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Microsoft Azure Identity Library for Python

Project description

Azure Identity client library for Python

Azure Identity authenticating with Azure Active Directory for Azure SDK libraries. It provides credentials Azure SDK clients can use to authenticate their requests.

This library currently supports:

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

Getting started


Install the package

Install Azure Identity with pip:

pip install azure-identity

Creating a Service Principal with the Azure CLI

This library doesn't require a service principal, but Azure applications commonly use them for authentication. If you need to create one, you can use this Azure CLI snippet. Before using it, replace "http://my-application" with a more appropriate name for your service principal.

Create a service principal:

az ad sp create-for-rbac --name http://my-application --skip-assignment

Example output:

    "appId": "generated-app-id",
    "displayName": "app-name",
    "name": "http://my-application",
    "password": "random-password",
    "tenant": "tenant-id"

Azure Identity can authenticate as this service principal using its tenant id ("tenant" above), client id ("appId" above), and client secret ("password" above).

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 the Azure SDK accept credentials as constructor parameters, as described in their documentation. The next steps section below contains a partial list of client libraries accepting Azure Identity credentials.

Credential classes are found in the azure.identity namespace. They differ in the types of identities they can authenticate as, and in their 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, user 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 async equivalents 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 can authenticate as a service principal, managed identity, or user, and can be configured for local development and production environments without code changes.

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 is only possible in a supported hosting environment. See Azure Active Directory's 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. This may require additional configuration when multiple identities have signed in. In that case, set the environment variables AZURE_USERNAME (typically an email address) and AZURE_TENANT_ID to select the desired identity. Either, or both, may be set.

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 id of an Azure Active Directory application
AZURE_TENANT_ID id of the application's Azure Active Directory tenant
AZURE_CLIENT_SECRET one of the application's client secrets

Service principal with certificate

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

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

Note: username/password authentication is not supported by the async API (azure.identity.aio)

Configuration is attempted in the above order. For example, if values for a client secret and certificate are both present, the 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

# This 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)

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(tenant_id, client_id, client_secret)

client = KeyClient("", 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
cert_path = "/app/certs/certificate.pem"
credential = CertificateCredential(tenant_id, client_id, cert_path)

# if the private key is password protected, provide a 'password' keyword argument
credential = CertificateCredential(tenant_id, client_id, cert_path, password="cert-password")

client = SecretClient("", credential)

Chaining credentials

ChainedTokenCredential links multiple credential instances to be tried sequentially when authenticating. It will try each chained credential in turn until one provides a token or fails to authenticate due to an error.

The following example demonstrates creating a credential which will attempt to authenticate using managed identity, and fall back to a service principal when managed identity is unavailable. This example uses the EventHubClient from the azure-eventhub client library.

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

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

# when an access token is needed, the chain will try each credential in order,
# stopping when one provides a token or fails to authenticate due to an error
credential_chain = ChainedTokenCredential(managed_identity, service_principal)

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

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.

Async credentials should be closed when they're no longer needed. Each async credential is an async context manager and defines an async close method. For example:

from azure.identity.aio import DefaultAzureCredential

# call close when the credential is no longer needed
credential = DefaultAzureCredential()
await credential.close()

# alternatively, use the credential as an async context manager
credential = DefaultAzureCredential()
async with credential:

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

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

# async credentials have the same API and configuration as their synchronous
# counterparts, and are used with (async) Azure SDK clients in the same way
default_credential = DefaultAzureCredential()
client = SecretClient("", default_credential)



Credentials raise CredentialUnavailableError when they're unable to attempt authentication because they lack required data or state. For example, EnvironmentCredential will raise this exception when its configuration is incomplete.

Credentials raise azure.core.exceptions.ClientAuthenticationError when they fail to authenticate. ClientAuthenticationError has a message attribute which describes why authentication failed. When raised by DefaultAzureCredential or 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

This is an incomplete list of client libraries accepting Azure Identity credentials. You can learn more about these libraries, and find additional documentation of them, 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

1.3.0 (2020-02-11)

  • Correctly parse token expiration time on Windows App Service (#9393)
  • Credentials raise CredentialUnavailableError when they can't attempt to authenticate due to missing data or state (#9372)
  • CertificateCredential supports password-protected private keys (#9434)

1.2.0 (2020-01-14)

  • All credential pipelines include ProxyPolicy (#8945)
  • Async credentials are async context managers and have an async close method (#9090)

1.1.0 (2019-11-27)

  • Constructing DefaultAzureCredential no longer raises ImportError on Python 3.8 on Windows (8294)
  • InteractiveBrowserCredential raises when unable to open a web browser (8465)
  • InteractiveBrowserCredential prompts for account selection (8470)
  • The credentials composing DefaultAzureCredential are configurable by keyword arguments (8514)
  • SharedTokenCacheCredential accepts an optional tenant_id keyword argument (8689)

1.0.1 (2019-11-05)

  • ClientCertificateCredential uses application and tenant IDs correctly (8315)
  • InteractiveBrowserCredential properly caches tokens (8352)
  • Adopted msal 1.0.0 and msal-extensions 0.1.3 (8359)

1.0.0 (2019-10-29)

Breaking changes:

  • Async credentials now default to aiohttp for transport but the library does not require it as a dependency because the async API is optional. To use async credentials, please install aiohttp or see azure-core documentation for information about customizing the transport.
  • Renamed ClientSecretCredential parameter "secret" to "client_secret"
  • All credentials with tenant_id and client_id positional parameters now accept them in that order
  • Changes to InteractiveBrowserCredential parameters
    • positional parameter client_id is now an optional keyword argument. If no value is provided, the Azure CLI's client ID will be used.
    • Optional keyword argument tenant renamed tenant_id
  • Changes to DeviceCodeCredential
    • optional positional parameter prompt_callback is now a keyword argument
    • prompt_callback's third argument is now a datetime representing the expiration time of the device code
    • optional keyword argument tenant renamed tenant_id
  • Changes to ManagedIdentityCredential
    • now accepts no positional arguments, and only one keyword argument: client_id
    • transport configuration is now done through keyword arguments as described in azure-core documentation

Fixes and improvements:

  • Authenticating with a single sign-on shared with other Microsoft applications only requires a username when multiple users have signed in (#8095)
  • DefaultAzureCredential accepts an authority keyword argument, enabling its use in national clouds (#8154)

Dependency changes

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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