Getting AWS Credentials into to a Docker Container without Hardcoding It

EDIT (3 June 2018): There are security concerns with following this approach. Checkout out this great article on why.

When I’m building with ECS, I’m more often than not building a worker that interacts with other AWS services. I need my AWS Access Key ID and my AWS Secret Access Key for it to work locally.
Nobody wants hard-coded values being pushed to version control nor do you want to have to dig it up every time you need to develop locally.

Set up your AWS credentials per the official docs.
The highlights taken from this page are as follows:

    • Set credentials in the AWS credentials profile file on your local system, located at:
        • ~/.aws/credentials on Linux, OS X, or Unix
        • C:\Users\USERNAME\.aws\credentials on Windows

      This file should contain lines in the following format:

      aws_access_key_id = your_access_key_id
      aws_secret_access_key = your_secret_access_key

      Substitute your own AWS credentials values for the values your_access_key_id and your_secret_access_key.

    • Set the AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID and AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY environment variables.

To set these variables on Linux, OS X, or Unix, use export:

export AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID=your_access_key_id
export AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY=your_secret_access_key
# To set these variables on Windows, use set:set AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID=your_access_key_id
set AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY=your_secret_access_key

Running $ aws help we see there is a –profile parameter.
Leveraging this, we can write a shell script to get our credentials into our Docker container.

Now we can run locally, push to version control and not worry about our credentials being insecure.
Plus, you can build and run your Docker container with one command now, woohoo.

Handling DynamoDB BatchWrite Errors in Node.js

So, you’re building a Node.js app to do DynamoDB Batch Writes or better yet, you’re diving into AWS’ Lambda? You want to be a good programmer and handle errors gracefully, right? You came to the right place.

First, how do errors look? Notice how you just get an empty {} when all is good, well here is it how it looks if any items are unprocessed by DynamoDB:

Now, this is really cool because Amazon just perfectly returned all the code you need to do a new batch write.
All you need to do now is write a callback and ideally put in some exponential backoff logic, like so:

A Few Things to Remember to Do before Deploying a Rails App to AWS Elastic Beanstalk

This might just be a few notes for myself but maybe someone else will find this handy:

  • Include the Puma gem, gem 'puma' (and bundle of course).
  • In the database.yml change the production database settings to this:
  • Once the environment is created run rake secret in the command line.
  • Copy the output and type eb setenv SECRET_KEY_BASE=generated_secret_key
  • Any additional environment variables are set the same way