Amplify has re-imagined the way frontend developers build fullstack applications. Develop and deploy without the hassle.

Page updated May 2, 2024

Fullstack previews

With fullstack previews, you can set up ephemeral fullstack environments on every pull request. This allows you to test features in isolation from production. Once fullstack previews are enabled, your typical workflow would look like the following diagram:

Pull request workflow detailing how Amplify handles the deployment of ephemeral environments

  1. Your main (production branch) and featureA branch are deployed on Amplify.
  2. You and your team work on featureA until it's ready.
  3. The featureA branch is updated to main HEAD and then a pull request to main is opened.
  4. The pull request preview is deployed on Amplify and available at
  5. Once the pull request is merged into main, the request is closed and the fullstack environment is also automatically torn down.


Before you get started, make sure you have the following:

  • A fullstack Amplify app deployed
  • Ensure that your git repository is private. For security purposes, fullstack previews are disabled for public repositories with Amplify backend templates.

Enable fullstack previews

To enable fullstack web previews for your Amplify app, follow these steps:

  1. Login to the Amplify console and select your app.

  2. Navigate to Hosting > Previews. Select the main branch and click on Edit settings. Amplify console page displaying the list of branches for the previews functionality

  3. Click on the Pull request previews toggle button and choose Confirm to enable previews. Amplify console page displaying a toggle button to enable the previews functionality

  4. Done! You have successfully enabled previews on the production branch. Amplify console page displaying the main branch with previews functionality enabled

  5. Ship updates to the dev branch. Now, when you create a pull request for the main branch, Amplify will build and deploy your fullstack PR and provide you with a preview URL. Amplify console page displaying the main, dev, and preview branch

For GitHub repositories only, you can access your preview URL directly on the pull request from the Amplify Hosting's bot comment:

GitHub pull request displaying preview URL in a bot comment

After the pull request is merged or closed, the preview URL is deleted and any ephemeral fullstack environment is also deleted.

Share backend resources across Preview branches

Fullstack previews allow teams a way to preview changes from pull requests before merging code to a production branch. Pull requests let you tell others about changes you’ve pushed to a branch in a repository and the changes can be reviewed by accessing the preview URL. When previews are enabled on a git branch, by default every pull request created against the git branch creates an ephemeral fullstack environment.

In some instances, you may not want to deploy new resources for every preview branch. For example, you might want all your preview branches to point to the backend resources deployed by the dev branch so you can reuse seed data, users, and groups.

To achieve this, you can update your app build settings to reuse backend resources across your preview branches. In the Amplify console, select your app on the All apps page. From the App overview page, select Hosting > Build settings to view your app's build specification YAML file.

The build specification YAML file on the Build settings page in Amplify console.

Update the build settings for the backend phase to run npx ampx generate outputs --branch dev app-id $AWS_APP_ID to generate the amplify_outputs.json file for all preview branches. After this update, any new deployed preview branches will not deploy backend resources as part of the build and instead will use the deployed backend resources from the dev branch.

version: 1
- 'npm ci --cache .npm --prefer-offline'
- 'echo $AWS_BRANCH'
- |
case "${AWS_BRANCH}" in
echo "Deploying main branch..."
npx ampx pipeline-deploy --branch $AWS_BRANCH --app-id $AWS_APP_ID
echo "Deploying dev branch..."
npx ampx pipeline-deploy --branch $AWS_BRANCH --app-id $AWS_APP_ID
echo "Deploying pull request branch..."
npx ampx generate outputs --branch dev --app-id $AWS_APP_ID
echo "Deploying to staging branch..."
npx ampx generate outputs --branch staging --app-id $AWS_APP_ID
- 'npm run build'
baseDirectory: .amplify-hosting
- '**/*'
- .next/cache/**/*
- .npm/**/*
- node_modules/**/*