AWS Service Catalog Service Actions - AWS Service Catalog

AWS Service Catalog Service Actions


AWS Service Catalog does not support service actions for Terraform Open Source or Terraform Cloud products.

AWS Service Catalog enables you to reduce administrative maintenance and end user training while adhering to compliance and security measures. With service actions, as the administrator you can enable end users to perform operational tasks, troubleshoot issues, run approved commands, or request permissions in AWS Service Catalog. 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.

In this tutorial, you provide end users with the ability to restart an Amazon EC2 instance. You add the necessary permissions, define the service action, associate the service action with a product, and test the end user experience using the action with a provisioned product.


This tutorial assumes that you have full AWS administrator permissions, you are already familiar with AWS Service Catalog, and that you already have a base set of products, portfolios, and users. If you are not familiar with AWS Service Catalog, complete the Setting Up and Getting Started tasks before using this tutorial.

Step 1: Configure end user permissions

End users must have the necessary permissions to view and perform specific service actions. In this example, the end user needs permission to access the AWS Service Catalog service actions feature and to perform an Amazon EC2 restart.

To update permissions
  1. Open the AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) console at

  2. From the menu, locate user groups.

  3. Choose the groups that end users will use to access AWS Service Catalog resources. In this example, we select the end user group. In your own implementation, choose the group that is used by the relevant end users.

  4. On the Permissions tab of your group’s detail page, you either create a new policy or edit an existing policy. In this example, we add permissions to the existing policy by selecting the custom policy created for the group’s AWS Service Catalog Provision and Terminate permissions.

  5. On the Policy page, choose Edit Policy to add the necessary permissions. You can use either the visual editor or the JSON editor to edit the policy. In this example, we use the JSON editor to add the permissions. For this tutorial, add the following permissions to the policy:

    { "Version": "2012-10-17", "Statement": [ { "Sid": "Stmt1536341175150", "Action": [ "servicecatalog:ListServiceActionsForProvisioningArtifact", "servicecatalog:ExecuteprovisionedProductServiceAction", "ssm:DescribeDocument", "ssm:GetAutomationExecution", "ssm:StartAutomationExecution", "ssm:StopAutomationExecution", "cloudformation:ListStackResources", "ec2:DescribeInstanceStatus", "ec2:StartInstances", "ec2:StopInstances" ], "Effect": "Allow", "Resource": "*" } ] }
  6. After you edit the policy, review and approve the change to the policy. Users in the end user group now have the necessary permissions to perform the Amazon EC2 restart action in AWS Service Catalog.

Step 2: Create a service action

Next, you create a service action to restart Amazon EC2 instances.

  1. Open the AWS Service Catalog console at

  2. From the menu, choose Service actions.

  3. On the Service actions page, choose Create action.

  4. On the Create action page, choose an AWS Systems Manager document to define the service action. The Amazon EC2 Instance Restart action is defined by an AWS Systems Manager document, so we keep the default option on the drop-down menu, Amazon documents.

  5. Search for and choose the AWS-RestartEC2Instance action.

  6. Provide a name and description for the action that make sense for your environment and team. The end user will see this description, so choose something that helps them understand what the action does.

  7. Under Parameter and target configuration, choose the SSM document parameter that will be the target of the action (for example, the Instance ID), and choose the target of the parameter. Choose Add parameter to add additional parameters.

  8. Under Permissions, choose a role. We are using default permissions for this example. Other permission configurations are possible and are defined on this page.

  9. After you have reviewed the configuration, choose Create action.

  10. On the next page, a confirmation appears when the action has been created and is ready to use.

Step 3: Associate the service action with a product version

After you define an action, you must associate a product with that action.

  1. On the Service actions page, choose AWS-RestartEC2instance, and then choose Associate action.

  2. On the Associate action page, choose the product that you want your end users to take the service action on. In this example, we choose Linux Desktop.

  3. Select a product version. Note that you can use the topmost check box to select all versions.

  4. Choose Associate action.

  5. On the next page, a confirmation message appears.

You have now created the service action in AWS Service Catalog. The next step of this tutorial is to use the service action as an end user.

Step 4: Test the end user experience

End users can perform service actions on provisioned products. For the purposes of this tutorial, the end user must have at least one provisioned product. The provisioned product should be launched from the product version that you associated with the service action in the previous step.

To access the service action as an end user
  1. Log in to the AWS Service Catalog console as an end user.

  2. On the AWS Service Catalog dashboard, in the navigation pane, choose Provisioned products list. The list shows the products that are provisioned for the end user's account.

  3. On the Provisioned products list page, choose the instance that is provisioned.

  4. On the Provisioned product details page, choose Actions in the upper right side, and then choose the AWS-RestartEC2instance action.

  5. Confirm that you want to execute the custom action. You receive confirmation that the action has been sent.

Step 5: Managing service actions with AWS CloudFormation

You can create service actions and their associations with AWS CloudFormation resources. For more information, see the following in the AWS CloudFormation User Guide:


If you manage service action associations with AWS CloudFormation resources, don't add or remove service actions through the AWS Command Line Interface or AWS Management Console. When you perform a stack update, any changes to sevice actions that are made outside of AWS CloudFormation are replaced.

Step 6: Troubleshooting

If your service action execution fails, you can find the error message in the Outputs section of the service action execution event on the Provisioned product page. Below you can see explanations for common error messages you may find.


The exact text of the error message is subject to change, so you should avoid using these in any kind of automated process.

Internal failure

AWS Service Catalog experienced an internal error. Try again later. If the issue persists, contact customer support.

An error occurred (ThrottlingException) when calling the StartAutomationExecution operation

The service action execution was throttled by the backend service, such as SSM.

Access denied while assuming the role

AWS Service Catalog was unable to assume the role specified in the service action definition. Make sure that the principal, or a regional principal such as, is allowlisted in the role's trust policy.

An error occurred (AccessDeniedException) when calling the StartAutomationExecution operation: User is not authorized to perform: ssm:StartAutomationExecution on the resource.

The role specified in the service action definition does not have permissions to invoke ssm:StartAutomationExecution. Make sure the role has the appropriate SSM permissions.

Cannot find any resources with type TargetType in provisioned product

The provisioned product does not contain any resources that match the target type specified in the SSM document, such as AWS::EC2::Instance. Check your provisioned product for these resources or confirm the document is correct.

Document with that name does not exist

The document specified in the service action definition does not exist.

Failed to describe SSM Automation document

AWS Service Catalog encountered an unknown exception from SSM when trying to describe the specified document.

Failed to retrieve credentials for role

AWS Service Catalog encountered an unknown error when assuming the specified role.

Parameter has value "InvalidValue" not found in {ValidValue1}, {ValidValue2}

The parameter value passed to SSM is not in the allowed values list for the document. Confirm the parameters provided are valid, and try again.

Parameter type error. The value supplied for ParameterName is not a valid string.

The value of the parameter passed to SSM is not valid for the type on the document.

Parameter is not defined in service action definition

A parameter was passed to AWS Service Catalog that is not defined in the service action definition. You can only use parameters defined in the service action definition.

Step fails when it is executing/canceling action. Error message. Please refer to Automation Service Troubleshooting Guide for more diagnosis details.

A step in the SSM automation document failed. See the error in the message to troubleshoot further.

The following values for the parameter are not allowed because they are not in the provisioned product: InvalidResourceId

The user requested action on a resource that is not in the provisioned product.

TargetType not defined for SSM Automation document

Service actions require SSM automation documents to have a TargetType defined. Check your SSM automation document.