Calculated Policies in 7 minutes

Goal Use calculated policies to dynamically determine policy values
Time 7 minutes


While most policy settings can be set with a simple static value, there may be instances where you need more flexibility in determining the correct option. Calculated policies allow you to dynamically compute policy values using any information in the Turbot CMDB.

Any policy in Turbot can use a calculated policy instead of a static value!

In this exercise, you will create a calculated policy to set the AWS > S3 > Bucket > Tags > Template using the Turbot Console UI.

By the end of this lab, you will be able to create and test calculated policies in the Turbot Console.


Create/Edit the Policy Setting

  1. Log into Turbot as an Administrator, then click the Policies tab.
  2. Click the New Policy Setting button marked in green.
  3. Search and select AWS > S3 > Bucket > Tags > Template as Policy Type.
  4. In the Resource field, select the test bucket that created in the Prerequisites setup. You can search for it by name, or Browse and select it.
  5. In the Setting section, click the link Enable calculated mode. Then Launch calculated policy builder. This will allow you to create and test your calculated policy.
  6. By default, the test bucket that you set in the Resource should be set as the Test Resource.

Define the GraphQL input query

To get information from the CMDB to use in our policy, you need to specify a GraphQL Query. Copy & paste this query into the Step 2: Query data using GraphQL field:

  bucket {

Note that the box to the right is populated with the results of your query against the Test Resource. For example:

  "bucket": {
    "Name": "turbot-bucket-version",
    "tags": {
      "Company": "Vandelay Industries",
      "Department": "Sales",
      "Cost Center": "314159"

Create a template to format the results

The AWS > S3 > Bucket > Tags > Template expects the tags to be formatted yaml object as a set of key: value pairs. You can use a nunjucks template to transform the query results into the format expected by the Policy Type.

Copy & paste this template into the Step 3: Transform using Jinja2 Template field. For example:

Company: "Vandelay Industries"
Department: "{% if $.bucket.tags['Department'] in ['Sales', 'IT', 'Marketing', 'HR'] %}{{ $.bucket.tags['Department'] }}{% else %}Non-Compliant Tag{% endif %}"
Cost Center: "{% if $.bucket.tags['Cost Center'] %}{{ $.bucket.tags['Cost Center'] }}{% else %}Non-Compliant Tag{% endif %}"
Environment: "{% if $.bucket.tags['Environment'] in ['Dev', 'QA', 'Prod', 'Temp'] %}{{ $.bucket.tags['Environment'] }}{% else %}Non-Compliant Tag{% endif %}"

The template uses standard nunjucks, allowing you to use conditional logic, iterate over items, and perform complex transformations of the data.

Notice that the results of rendering your template with the data from the input query are shown to the right of the template. The box at the bottom shows the final, rendered policy value after validation against the schema for the policy type. calculated policy test

Click Create to create this setting (or Update if you are updating an existing setting).

The policy value for this bucket will not be calculated. Any changes to the data in the input query will cause this policy to be re-calculated bases on the new values.

Note that you created this setting on the bucket itself, thus only this bucket will be affected. If you made the setting at a higher level in the hierarchy, it would apply to every bucket below. For example, setting this calculated policy at the AWS Account level would cause every S3 bucket in the account to calculate its own value, based on its own data in the CMDB.

Expand your query

  1. Search and select AWS > S3 > Bucket > Tags > Template policy setting, and click EDIT to update it.
  2. Update the Graphql. Make the following changes to the query. For this exercise, you should type these changes -- do not cut and paste.
  region {    Name  }  bucket {

update cal policy

The GraphQL available in calculated policies is a super-set of the Turbot GraphQL API. The API is extended with dynamic queries for the Turbot Resource Type that automatically pivot based on the context of the current resource. Notice in the example query that we added region to the query - Turbot assumes that we mean the region resource in which this bucket resides. Likewise, you may use account and folder to get information about account and folder above the bucket in the hierarchy.

You can discover the schema for these resources via auto-complete, or by viewing the schema definition in the Inspect tab of the mod documentation. The bucket query refers to the S3 Bucket Schema, as an example.

You can also view the schema by looking at the Explore page on an existing resource. Occasionally, attributes may exist in the CMDB that are not explicitly defined in the schema definition. You can use get to retrieve these items.

  1. Go to the Explore page for your test bucket resource. Notice that there is a Grantee attribute for this resource.
  2. View the S3 Bucket Schema definition. Notice that Grantee is not explicitly defined as an attribute.
  3. To query the Grantee attribute, you must use a get query. Edit your query as follows:
  region {
  bucket {
    grantee: get(path: "Acl.Grants[0].Grantee")  }
  1. Notice that the grantee is now added to your query results. get cal policy

The combination of GraphQL and Nunjucks make calculated policies powerful and flexible. Any Turbot policy can be calculated, using any data in the entire CMDB!

Further Reading