CDK Tutorial for Kotlin and Gradle

This is a guide how to create a CDK v2, Kotlin and Gradle project that you can deploy to your AWS account and then see the resources it created.

The main stack

Then create a new file that will be our CDKStack that will look like this:

Then create a new file that will be our CDKStack that will look like this

Here we have created a stack with: 

  1. SQS Queue
  2. SNS Topic
  3. Subscribing to the queue to recive any messages published to the topic.

App’s entry point

This code loads and instantiates the CDKExample stack above.

Apps entry point

CDK json

After that, a file called cdk.json is needed in the project structure to tell CDK how to use Gradle to build the project in the deployment phase. It also includes extra context that can be modified. Create a file called cdk.json in the root folder of your project and populate it with this:

"app": "./gradlew build run",
"context": {
"@aws-cdk/core:stackRelativeExports": "true",
"@aws-cdk/aws-ecs-patterns:removeDefaultDesiredCount": true

Gradle build file

Your Gradle build file should look like this when you are ready to deploy. 

Gradle build file

Synthesize a template from your app

AWS CDK apps are effectively only a definition of your infrastructure using code. When CDK apps are executed, they produce (or “synthesize”, in CDK parlance) an AWS CloudFormation template for each stack defined in your application.

To synthesize a CDK app, use the cdk synth command.

When we run cdk synth we will output the following CloudFormation template:

    Type: AWS::SQS::Queue
      VisibilityTimeout: 300
    UpdateReplacePolicy: Delete
    DeletionPolicy: Delete
      aws:cdk:path: CdkExampleKotlinGradleStack/CdkExampleStackQue/Resource
    Type: AWS::SQS::QueuePolicy
          - Action: sqs:SendMessage
                  Ref: CdkExampleStackTopic935606F2
            Effect: Allow
                - CdkExampleStackQue76456D13
                - Arn
        Version: "2012-10-17"
        - Ref: CdkExampleStackQue76456D13
      aws:cdk:path: CdkExampleKotlinGradleStack/CdkExampleStackQue/Policy/Resource


Setup CDK for deployment

Now that we got a CloudFormation template it is time to deploy it to our account.

Bootstrapping an environment

The first time you deploy an AWS CDK app into an environment (account), you’ll need to install a “bootstrap stack”. This stack includes resources that are needed for the toolkit’s operation. For example, the stack includes an S3 bucket that is used to store templates and assets during the deployment process.

You can use the cdk bootstrap command to install the bootstrap stack into an environment (your account). 

Let’s deploy

Navigate to the folder of your project in a CLI or go to the Terminal section in Intellij.

There let’s run cdk deploy that will generate this out put: 


This deployment will make potentially sensitive changes according to your current security approval level (--require-approval broadening).
Please confirm you intend to make the following modifications:

IAM Statement Changes
│   │ Resource                  │ Effect │ Action          │ Principal                 │ Condition                                                   │
│ + │ ${CdkExampleStackQue.Arn} │ Allow  │ sqs:SendMessage │ │ "ArnEquals": {                                              │
│   │                           │        │                 │                           │   "aws:SourceArn": "${CdkExampleStackTopic}"                │
│   │                           │        │                 │                           │ }                                                           │
(NOTE: There may be security-related changes not in this list. See

Do you wish to deploy these changes (y/n)? 

Verify the deployment

Navigate to the region in the account which you deployed to. There you should now see your stack deployed in the CloudFormation service. Like this: 

Verify the deploymen

In the stack we can also see the events that happened during the deployment. Aswell as the resources that where deployed. 



Clean up

Let us clean up and destroy the stack. So we go to the CLI/Terminal where we deployed the project and then run cdk destroy to clean up the enviroment and destroy the resources we just created.

Are you sure you want to delete: CdkExampleKotlinGradleStack (y/n)?

Press “y” and continue.

You will then see output like this: 

CdkExampleKotlinGradleStack: destroying... [1/1]
11:15:22 AM | DELETE_IN_PROGRESS   | AWS::CloudFormation::Stack | CdkExampleKotlinGradleStack
11:15:26 AM | DELETE_IN_PROGRESS   | AWS::SNS::Topic        | CdkExampleStackTopic
11:15:26 AM | DELETE_IN_PROGRESS   | AWS::SQS::Queue        | CdkExampleStackQue

Then after a succesfull delete you will get confirmation like this: 

✅  CdkExampleKotlinGradleStack: destroyed

You can verify this by going in to the account and check that it still isn’t there and the resources are deleted as expected. 


In this tutorial you learnt how to set up a Kotlin and Gradle project in Intellij that runs CDK. The connections and settings needed for it to connect up and then deploy as well as destroy the stack. 

Ken Robert Løken
Cloud Business Director