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Figgy Basics#

Figgy does a lot, but lets start with the simple parts. At its core, Figgy is a configuration management framework built on AWS ParameterStore. ParameterStore is a great AWS service for managing application configurations, but it isn't without its usability faults. Figgy is designed to build on the great foundation ParameterStore offers by adding more functionality, enforcing best practices, and simplifying the user experience.

You don't have to use all Figgy has to offer. So let's start with the basics. With Figgy installed, you can use the CLI to interact with AWS ParameterStore across many different accounts.

There's a free Figgy Sandbox you can use to experiment with Figgy. Go ahead, click that Sandbox link, let's have some fun!

Figgy Events#

Look again at the Sandbox page. Do you notice some notifications popping up? Those are live events happening right now in our Figgy Sandbox. Someone (or something) is meddling with configurations in our Figgy Sandbox.

The purpose of this is to demonstrate one of the most powerful features of Figgy. Figgy is driven by events. Every change is an event, which means every change, ever, is logged and stored. Figgy stores a complete history of every change in our Figgy sandbox. Do your worst, I dare you to mess up my Fig Orchard! I'll just restore my figs to how they were at some in time - to the second - in the past. Not-a-thing you can do about it! ;)

Declarative Configuration#

'GitOps' is about defining the desired state of your infrastructure in a versioned Git repository. Inspired by GitOps, Figgy's goal is to bring this same approach to application config management. Git repositories aren't the place for loads of Key/Value pairs though, so with Figgy, first you will 'declare' what your application needs to run. Next you'll use the Figgy CLI to ensure your configs are where they need to be and add any missing defined configurations. Finally your CICD pipeline can perform additional validation at deployment time. This declarative definition can be dynamically generated through static code analysis or reflection. In other words, let your code tell your CICD process what configurations it needs.


Figgy can break the build if you're missing a required configuration. Don't deploy a service destined to fail initialization.

By declaratively defining (or generating) required configurations for a particular code base and commit, you can feel confident you didn't forget that last pesky configuration you service needs to run.

Figgy accomplishes this through a figgy.json file that defines the required configurations for a codebase. Before developers check-in their code, or before a PR is merged, users (or automation) can run the sync command to validate the defined configurations exist in the targeted environment. Figgy will give you confidence that you aren't rolling out a new release and missing a required configuration.

Twigs - An application's sole configuration provider#

While Figgy doesn't enforce this policy, we strongly recommend you store all configurations for each service under a twig (See: Figgy Concepts). For instance, for service message-fetcher all configurations would exist under the following namespace: /app/message-fetcher. The /app namespace is optional, you can call it /svc, or whatever you want.

Here are some example configurations under the twig: /app/message-fetcher

/app/message-fetcher ⬇(FIGS)⬇
    ⬆(TWIG)⬆       /batch-size

/app/message-fetcher is the twig.

One great thing about twigs is that we can look at a twig and know everything there is to know about that service's configuration. This is can be very helpful when trying to answer the question "What does the message-fetcher talk to?". 🤔

It also GREATLY simplifies IAM access control for our service. message-fetcher will need an IAM policy as simple as this:

    "Statement": [
            "Sid": "MessageFetcherSSM",
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
            "Resource": "arn:aws:ssm:*:1234567890:parameter/app/message-fetcher/*"

In Figgy we want configurations to have a single source of truth but avoid unnecessary fig duplication. The problem with having all configurations stored under twigs is that it assumes there aren't "global" or "shared" configurations.


If each service only has access to its twig, for example: /app/foo/* for the foo service and /app/bar/* for the bar service. What do we do about shared configurations? What if both foo and bar need a value named db-hostname? Where would that live?

We certainly don’t want to duplicate db-hostname it in both twigs - that would be hard to maintain. Instead we store the source of truth of these shared configurations in a global, shared space, and sync them into the the twig namespaces.

The solution: Config Replication#

The /shared fig tree is a special configuration tree where configurations that are shared among numerous services may be stored. This is great for DNS names, database names, and anything else that is used in more than one place.

As with all Figgy concepts, the /shared tree convention is a recommendation. It is not enforced by Figgy.

Config replication is how Figgy accomplishes sharing configurations from a source to one or more destinations. Figgy will keep the destination in sync with the source. Whenever the source is updated, events will trigger to automatically update all destinations within about 1 second.

We won't get into how you can configure replication here, but understanding how sharing works is important.

Combat config sprawl#

Ever had a config you were too terrified to delete because you didn't know if something was still using it? Yup Figgy has a solution for that too.

Declarative configuration provides a definitive answer on whether or not a fig living out there is used anymore. By following Figgy best practices and defining your service configurations under twigs, you will gain the benefit of being notified when you have a fig out there that is no longer used by your service.

The sync and prune commands will detect and prompt you to clean-up unused configurations to prevent unused config sprawl.

That's it, you now know the basic features of Figgy.

DevOps / Software Architects:

  1. Installation
  2. Deploying Figgy
  3. Advanced Figgy
  4. Architecture

Figgy Users:

  1. Figgy Sandbox
  2. Installation
  3. Commands
  4. User Guides