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Since I've seen Hashicorp Terraform, I have been wondering why the "plan" it can export has binary format.

Now in the AWS world you have got a declarative configuration language called CloudFormation which can be abstracted from using AWS CDK (Cloud Development Kit) in a common programming language of your choice.

Therefore my question: imagine somebody familiar with CloudFormation would like to see what CDK code will do. Is there a way to export a CloudFormation file using CDK?

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Yes: in the hello world CDK example, they call it "synthesizing":

cdk synth

^^ produces CloudFormation file.

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