AWS Service Catalog features


A product is a set of AWS cloud resources that you want to make available for deployment on AWS. A product can comprise one or more AWS resources, such as EC2 instances, storage volumes, databases, monitoring configurations, and networking components, or packaged AWS Marketplace products. A product can be a single compute instance running AWS Linux, a fully configured multi-tier web application running in its own environment, or anything in between. Using AWS Service Catalog, you can create products in multiple ways including AWS CloudFormation templates or Terraform configurations. The templates and configurations define the AWS resources required for the product, the relationships between resources, and the parameters that the end user can plug in when they launch the product to configure security groups, create key pairs, and perform other customizations.

Stack or Resource Group

AWS Service Catalog products are either AWS CloudFormation type products or Terraform open source type or Terraform Cloud products. AWS CloudFormation type products are launched as an AWS CloudFormation stack, which is a set of resources provisioned for that instance of the product. For Terraform open source and Terraform Cloud type products, the underlying resources are stored and tagged in AWS Resource Groups. AWS CloudFormation stacks and AWS Resource Groups make it easier to manage the lifecycle of your product by allowing you to provision, tag, update, and terminate your product instance as a single unit.


A portfolio is a collection of products, together with configuration information. Portfolios help manage product configuration, and who can use specific products and how they can use them. With AWS Service Catalog, you can create a customized portfolio for each type of user in your organization and selectively grant access to the appropriate portfolio. When you add a new version of a product to a portfolio, that version is automatically available to all current users of that portfolio. You also can share your portfolios with other AWS accounts and allow the administrator of those accounts to distribute your portfolios with additional constraints. For example, for developers, you can define a portfolio of development environments, such as a LAMP stack with approved versions that users can use for software development and testing. You could also define a portfolio for the marketing organizations that includes campaign websites and market analysis applications. A portfolio can contain a mix of products of different types including AWS CloudFormation type products or Terraform open source and Terraform Cloud type products.


AWS Service Catalog allows you to manage multiple versions of the products in your catalog. This allows you to add new versions of templates and associated resources based on software updates or configuration changes. When you create a new version of a product, the update is automatically distributed to all users who have access to the product, allowing the user to select which version of the product to use. Users can update running instances of the product to the new version quickly and easily.

Granular access control

Granting a user access to a portfolio enables that user to browse the portfolio and launch the products in it. You apply AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) permissions to control who can view and modify your products and portfolios. IAM permissions can be assigned to IAM users, groups, and roles. When a user launches a product that has an IAM role assigned to it, AWS Service Catalog uses the role to launch the product's cloud resources. By assigning an IAM role to each product, you can avoid giving users permissions to perform unapproved operations, and enable them to provision resources using the catalog.


Constraints restrict the ways that specific AWS resources can be deployed for a product. You can use them to apply limits to products for governance or cost control. There are two types of constraints: template and launch. Template constraints restrict the configuration parameters that are available for the user when launching the product (for example, EC2 instance types or IP ranges). Template constraints allow you to reuse generic infrastructure as code (IaC) templates for products and apply restrictions to the templates on a per-product or per-portfolio basis. Launch constraints allow you to specify a role for a product in a portfolio. This role is used to provision the resources at launch, so you can restrict user permissions without impacting users’ ability to provision products from the catalog. For example, for marketing users, you can enable them to create campaign websites, but use constraints to restrict their access to provision the underlying databases. Launch constraints are supported for Terraform open source and Terraform Cloud type products. Template constraints are not yet available for Terraform open source and Terraform Cloud type products.

Service actions

Using service actions, you can enable end users to perform operational tasks, troubleshoot issues, run approved commands, or request permissions in AWS Service Catalog on your provisioned products, without needing to grant end users full access to AWS services. You use AWS Systems Manager documents to define service actions. The AWS Systems Manager documents provide access to pre-defined actions that implement AWS best practices, such as Amazon EC2 stop and reboot, and you can define custom actions too. Service actions are not available yet for Terraform open source and Terraform Cloud type products.

AWS Service Catalog AppRegistry features


Builders can define their applications within Service Catalog AppRegistry by providing a name, description, associations to application metadata, and associations to CloudFormation stacks. The associated attribute groups represent the metadata that your enterprise creates and manages for the application. The associated CloudFormation stacks represent the AWS resources associated to the application. This might be the infrastructure required in a single environment, or it could also include the code repositories and pipelines that support the application across all environments. Either existing or new CloudFormation Stacks can be associated to applications. Stacks can be associated to applications within the template itself, automating the application association during provisioning.

Attribute Groups

Your enterprise creates and manages attributes that capture the application metadata that are important to your enterprise. Application attributes support an open JSON schema, providing you the flexibility you need to capture the complexity of your enterprise metadata taxonomy. Application attributes might include items such as the application security classification, organizational ownership, application type, cost center, and support information. Builders associate the necessary attributes to their applications. When attributes are updated, this is automatically reflected within all associated applications.

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