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Microsoft Azure Identity Library for Python

Project description

Azure Identity client library for Python

Azure Identity simplifies authentication across the Azure SDK. It supports token authentication using an Azure Active Directory

This library is in preview and currently supports:

Source code | Package (PyPI) | API reference documentation | Azure Active Directory documentation

Getting started


  • an Azure subscription
  • Python 2.7 or 3.5.3+
  • an Azure Active Directory service principal. If you need to create one, you can use the Azure Portal, or Azure CLI

Install the package

Install Azure Identity with pip:

pip install azure-identity

Creating a Service Principal with the Azure CLI

Use this Azure CLI snippet to create/get client secret credentials.

  • Create a service principal:
    az ad sp create-for-rbac -n <your-application-name> --skip-assignment
    Example output:
        "appId": "generated-app-ID",
        "displayName": "app-name",
        "name": "http://app-name",
        "password": "random-password",
        "tenant": "tenant-ID"
  • Use the output to set AZURE_CLIENT_ID (appId), AZURE_CLIENT_SECRET (password) and AZURE_TENANT_ID (tenant) environment variables.

Key concepts


A credential is a class which contains or can obtain the data needed for a service client to authenticate requests. Service clients across Azure SDK accept credentials as constructor parameters. See next steps below for a list of client libraries accepting Azure Identity credentials.

Credential classes are defined in the azure.identity namespace. These differ in the types of Azure Active Directory identities they can authenticate, and in configuration:

credential class identity configuration
DefaultAzureCredential service principal, managed identity, user none for managed identity, environment variables for service principal or user authentication
ManagedIdentityCredential managed identity none
EnvironmentCredential service principal environment variables
ClientSecretCredential service principal constructor parameters
CertificateCredential service principal constructor parameters
DeviceCodeCredential user constructor parameters
InteractiveBrowserCredential user constructor parameters
UsernamePasswordCredential user constructor parameters

Credentials can be chained together and tried in turn until one succeeds; see chaining credentials for details.

Service principal and managed identity credentials have an async equivalent in the azure.identity.aio namespace, supported on Python 3.5.3+. See the async credentials example for details. Async user credentials will be part of a future release.


DefaultAzureCredential is appropriate for most applications intended to run in Azure. It authenticates as a service principal or managed identity, depending on its environment, and can be configured to work both during local development and when deployed to the cloud.

To authenticate as a service principal, provide configuration in environment variables as described in the next section.

Authenticating as a managed identity requires no configuration, but does require platform support. See the managed identity documentation for more information.

Single sign-on

During local development on Windows, DefaultAzureCredential can authenticate using a single sign-on shared with Microsoft applications, for example Visual Studio 2019. Because you may have multiple signed in identities, to authenticate this way you must set the environment variable AZURE_USERNAME with your desired identity's username (typically an email address).

Environment variables

DefaultAzureCredential and EnvironmentCredential can be configured with environment variables. Each type of authentication requires values for specific variables:

Service principal with secret

variable name value
AZURE_CLIENT_ID service principal's app id
AZURE_TENANT_ID id of the principal's Azure Active Directory tenant
AZURE_CLIENT_SECRET one of the service principal's client secrets

Service principal with certificate

variable name value
AZURE_CLIENT_ID service principal's app id
AZURE_TENANT_ID id of the principal's Azure Active Directory tenant
AZURE_CLIENT_CERTIFICATE_PATH path to a PEM-encoded certificate file including private key (without password)

Username and password

variable name value
AZURE_CLIENT_ID id of an Azure Active Directory application
AZURE_USERNAME a username (usually an email address)
AZURE_PASSWORD that user's password

Configuration is attempted in the above order. For example, if both AZURE_CLIENT_SECRET and AZURE_CLIENT_CERTIFICATE_PATH have values, AZURE_CLIENT_SECRET will be used.


Authenticating with DefaultAzureCredential

This example demonstrates authenticating the BlobServiceClient from the azure-storage-blob library using DefaultAzureCredential.

from azure.identity import DefaultAzureCredential
from import BlobServiceClient

# The default credential first checks environment variables for configuration as described above.
# If environment configuration is incomplete, it will try managed identity.
credential = DefaultAzureCredential()

client = BlobServiceClient(account_url, credential=credential)

Executing this on a development machine requires first [configuring the environment][#environment-variables] with appropriate values for your service principal.

Authenticating a service principal with a client secret:

This example demonstrates authenticating the KeyClient from the azure-keyvault-keys library using ClientSecretCredential.

from azure.identity import ClientSecretCredential
from azure.keyvault.keys import KeyClient

credential = ClientSecretCredential(client_id, client_secret, tenant_id)

client = KeyClient(vault_endpoint, credential)

Authenticating a service principal with a certificate:

This example demonstrates authenticating the SecretClient from the azure-keyvault-secrets library using CertificateCredential.

from azure.identity import CertificateCredential
from azure.keyvault.secrets import SecretClient

# requires a PEM-encoded certificate with private key, not protected with a password
cert_path = "/app/certs/certificate.pem"
credential = CertificateCredential(client_id, tenant_id, cert_path)

client = SecretClient(vault_endpoint, credential)

Chaining credentials:

The ChainedTokenCredential class links multiple credential instances to be tried sequentially when authenticating. The following example demonstrates creating a credential which will attempt to authenticate using managed identity, and fall back to client secret authentication if a managed identity is unavailable in the current environment. This example demonstrates authenticating an EventHubClient from the azure-eventhubs client library.

from azure.eventhub import EventHubClient
from azure.identity import ChainedTokenCredential, ClientSecretCredential, ManagedIdentityCredential

managed_identity = ManagedIdentityCredential()
client_secret = ClientSecretCredential(client_id, client_secret, tenant_id)

# when an access token is requested, the chain will try each
# credential in order, stopping when one provides a token
credential_chain = ChainedTokenCredential(managed_identity, client_secret)

# the ChainedTokenCredential can be used anywhere a credential is required
client = EventHubClient(host, event_hub_path, credential)

Async credentials:

This library includes an async API supported on Python 3.5+. To use the async credentials in azure.identity.aio, you must first install an async transport, such as aiohttp. See azure-core documentation for more information.

This example demonstrates authenticating the asynchronous SecretClient from azure-keyvault-secrets with asynchronous credentials.

# most credentials have async equivalents supported on Python 3.5.3+
from azure.identity.aio import DefaultAzureCredential

default_credential = DefaultAzureCredential()

# async credentials have the same API and configuration their synchronous counterparts,
from azure.identity.aio import ClientSecretCredential

credential = ClientSecretCredential(client_id, client_secret, tenant_id)

# and are used with async Azure SDK clients in the same way
from azure.keyvault.aio import SecretClient

client = SecretClient(vault_url, credential)



Credentials raise azure.core.exceptions.ClientAuthenticationError when they fail to authenticate. ClientAuthenticationError has a message attribute which describes why authentication failed. When raised by ChainedTokenCredential, the message collects error messages from each credential in the chain.

For more details on handling Azure Active Directory errors please refer to the Azure Active Directory error code documentation.

Next steps

Client library support

Currently the following client libraries support authenticating with Azure Identity credentials. You can learn more about them, and find additional documentation on using these client libraries along with samples, at the links below.

Provide Feedback

If you encounter bugs or have suggestions, please open an issue.


This project welcomes contributions and suggestions. Most contributions require you to agree to a Contributor License Agreement (CLA) declaring that you have the right to, and actually do, grant us the rights to use your contribution. For details, visit

When you submit a pull request, a CLA-bot will automatically determine whether you need to provide a CLA and decorate the PR appropriately (e.g., label, comment). Simply follow the instructions provided by the bot. You will only need to do this once across all repos using our CLA.

This project has adopted the Microsoft Open Source Code of Conduct. For more information, see the Code of Conduct FAQ or contact with any additional questions or comments.


Release History

1.0.0b4 (2019-10-07)

New features:

  • AuthorizationCodeCredential authenticates with a previously obtained authorization code. See Azure Active Directory's authorization code documentation for more information about this authentication flow.
  • Multi-cloud support: client credentials accept the authority of an Azure Active Directory authentication endpoint as an authority keyword argument. Known authorities are defined in azure.identity.KnownAuthorities. The default authority is for Azure Public Cloud, (KnownAuthorities.AZURE_PUBLIC_CLOUD). An application running in Azure Government would use KnownAuthorities.AZURE_GOVERNMENT instead:
from azure.identity import DefaultAzureCredential, KnownAuthorities
credential = DefaultAzureCredential(authority=KnownAuthorities.AZURE_GOVERNMENT)

Breaking changes:

  • Removed client_secret parameter from InteractiveBrowserCredential

Fixes and improvements:

  • UsernamePasswordCredential correctly handles environment configuration with no tenant information (#7260)
  • user realm discovery requests are sent through credential pipelines (#7260)

1.0.0b3 (2019-09-10)

New features:

  • SharedTokenCacheCredential authenticates with tokens stored in a local cache shared by Microsoft applications. This enables Azure SDK clients to authenticate silently after you've signed in to Visual Studio 2019, for example. DefaultAzureCredential includes SharedTokenCacheCredential when the shared cache is available, and environment variable AZURE_USERNAME is set. See the README for more information.

Dependency changes:

1.0.0b2 (2019-08-05)

Breaking changes:

  • Removed azure.core.Configuration from the public API in preparation for a revamped configuration API. Static create_config methods have been renamed _create_config, and will be removed in a future release.

Dependency changes:

  • Adopted azure-core 1.0.0b2
    • If you later want to revert to a version requiring azure-core 1.0.0b1, of this or another Azure SDK library, you must explicitly install azure-core 1.0.0b1 as well. For example: pip install azure-core==1.0.0b1 azure-identity==1.0.0b1
  • Adopted MSAL 0.4.1
  • New dependency for Python 2.7: mock

New features:

1.0.0b1 (2019-06-28)

Version 1.0.0b1 is the first preview of our efforts to create a user-friendly and Pythonic authentication API for Azure SDK client libraries. For more information about preview releases of other Azure SDK libraries, please visit

This release supports service principal and managed identity authentication. See the documentation for more details. User authentication will be added in an upcoming preview release.

This release supports only global Azure Active Directory tenants, i.e. those using the authentication endpoint.

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