Skip to content
Proof-of-concept for replacing Amplify CLI with Terraform & Serverless
Branch: master
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.


This repo is a proof-of-concept for using Amplify client libraries with Terraform (and serverless for Lambda functions) rather than Amplify CLI and Console.

See my blog for an explanation of why:


Install the following tools:

Setup AWS API credentials: aws configure


The build workflow is as follows:

  • Terraform infrastructure:
    • cd terraform
    • terraform init (only needed the first time)
    • terraform apply
  • Deploy serverless function:
    • cd serverless
    • serverless deploy -v
  • Build and push react app:
    • terraform output -state=terraform/terraform.tfstate aws-exports-file > src/aws-exports.js
    • yarn build
    • aws s3 sync build s3://<YOURBUCKET> --cache-control max-age=300



My terraform scripts are in terraform/ and the resources are organized thusly:

  1. Variables, Outputs, and Data resources
  2. DynamoDB; AppSync API, Data Sources, and Resolvers; IAM perms
  3. Cognito Identity Pool, User Pool, User Groups, Clients, and IAM roles
  4. S3 website bucket, CloudFront distribution, Route 53 Record

Serverless functions are in services/. The code is just a dummy example. The serverless.yml however shows a few useful examples:

  1. Giving access to DynamoDB tables
  2. Outputting your function ARNs so you can plug them into terraform as variables

When using these scripts in a non-toy app, I create multiple terraform workspaces and separate <stage>.tfvars files for use with each. Not beautiful, but works.


The client app was bootstrapped with Create React App.

It uses the AppSyncClientSDK which is an Apollo compatible client; just pass it to your provider: <ApolloProvider client={client} />.

The pattern that Amplify and AppSync give you for configuring the Clients is having a src/aws-exports.js file that is ignored from git and contains all your configuration details for AppSync, Cognito, etc. My code does the same pattern except uses terraform to generate that file:

terraform output aws-exports-file > ../src/aws-exports.js

That was a trick I picked up for generating Kubeconfig files after setting up Kubernetes. So after creating your infrastructure with terraform, you should generate the latest aws-exports.js file.

NOTE: Generate the latest aws-exports.js file for your target stage before bundling code!

Your bundled code will essentially be hardcoded to point at whatever stage/environment was referenced by aws-exports.js at the time of bundling. Notice in the instructions above on how to build and push react app it has you write the src/aws-exports.js first. Those few lines are should go in a deploy script.

You can’t perform that action at this time.