In this chapter we will look at how to work with API Gateway across multiple services. A challenge that you run into when splitting your APIs into multiple services is sharing the same domain for them. You might recall that APIs that are created as a part of the Serverless Framework service get their own unique URL that looks something like:

When you attach a custom domain for your API, it is attached to a specific endpoint like the one above. This means that if you create multiple API services, they will all have unique endpoints.

You can assign different base paths for your custom domains. For example, can point to one service while can point to another. But if you try to split your notes service up, you’ll face the challenge of sharing the custom domain across them.

In our notes app, we have two services with API endpoints, notes-api and billing-api. In this chapter, we are going to look at how to configure API Gateway such that both services are served out via a single API endpoint.

The API path we want to setup is:

  • notes-api list all notes ⇒ GET
  • notes-api get one note ⇒ GET{noteId}
  • notes-api create one note ⇒ POST
  • notes-api update one note ⇒ PUT{noteId}
  • notes-api delete one note ⇒ DELETE{noteId}
  • billing-api checkout ⇒ POST

How paths work in API Gateway

API Gateway is structured in a slightly tricky way. Let’s look at this in detail.

  • Each path part is a separate API Gateway resource object.
  • And a path part is a child resource of the preceding part.

So the part path /notes, is a child resource of /. And /notes/{noteId} is a child resource of /notes.

Based on our setup, we want the billing-api to have the /billing path. And this would be a child resource of /. However, / is created in the notes-api service. So we’ll need to find a way to share the resource across services.

Notes Service

To do this, the notes-api needs to share the API Gateway project and the root path /.

In our serverless-stack-demo-ext-api repo, go into the services/notes-api/ directory. In the serverless.yml, near the end, you will notice:


- Outputs:
        Ref: ApiGatewayRestApi
        Name: ${self:custom.stage}-ExtApiGatewayRestApiId

          - ApiGatewayRestApi
          - RootResourceId 
        Name: ${self:custom.stage}-ExtApiGatewayRestApiRootResourceId

Let’s look at what we are doing here.

  1. The first cross-stack reference that needs to be shared is the API Gateway Id that is created as a part of this service. We are going to export it with the name ${self:custom.stage}-ExtApiGatewayRestApiId. Again, we want the exports to work across all our environments/stages and so we include the stage name as a part of it. The value of this export is available as a reference in our current stack called ApiGatewayRestApi.
  2. We also need to export the RootResourceId. This is a reference to the / path of this API Gateway project. To retrieve this Id we use the Fn::GetAtt CloudFormation function and pass in the current ApiGatewayRestApi and look up the attribute RootResourceId. We export this using the name ${self:custom.stage}-ExtApiGatewayRestApiRootResourceId.

Billing Service

Let’s look at how we are importing the above. Open the billing-api service in the services/ directory.


    restApiId: !ImportValue ${self:custom.stage}-ExtApiGatewayRestApiId
    restApiRootResourceId: !ImportValue ${self:custom.stage}-ExtApiGatewayRestApiRootResourceId

    handler: billing.main
      - http:
          path: billing
          method: post
          cors: true
          authorizer: aws_iam

To share the same API Gateway domain as our notes-api service, we are adding an apiGateway: section to the provider: block.

  1. Here we state that we want to use the restApiId of our notes service. We do this by using the cross-stack reference !ImportValue ${self:custom.stage}-ExtApiGatewayRestApiId that we had exported above.

  2. We also state that we want all the APIs in our service to be linked under the root path of our notes service. We do this by setting the restApiRootResourceId to the cross-stack reference !ImportValue ${self:custom.stage}-ExtApiGatewayRestApiRootResourceId from above.

Now when you deploy the billing-api service, instead of creating a new API Gateway project, Serverless Framework is going to reuse the project you imported.

The key thing to note in this setup is that API Gateway needs to know where to attach the routes that are created in this service. We want the /billing path to be attached to the root of our API Gateway project. Hence the restApiRootResourceId points to the root resource of our notes-api service. Of course we don’t have to do it this way. We can organize our service such that the /billing path is created in our main API service and we link to it here.


By sharing API Gateway project, we are making the billing-api depend on the notes-api. When deploying, you need to ensure the notes-api is deployed first.


Note that, a path part can only be created ONCE. Let’s look at an example to understand how this works. Say you need to add another API service that uses the following endpoint.

This new service CANNOT import / from the notes-api.

This is because, Serverless Framework tries to create the following two path parts:

  1. /billing
  2. /billing/xyz

But /billing has already been created in the billing-api service. So if you were to deploy this new service, CloudFormation will fail and complain that the resource already exists.

You HAVE TO import /billing from the billing-api, so the new service will only need to create the /billing/xyz part.

Now we are done organizing our services and we are ready to deploy them. To recap, we have a couple of dependencies in our resources repo and a couple in our API repo.