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Packages and renders SAM templates for use

Project description


What is this?

sceptre-sam-handler is a TemplateHandler for Sceptre (versions 2.7 and up) that lets you use an AWS SAM template (and its associated project) as a stack's template.

This template handler will run sam build and then sam package from the indicated SAM Template's directory in order to generate a CloudFormation-ready template.

By using the SAM Handler, you are letting SAM compile a SAM template and upload artifacts to S3, and then using Sceptre to actually do the deployment of the template to a stack. In other words, by using this handler with Sceptre, you skip ever using sam deploy; It's not needed. You also likely won't need a sam config file with deployment defaults, since you'll be using Sceptre to deploy rather than SAM.

By using this handler, you can now use SAM templates with all your favorite Sceptre commands, like launch, validate, generate, and diff (along with all the rest)!

How to install sceptre-sam-handler

Simply pip install scepre-sam-handler.

If you want to install aws-sam-cli along with this handler using pip, you can use the "extra" like pip install sceptre-sam-handler[sam].

How to use sceptre-sam-handler

The template "type" for this handler is sam.

This handler takes several arguments, two of which are required.


  • path (string, required): The path from the current working directory (NOT the
  • project path) to the SAM Template.
  • artifact_bucket_name (string, required): The bucket name where artifacts should be uploaded to on S3 during the packaging process. If your project has a template_bucket_name, you can set this to {{ template_bucket_name }}.
  • artifact_prefix (string, optional): The prefix to apply to artifacts uploaded to S3. This can be the project's {{ template_key_prefix }}.
  • build_args (dict, optional): Additional key/value pairs to supply to sam build. For flag-type arguments that have no value, set the value to "True".
  • package_args (dict, optional): Additional key/value pairs to apply to sam package. The same is true here as for build_args for flag-type arguments.

How does this handler work?

When using only sam CLI (not Sceptre) to deploy using sam deploy, SAM CLI effectively performs 3 steps:

  1. SAM CLI builds the all the various resources special SAM resources, resolving dependencies. These would include Lambda functions and Lambda layers. It copies any locally-referenced files and resolves any dependencies into a directory called .aws-sam. This is the sam behavior as running sam build.
  2. SAM CLI then transforms all SAM template URIs that reference local filepaths to S3 keys (among other) transformations it applies, uploads any built artifacts to those s3 keys, and saves the transformed template. This is the same behavior as running sam package.
  3. SAM CLI finally takes that transformed template (along with a local sam config and any other CLI arguments) and performs CloudFormation stack create/update with them.

When you use Sceptre with this handler, the SAM handler performs steps 1-2 above to create a template that Sceptre can use, but it does not use sam to deploy it!. Instead, Sceptre can use that template produced in step 2 above (via sam package) to perform all it's usual commands with all it's usual magic!

In other words, using this handler lets you use resolvers, put your SAM stack into StackGroups, let you name your stack according to Sceptre's naming conventions, validate, diff, and more! Basically, the SAM stack can be managed using Sceptre just like any other.

Default behavior

SAM commands are invoked using the system shell in a subprocess, with stdout redirected to stderr. Artifacts will be uploaded using the artifact_bucket_name and artifact_prefix arguments, the project_code, and the Sceptre stack name.

For example, given an artifact_bucket_name of "bucket", artifact_prefix of "prefix", a project_code of "project" and a stack config located at "config/indigo/sam-application.yaml", SAM artifacts will be uploaded to:


By default, these will be the sam commands that are run from the template's directory:

sam build --cached --template-file [path as absolute path]
sam package \
  --s3-bucket [artifact_bucket_name argument] \
  --region [the stack region] \
  --s3-prefix [the prefix described above] \
  --template-file [path as absolute path]

If any additional arguments are desired for to be passed to SAM, you can specify those with dicts for the build_args and package_args template handler arguments. These key/value pairs will override the defaults. For any flag-type arguments, set the value to True. If you want to remove a default argument (such as the --cached flag for sam build), set the value to None.

IAM and authentication

This handler uses the stack's connection information to generate AWS environment variables and sets those on the sam process, ensuring that the AWS authentication configuration on the stack config and project is carried over to SAM without any need for additional arguments.

If you desire to use a different profile or region when invoking sam package than what is set on the stack, you should specify "profile" and/or "region" values for "package_args".

Important: SAM creates CloudFormation-ready templates via sam package, which uploads built artifacts to S3 in the process. This means that Sceptre commands that do not normally require S3 actions (such as generate, validate, diff, and others) will require them when using this handler. You will need to ensure that any user or role executing these commands has proper permissions for these operations. For more information on required permissions, see the documentation for SAM permissions.

Example Stack Config

# By using the SAM handler, you let SAM build and package the template and upload artifacts to S3
# and Sceptre will use the packaged template to create the CloudFormation stack, using the stack
# config.
    type: sam
    path: path/from/my/cwd/template.yaml
    artifact_bucket_name: {{ template_bucket_name }}
    artifact_prefix: {{ template_key_prefix }}
        use-container: True

# You can use resolvers to pass parameters, just like any other Sceptre stack!
    long_parameter: !file my/file/path
    my_template_parameter: !stack_output some/other/stack.yaml::SomeOutput

# The SAM Handler will work with all the other stack parameters you might want to use too!
profile: my_profile
iam_role: arn:aws:iam::1111111111:role/My-Deployment-Role
region: us-east-1

    SomeTag: SomeValue

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