AWS CloudFormation
User Guide (API Version 2010-05-15)


The AWS::CloudFormation::Stack type nests a stack as a resource in a top-level template.

You can add output values from a nested stack within the containing template. You use the GetAtt function with the nested stack's logical name and the name of the output value in the nested stack in the format Outputs.NestedStackOutputName.

When you apply template changes to update a top-level stack, AWS CloudFormation updates the top-level stack and initiates an update to its nested stacks. AWS CloudFormation updates the resources of modified nested stacks, but does not update the resources of unmodified nested stacks. For more information, see AWS CloudFormation Stacks Updates.


You must acknowledge IAM capabilities for nested stacks that contain IAM resources. Also, verify that you have cancel update stack permissions, which is required if an update rolls back. For more information about IAM and AWS CloudFormation, see Controlling Access with AWS Identity and Access Management.


To declare this entity in your AWS CloudFormation template, use the following syntax:


  "Type" : "AWS::CloudFormation::Stack",
  "Properties" : {
    "NotificationARNs" : [ String, ... ],
    "Parameters" : { CloudFormation Stack Parameters Property Type },
    "Tags" : [ Resource Tag, ... ],
    "TemplateURL" : String,
    "TimeoutInMinutes" : Integer


Type: "AWS::CloudFormation::Stack"
    - String
    CloudFormation Stack Parameters Property Type
    - Resource Tag
  TemplateURL: String
  TimeoutInMinutes: Integer



A list of existing Amazon SNS topics where notifications about stack events are sent.

Required: No

Type: List of strings

Update requires: No interruption


The set of parameters passed to AWS CloudFormation when this nested stack is created.


If you use the ref function to pass a parameter value to a nested stack, comma-delimited list parameters must be of type String. In other words, you cannot pass values that are of type CommaDelimitedList to nested stacks.

Required: Conditional (required if the nested stack requires input parameters).

Type: CloudFormation Stack Parameters Property Type

Update requires: Whether an update causes interruptions depends on the resources that are being update. An update never causes a nested stack to be replaced.


An arbitrary set of tags (key–value pairs) to describe this stack.

Required: No

Type: AWS CloudFormation Resource Tags

Update requires: No interruption.


The URL of a template that specifies the stack that you want to create as a resource. The template must be stored on an Amazon S3 bucket, so the URL must have the form:

Required: Yes

Type: String

Update requires: Whether an update causes interruptions depends on the resources that are being update. An update never causes a nested stack to be replaced.


The length of time, in minutes, that AWS CloudFormation waits for the nested stack to reach the CREATE_COMPLETE state. The default is no timeout. When AWS CloudFormation detects that the nested stack has reached the CREATE_COMPLETE state, it marks the nested stack resource as CREATE_COMPLETE in the parent stack and resumes creating the parent stack. If the timeout period expires before the nested stack reaches CREATE_COMPLETE, AWS CloudFormation marks the nested stack as failed and rolls back both the nested stack and parent stack.

Required: No

Type: Integer

Update requires: Updates are not supported.

Return Values


For AWS::CloudFormation::Stack, Ref returns the Stack ID. For example:


For more information about using the Ref function, see Ref.



Returns: The output value from the specified nested stack where NestedStackOutputName is the name of the output value.

For more information about using Fn::GetAtt, see Fn::GetAtt.

Related Information