New AWS CloudFormation Stack Quick-Create Links Feature Simplifies Customer Onboarding
By Ian Scofield and Erin McGill, Partner Solutions Architects at AWS
We recently wrapped up a four-part series (read parts 1, 2, 3, and 4) on using AWS CloudFormation to ease the creation of cross-account roles during customer onboarding. It takes the reader through creating custom launch stack URLs for AWS CloudFormation, using an AWS Lambda function to generate a custom template with individualized parameters, and automatically sending the Amazon Resource Name (ARN) of the created cross-account role back to the SaaS owner.
The process removes many of the manual steps involved in the creation of a cross-account role and the associated policy documents, reducing the chances of failure.
Although this solution simplified the workflow and helped reduce failure rates during onboarding, there were still two areas open to improvement:
- We required the SaaS owner to customize each customer’s template and hardcode values. These templates needed to be stored, shared publicly, and then promptly deleted.
- The AWS CloudFormation wizard contained multiple pages, and partners told us they wanted to streamline this process.
At Amazon Web Services (AWS), we listen to our customers and partners to learn where we can improve, and our roadmap is almost exclusively driven by customer feedback. Based on the feedback we received on the customer onboarding process, we are pleased to announce that the AWS CloudFormation team has added the Stack Quick-Create Links feature which solves the issues we outlined above.
- Embedding parameters in the launch stack URL – The AWS CloudFormation team has removed the need to store customized templates by adding the ability to embed parameter values directly in the launch stack URL.
- Streamlined launch stack wizard – Users will now be directed to an AWS CloudFormation wizard that has been reduced to a single page.
Embedding Parameters in the Launch Stack URL
A launch stack URL makes it easy for customers to launch AWS CloudFormation templates by sending them straight to the AWS CloudFormation wizard with the template location and stack name pre-populated.
As a refresher, the URL looks like this: