Working with Mappings and Metadata in AWS CloudFormation - Tutorial

AWS CloudFormation provides mappings and metadata features that allow you to customize and parameterize your infrastructure deployments. Mappings enable you to create a key-value lookup table, while metadata allows you to associate additional information with your resources. 

Working with Mappings 

Mappings in CloudFormation are defined within the "Mappings" section of the template. They provide a way to define a key-value mapping table that can be used to customize your resources based on different criteria. 

Here's an example of defining a mapping for different instance types based on the region:
t2.micro: "ami-123456"
t2.small: "ami-789012"
t2.micro: "ami-345678"
t2.small: "ami-901234"

Type: AWS::EC2::Instance
ImageId: !FindInMap [InstanceTypeRegionMap, !Ref AWS::Region, !Ref InstanceType]


In this example, the mapping "InstanceTypeRegionMap" defines different AMI IDs for different instance types and regions. The "FindInMap" function is used to retrieve the appropriate AMI ID based on the region and instance type specified. 

Working with Metadata 

Metadata in CloudFormation allows you to associate additional information with your resources. This can include information such as version numbers, author names, or any other relevant details. 

Here's an example of adding metadata to an S3 bucket:
Type: AWS::S3::Bucket
Version: "1.0"
Author: John Doe
BucketName: my-bucket
AccessControl: Private

In this example, the "Metadata" section is used to add version and author information to the S3 bucket resource. 

Common Mistakes to Avoid  

  • Using incorrect syntax when defining mappings or metadata. 
  • Forgetting to reference the correct mapping or metadata key in resource properties. 
  • Overcomplicating mappings by not organizing them effectively.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)  


Can I use mappings with other resource properties? 

Yes, mappings can be used with various resource properties to customize their configuration based on different criteria.  


Can I use metadata with all resource types in CloudFormation? 

Yes, metadata can be added to any resource type in CloudFormation to provide additional information.  


Can I use dynamic values in mappings? 

Yes, you can use intrinsic functions and parameters to dynamically generate mapping values.  


Can I update mappings and metadata during a stack update? 

No, mappings and metadata cannot be updated during a stack update. They can only be specified when creating a new stack.  


Can I use conditions with mappings or metadata? 

Conditions cannot be directly applied to mappings or metadata. However, you can use conditions to control the usage of mappings or metadata within resource properties.   


In this tutorial, you learned how to work with mappings and metadata in AWS CloudFormation. Mappings allow you to create key-value lookup tables to customize your resources based on different criteria, while metadata enables you to associate additional information with your resources. By utilizing these features, you can enhance the flexibility and customization of your infrastructure deployments.