Working with AWS CloudFormation templates and stacks in Application Manager - AWS Systems Manager

Working with AWS CloudFormation templates and stacks in Application Manager

Application Manager, a capability of AWS Systems Manager, helps you provision and manage resources for your applications by integrating with AWS CloudFormation. You can create, edit, and delete AWS CloudFormation templates and stacks in Application Manager. A stack is a collection of AWS resources that you can manage as a single unit. This means you can create, update, or delete a collection of AWS resources by using CloudFormation stacks. A template is a formatted text file in JSON or YAML that specifies the resources you want to provision in your stacks.

Application Manager also includes a template library where you can clone, create, and store templates. Application Manager and CloudFormation display the same information about the current status of a stack. Templates and template updates are stored in Systems Manager until you provision the stack, at which time the changes are also displayed in CloudFormation.

After you create a stack in Application Manager, the CloudFormation stacks page displays helpful information about it. This includes the template used to create it, a count of OpsItems for resources in your stack, the stack status, and drift status.

About Cost Explorer

Application Manager is integrated with AWS Cost Explorer, a feature of AWS Cost Management, through the Cost widget. After you enable Cost Explorer in the Cost Management console, the Cost widget in Application Manager shows cost data for a specific non-container application or application component. You can use filters in the widget to view cost data according to different time periods, granularities, and cost types in either a bar or line chart.

You can enable this feature by choosing the Go to AWS Cost Management console button. By default, the data is filtered to the past three months. For a non-container application, if you choose the View all button, Application Manager opens the Resources tab. For container applications, the View all button opens the AWS Cost Explorer console.


Cost Explorer uses tags to track your application costs. If your AWS CloudFormation stack-based application isn't configured with the AppManagerCFNStackKey tag key, Cost Explorer fails to present accurate cost data in Application Manager. When the AppManagerCFNStackKey tag key is not detected, Application Manager automatically adds it in AWS CloudFormation. Adding it maps the tag key to the Amazon Resource Name (ARN) of your stack and enables the Cost widget to display accurate cost data.

Before you begin

Use the following links to learn about CloudFormation concepts before you create, edit, or delete CloudFormation templates and stacks by using Application Manager.