < ApplicationJob
  self.queue_adapter = :amazon_sqs

You also need to configure a mapping of ActiveJob queue name to SQS Queue URL. For more details, see the configuration section below.

# config/aws_sqs_active_job.yml
  default: ''

To queue a job, you can just use standard ActiveJob methods: “`ruby

To queue for immediate processing


or to schedule a job for a future time:

YourJob.set(wait: 1.minute).perform_later(args) “`

Note: Due to limitations in SQS, you cannot schedule jobs for later than 15 minutes in the future.


AWS SQS ActiveJob is a lightweight and performant queueing backend. Benchmark performed using: Ruby MRI 2.6.5,
shoryuken 5.0.5, aws-sdk-rails 3.3.1 and aws-sdk-sqs 1.34.0 on a 2015 Macbook Pro dual-core i7 with 16GB ram.

AWS SQS ActiveJob (default settings): Throughput 119.1 jobs/sec Shoryuken (default settings): Throughput 76.8 jobs/sec

Running workers - polling for jobs

To start processing jobs, you need to start a separate process (in additional to your Rails app) with bin/aws_sqs_active_job (an executable script provided with this gem). You need to specify the queue to process jobs from: sh RAILS_ENV=development bundle exec aws_sqs_active_job --queue default

To see a complete list of arguments use --help.

You can kill the process at any time with CTRL+C - the processor will attempt to shutdown cleanly and will wait up to :shutdown_timeout seconds for all actively running jobs to finish before killing them.

Note: When running in production, its recommended that use a process supervisor such as foreman, systemd, upstart, daemontools, launchd, runit, ect.

Serverless workers: processing activejobs using AWS Lambda

Rather than managing the worker processes yourself, you can use Lambda with an SQS Trigger. With Lambda Container Image Support and the lambda handler provided with aws-sdk-rails its easy to use lambda to run ActiveJobs for your dockerized rails app (see below for some tips). All you need to do is: 1. include the aws_lambda_ric gem 2. Push your image to ecr 3. Create a lambda function from your image (see the lambda docs for details). 4. Add an SQS Trigger for the queue(s) you want to process jobs from. 5. Set the ENTRYPOINT to /usr/local/bundle/bin/aws_lambda_ric and the CMD to config/environment.Aws::Rails::SqsActiveJob.lambda_job_handler - this will load Rails and then use the lambda handler provided by aws-sdk-rails. You can do this either as function config or in your Dockerfile.

There are a few limitations/requirements for lambda container images: the default lambda user must be able to read all the files and the image must be able to run on a read only file system. You may need to disable bootsnap, set a HOME env variable and set the logger to STDOUT (which lambda will record to cloudwatch for you).

You can use the RAILS_ENV to control environment. If you need to execute specific configuration in the lambda, you can create a ruby file and use it as your entrypoint:

# app.rb
# some custom config

require_relative 'config/environment' # load rails

# Rails.config.custom....
# Aws::Rails::SqsActiveJob.config....

# no need to write a handler yourself here, as long as
# aws-sdk-rails is loaded, you can still use the
# Aws::Rails::SqsActiveJob.lambda_job_handler

# To use this file, set CMD:  app.Aws::Rails::SqsActiveJob.lambda_job_handler

Elastic Beanstalk workers: processing activejobs using worker environments

Another option for processing jobs without managing the worker process is hosting the application in a scalable Elastic Beanstalk worker environment. This SDK includes Rack middleware that can be added conditionally and which will process requests from the SQS Daemon provided with each worker instance. The middleware will forward each request and parameters to their appropriate jobs.

To add the middleware on application startup, set the AWS_PROCESS_BEANSTALK_WORKER_REQUESTS environment variable to true in the worker environment configuration.

To protect against forgeries, daemon requests will only be processed if they originate from localhost or the Docker host.

Periodic (scheduled) jobs are also supported with this approach without requiring any additional dependencies. Elastic Beanstalk workers support the addition of a cron.yaml file in the application root to configure this.

Example: yml version: 1 cron: - name: "MyApplicationJob" url: "/" schedule: "0 */12 * * *"

Where 'name' must be the case-sensitive class name of the job.


For a complete list of configuration options see the Aws::Rails::SqsActiveJob::Configuration documentation.

You can configure AWS SQS Active Job either through the yml file or through code in your config/<env>.rb or initializers.

For file based configuration, you can use either: 1. config/aws_sqs_active_job/<RAILS_ENV>.yml 2. config/aws_sqs_active_job.yml

The yml file supports ERB.

To configure in code: ruby Aws::Rails::SqsActiveJob.configure do |config| config.logger = config.max_messages = 5 config.client = 'us-east-1') end

Using FIFO queues

If the order in which your jobs executes is important, consider using a FIFO Queue. A FIFO queue ensures that messages are processed in the order they were sent (First-In-First-Out) and exactly-once processing (ensuring duplicates are never introduced into the queue). To use a fifo queue, simply set the queue url (which will end in “.fifo”) in your config. You can also configure a custom message_group_id that will be used by all jobs.

When using FIFO queues, jobs will NOT be processed concurrently by the poller to ensure the correct ordering. Additionally, all jobs on a FIFO queue will be queued synchronously, even if you have configured the amazon_sqs_async adapter.

AWS Record Generators

This package also pulls in the aws-record gem and provides generators for creating models and a rake task for performing table config migrations.


You can either invoke the generator by calling rails g aws_record:model ...

If DynamoDB will be the only datastore you plan on using you can also set aws-record-generator to be your project's default orm with

config.generators do |g|
  g.orm :aws_record

Which will cause aws_record:model to be invoked by the Rails model generator.

Generating a model

Generating a model can be as simple as: rails g aws_record:model Forum --table-config primary:10-5 aws-record-generator will automatically create a uuid:hash_key field for you, and a table config with the provided r/w units

# app/models/forum.rb

require 'aws-record'

class Forum
  include Aws::Record

  string_attr :uuid, hash_key: true

# db/table_config/forum_config.rb

require 'aws-record'

module ModelTableConfig
  def self.config
    Aws::Record::TableConfig.define do |t|
      t.model_class Forum

      t.read_capacity_units 10
      t.write_capacity_units 5

More complex models can be created by adding more fields to the model as well as other options:

rails g aws_record Forum post_id:rkey author_username post_title post_body tags:sset:default_value{}

# app/models/forum.rb

require 'aws-record'

class Forum
  include Aws::Record

  string_attr :uuid, hash_key: true
  string_attr :post_id, range_key: true
  string_attr :author_username
  string_attr :post_title
  string_attr :post_body
  string_set_attr :tags, default_value:

# db/table_config/forum_config.rb
# ...

Finally you can attach a variety of options to your fields, and even ActiveModel validations to the models:

rails g aws_record:model Forum forum_uuid:hkey post_id:rkey author_username post_title post_body tags:sset:default_value{} created_at:datetime:db_attr_name{PostCreatedAtTime} moderation:boolean:default_value{false} --table-config=primary:5-2 AuthorIndex:12-14 --required=post_title --length-validations=post_body:50-1000 --gsi=AuthorIndex:hkey{author_username}

Which results in the following files being generated:

# app/models/forum.rb

require 'aws-record'
require 'active_model'

class Forum
  include Aws::Record
  include ActiveModel::Validations

  string_attr :forum_uuid, hash_key: true
  string_attr :post_id, range_key: true
  string_attr :author_username
  string_attr :post_title
  string_attr :post_body
  string_set_attr :tags, default_value:
  datetime_attr :created_at, database_attribute_name: "PostCreatedAtTime"
  boolean_attr :moderation, default_value: false

    hash_key: :author_username,
    projection: {
      projection_type: "ALL"
  validates_presence_of :post_title
  validates_length_of :post_body, within: 50..1000

# db/table_config/forum_config.rb
# ...

To migrate your new models and begin using them you can run the provided rake task: rails aws_record:migrate


The syntax for creating an aws-record model follows:

rails generate aws_record:model NAME [field[:type][:opts]...] [options]

The possible field types are:

Field Name | aws-record attribute type —————- | ————- bool \| boolean | :boolean_attr date | :date_attr datetime | :datetime_attr float | :float_attr int \| integer | :integer_attr list | :list_attr map | :map_attr num_set \| numeric_set \| nset | :numeric_set_attr string_set \| s_set \| sset | :string_set_attr string | :string_attr

If a type is not provided, it will assume the field is of type :string_attr.

Additionally a number of options may be attached as a comma separated list to the field:

Field Option Name | aws-record option —————- | ————- hkey | marks an attribute as a hash_key rkey | marks an attribute as a range_key persist_nil | will persist nil values in a attribute db_attr_name{NAME} | sets a secondary name for an attribute, these must be unique across attribute names ddb_type{S\|N\|B\|BOOL\|SS\|NS\|BS\|M\|L} | sets the dynamo_db_type for an attribute default_value{Object} | sets the default value for an attribute

The standard rules apply for using options in a model. Additional reading can be found here

Command Option Names | Purpose ——————– | ———– [–skip-namespace], [–no-skip-namespace] | Skip namespace (affects only isolated applications) [–disable-mutation-tracking], [–no-disable-mutation-tracking] | Disables dirty tracking [–timestamps], [–no-timestamps] | Adds created, updated timestamps to the model –table-config=primary:R-W [SecondaryIndex1:R-W]… | Declares the r/w units for the model as well as any secondary indexes [–gsi=name:hkey{ field_name }[,rkey{ field_name },proj_type{ ALL|KEYS_ONLY|INCLUDE }]…] | Allows for the declaration of secondary indexes [–required=field1…] | A list of attributes that are required for an instance of the model [–length-validations=field1:MIN-MAX…] | Validations on the length of attributes in a model [–table-name=name] | Sets the name of the table in DynamoDB, if different than the model name [–skip-table-config] | Doesn't generate a table config for the model [–password-digest] | Adds a password field (note that you must have bcrypt has a dependency) that automatically hashes and manages the model password

The included rake task aws_record:migrate will run all of the migrations in app/db/table_config