5 min read

Introduction to the Mapping resource

Ambassador is designed around a declarative, self-service management model. The core resource used to support application development teams who need to manage the edge with Ambassador is the Mapping resource.

Quick Example

At its core a Mapping resource maps a resource to a service:

Required attributeDescription
nameis a string identifying the Mapping (e.g. in diagnostics)
prefixis the URL prefix identifying your resource
serviceis the name of the service handling the resource; must include the namespace (e.g. myservice.othernamespace) if the service is in a different namespace than Ambassador

These resources are defined as Kubernetes Custom Resource Definitions. Here's a simple example that maps all requests to /httpbin/ to the httpbin.org web service:

apiVersion: getambassador.io/v2
kind: Mapping
name: httpbin-mapping
prefix: /httpbin/
service: http://httpbin.org

Applying a Mapping resource

A Mapping resource can be managed using the same workflow as any other Kubernetes resources (e.g., service, deployment). For example, if the above Mapping is saved into a file called httpbin-mapping.yaml, the following command will apply the configuration directly to Ambassador:

kubectl apply -f httpbin-mapping.yaml

For production use, the general recommended best practice is to store the file in a version control system and apply the changes with a continuous deployment pipeline. For more detail, see the Ambassador Operating Model.

Extending Mappings

Mapping resources support a rich set of annotations to customize the specific routing behavior. Here's an example service for implementing the CQRS pattern (using HTTP):

apiVersion: getambassador.io/v2
kind: Mapping
name: cqrs-get
prefix: /cqrs/
method: GET
service: getcqrs
apiVersion: getambassador.io/v2
kind: Mapping
name: cqrs-put
prefix: /cqrs/
method: PUT
service: putcqrs

More detail on each of the available annotations are discussed in subsequent sections.


To Ambassador, a resource is a group of one or more URLs that all share a common prefix in the URL path. For example:


all share the /resource1/ path prefix, so it can be considered a single resource. On the other hand:


share only the prefix / -- you could tell Ambassador Edge Stack to treat them as a single resource, but it's probably not terribly useful.

Note that the length of the prefix doesn't matter: if you want to use prefixes like /v1/this/is/my/very/long/resource/name/, go right ahead, Ambassador Edge Stack can handle it.

Also note that Ambassador Edge Stack does not actually require the prefix to start and end with / -- however, in practice, it's a good idea. Specifying a prefix of


would match all of the following:


which is probably not what was intended.


Ambassador Edge Stack routes traffic to a service. A service is defined as:


Where everything except for the service is optional.

  • scheme can be either http or https; if not present, the default is http.
  • service is the name of a service (typically the service name in Kubernetes or Consul); it is not allowed to contain the . character.
  • namespace is the namespace in which the service is running. Starting with Ambassador 1.0.0, if not supplied, it defaults to the namespace in which the Mapping resource is defined. The default behavior can be configured using the ambassador Module. When using a Consul resolver, namespace is not allowed.
  • port is the port to which a request should be sent. If not specified, it defaults to 80 when the scheme is http or 443 when the scheme is https. Note that the resolver may return a port in which case the port setting is ignored.

Note that while using service.namespace.svc.cluster.local may work for Kubernetes resolvers, the preferred syntax is service.namespace.

Best Practices for Configuration

Ambassador's configuration is assembled from multiple YAML blocks which are managed by independent application teams. This implies:

  • Ambassador Edge Stack's configuration should be under version control.

    While you can always read back the Ambassador Edge Stack's configuration from Kubernetes or its diagnostic service, the Ambassador Edge Stack will not do versioning for you.

  • Be aware that the Ambassador Edge Stack tries to not start with a broken configuration, but it's not perfect.

    Gross errors will result in the Ambassador Edge Stack refusing to start, in which case kubectl logs will be helpful. However, it's always possible to e.g. map a resource to the wrong service, or use the wrong rewrite rules. The Ambassador Edge Stack can't detect that on its own, although its diagnostic pages can help you figure it out.

  • Be careful of mapping collisions.

    If two different developers try to map /user/ to something, this can lead to unexpected behavior. The Ambassador Edge Stack's canary-deployment logic means that it's more likely that traffic will be split between them than that it will throw an error -- again, the diagnostic service can help you here.

Note: Unless specified, mapping attributes cannot be applied to any other resource type.


We’re here to help if you have questions.