AWS Systems Manager
User Guide

Requirements and Constraints for Parameter Names

Use the information in this topic to help you specify valid values for parameter names when you create a parameter.

This information supplements the details in the topic PutParameter in the AWS Systems Manager API Reference, which also provides information about the values AllowedPattern, Description, KeyId, Overwrite, Type, and Value.

The requirements and constraints for parameter names include the following:

  • Case sensivity: Parameter names are case sensitive.

  • Spaces: Parameter names can't include spaces.

  • Valid characters: Parameter names can consist of the following symbols and letters only: a-zA-Z0-9_.-/

  • Prefixes: A parameter name cannot be prefixed with "aws" or "ssm" (case-insensitive). For example, attempts to create parameters with the following names will fail with an exception:

    • awsTestParameter

    • SSM-testparameter

    • /aws/testparam1


    When you specify a parameter in an SSM document, command, or script, you do include ssm as part of the syntax, as shown in the following examples. Note that there is no space between brackets.

    • Valid: {{ssm:parameter_name}} and {{ ssm:parameter_name }}, such as {{ssm:addUsers}}, and {{ssm:addUsers }},

    • Invalid: {{ssm:ssmAddUsers}}

  • Uniqueness: A parameter name must be unique within an AWS Region. For example, Systems Manager treats the following as separate parameters, if they exist in the same Region:

    • /Test/TestParam1

    • /TestParam1

    The following examples are also unique:

    • /Test/TestParam1/Logpath1

    • /Test/TestParam1

    The following examples, however, if in the same Region, are not unique:

    • /TestParam1

    • TestParam1

  • Hierarchy depth: If you specify a parameter hierarchy, the hierarchy can have a maximum depth of fifteen levels. You can define a parameter at any level of the hierarchy. Both of the following examples are structurally valid:

    • /Level-1/L2/L3/L4/L5/L6/L7/L8/L9/L10/L11/L12/L13/L14/parameter-name

    • parameter-name

    Attempting to create the following parameter would fail with a HierarchyLevelLimitExceededException exception:

    • /Level-1/L2/L3/L4/L5/L6/L7/L8/L9/L10/L11/L12/L13/L14/L15/L16/parameter-name


If a user has access to a path, then the user can access all levels of that path. For example, if a user has permission to access path /a, then the user can also access /a/b. Even if a user has explicitly been denied access in IAM for parameter /a, they can still call the GetParametersByPath API action recursively and view /a/b.