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A Lambda function which implements a Custom Resource for Cloud Formation that gets output values from existing stacks.


Create a Role with ./ This creates a new stack with the appropriate permissions for the function.

Deploy the lambda function with ./ Now the function can be used to get outputs from existing stacks via a Cloud Formation Custom Resource.

Cloud Formation Usage

Use the function inside your Cloud Formation template by declaring a custom resource, Custom::StackDependency.

The Custom::StackDependency refers to a StackName that is sent to the Lambda function and is used to lookup the outputs from the selected stack. If no stack is found FAILED is returned.

It is also possible to include an Excludes parameter which takes an array of properties that will be excluded from the response. This can be used to limit the size of the response. Amazon has a limit of 4096 bytes for the response.

The outputs from the Custom::StackDependency can be referred with Fn:GetAtt.

Example: "Fn::GetAtt": ["IamStack", "InstanceProfile"]

In addition to the normal outputs from a stack, we also get access to all the environment variables formatted as a Unix env-file. They are available with the property Environment. Environment can also be excluded with Excludes.


A Stack with the following Outputs defined, Role, and RoleArn

"Outputs": {
  "Role": {
    "Value": {"Ref":"Role"},
      "Description": "Role"
    "RoleArn": {
      "Value": {"Fn::GetAtt": ["Role", "Arn"]},
      "Description": "Role Arn"

It will receieve the following output, notice the newline separated Environment.

Example output:

  Role: 'stack-Role-1MFTAH8MOJ8Y4',
  RoleArn: 'arn:aws:iam::445573518738:role/stack-Role-1MFTAH8MOJ8Y4',
  Environment: 'Role=stack-Role-1MFTAH8MOJ8Y4\nRoleArn=arn:aws:iam::445573518738:role/stack-Role-1MFTAH8MOJ8Y4'

Extended Example with Stack

"Parameters": {
  "IamRoleStack": {
    "Description": "Name of Iam role stack",
    "Type": "String"
"Resources": {
  "IamStack": {
    "Type": "Custom::StackDependency",
    "Properties": {
      "ServiceToken": { "Fn::Join": [ "", [
        { "Ref": "AWS::Region" },
        { "Ref": "AWS::AccountId" },
      ] ] },
      "StackName": { "Ref": "IamRoleStack" },
      "Excludes": ["RoleArn"]
  "AppInstance": {
    "Type": "AWS::EC2::Instance",
    "Properties": {
      "IamInstanceProfile": {
        "Fn::GetAtt": ["IamStack", "InstanceProfile"]
      "Metadata": {
        "AWS::CloudFormation::Init": {
            "files": {
              "/tmp/docker.env": {
                "content" :  { "Fn::Join" : ["", [
                  { "Fn::GetAtt": ["IamStack", "Environment"] },
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