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Serverless Cloudformation Parameters


While working with AWS, we all love creating infra with code, be it terraform, cdk or cloudformation. Me personally, I love cloudformation over any thing else. Also we use parameters to make the cloudformation more dynamic, be it getting different values for different environments or having to use different env or having to use different config values.

In order to deploy our beautifully crafted cloudformation, we have 2 tools at our hand, we can use either AWS SAM or Serverless Framework. Having worked with both, I find Serverless Framework light years ahead of AWS SAM. One core reason I have so much dislike for AWS SAM is, we can't break apart our long cloudformation into different files unless we want them as nested stack.

Serverless Framework

If we talk about Serverless, well, I've been using this tool for over 5 years and I have so much love for this framework. It addresses every pain points that SAM has left us with while supporting pure cloudformation code and providing easy way of splitting cloudformation snippets into multiple files.

If your stack grows huge, like really really huge, Serverless even provides Serverless Compose plugin, which not only manages to structure big stacks really nicely, but also provides following super cool features:

  • Parallel deployment for multiple services
  • Capability to share outputs from one stack(service) to another
  • Running commands across multiple stacks

Now these are all nice and good but about Cloudformation Parameters which is our main concern here, well, serverless supports that as well. Let's look into how we can make use of that.

Using Parameters in Serverless

    Type: String
    Default: test-bucket
    Type: String
    Default: dev
    AllowedValues: [dev, uat, prod]

    Type: AWS::S3::Bucket
      BucketName: !Sub "${BucketName}-${Stage}"
      AccessControl: Private
service: s3-bucket-param
frameworkVersion: "3"

  name: aws
  stage: dev
  region: us-east-1
    - ParameterKey: BucketName
      ParameterValue: ${param:BucketName}
    - ParameterKey: Stage
      ParameterValue: ${param:Stage}

  - ${file(s3.yml)}

This is how we use the Cloudformation Parameters in Serverless. We define all the Parameters that we require under stackParameters and either we can provide the value directly or through the serverless parameters. In order to supply the value and deploy the stack, we do the following command:

serverless deploy --param "BucketName=my-test-bucet" --param "Stage=dev"