TypeScript Lambda with cdktf

17th December 2022


In this blog post, I want to briefly explain what cdktf is and how you can use it to create a TypeScript Lambda. The motivation for this came from a StackOverflow post.

What is cdktf?

The Cloud Development Kit for Terraform (cdktf) is a toolkit for building and managing cloud infrastructure like AWS or Azure with Terraform. It allows you to define the infrastructure using a programming language like TypeScript or Python.

Setup cdktf

You can find all the code in my repository here. However, I'll briefly describe how the repository was created. Initialize your cdktf repo with:

cdktf init --template="typescript"
cdktf provider add "aws@~>4.0"

Optionally you can add prettier and linter. In most of my projects, I use these because they allow me to develop quickly without having to worry about formatting.

I use the Community Terraform Lambda Module to define the lambda. It allows me to define a lambda in just a few lines that are configured with a role and can also be easily extended with policies. The cool thing is that cdktf supports a type import. To do this, simply add the following module to the cdktf.json file:

"terraformModules": [
      "name": "lambda",
      "source": "terraform-aws-modules/lambda/aws",
      "version": "~> 3.0"

Then the command cdktf get is executed:

cdktf get

Now the module can be used in the cdktf code:

import { lambda } from './../.gen/modules/lambda';

If lambda has its own dependencies, they still need to be installed with:

cd src/lambda
npm install

Deploy the cdktf stack with:

cdktf deploy


The lambda can then be integrated into main.ts, for example:

import { NodejsFunction } from './constructs/nodejs-function';

class MyStack extends TerraformStack {
  constructor(scope: Construct, name: string) {
    super(scope, name);

    const code = new NodejsFunction(this, 'code', {
      path: path.join(__dirname, 'lambda/filter-aurora.ts'),

    new Lambda(this, 'FilterAuroraEventsLambda', {
      functionName: 'filter-aurora',
      handler: 'filter-aurora.handler',
      runtime: 'nodejs14.x',
      sourcePath: code.bundledPath,
      timeout: 15 * 60,
      attachPolicyStatements: true,
      policyStatements: {
        kms: {
          effect: 'Allow',
          actions: ['*'],
          resources: ['*']
        s3: {
          effect: 'Allow',
          actions: ['s3:*'],
          resources: ['*'],

const app = new App();
new MyStack(app, 'cdktf-lambda');

So I use the custom construct NodejsFunction to bundle the code from TypeScript into JavaScript and show the lambda where to find the bundled JavaScript code. The NodejsFunction Construct looks like that:

import { AssetType, TerraformAsset } from 'cdktf';
import { Construct } from 'constructs';
import { buildSync } from 'esbuild';
import * as path from 'path';

export interface NodejsFunctionProps {
  readonly path: string;

const bundle = (workingDirectory: string, entryPoint: string) => {
    entryPoints: [entryPoint],
    platform: 'node',
    target: 'es2018',
    bundle: true,
    format: 'cjs',
    sourcemap: 'external',
    outdir: 'dist',
    absWorkingDir: workingDirectory,

  return path.join(workingDirectory, 'dist');

export class NodejsFunction extends Construct {
  public readonly asset: TerraformAsset;
  public readonly bundledPath: string;

  constructor(scope: Construct, id: string, props: NodejsFunctionProps) {
    super(scope, id);

    const workingDirectory = path.resolve(path.dirname(props.path));
    const distPath = bundle(workingDirectory, path.basename(props.path));

    this.bundledPath = path.join(
      `${path.basename(props.path, '.ts')}.js`,

    this.asset = new TerraformAsset(this, 'lambda-asset', {
      path: distPath,
      type: AssetType.ARCHIVE,

As can be seen, esbuild bundles the TypeScript code to JavaScript code every time cdktf deploy is executed.


Building TypeScript lambdas with cdktf require a bit more effort compared to aws cdk TypeScript lambdas. Still, that effort is kept in check and I've shown you how to do it here. If you found the post helpful, please let me know!

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Tagged in eng2022awscdktf