Setting Up Elastic Beanstalk Health Checks With a Django Application

I was having an issue the past few days with Django and Elastic Beanstalk in a production environment that was driving me nuts.

Basically the Elastic Beanstalk environment was in a permament Severe/Degraded state. The health monitoring was reporting that 100% of the requests to the load balancer where 4xx requests:

Elastic Beanstalk 4xx requests

This issue was probably caused by several reasons. In this post I will go over the reasons I think I was experiencing it, and how it was fixed in the end.

django elasticbeanstalk

Media-Type Based Responses With Django REST Framework

Nowadays a typical REST API responds with data in JSON format. But what if you wanted to serve data in a different format (and not just a serialization format) using the same endpoint, but specified by the client?

Django REST Framework renderers can help us achieve this nice feature.

Use Case: ONIX For Books Compatible API

ONIX for books is an XML format for sharing bibliographic data pertaining to both traditional books and eBooks.

Let’s say our application serves metadata about books (title, author, etc.) in the usual JSON format, but we also want to provide data in ONIX format, which is an XML standard that defines how the metadata should be described and put together for consumption.


Python Functional Testing for AWS Lambda

In this post I will explain and go over how I personally write functional tests for my AWS Lambda functions.

For our example use case, we will assume that our Lambda function is quite complex, as in that it involves downloading a file, processing it, and uploading a result. Additionally it will be called by an SQS event, and it make use of other non-Python related elements, as we will see later.

Let’s get started!

python pytest aws lambda serverless tdd

Pytest Tricks for Better Python Tests

Pytest is my Python testing framework of choice. Very easy to use, and makes tests look much better.

In this article I’ll show you some cool tricks I have incorporated into my test suites using Pytest.

Environment Variables

When your application must work with defined environment variables, the testing environment must have these variables defined as well, even if the values are not real.

With Pytest we can easily configure any necessary environment variables in our test environment. We simply create a fixture in that will be loaded automatically:


import pytest

def env_setup(monkeypatch):
    monkeypatch.setenv('MY_SETTING', 'some-value')
    monkeypatch.setenv('ANOTHER_SETTING', 'some-value')

monkeypatch is a built-in pytest fixture that allows us to set environment variables in the test runs. By enabling the autouse option, our custom environment setup fixture will be automatically called in every test without having to include it explicitly using the usual dependency injection mechanism.

python pytestб tdd

CloudFront CORS Font Issues

I was experiencing an issue with CloudFront and some static assets of a Django application deployed to ElasticBeanstalk. The issue was happening when trying to retrieve some fonts that are stored in S3 and served by CloudFront, the browser dev tools would show some errors similar to the following:

Access to Font at '' from origin '' has been blocked by CORS policy: No 'Access-Control-Allow-Origin' header is present on the requested resource.

A CORS issue. And apparently, very common when trying to load fonts.

To fix this, there are a few possible things that you might have to try. I will list some of the fixes I found.

cloudfront cors
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