This snapshot configuration file type is used along with the AWS connector. It allows you to take snapshots of ReST api calls to the AWS api.

Notes: Limitations

As of now, the response of the api is always an array of items and this makes the testing a little more complex than expected. We are working on a fix!

Snapshot configuration file

To setup an AWS snapshot configuration file, copy the following code to a file named snapshot.json in your container's folder.

Notes: Naming conventions

This file can be named anything you want but we suggest snapshot.json

    "fileType": "snapshot",
    "snapshots": [
            "source": "awsConnector",
            "type": "aws",
            "testUser": "<iam-user>",
            "nodes": [
                    "snapshotId": "<snapshot-name>",
                    "type": "<type-of-node>",
                    "collection": "<collection-name>",
                    "region": "<region>",
                    "client": "EC2",
                    "id": {

Remember to substitute all values in this file that looks like a <tag> such as:

tag What to put there
iam-user Name of the IAM user, must be present in AWS connector file
snapshot-name Name of the snapshot, you will use this in test files
type-of-node Type of resource being queried for, see below for more information
collection-name Name of the MongoDB collection used to store snapshots of this file
selectors A complex object that defines what it is you want to extract and snapshot, see below for more information
region Region of the instance (Optional). Overrides the region provided in Connector File.
client Type of client AWS client (Optional). Overrides the client provided in Connector File.

Types of nodes

The type-of-node parameter refers to a very wide list. Let's see how the AWS connector works to know how to properly set it up!

The AWS connector is a wrapper around the AWS ReST api. You can also use the AWS cli with the exact same approach. Prancer will call aws ec2 describe-xyz operations on the api and simply substitute the xyz for the type of node. For example:

What you need Type of node
EC2 machine details instances
Subnets of a VPC subnets
Key pairs for EC2 instanciations key_pairs
Security groups security_groups

The important part to remember is that if you find an aws ec2 cli describe operation, we'll build the corresponding describe operation for you using the type of node. If you find the describe operation in the AWS cli, just change the hyphens - for underscores _ and we'll do the rest.

Notes: Limitations

Note: We are in the process of re-thinking our approach for the AWS connector. We'll adopt a more flexible approach soon so you can query any kind of service and not just EC2 services.

In case you client does not have a describe method. Like in case of S3, then this field should be populated with the method that has from the boto3 client object.


Selectors are necessary because a node can only be 1 item at a time. To properly describe the result that should be snapshotted, you need to give parameters in the selector block that will identify a single unique resource produced by the describe operation.

The id block will contain different parameters that are specific to the describe-xyz operation being used. To know what to use, just lookup the AWS cli describe operation on the AWS documentation and look at the parameters. Any parameter that you can pass to the command line tool can be used in there but you need to use a "PascalCase" version of it. Here are a few examples:

Type of node Cli version Prancer version Example value
instances --instance-ids InstanceIds ["i-3945hf923h492345h"]
vpcs --vpc-ids VpcIds ["vpc-3923h492345h"]
security_groups --group-ids GroupIds ["sg-3h492345h"]

Using filters

AWS selectors will often feature filters. You can also leverage this from Prancer. A common reason to use Filters in the id block is to query using tags which makes more sense than using fixed ids. This is especially true when using infrastructure frameworks such as Terraform or CloudFormation.

To use filters, add and format a Filters node in the id node using the following example:

"id": {
    "Filters": [
            "Name": "tag:aws:cloudformation:stack-name",
            "Values": ["some-stack"]
            "Name": "tag:aws:cloudformation:logical-id",
            "Values": ["resource-name"]