Pulumi vs. Cloud Template Transpilers

Because of the challenges of writing raw YAML/JSON by hand, two notable projects exist to compile higher-level languages into AWS CloudFormation YAML/JSON templates: Troposphere, a community-led open source project created in 2013; and AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK), an AWS Labs project created in 2018.

Similar to Pulumi, these projects allow you to author infrastructure as code using general-purpose languages like TypeScript, JavaScript, and Python. Unlike Pulumi, however, whose open-source engine understands these languages, a transpiler (a.k.a., source-to-source compiler), translates this code into AWS CloudFormation. The resulting file and related assets are then submitted to the closed-source AWS CloudFormation servers to provision infrastructure on AWS in the usual ways.

To learn more about how Pulumi compares to some of these services in detail, see the following comparison docs: