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AWS Full-Stack Template is a full-stack sample web application that creates a simple CRUD (create, read, update, delete) app, and provides the foundational services, components, and plumbing needed to get a basic web application up and running.



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AWS Full-Stack Template

AWS Full-Stack Template is a full-stack sample web application that creates a simple CRUD (create, read, update, delete) app, and provides the foundational services, components, and plumbing needed to get a basic web application up and running. Try out the deployed application here!

The entire application - frontend, backend, and all configuration - can deployed in your AWS account with a single CloudFormation template. Get started with building your own below!  

License Summary

This sample code is made available under a modified MIT license. See the LICENSE file.





The goal of AWS Full-Stack Template is to provide a fully-functional web application that helps users accelerate building apps on AWS by providing an out-of-the-box template. This template is production-ready and pre-loaded with best practices. Applications today have an increasing number of building blocks and infrastructure components, and AWS Full-Stack Template will help educate professionals and students alike to design software in a modern cloud computing world. With AWS Full-Stack Template, developers can create a cohesive, production-ready application on the cloud in minutes, allowing them to focus on building the pieces that matter and add value.

The provided CloudFormation template automates the entire creation and deployment of AWS Full-Stack Template. The template includes the following components:

Database components

  • Goals list – Amazon DynamoDB offers fast, predictable performance for the key-value lookups needed in the goals app, and enormous scale so you can build on top of it. In this implementation, we have unique identifiers for each goal, the goal name, and description.

Application components

  • Serverless service backend – Amazon API Gateway powers the interface layer between the frontend and backend, and invokes serverless compute with AWS Lambda.
  • Web application blueprint – We include a React web application pre-integrated out-of-the-box with best practices and tools such as React Bootstrap, React Router, Typescript, and more.

Infrastructure components

  • Continuous deployment code pipeline – AWS CodePipeline and AWS CodeBuild help you build, test, and release your application code.
  • Serverless web application – Amazon CloudFront and Amazon S3 provide a globally-distributed application.

You can choose to customize the template to create your own goals app, modify it to make a different type of simple notes or to-do application, or add onto it to make a completely different type of web application.

Users can build on top of AWS Full-Stack Template to create any application they envision, whether a travel booking tool, a blog, or another web app. AWS Bookstore Demo App is just one full-fledged example of what you might create using AWS Full-Stack Template.

Once you've set up AWS Full-Stack Template, check out how you can build on top of it with Extensions.




IMPORTANT NOTE: Creating this application in your AWS account will create and consume AWS resources, which will cost money. We estimate that running this demo application will cost <$0.10/hour with light usage. Be sure to shut down/remove all resources once you are finished to avoid ongoing charges to your AWS account (see instructions on cleaning up/tear down below).


Getting started

To get AWS Full-Stack Template up and running in your own AWS account, follow these steps (if you do not have an AWS account, please see How do I create and activate a new Amazon Web Services account?):

  1. Log into the AWS console if you are not already.
    Note: If you are logged in as an IAM user, ensure your account has permissions to create and manage the necessary resources and components for this application.
  2. Choose one of the Launch Stack buttons below for your desired AWS region to open the AWS CloudFormation console and create a new stack. AWS Full-Stack Template is supported in the following regions:
Region name Region code Launch
US East (N. Virginia) us-east-1 Launch Stack
US West (Oregon) us-west-2 Launch Stack
EU (Ireland) eu-west-1 Launch Stack
EU (Frankfurt) eu-central-1 Launch Stack
  1. Continue through the CloudFormation wizard steps
    1. Name your stack, e.g. MyGoalsApp
    2. Provide a project name, e.g. goalsapp (must be lowercase, letters only, and under twelve (12) characters). This is used when naming your resources, e.g. tables, etc.
    3. After reviewing, check the blue box for creating IAM resources.
  2. Choose Create stack. This will take ~15 minutes to complete.
  3. Once the CloudFormation deployment is complete, check the status of the build in the CodePipeline console and ensure it has succeeded.
  4. Sign into your application
    1. The output of the CloudFormation stack creation will provide a CloudFront URL (in the Outputs table of the stack details page). Click the link or copy and paste the CloudFront URL into your browser.
    2. You can sign into your application by registering an email address and a password. Choose Sign up to explore the demo to register. The registration/login experience is run in your AWS account, and the supplied credentials are stored in Amazon Cognito.
      Note: given that this is a demo application, we highly suggest that you do not use an email and password combination that you use for other purposes (such as an AWS account, email, or e-commerce site).
    3. Once you provide your credentials, you will receive a verification code at the email address you provided. Upon entering this verification code, you will be signed into the application.


Cleaning up

To tear down your application and remove all resources associated with AWS Full-Stack Template, follow these steps:

  1. Log into the AWS CloudFormation Console and find the stack you created for the demo app
  2. Delete the stack

Remember to shut down/remove all related resources once you are finished to avoid ongoing charges to your AWS account.




Summary diagram

Summary diagram


High-level, end-to-end diagram

High-level architectural diagram



Build artifacts are stored in a S3 bucket where web application assets are maintained (web graphics, etc.). Amazon CloudFront caches the frontend content from S3, presenting the application to the user via a CloudFront distribution. The frontend interacts with Amazon Cognito and Amazon API Gateway only. Amazon Cognito is used for all authentication requests, whereas API Gateway (and Lambda) is used for all API calls to DynamoDB.


The core of the backend infrastructure consists of Amazon Cognito, Amazon DynamoDB, AWS Lambda, and Amazon API Gateway. The application leverages Amazon Cognito for user authentication, and Amazon DynamoDB to store all of the data for the goals.

Backend diagram


Developer Tools

The code is hosted in AWS CodeCommit. AWS CodePipeline builds the web application using AWS CodeBuild. After successfully building, CodeBuild copies the build artifacts into a S3 bucket where the web application assets are maintained (web graphics, etc.). Along with uploading to Amazon S3, CodeBuild invalidates the cache so users always see the latest experience when accessing the storefront through the Amazon CloudFront distribution. AWS CodeCommit. AWS CodePipeline, and AWS CodeBuild are used in the deployment and update processes only, not while the application is in a steady-state of use.

Developer Tools diagram



Implementation details

Note: The provided CloudFormation template contains only a portion of the resources needed to create and run the application. There are web assets (images, etc.), Lambda functions, and other resources called from the template to create the full experience. These resources are stored in a public-facing S3 bucket and referenced in the template.


Amazon DynamoDB

The backend of AWS Full-Stack Template leverages Amazon DynamoDB to enable dynamic scaling and the ability to add features as we improve our goals application. The application creates one table in DynamoDB; the table name will match the "ProjectName" you used when creating the stack in CloudFormation. DynamoDB's primary key consists of a partition (hash) key and an optional sort (range) key. The primary key (partition and sort key together) must be unique.

Goals Table

GoalsTable {
  userId: string (primary partition key)
  goalId: string (primary sort key)
  title: string
  content: string
  createdAt: number

The table's primary key is made up of the user ID (partition key) and the goal ID (sort key). Given that this composite primary key has both pieces of information, we can query on the user ID (partition key) alone, which will return only the goals that are in the specified user's account. It also allows us to query DynamoDB on the total composite key (user ID and goal ID), which will return goal details without additional data processing.


Amazon API Gateway

Amazon API Gateway acts as the interface layer between the frontend (Amazon CloudFront, Amazon S3) and AWS Lambda, which calls the backend (database). Below are the different APIs the application uses:

Goals (DynamoDB)

GET /goals (ListGoals)
POST /goals (CreateGoal)
GET /goals/{:id} (GetGoal)
PUT /goals/{:id} (UpdateGoal)
DELETE /goals/{:id} (DeleteGoal)


AWS Lambda

AWS Lambda is used in a few different places to run the application, as shown in the architecture diagram. The important Lambda functions that are deployed as part of the template are shown below, and available in the functions folder. In the cases where the response fields are blank, the application will return a statusCode 200 or 500 for success or failure, respectively.



Lambda function that lists the user's goals. The user's account ID is retrieved through the request context (does not need to be explicitly provided in the request).

ListGoalsRequest {

ListGoalsResponse {
    goals: goal[]
goal {
    goalId: string
    title: string
    content: string
    createdAt: number



Lambda function that returns the properties of a goal.

GetGoalRequest {
    goalId: string
GetGoalResponse {
    goalId: string
    title: string
    content: string
    createdAt: number



Lambda function that creates a specified goal in the user's account.

CreateGoalRequest {
    title: string
    content: string
CreateGoalResponse {




Lambda function that removes a given goal from the user's account.

DeleteGoalRequest {
    goalId: string
DeleteGoalResponse {




Lambda function that updates the user's goal with a new title and/or content.

UpdateGoalRequest {
    title: string
    content: string
UpdateGoalResponse {



The following IAM role (and included policies) is needed to run the application:

AWS managed policy
Inline policy
    dynamodb:PutItem - table/Goals
    dynamodb:Query - table/Goals
    dynamodb:UpdateItem - table/Goals
    dynamodb:GetItem - table/Goals
    dynamodb:Scan - table/Goals
    dynamodb:DeleteItem - table/Goals


Amazon Cognito

Amazon Cognito handles user account creation and login for the goals application. For the purposes of this template, you can only browse your goals after login, which could represent the architecture of different types of web apps. Users can also choose to separate the architecture, where portions of the web app are publicly available and others are available upon login.

User Authentication

  • Email address

Amazon Cognito passes the CognitoIdentityID (which AWS Full-Stack Template uses as the Customer ID) for every user along with every request from Amazon API Gateway to Lambda, which helps the services authenticate against which user is doing what.


Amazon CloudFront and Amazon S3

Amazon CloudFront hosts the web application frontend that users interface with. This includes web assets like pages and images. For demo purposes, CloudFormation pulls these resources from S3.


Amazon CloudWatch

The capabilities provided by CloudWatch are not exposed to the end users of the web app, rather the developer/administrator can use CloudWatch logs, alarms, and graphs to track the usage and performance of their web application.


AWS CodeCommit, AWS CodePipeline, AWS CodeBuild

Similar to CloudWatch, the capabilities provided by CodeCommit, CodePipeline, and CodeBuild are not exposed to the end users of the web app. The developer/administrator can use these tools to help stage and deploy the application as it is updated and improved.

Running your web application locally

  1. If you haven't setup Git credentials for AWS CodeCommit before, head to the IAM Console. If you have already you can skip to step 5.

  2. Click on your IAM user.

  3. Click on the Security credentials tab. Scroll to the bottom and click Generate underneath the HTTPS Git credentials for AWS CodeCommit.

  4. Download and save these credentials. You will use these credentials when cloning your repository.  

  5. Go to the CodeCommit console and find your code repository.

  6. Click the HTTPS button underneath the Clone URL column.

  7. Open up your terminal, type git clone paste the Clone URL and hit enter.  

  8. Once the repository has created, run npm install.

  9. After all dependencies have been downloaded, run npm run start.  

Your done! Any future updates you make to your repository get pushed to your code pipeline automatically and published to your web application endpoint.



Considerations for demo purposes

  1. Web assets (pages, images, etc.) are pulled from a public S3 bucket via the CloudFormation template to create the frontend for AWS Full-Stack Template. When building your own web application (or customizing this one), you will likely pull from your own S3 buckets. If you customize the lambda functions, you will want to store these separately, as well.

Known limitations

  • The application was written for demonstration purposes and not for production use.
  • Validation is working properly from an end-user standpoint, but is not cleanly implemented. For instance, the submit buttons (to create a goal, update a goal, login, signup, and enter confirmation code) are disabled (as designed) when validation fails, but we added an extra helper function to support this. This issue occured when the app was upgraded to Bootstrap 4. We plan to fix this in a future revision.
  • In today's implementation, we have all of the Lambda functions associated with one IAM role. Ideally, each Lambda function would have its own scoped-down IAM role and policies.
  • Upon the first use of a Lambda function, cold start times can be slow. Once the Lambda function has been warmed up, performance will improve.

Additions, forks, and contributions

We are excited that you are interested in using AWS Full-Stack Template! This is a great place to start if you are just beginning with AWS and want to get a functional application up and running. It is equally useful if you are looking for a sample full-stack application to fork off of and build your own custom application. We encourage developer participation via contributions and suggested additions. Of course you are welcome to create your own version!

Please see the contributing guidelines for more information.

For just one example of how you can build on top of this, check out AWS Bookstore Demo App which was built on top of AWS Full-Stack Template.


Are you looking for a few extensions that you can use to build on top of the Full-Stack ecosystem? Check them out in the Extensions folder!

Want to contribute an extension? Leave us a comment or submit a PR!

Questions and contact

For questions on AWS Full-Stack Template, or to contact the team, please leave a comment on GitHub.


AWS Full-Stack Template is a full-stack sample web application that creates a simple CRUD (create, read, update, delete) app, and provides the foundational services, components, and plumbing needed to get a basic web application up and running.



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