Solution components - Cognito User Profiles Export Reference Architecture

Solution components

Export workflow

The ExportWorkflow AWS Step Functions workflow is invoked on a set schedule. This solution’s AWS CloudFormation template includes a parameter to run the workflow daily, weekly, or every 30 days. If you prefer another schedule, you can modify the schedule in the Amazon CloudWatch console after launching this solution.

The ExportWorkflow Step Functions workflow interrogates your primary user pool and performs the following actions:

  • Lists all users in the primary user pool and refreshes the BackupTable DynamoDB table with updated user profile information (such as standard and custom attributes, and the user enabled flag), and adds new users.

  • Lists all groups in the primary user pool and refreshes the BackupTable DynamoDB table with updated group information (such as group description and precedence value), and adds new groups.

  • Lists all users in each group to identify new group members, and users that are no longer members of a group, and updates the BackupTable DynamoDB table accordingly.

  • Checks the BackupTable DynamoDB table for records that were not updated during this run of ExportWorkflow Step Functions workflow. These records will be removed from the BackupTable DynamoDB table.

Backup table

The BackupTable DynamoDB table is a global table with a replica in your backup AWS Region. When data changes in the table, DynamoDB asynchronously replicates that data to the replica in your backup Region. The solution exports the user profile, group, and group membership information to the backup Amazon DynamoDB table on a set schedule.

In the primary Region, the BackupTable DynamoDB table is configured to enable DynamoDB Point-in-Time Recovery, which enables you to restore the BackupTable DynamoDB table to any point in time during the last 35 days. For more information, refer to Point-in-Time Recovery for DynamoDB.

Import workflow

The ImportWorkflow Step Functions workflow populates an empty user pool with user profiles, groups, and group memberships from the DynamoDB global table. You must run the ImportWorkflow Step Functions workflow on demand in either the primary or backup Region. When starting the execution, you must supply a JSON object as input and supply the ID for the new user pool in the NewUserPoolId property.

Amazon Cognito NewUserPoolId property

Figure 4: Amazon Cognito NewUserPoolId property

The ImportWorkflow Step Functions workflow first checks that the new user pool does not have any groups or users before proceeding. If the user pool is not empty, the ImportWorkflow Step Functions workflow will be halted.

Note: When a user profile is created in the new user pool, it is assigned a new Amazon Cognito generated unique ID (the sub attribute). Additionally, user passwords are not replicated by this solution. Refer to Limitations for more details.



This solution does not back up user passwords to DynamoDB. When signing in to the new user pool that was populated with the ImportWorkflow Step Functions workflow, users will be required to reset their passwords.

Multi-factor authentication

This solution does not support user pools with multi-factor authentication (MFA) enabled. When this solution is deployed, it checks the primary user pool’s MFA setting and, if the setting is either optional or required, this solution will not launch. This solution also performs this check every time the ExportWorkflow Step Functions workflow is run and, if MFA has been enabled, the workflow will terminate. MFA is not supported because this solution is unable to replicate an end-user’s MFA token that is used to configure time-based one-time passwords (TOTP) as a second factor.

Cognito sub attribute

The ImportWorkflow Step Functions workflow will create new users in the empty user pool and synchronize their user profiles with the current state in the backup DynamoDB table. These new users will be assigned new Cognito-generated unique IDs (the sub attribute). If your application is using this value to uniquely identify a user, we recommend that you copy this value to a new custom attribute in the primary user pool. This attribute will be exported to DynamoDB and available in the new user pool when the ImportWorkflow Step Functions workflow runs.

Federated users

Users who have signed in to your user pool using a third-party identity provider will not have profiles exported to DynamoDB. These users will be created in the new user pool when they next log in through the third-party identity provider. This means that custom attributes for federated users will not be exported by this solution, and the federated user will get a new value for the sub attribute when they log in to the new user pool.

Cognito advanced security features

When evaluating users as part of Cognito’s advanced security features, the user history is not exported by this solution and therefore will not be available in the new user pool.

Username attributes

When a user pool is initially created, you can allow users the choice of using either an email address or a phone number as their username. However, this solution does not support user pools that are configured to allow both email addresses and phone numbers.

Group roles

AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) roles associated with groups are not exported by this solution. If you have an IAM role attached to a group, you must create a similar role or associate that role with the group in the new user pool.

Tracked devices

This solution does not export tracked devices to the BackupTable DynamoDB table. As such, if you use the ImportWorkflow Step Functions workflow to populate a new user pool, there will be no tracked devices associated with the imported user profiles.