121. 5 Ways to extend CloudFormation

AWS Bites

Apr 18 2024 • 30 mins

In this episode, we discuss 5 different ways to extend CloudFormation capabilities beyond what it natively supports. We started with a quick recap of what CloudFormation is and why we might need to extend it. We then covered using custom scripts and templating engines, which can be effective but require extra maintenance. We recommended relying instead on tools like Serverless Framework, SAM, and CDK which generate CloudFormation templates but provide abstractions and syntax improvements. When you need custom resources, CloudFormation macros allow pre-processing templates, while custom resources and the CloudFormation registry allow defining new resource types. We summarized recommendations for when to use each approach based on our experience. Overall, we covered multiple options for extending CloudFormation to support more complex infrastructure needs.

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In this episode, we mentioned the following resources:

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