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System to enable AWS CloudFormation stacks to emit data into other AWS accounts
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Deploy the infrastructure

In the AWS account that you want other accounts to emit CloudFormation outputs to

  1. Create a DynamoDB table called cloudformation-stack-emissions

  2. Deploy the CloudFormation template cloudformation-sns-emission-consumer-role.yml with this button Launch CloudFormation SNS Emission Consumer Role in a single region which will create an IAM Role used by the Lambda function

  3. Deploy the CloudFormation template cloudformation-sns-emission-consumer.yml with these buttons in every region that you need to receive CloudFormation outputs in. (You're welcome to deploy the template in regions other than those listed below)

    • us-west-2 : Launch CloudFormation SNS Emission Consumer
    • us-east-1 : Launch CloudFormation SNS Emission Consumer

    Since CloudFormation custom resources can only emit to SNS topics in the same region, a separate SNS topic must be deployed in every region that you use. This stack creates

    • An SNS Topic to which other accounts will emit events to and Topic Policy
    • A Lambda function subscribed to that SNS Topic

Emit outputs from a CloudFormation template

Create a CloudFormation template containing

  • A CloudFormation Custom Resource with the following properties
    • ServiceToken : The SNS ARN of the SNS topic you created when deploying the infrastructure
    • An optional category field. This field is indexed in DynamoDB and as a result items can be queried by category. If no category is set in the resource, it will be set to the value general in the DB record. In the example below the category value is set to My Category
    • An arbitrary number of additional optional key value pairs. In the example below there's a single key value pair with a key of exampleKey and value of Example Value

Note : You may want to constrain users from deploying this template in regions where you've not deployed an SNS topic to receive stack emissions. One way to do this is with a region Mapping

Example CloudFormation template

AWSTemplateFormatVersion: 2010-09-09
    Type: Custom::PublishToSNS
    Version: '1.0'
      ServiceToken: !Join [ ':', [ 'arn:aws:sns', !Ref 'AWS::Region', '012345678901', 'cloudformation-stack-emissions' ] ]
      category: My Category
      exampleKey: Example Value

Fetch emitted outputs

Data is queryable by either the aws-account-id or the category fields.

You can fetch data from the DynamoDB table with the aws command line. To fetch the exampleKey value for all emissions in account 012345678901 query like this

aws dynamodb query --table-name cloudformation-stack-emissions \
  --expression-attribute-names '{"#a": "aws-account-id"}' \
  --expression-attribute-values '{":i": {"S": "012345678901"}}' \
  --key-condition-expression "#a = :i" \
  --projection-expression exampleKey \
  --output text --query 'Items[].exampleKey.S'

or for all accounts given category value of testing query the secondary global index category like

aws dynamodb query --table-name cloudformation-stack-emissions \
  --index-name category \
  --expression-attribute-names '{"#c": "category"}' \
  --expression-attribute-values '{":v": {"S": "My Category"}}' \
  --key-condition-expression "#c = :v" \
  --projection-expression exampleKey \
  --output text --query 'Items[].exampleKey.S'

Automatically added attributes

The following attributes are always set

  • aws-account-id : The AWS account ID in which the CloudFormation stack was deployed
  • id : The GUID of the CloudFormation stack combined with the Logical Resource name of the CloudFormation resource, separated by a + character. Example : 6ff5f130-20d6-11e9-b98a-0a1528792fce+PublishTestToSNS

The following attributes are set if they aren't passed in the Properties of the CloudFormation stack

  • category: If it's not defined in the CloudFormation template, it's set to general
  • region : The AWS region in which the CouldFormation stack was deployed
  • stack-name : The name of the CloudFormation stack
  • last-updated : The datetime that the record was last updated in UTC time

DynamoDB Schema

  • Table name : cloudformation-stack-emissions
  • Partition key : aws-account-id which contains the AWS Account ID of the AWS account that contains the CloudFormation stack which is emitting data
  • Sort key : id which contains the the GUID of the CloudFormation stack combined with the Logical Resource name of the CloudFormation resource, separated by a + character.
  • Global Secondary Index : category
    • Partition key : category which contains the category set in the CloudFormation template or the default of general
    • Sort key : id
  • Attributes : All additional Resource Properties of the CloudFormation Custom Resource are inserted into a DynamoDB Item as attributes (key value pairs)
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