AWS Service Acronyms

I work with some of the most intelligent people I may have ever met.

It seems that a good deal of these brilliant minds focus on AWS, or Amazon Web Services. It’s also much of what’s important to our enterprise right now, so it’s logical. I also focus on AWS (partly). A portion of the people with whom I work appear to use the acronym CF for AWS CloudFormation. But, that acronym is reserved for Amazon CloudFront. How do they not know this? How do I know this!? It’s of no surprise, but I see this acronym used incorrectly outside work, as well. Here’s one: I won’t deny that CF does make sense. I’ll agree to that, but not alongside the consideration of Amazon CloudFront.

I’ve yet to find that single source of AWS acronyms. Or have I?

AWS has authored two PowerShell modules (one for Windows PowerShell and one for the cross-platform version: PowerShell), with the term AWSPowerShell included in the name. They are both at version 3.3.563.1 and have over 5,900 Cmdlets (pronounced, but not spelled as, “commandlets” [for those that don’t work closely with PowerShell in any form, but may end up here]). There are over 6,200 total items in each of these two modules, if you include the aliases. The PowerShell command naming convention best practice is to use an approved verb (the Get-Verb Cmdlet returns a list of those), a dash, and a singular noun. If more than one noun is used, developers should use CamelCase — this happens quite often. And again, this is for the non-PowerShell people in the room — if you’re out there.

Some cmdlet examples from these modules are Get-CFDistribution, Write-S3ObjectTagSet, Set-SQSQueueAttribute, and New-WAFRule. These commands work just as the AWS CLI does, in that they call an API at Amazon. As far as best practice goes, another thing both individuals and vendors often do, is include a prefix after the dash, but before the noun(s) in their command names. Each of the AWSPowerShell Cmdlets I included above makes use of a prefix. There was CF, S3, SQS, and WAF. Another one of the cmdlets in these modules is called Get-AWSPowerShellVersion (AWS prefix); I’ve brought it up here before. It spits out some version text, which is all it should do. However, if you use the ListServiceVersionInfo parameter provided by this cmdlet, you can return all the services and their matching noun prefixes, as well. You can return the API Versions too, which are dates. I didn’t include those below, however.

PS > Get-AWSPowerShellVersion -ListServiceVersionInfo | Select-Object -Property Service,'Noun Prefix' | Sort-Object -Property 'Noun Prefix'

Service                                               Noun Prefix
-------                                               -----------
Application Auto Scaling                              AAS
AWS Certificate Manager                               ACM
Application Discovery Service                         ADS
Amazon API Gateway                                    AG
Amazon API Gateway V2                                 AG2
Amazon API Gateway Management API                     AGM
Alexa For Business                                    ALXB
AWS Amplify                                           AMP
AWS App Mesh                                          AMSH
AWS AppStream                                         APS
Auto Scaling                                          AS
AWS Support API                                       ASA
AWS Auto Scaling Plans                                ASP
AWS AppSync                                           ASYN
Amazon Athena                                         ATH
Amazon Backup                                         BAK
AWS Batch                                             BAT
AWS Budgets                                           BGT
AWS Cloud9                                            C9
AWS CodeBuild                                         CB
AWS CodeCommit                                        CC
AWS CodeDeploy                                        CD
AWS Cloud Directory                                   CDIR
AWS Cost Explorer                                     CE
Amazon CloudFront                                     CF
AWS Config                                            CFG
AWS CloudFormation                                    CFN
Amazon Cognito Identity                               CGI
Amazon Cognito Identity Provider                      CGIP
Amazon Cognito Sync                                   CGIS
Amazon Chime                                          CHM
AWS Comprehend Medical                                CMPM
Amazon Comprehend                                     COMP
Amazon Connect Service                                CONN
AWS CodePipeline                                      CP
Amazon CloudSearch                                    CS
Amazon CloudSearchDomain                              CSD
AWS CodeStar                                          CST
AWS CloudTrail                                        CT
AWS Cost and Usage Report                             CUR
Amazon CloudWatch                                     CW
Amazon CloudWatch Application Insights                CWAI
Amazon CloudWatch Events                              CWE
Amazon CloudWatch Logs                                CWL
Amazon DynamoDB Accelerator (DAX)                     DAX
AWS Direct Connect                                    DC
Amazon DynamoDB                                       DDB
AWS Device Farm                                       DF
Amazon Data Lifecycle Manager                         DLM
AWS Database Migration Service                        DMS
Amazon DocumentDB                                     DOC
AWS Data Pipeline                                     DP
AWS Directory Service                                 DS
AWS DataSync                                          DSYN
AWS Elastic Beanstalk                                 EB
Amazon ElastiCache                                    EC
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud                          EC2
Amazon EC2 Container Registry                         ECR
Amazon EC2 Container Service                          ECS
Amazon Elastic File System                            EFS
Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes       EKS
Elastic Load Balancing                                ELB
Elastic Load Balancing V2                             ELB2
AWS Elemental MediaConvert                            EMC
AWS Elemental MediaConnect                            EMCN
AWS Elemental MediaLive                               EML
AWS Elemental MediaPackage                            EMP
AWS Elemental MediaPackage VOD                        EMPV
Amazon Elastic MapReduce                              EMR
AWS Elemental MediaStore                              EMS
AWS Elemental MediaStore Data Plane                   EMSD
AWS Elemental MediaTailor                             EMT
Amazon Elasticsearch                                  ES
Amazon Elastic Transcoder                             ETS
Amazon EventBridge                                    EVB
Firewall Management Service                           FMS
Amazon FSx                                            FSX
AWS Global Accelerator                                GACL
Amazon GuardDuty                                      GD
AWS Greengrass                                        GG
Amazon Glacier                                        GLC
AWS Glue                                              GLUE
Amazon GameLift Service                               GML
AWS Ground Station                                    GS
AWS Health                                            HLTH
AWS Cloud HSM                                         HSM
AWS Cloud HSM V2                                      HSM2
AWS Identity and Access Management                    IAM
AWS Import/Export                                     IE
Amazon Inspector                                      INS
AWS IoT                                               IOT
AWS IoT Events                                        IOTE
AWS IoT Events Data                                   IOTED
AWS IoT Jobs Data Plane                               IOTJ
AWS IoT Things Graph                                  IOTTG
Amazon Kinesis                                        KIN
Amazon Kinesis Analytics                              KINA
Amazon Kinesis Analytics (v2)                         KINA2
Amazon Kinesis Firehose                               KINF
AWS Key Management Service                            KMS
Amazon Kinesis Video Streams                          KV
Amazon Kinesis Video Streams Media                    KVM
Amazon Lex                                            LEX
AWS License Manager                                   LICM
AWS Lambda                                            LM
Amazon Lex Model Building Service                     LMB
Amazon Lightsail                                      LS
Amazon Macie                                          MAC
Amazon Managed Blockchain                             MBC
AWS Marketplace Commerce Analytics                    MCA
AWS Marketplace Entitlement Service                   MES
AWS Migration Hub                                     MH
Amazon Machine Learning                               ML
AWS Marketplace Metering                              MM
AWS Mobile                                            MOBL
Amazon MQ                                             MQ
Managed Streaming for Kafka                           MSK
Amazon MTurk Service                                  MTR
Amazon Neptune                                        NPT
AWS OpsWorks                                          OPS
AWS Organizations                                     ORG
AWS OpsWorksCM                                        OWCM
AWS Certificate Manager Private Certificate Authority PCA
AWS Personalize                                       PERS
Amazon Personalize Events                             PERSE
AWS Personalize Runtime                               PERSR
AWS Performance Insights                              PI
Amazon Pinpoint                                       PIN
Amazon Pinpoint Email                                 PINE
AWS Price List Service                                PLS
Amazon Polly                                          POL
Amazon QuickSight                                     QS
Amazon Route 53                                       R53
Amazon Route 53 Domains                               R53D
Amazon Route 53 Resolver                              R53R
AWS Resource Access Manager                           RAM
Amazon Relational Database Service                    RDS
AWS RDS DataService                                   RDSD
Amazon Rekognition                                    REK
AWS Resource Groups                                   RG
AWS Resource Groups Tagging API                       RGT
AWS RoboMaker                                         ROBO
Amazon Redshift                                       RS
Amazon Simple Storage Service                         S3
Amazon S3 Control                                     S3C
AWS Serverless Application Repository                 SAR
AWS Service Catalog                                   SC
Amazon Route 53 Auto Naming                           SD
AWS Secrets Manager                                   SEC
Amazon Simple Email Service                           SES
AWS Step Functions                                    SFN
AWS Storage Gateway                                   SG
AWS Shield                                            SHLD
AWS Security Hub                                      SHUB
Amazon SageMaker Service                              SM
Amazon SageMaker Runtime                              SMR
Amazon Server Migration Service                       SMS
AWS Import/Export Snowball                            SNOW
Amazon Simple Notification Service                    SNS
AWS Service Quotas                                    SQ
Amazon Simple Queue Service                           SQS
AWS Systems Manager                                   SSM
AWS Security Token Service                            STS
AWS Simple Workflow Service                           SWF
AWS Transfer for SFTP                                 TFR
Amazon Translate                                      TRN
Amazon Transcribe Service                             TRS
Amazon Textract                                       TXT
AWS WAF                                               WAF
AWS WAF Regional                                      WAFR
Amazon WorkDocs                                       WD
Amazon WorkSpaces                                     WKS
Amazon WorkLink                                       WL
Amazon WorkMail                                       WM
AWS X-Ray                                             XR

This is the closest we have to an official, AWS acronym list that I’ve yet to find. And yes, I’ve looked.

As can be seen, the CF acronym is used for CloudFront and CFN for CloudFormation. Use whatever you like, I suppose. With my teammates, I can’t think of a time where I didn’t know it was CloudFormation due to the context. I may have lost a few valuable seconds in life rereading a few sentences a few times, but I’ve so far survived. Still, I felt like it should be mentioned, so I can say I did my part to sleep better at night. Just kidding. It doesn’t keep me awake at night.

I’ll continue to use CFN. Perhaps they’ll think it’s me.

≥ Tommy Maynard (Twitter: @thetommymaynard)

About Tommy Maynard

IT Pro. Passionate for #PowerShell, #AWS (certified x2), & all things automation. I'm not done learning. Author in #PSConfBook. Writes at