Projects are the root container which contain all other resources. Projects are composed of:

  • apps
  • settings

Once you start using gordon, you’ll realize it makes sense to have several projects, and not only one monolitic one with dozens of applications.

This is not news to you if you have heard about microservices, but it is good to emphasize that massive projects might not a good idea (generally speaking).

As always, give it a shoot and decide what is better for you.

How can I create a new project?

Creating a new project is easy, you only need to run the following command:

$ gordon startproject demo

This will create a new directory called demo which will contain the most basic project. That’s a single settings.yml file:

└── settings.yml

Project Actions

Once you have created your project, there are two main actions that you’ll run from the command line; build and apply.


Build is the action that will collect all registered resources in your project, and create several templates in the _build directory which will represent everything you have defined. As well as creating these templates, gordon will create all necessary artifacts that it’ll later upload to s3.

At this point, gordon will not use any AWS credentials. This is important.

What gordon generates in the build directory is merely declarative and completely agnostic of in which region or stage you’ll (later) deploy it. Gordon doesn’t know/care what is the current status (if  any) of all those resources.

This is one of the greatness (and technical challenges) of gordon.

The number of required templates depend on you project, but these are all possible templates gordon will create:

Acronym Name Description
pr_p.json Pre Project Custom template - This is not generally used
p.json Project CloudFormation template - Gordon will create a S3 bucket where it’ll upload your lambdas
pr_r.json Pre Resources Custom template - Gordon will generally upload your lambdas to S3.
r.json Resources CloudFormation template - Gordon will create your lambdas and event sources
ps_r.json Post Resources Custom template - This is not generally used


Apply is the action that will deploy your project to one specific region and stage.

Term Description
region AWS cloud is divided in several regions. Each Region is a separate geographic area. AWS Regions and Availability Zones
stage Stages are 100% isolated deployments of the same project. The idea is that the same project can be deployed in the same AWS account in different stages (dev, staging, prod...) in order to SAFELY test it’s behaviour. Stage names must only contain up to 16 lowercase alphanumeric characters including hyphen.

This command will:

  • Collect all required parameters for this stage.
  • Sequentially apply all gordon templates.

This command (for obvious reasons), will use your AWS credentials to apply your project templates.


Removes all deployed project resources of one specific region and stage.

This is a destructive action, so gordon will by default do a dry-run and output all resources which would be deleted.

If you are ok with those resources being deleted, you can run the same command but adding the argument --confirm in order to confirm your desire of gordon deleting all of them.

Anatomy of the project

project: { STRING }
default-region: { AWS_REGION }
code-bucket: { STRING }
  - { STRING }
vpc: { MAP }
contexts: { MAP }

Lambda Properties

Project Name

Name project
Required Yes
Valid types string
Description Name for your Project


Name default-region
Required Yes
Valid types string
Description Default region where the project will be deployed


Name code-bucket
Required Yes
Valid types string
Validation Up to 31 lowercase alphanumeric characters including hyphen.
Description Base Name of the bucket gordon will use to store the source code of your lambdas and Cloudformation templates.

Because the source code and the lambdas needs to be in the same region, gordon will create on bucket per region and stage following the following format:



Name apps
Required Yes
Valid types list
Description List of installed apps

By default when you create a project, gordon will include some applications which you’ll probably need. Those applications are called gordon.contrib applications and provide you (and your gordon project) with some basic functionalities that you (or gordon) might need.


Name vpc
Required No
Valid types map
Description Map of vpc names with their respective security-groups and subnet-ids.

For more information Lambdas vpc setting.


project: vpcexample

            - sg-00000000
            - subnet-1234567a
            - subnet-1234567b
            - subnet-1234567c

You can customize both security-groups and subnet-ids using parameters

project: vpcexample

        security-groups: ref://VpcSecurityGroups
        subnet-ids: ref://VpcSubnets


Name contexts
Required No
Valid types map
Description Map of context names with their definitions.

For more information Contexts.


project: example

    database_username: dev-bob
    database_password: shrug