AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog

How to Best Architect Your AWS Marketplace SaaS Subscription Across Multiple AWS Accounts

This is a guest post from David Aiken. David is a Partner SA who focuses on AWS Marketplace.  

In my first post following the launch of AWS Marketplace SaaS Subscriptions, I provided a quick overview to describe the concepts, integration points, and how to get started with the AWS Marketplace SaaS Subscription feature. In this post, I walk through best practices for architecting your AWS Marketplace SaaS Subscription across multiple AWS accounts. Let’s begin!


Calls to the SaaS Subscriptions APIs, ResolveCustomer and BatchMeterUsage, must be signed by credentials from your AWS Marketplace Seller account. This does not mean that your SaaS code needs to run in the AWS MP Seller account. The best practice is to host your production code in a separate AWS account, and use cross-account roles and sts:AssumeRole to obtain temporary credentials which can then be used to call the AWS MP Metering APIs. This post walks you through how this can be implemented.


In our example, there are two AWS accounts:

  • AWS Marketplace Seller Account – this is the account your organization has registered as a seller in AWS Marketplace. API calls must be authenticated from credentials in this account.
  • AWS Accounts for Production Code – this is the AWS account where your SaaS service is hosted.

Why Use Separate Accounts?

Sellers should only use a single AWS Account as the AWS Marketplace account. This simplifies management and avoids any confusion for customers viewing an ISV’s products and services.

Separating the Seller account from the product accounts means each SaaS service can have its own AWS account, which provides a good security and management boundary. When a seller has multiple products, multiple AWS accounts can be used to further separate environments across teams.

Using different AWS Marketplace seller and production accounts

In this scenario, there are 2 AWS accounts in play. The AWS account registered as an AWS Marketplace Seller (222222222222) and the AWS account where the production code resides (111111111111).

Best Architect_AWS_Marketplace_SaaS_Subscriptions

The Seller Account is registered with AWS Marketplace and does have permissions to call the Metering APIs. The seller account contains an IAM Role, with the appropriate IAM Policy to allow access to the Metering API as well as the permission for the role to be assumed from the Production Account.

The IAM Role in the Seller Account in our example is called productx-saas-role. This has the AWSMarketplaceMeteringFullAccess managed policy attached. The IAM Role has a trust relationship as shown below:

  "Version": "2012-10-17",
  "Statement": [
      "Effect": "Allow",
      "Principal": {
        "AWS": "arn:aws:iam::111111111111:root"
      "Action": "sts:AssumeRole",
      "Condition": {
        "StringEquals": {
          "sts:ExternalId": "someid"

The SaaS application is hosted in the Production Account. This account is not authorized to call the Metering APIs. This account contains an IAM Role and Policy which is attached to the EC2 instances running the hosting application via an EC2 Instance Profile. This provides the instance with temporary credentials which can be used to sign requests to AWS API calls. These temporary credentials are used to call the sts:AssumeRole method, which returns temporary credentials from the seller account. These are used to call the Metering API.

The permissions required to perform the sts:AssumeRole command are:

    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Statement": {
        "Effect": "Allow",
        "Action": "sts:AssumeRole",
        "Resource": "arn:aws:iam::222222222222:role/productx-saas-role"

In order for the application to make a call to the Metering API, it must first assume the role in the seller account. This is done by calling the sts:AssumeRole method. If successful, this call returns temporary credentials (secret/access keys). These credentials can then be used to call the Metering API.

The following code snippet shows how you can call the assume_role function in python to obtain the temporary credentials from the seller account.

import boto3

sts_client = boto3.client('sts')

assumedRoleObject = sts_client.assume_role(

credentials = assumedRoleObject['Credentials']

client = boto3.client('marketplace-metering','us-east-1', 
    aws_access_key_id = credentials['AccessKeyId'], 
    aws_session_token = credentials['SessionToken'])


Using a single AWS Account for AWS Marketplace avoids confusion and mistakes. Using cross-account roles allows you to avoid hosting production code in the AWS Account registered as a seller. For more information on SaaS Subscriptions, please visit the AWS Marketplace SaaS Subscriptions page.