How to Import Snowflake Python Libraries in AWS Lambda

In today’s data-driven world, businesses rely on powerful analytics platforms like Snowflake to process and analyze large volumes of data. AWS Lambda, with its serverless architecture, offers a scalable and cost-effective solution for executing code in response to events or triggers.

By integrating Snowflake with AWS Lambda, you can leverage the benefits of both services and build sophisticated data pipelines or perform complex data transformations.

Understanding Snowflake and AWS Lambda

Snowflake is a cloud-based data warehousing platform designed for the modern data landscape. It provides a scalable, elastic, and secure environment for storing and analyzing structured and semi-structured data. Snowflake supports various programming languages, including Python, which makes it a popular choice for data processing and analytics tasks.

AWS Lambda, on the other hand, is a serverless computing service provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS). It allows you to run your code in the cloud without provisioning or managing servers. Lambda functions can be triggered by various events, such as changes to data in an S3 bucket or an API request, and can be written in multiple programming languages, including Python.

Benefits of using Snowflake and AWS Lambda together

Integrating Snowflake with AWS Lambda offers several benefits, including:

  1. Scalability: AWS Lambda automatically scales your code based on the incoming request load. Snowflake, being a cloud-based platform, also offers automatic scalability, allowing you to handle large workloads efficiently.
  2. Cost-effectiveness: With AWS Lambda, you only pay for the actual compute time consumed by your code. Snowflake follows a similar pricing model, ensuring you only pay for the resources you use. By combining both services, you can optimize costs while processing and analyzing your data.
  3. Flexibility: Snowflake provides a wide range of analytics and data processing capabilities, while AWS Lambda allows you to execute custom code in response to events or triggers. This flexibility enables you to build complex data pipelines and perform advanced analytics on Snowflake data.
  4. Ease of use: AWS Lambda abstracts the underlying infrastructure, simplifying the deployment and management of your code. Snowflake, with its intuitive interface and SQL-based querying language, makes it easy to work with large datasets and perform complex data manipulations.

Prerequisites for importing Snowflake Python libraries in AWS Lambda

Before we dive into the process of importing Snowflake Python libraries in AWS Lambda, there are a few prerequisites to take care of:

  1. AWS account: You need an AWS account to create and configure Lambda functions.
  2. Snowflake account: Obtain a Snowflake account and ensure you have the necessary credentials to connect to your Snowflake instance.
  3. AWS CLI: Install the AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) on your local machine for easier management of your AWS resources.
  4. Python and pip: Install Python and pip on your local machine to build and package the Snowflake Python libraries.

With these prerequisites in place, we can proceed to set up an AWS Lambda function and import Snowflake Python libraries.

Setting up an AWS Lambda function

To create an AWS Lambda function, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your AWS Management Console.
  2. Navigate to the Lambda service.
  3. Click on the “Create function” button.
  4. Provide a name for your function and choose the runtime as Python.
  5. Choose the execution role and configure the necessary permissions for your Lambda function.
  6. Click on the “Create function” button to create the Lambda function.

Creating a Snowflake user with the necessary privileges

Before we can import Snowflake Python libraries in AWS Lambda, we need to create a Snowflake user with the necessary privileges. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Log in to your Snowflake account.
  2. Create a new user or use an existing user.
  3. Grant the user the necessary privileges to access and execute functions in Snowflake.
  4. Make note of the user’s credentials, as they will be required later for configuring the Snowflake connection in AWS Lambda.

Building a Snowflake Python package

To import Snowflake Python libraries in AWS Lambda, we need to package the required libraries along with our Lambda function. Here’s how you can build the Snowflake Python package:

  1. Create a new directory for your Lambda function.
  2. Navigate to the directory and create a virtual environment using the command python3 -m venv venv.
  3. Activate the virtual environment using the command source venv/bin/activate.
  4. Install the Snowflake Python connector and any other required dependencies using pip.
  5. Create a deployment package by zipping the contents of the virtual environment.
  6. Upload the deployment package to AWS Lambda using the AWS CLI or the AWS Management Console.

Configuring the Snowflake connection in AWS Lambda

After setting up the Lambda function and building the Snowflake Python package, we need to configure the Snowflake connection in AWS Lambda. Follow these steps:

  1. Open your Lambda function in the AWS Management Console.
  2. Scroll down to the “Function code” section.
  3. Under “Environment variables,” add the necessary Snowflake connection details, such as the account URL, username, password, and warehouse.
  4. Save the changes to your Lambda function.

Writing code to import Snowflake Python libraries

With the Snowflake connection configured in AWS Lambda, we can now write the code to import Snowflake Python libraries. Here’s an example:

import snowflake.connector
def lambda_handler(event, context):
    # Establish a connection to Snowflake
    conn = snowflake.connector.connect(
    # Perform your Snowflake operations here
    # ...
    # Close the Snowflake connection

In this example, we import the Snowflake connector library and define a Lambda handler function. Inside the handler function, we establish a connection to Snowflake using the provided credentials. We can then perform various Snowflake operations based on our requirements.

Testing the AWS Lambda function

Before deploying the AWS Lambda function, it’s essential to test it to ensure everything is working correctly. AWS provides a testing framework that allows you to simulate different events and verify the behavior of your Lambda function. Follow these steps to test your function:

  1. Open your Lambda function in the AWS Management Console.
  2. Click on the “Test” button in the top-right corner.
  3. Configure a test event or use a sample event template.
  4. Click on the “Test” button to invoke your Lambda function with the specified event.
  5. Review the function’s output and any error messages in the console.

Deploying the AWS Lambda function

Once you have tested the Lambda function and verified its functionality, you can deploy it to make it available for use. Follow these steps to deploy your function:

  1. Open your Lambda function in the AWS Management Console.
  2. Review the function’s configuration and ensure all the settings are correct.
  3. Click on the “Deploy” button to deploy the function.
  4. Once deployed, you can trigger the function manually or configure event-driven triggers based on your requirements.

Troubleshooting common issues

While working with Snowflake and AWS Lambda, you may encounter some common issues. Here are a few tips for troubleshooting:

  1. Invalid credentials: Double-check your Snowflake account credentials and ensure they are correctly configured in your Lambda function.
  2. Incompatible Snowflake and Python versions: Make sure you are using compatible versions of Snowflake, the Snowflake Python connector, and the Python runtime in AWS Lambda.
  3. Network connectivity: Check your network settings to ensure that AWS Lambda can establish a connection with your Snowflake instance.
  4. Lambda function timeout: If your Snowflake operations take longer to execute, consider adjusting the timeout setting for your Lambda function.

Best practices for using Snowflake and AWS Lambda

To make the most of Snowflake and AWS Lambda, consider the following best practices:

  1. Optimize query performance: Use Snowflake’s query optimization techniques, such as query profiling and automatic query acceleration, to improve the performance of your analytics queries.
  2. Leverage Snowflake’s data-sharing capabilities: Snowflake allows you to securely share data across accounts and organizations. Use this feature to collaborate with external partners or leverage third-party data.
  3. Monitor and log your Lambda function: Enable CloudWatch logs for your Lambda function to capture detailed logs and metrics. Monitor the function’s performance and troubleshoot any issues promptly.
  4. Implement error handling and retries: Build resilience in your Lambda function by implementing error handling and retries for Snowflake operations. This ensures that transient errors do not cause data processing failures.
  5. Consider cost optimization: Analyze your usage patterns and optimize the configuration of your Snowflake and Lambda resources to minimize costs without compromising performance.


Integrating Snowflake Python libraries in AWS Lambda opens up a world of possibilities for processing and analyzing data in a serverless environment. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can import Snowflake Python libraries in AWS Lambda and harness the power of both services to build scalable, cost-effective, and high-performing data solutions.

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