Stack Parameters and Input Values - Tutorial

Welcome to this tutorial on stack parameters and input values in AWS CloudFormation. Stack parameters allow you to customize and configure your CloudFormation stacks during their creation or update process. They provide a way to input dynamic values that influence the behavior and resources of your stacks.

Example of Using Stack Parameters

Let's consider an example where you have a CloudFormation template that deploys an Amazon EC2 instance. You want to specify the instance type as a parameter so that it can be easily changed when creating or updating the stack.

Parameters: InstanceType: Type: String Default: t2.micro Description: The EC2 instance type

In the above example, we define a stack parameter named InstanceType with a default value of t2.micro. This parameter allows users to input a custom instance type when creating or updating the stack.

Steps to Use Stack Parameters and Input Values

  1. Identify the values that need to be parameterized in your CloudFormation template.
  2. Add parameter definitions to your template, specifying the type, default values, and descriptions.
  3. Reference the parameters in the appropriate resources or properties within the template.
  4. When creating or updating the stack, provide input values for the parameters.
  5. CloudFormation will use the input values to configure the stack resources based on the parameter references.

Common Mistakes with Stack Parameters and Input Values

  • Not defining parameters for values that need to be customized.
  • Providing incorrect input values that do not match the expected parameter types.
  • Forgetting to update the parameters when modifying the template.
  • Not including appropriate parameter descriptions, making it harder for users to understand their purpose.
  • Using parameter names that conflict with reserved keywords or AWS service names.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I change parameter values when updating a stack?

Yes, when updating a stack, you can provide new input values for the parameters. This allows you to modify the behavior or configuration of the stack.

2. Can I use dynamic or calculated values as stack parameters?

Yes, you can use dynamic or calculated values by using intrinsic functions or referencing other resources in your template. These values can be passed as parameters during stack creation or update.

3. What happens if I don't provide input values for all the parameters?

If you don't provide input values for all the parameters, CloudFormation will use the default values specified in the template. Parameters without input values will be substituted with their default values.

4. Can I use stack parameters in conditions or mappings?

Yes, you can reference stack parameters in conditions and mappings within your CloudFormation templates. This allows you to make conditional evaluations or create mappings based on parameter values.

5. Can I define constraints or allowed values for stack parameters?

Yes, you can define constraints such as allowed values, minimum and maximum lengths, and regular expressions for stack parameters. These constraints help enforce valid input values.


Stack parameters and input values provide flexibility and customization in AWS CloudFormation. By defining and utilizing parameters in your templates, you can create dynamic and reusable stacks that can be tailored to specific requirements. Understanding how to define, reference, and provide input values for stack parameters is essential for building scalable and adaptable infrastructure.