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Terraform Plugin SDK enables building plugins (providers) to manage any service providers or custom in-house solutions
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appilon Merge pull request #299 from hashicorp/kt/ensure_value_is_returned
validation - ensure all validators return the failing value
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Terraform Plugin SDK

This SDK enables building Terraform plugin which allows Terraform's users to manage existing and popular service providers as well as custom in-house solutions.

Terraform itself is a tool for building, changing, and versioning infrastructure safely and efficiently. You can find more about Terraform on its website and its GitHub repository.


See Extending Terraform section on the website.

Scope (Providers VS Core)

Terraform Core

  • acts as gRPC client
  • interacts with the user
  • parses (HCL/JSON) configuration
  • manages state as whole, asks Provider(s) to mutate provider-specific parts of state
  • handles backends & provisioners
  • handles inputs, outputs, modules, and functions
  • discovers Provider(s) and their versions per configuration
  • manages Provider(s) lifecycle (i.e. spins up & tears down provider process)
  • passes relevant parts of parsed (valid JSON/HCL) and interpolated configuration to Provider(s)
  • decides ordering of (Create, Read, Update, Delete) operations on resources and data sources
  • ...

Terraform Provider (via this SDK)

  • acts as gRPC server
  • executes any domain-specific logic based on received parsed configuration
    • (Create, Read, Update, Delete, Import, Validate) a Resource
    • Read a Data Source
  • tests domain-specific logic via provided acceptance test framework
  • provides Core updated state of a resource or data source and/or appropriate feedback in the form of validation or other errors

Migrating to SDK v1 from built-in SDK

Migrating to the standalone SDK v1 is covered on the Plugin SDK section of the website.


The Terraform Plugin SDK is a Go module versioned using semantic versioning.


See .github/


Mozilla Public License v2.0

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