Quickly adopt new AWS features with the Terraform AWS Cloud Control provider

Introduction

Today, we are pleased to announce the general availability of the Terraform AWS Cloud Control (AWS CC) Provider, enabling our customers to take advantage of AWS innovations faster. AWS has been continually expanding its services to support virtually any cloud workload; supporting over 200 fully featured services and delighting customers through its rapid pace of innovation with over 3,400 significant new features in 2023. Our customers use Infrastructure as Code (IaC) tools such as HashiCorp Terraform among others as a best-practice to provision and manage these AWS features and services as part of their cloud infrastructure at scale. With the Terraform AWS CC Provider launch, AWS customers using Terraform as their IaC tool can now benefit from faster time-to-market by building cloud infrastructure with the latest AWS innovations that are typically available on the Terraform AWS CC Provider on the day of launch. For example, AWS customer Meta’s Oculus Studios was able to quickly leverage Amazon GameLift to support their game development. “AWS and Hashicorp have been great partners in helping Oculus Studios standardize how we deploy our GameLift infrastructure using industry best practices.” said Mick Afaneh, Meta’s Oculus Studios Central Technology.

The Terraform AWS CC Provider leverages AWS Cloud Control API to automatically generate support for hundreds of AWS resource types, such as Amazon EC2 instances and Amazon S3 buckets. Since the AWS CC provider is automatically generated, new features and services on AWS can be supported as soon as they are available on AWS Cloud Control API, addressing any coverage gaps in the existing Terraform AWS standard provider. This automated process allows the AWS CC provider to deliver new resources faster because it does not have to wait for the community to author schema and resource implementations for each new service. Today, the AWS CC provider supports 950+ AWS resources and data sources, with more support being added as AWS service teams continue to adopt the Cloud Control API standard.

As a Terraform practitioner, using the AWS CC Provider would feel familiar to the existing workflow. You can employ the configuration blocks shown below, while specifying your preferred region.

terraform
required_providers
awscc =
source = “hashicorp/awscc”
version = “~> 1.0”

aws =
source = “hashicorp/aws”
version = “~> 5.0”

provider “awscc”
region = “us-east-1”

provider “aws”
region = “us-east-1”

During Terraform plan or apply, the AWS CC Terraform provider interacts with AWS Cloud Control API to provision the resources by calling its consistent Create, Read, Update, Delete, or List (CRUD-L) APIs.

AWS Cloud Control API

AWS service teams own, publish, and maintain resources on the AWS CloudFormation Registry using a standardized resource model. This resource model uses uniform JSON schemas and provisioning logic that codifies the expected behavior and error handling associated with CRUD-L operations. This resource model enables AWS service teams to expose their service features in an easily discoverable, intuitive, and uniform format with standardized behavior. Launched in September 2021, AWS Cloud Control API exposes these resources through a set of five consistent CRUD-L operations without any additional work from service teams. Using Cloud Control API, developers can manage the lifecycle of hundreds of AWS and third-party resources with consistent resource-oriented API instead of using distinct service-specific APIs. Furthermore, Cloud Control API is up-to-date with the latest AWS resources as soon as they are available on the CloudFormation Registry, typically on the day of launch. You can read more on launch day requirement for Cloud Control API in this blog post. This enables AWS Partners such as HashiCorp to take advantage of consistent CRUD-L API operations and integrate Terraform with Cloud Control API just once, and then automatically access new AWS resources without additional integration work.

History and Evolution of the Terraform AWS CC Provider

The general availability of Terraform AWS CC Provider project is a culmination of 4+ years of collaboration between AWS and HashiCorp. Our teams partnered across the Product, Engineering, Partner, and Customer Support functions in influencing, shaping, and defining the customer experience leading up to the the technical preview announcement of the AWS CC provider in September 2021. At technical preview, the provider supported more than 300 resources. Since then, we have added an additional 600+ resources to the provider, bringing the total to 950+ supported resources at general availability.

Beyond just increasing resource coverage, we gathered additional signals from customer feedback during the technical preview and rolled out several improvements since September 2021. Customers care deeply about the user experience on the providers available on the Terraform registry. Customers sought practical examples in the form of sample HCL configurations for each resource that they could use to immediately test in order to confidently start using the provider. This prompted us to enrich the AWS CC provider with hundreds of practical examples for popular AWS CC provider resources in the Terraform registry. This was made possible by contributions of hundreds of Amazonians who became early adopters of the AWS CC provider. We also published a how-to guide for anyone interested in contributing to AWS CC provider examples. Furthermore, customers also wanted to minimize context switching by moving between Terraform and AWS service documentation on what each attribute of a resource signified and the type of values it needed as part of configuration. This empowered us to prioritize augmenting the provider with rich resource attribute description with information taken from AWS documentation. The documentation provides detailed information of how to use the attributes, enumerations of the accepted attribute values and other relevant information for dozens of popularly used AWS resources.

We also worked with HashiCorp on various bug fixes and feature enhancements for the AWS CC provider, as well as the upstream Cloud Control API dependencies. We improved handling for resources with complex nested attribute schemas, implemented various bug fixes to resolve unintended resource replacement, and refined provider behavior under various conditions to support the idempotency expected by Terraform practitioners. While this are not an exhaustive list of improvements, we continue to listen to customer feedback and iterate on improving the experience. We encourage you to try out the provider and share feedback on the AWS CC provider’s GitHub page.

Using the AWS CC Provider

Let’s take an example of a recently introduced service, Amazon Q Business, a fully managed, generative AI-powered assistant that you can configure to answer questions, provide summaries, generate content, and complete tasks based on your enterprise data. Amazon Q Business resources were available in AWS CC provider shortly after the April 30th 2024 launch announcement. In the following example, we’ll create a demo Amazon Q Business application and deploy the web experience.

data “aws_caller_identity” “current”

data “aws_ssoadmin_instances” “example”

resource “awscc_qbusiness_application” “example”
description = “Example QBusiness Application”
display_name = “Demo_QBusiness_App”
attachments_configuration =
attachments_control_mode = “ENABLED”

identity_center_instance_arn = data.aws_ssoadmin_instances.example.arns[0]

resource “awscc_qbusiness_web_experience” “example”
application_id = awscc_qbusiness_application.example.id
role_arn = awscc_iam_role.example.arn
subtitle = “Drop a file and ask questions”
title = “Demo Amazon Q Business”
welcome_message = “Welcome, please enter your questions”

resource “awscc_iam_role” “example”
role_name = “Amazon-QBusiness-WebExperience-Role”
description = “Grants permissions to AWS Services and Resources used or managed by Amazon Q Business”
assume_role_policy_document = jsonencode(
Version = “2012-10-17”
Statement = [

Sid = “QBusinessTrustPolicy”
Effect = “Allow”
Principal =
Service = “application.qbusiness.amazonaws.com”

Action = [
“sts:AssumeRole”,
“sts:SetContext”
] Condition =
StringEquals =
“aws:SourceAccount” = data.aws_caller_identity.current.account_id

ArnEquals =
“aws:SourceArn” = awscc_qbusiness_application.example.application_arn

] )
policies = [
policy_name = “qbusiness_policy”
policy_document = jsonencode(
Version = “2012-10-17”
Statement = [

Sid = “QBusinessConversationPermission”
Effect = “Allow”
Action = [
“qbusiness:Chat”,
“qbusiness:ChatSync”,
“qbusiness:ListMessages”,
“qbusiness:ListConversations”,
“qbusiness:DeleteConversation”,
“qbusiness:PutFeedback”,
“qbusiness:GetWebExperience”,
“qbusiness:GetApplication”,
“qbusiness:ListPlugins”,
“qbusiness:GetChatControlsConfiguration”
] Resource = awscc_qbusiness_application.example.application_arn

] )
]

As you see in this example, you can use both the AWS and AWS CC providers in the same configuration file. This allows you to easily incorporate new resources available in the AWS CC provider into your existing configuration with minimal changes. The AWS CC provider also accepts the same authentication method and provider-level features available in the AWS provider. This means you don’t have to add additional configuration in your CI/CD pipeline to start using the AWS CC provider. In addition, you can also add custom agent information inside the provider block as described in this documentation.

Things to know

The AWS CC provider is unique due to how it was developed and its dependencies with Cloud Control API and AWS resource model in the CloudFormation registry. As such, there are things that you should know before you start using the AWS CC provider.

The AWS CC provider is generated from the latest CloudFormation schemas, and will release weekly containing all new AWS services and enhancements added to Cloud Control API.
Certain resources available in the CloudFormation schema are not compatible with the AWS CC provider due to nuances in the schema implementation. You can find them on the GitHub issue list here. We are actively working to add these resources to the AWS CC provider.
The AWS CC provider requires Terraform CLI version 1.0.7 or higher.
Every AWS CC provider resource includes a top-level attribute `id` that acts as the resource identifier. If the CloudFormation resource schema also has a similarly named top-level attribute `id`, then that property is mapped to a new attribute named `<type>_id`. For example `web_experience_id` for `awscc_qbusiness_web_experience` resource.
If a resource attribute is not defined in the Terraform configuration, the AWS CC provider will honor the default values specified in the CloudFormation resource schema. If the resource schema does not include a default value, AWS CC provider will use attribute value stored in the Terraform state (taken from Cloud Control API GetResponse after resource was created).
In correlation to the default value behavior as stated above, when an attribute value is removed from the Terraform configuration (e.g. by commenting the attribute), the AWS CC provider will use the previous attribute value stored in the Terraform state. As such, no drift will be detected on the resource configuration when you run Terraform plan / apply.
The AWS CC provider data sources are either plural or singular with filters based on `id` attribute. Currently there is no native support for metadata sources such as `aws_region` or `aws_caller_identity`. You can continue to leverage the AWS provider data sources to complement your Terraform configuration.

If you want to dive deeper into AWS CC provider resource behavior, we encourage you to check the documentation here.

Conclusion

The AWS CC provider is now generally available and will be the fastest way for customers to access newly launched AWS features and services using Terraform. We will continue to add support for more resources, additional examples and enriching the schema descriptions. You can start using the AWS CC provider alongside your existing AWS standard provider. To learn more about the AWS CC provider, please check the HashiCorp announcement blog post. You can also follow the workshop on how to get started with AWS CC provider. If you are interested in contributing with practical examples for AWS CC provider resources, check out the how-to guide. For more questions or if you run into any issues with the new provider, don’t hesitate to submit your issue in the AWS CC provider GitHub repository.

Authors

Manu Chandrasekhar

Manu is an AWS DevOps consultant with close to 19 years of industry experience wearing QA/DevOps/Software engineering and management hats. He looks to enable teams he works with to be self-sufficient in
modelling/provisioning Infrastructure in cloud and guides them in cloud adoption. He believes that by improving the developer experience and reducing the barrier of entry to any technology with the advancements in automation and AI, software deployment and delivery can be a non-event.

Rahul Sharma

Rahul is a Principal Product Manager-Technical at Amazon Web Services with over three and a half years of cumulative product management experience spanning Infrastructure as Code (IaC) and Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) space.

Welly Siauw

As a Principal Partner Solution Architect, Welly led the co-build and co-innovation strategy with AWS ISV partners. He is passionate about Terraform, Developer Experience and Cloud Governance. Welly joined AWS in 2018 and carried with him almost 2 decades of experience in IT operations, application development, cyber security, and oil exploration. In between work, he spent time tinkering with espresso machines and outdoor hiking.

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