Monday, December 2, 2019

Azure Migrate – Frequently asked questions – not easily answered

12 min to read.


Migration are not new to humans. Migrations are happening since early days of human history. Almost every person on planet earth have migrated one or more times in their life. In today's world I see people are migrating for their Love and Marriages. It is mostly boys who migrate for their love and mostly girls migrate after their marriage. Love and Marriage both are complex! 

When you say you have done Love Marriage - that is a deadly complex combination!

In technology world also, migrations are not new. Migrations of applications is fundamental work to achieve core motive of migration – Betterment.

Workloads / applications will be going through Azure migration. Questions related to Azure migrate are unique and I see many enterprises get stuck just because they are not able to find the right answer.
This blog post dedicated to all those “real world frequently asked Azure migrate questions - not easily answered”.

I am strong believer in Diversity and Inclusion therefore - This FAQ is suitable for people who knows Azure and who don’t know Azure yet!

Lets go!

Note – This is second blog in the popular series of Azure VM Real world frequently asked questions – not easily answered.

Azure Migrate

I just love the Azure Migrate engineering team. They are really awesome guys and most talented. In technology field, believe it or not “Migrations are always complex”. Azure Migrate engineering team is making cloud migration tasks so simple with their hard work and dedication. Really impressed!

Azure migrate is fantastic tool to cater to all of your migration needs. The scope and scenario coverage is really awesome. Below are the tools that are present/ integrated in Azure Migrate which can be used for migration based on your scenario –

Below are the workload types supported by the Azure Migrate –
       1.    Servers – Virtualized, physical, other clouds to Azure
2.      Databases – almost all, Refer below screenshot in related questions below
3.      Data – Migrate to Hot, Cool and Archive tier of Azure Storage using Databox, Import/ Export
4.      Web applications – Migrate to Azure App Service
5.      Virtual Desktops – VDI migrations to Windows Virtual Desktop

I am not going to explain “what is Azure migrate?” We directly dive into questions in next section. As of today I have curated list of around 23+ questions based on experience which are other than official FAQ document

If you have any question that is still not answered, use “Contact Me” and I shall get answer for you related to Azure Migration. That’s a promise!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Assign and verify Microsoft Azure AD custom domain using Azure App Service Domains

10 minutes to read.


Have you ever heard of the word Doppelganger? It means ghostly double or counterpart of living person. There is theory that says, In today’s world there are 7 people who look similar to you. There are 6.4 billions basepairs in Human DNA. So I don’t trust this theory. However humans made sure that when it comes to internet world, there is one thing always unique – domain names. Domain names are very critical and there have been many famous domain name battles on uniqueness. One of the famous domain name battle was “Microsoft vs. MikeRoweSoft”. What? You never heard of it? Go search the internet.

Domain names can make or break an identify for your business. Custom domain names are inevitable in today’s world. If you want to be successful with your business/ website then custom domain name is a must. Microsoft Azure services also need custom domain names so that instance of Microsoft Azure services names can be aligned with your business / company names.

Azure AD is central to any Microsoft Azure based environment. All subscriptions belong to Azure AD and Azure subscriptions related identity management is also managed through Azure AD. Any Azure AD created will always have form as “”. So when you create a user in Azure AD the FQDN of Azure AD user will be “” Example I have an Azure Active Directory named “” then user “kunal” will have FQDN as “”. This is definitely not a user friendly name. If I change it to then it appeals a lot.

So custom domain for Azure AD is good to have thing!

Best thing is you DON’T have to go for external domain registrars/ providers like GoDaddy, HostGator, Bluehost etc. Microsoft Azure provides domain names through Azure App Service domains and you can use it anywhere including Azure AD.

Let’s go!

Relationship in Domains Names, DNS Records, DNS Zones and equivalent Microsoft Azure services

This is important to know aspects such as Domain Names, DNS Zones and DNS Records concepts in general and in Microsoft Azure platform. Refer below important diagram.

Domain names are provided by domain name registrars. Owning the domain names gives you right to control the DNS hierarchy. These purchased domain names are hosted on DNS names servers in terms of DNS Records. The domain registrar has their own name servers or they also allow you to specify your own/ preferred name servers. You host the domain names on name servers as DNS Records like A records, CName record, Txt record and so on. The combination of Names servers and DNS records is called as DNS Zones.
For purchasing domain names Azure provides “Azure App Service domain” and for DNS Zones Azure provides service called as “Azure DNS”.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Azure Cost Optimization - Effective use of Azure App Service and App Service Plans


Azure cost optimization is becoming a reality and must do for every organization. Limiting cloud spend is top most priority for many organizations to continue the show. While Microsoft Azure drives organizations to perform “Digital Transformation” and “App Modernization”; the IT Heads are finding it difficult to keep the cost low for cloud services. This does not mean that Microsoft Azure do not offer you choices to bring your Azure cost down rather cloud approach is meant to bring your IT cost down. However if you are not doing smartly then obviously you are not getting most out of your Azure journey. I have seen mainly the ignorance from IT Heads, IT admins, Cloud Administrators and lack of knowledge [Most of the time I call it Laziness] causing much of the problems. Microsoft Azure gives you enough choices, ways and tools to make sure you optimize the Azure cost. Remember Azure Cost Optimization is a journey and you have to continuously monitor it.

As always, my dear [and of course lazy] followers keep asking to bring down Azure cost and what are the effective ways of doing it. For you guys [and girls] I have started a dedicated page for “Azure Cost Optimization”. On this page I will be adding the tricks and tips for Azure cost optimization. Link of this page can be found at the end of article or on the top.

Let’s go!

Why Azure App service for cost optimization?

How many of you have seen KeyNote of Satya Nadella held in July 2019 at Microsoft Inspire conference? If not go watch it. Refer to below screenshot –

It was stated that in next 5 years, 500 million apps/ applications will be created. When we talk about creating so many applications definitely major chunk will be web applications, REST API and web hosted applications. The question where will be those applications hosted. The service which is scalable, resilient and easy to configure will win the race. Azure App Service exactly fits into it. Azure App Service is a platform which makes it super easy for hosting web-based applications primarily. The current momentum of Azure App service is also amazing.

So obviously Azure App service is the primary way of hosting web applications and will increase exponentially in coming future. So in essence it is important for us to know how can we save cost when we host our applications on Azure App Service. 

The costliest resource on cloud – Compute

Microsoft Azure is made of 3 basic building blocks – Network, Storage and Compute. All services are built on top of these building blocks. For any computing, processing , analysis you need compute power. For Azure, “Compute” is the most costly resource as compared to Networking and Storage. If you save on Compute then you perform major cloud cost optimization.

In Azure App service, the compute, network and storage for your application is provided by Azure App Service Plans.

Understanding Azure App Service Plans

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Azure VMs – Export to CSV


For human race, there are some common tasks in daily life which you must do. Without which humans can survive but you can’t say if they are “living the life”. For example, taking a bath is one of such tasks. You can survive without taking a bath but you will not like it. These tasks are those which bring “life” to humans daily lives and make them enjoy their stay on earth.

Out of these humans there is special category of humans – I call them “Humans who work in Software field”. They can be sub-categorized into below –

       1.     Software developers
2.      IT administrators
3.      Project managers
4.      Software Engineers
5.      Solution Architects

For all these sub-categories you can apply prefix such as Senior, Junior, Principal, Full Stack, Distinguished and in recent times we have a new addition to this prefix known as “CLOUD”. These are humans who can easily survive without bath but there is one thing without which none of these humans can survive and it is known as “Export to CSV”. It is more or equally important like eating food and drinking water for them.

No matter how many cutting edge features and service Microsoft Azure is bringing, we still feel the product or service is not complete unless you offer “the” functionality of “Export to CSV”. Surprisingly Azure VM export to csv do not exists on Azure portal and you need to write a PowerShell for this. Therefore my lazy followers and friends asked me to write PowerShell to export Azure VM to CSV. So here we are!

Let’s go!

Current state of feedback

Users have provided the feedback to bring the functionality of export to csv for all azure resources on the portal. It is on the roadmap. You can view the details here -

Why yet another new script?

I spoke to multiple people who are dealing with Azure VMs daily basis and requirements from there for CSV was an eye opener. Many of the scripts available today provides very minimal details about VM when exported to CSV. Most of the Azure Administrator find them not so useful. So after a quick survey with few of Lazy followers I received below list as a top ask for Azure VM to CSV export. In the below list the top ask was to retrieve Azure VNET for Azure VM and Azure VNET subnet for Azure VM using PowerShell. I have addressed this as well in the script.

So, current script provides the CSV output of Azure VMs with great details. Refer below columns list –

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Improve Azure API Management performance by 10x through Caching


I have written this in many of my Azure API Management blog posts that API Management will become very mission critical in your Azure Cloud Architecture and strategy. And customer after customer this continues to be proved. Any component of Enterprise wide Architecture becoming critical means it will also give birth to critical problems and test your architecture skills in all respect.

I have seen this repetitive pattern at customer who has embarked on journey of Azure API Management that, performance issues are inevitable after certain massive load and you need to tweak Azure API Management to continue to serve at optimum level. By far, in the history of web application Caching mechanisms gives you awesome performance boosts. Same is true with Azure API Management and I will explore the same in this blog post.

Let’s go!

Caching in Azure API Management highlights

When we say “caching in API Management” then essentially we are talking about caching the RESPONSE of backend API inside the storage [not Azure Storage] of Azure API Management. You always and always cache only GET methods.

Warning - Technically you can cache POST methods also, but not recommended. I would call it a hack. PUT and DELETE methods are never to be cached.

Get method caching is the recommended approach of caching API response. If you use Azure API Management then Azure API Management acts as a middle ware and provides caching facility for all backed APIS hence saving you from cache implementation from all of the individual backend APIs.
Refer to below diagram –

When users requests the API Management for some data using REST API GET method for the first time, then the response is sent by backend API. This response is cached in API Management inbuilt storage and also passed onto to user. The next time when user calls the same method, the cached response is sent back, without actually sending the query/ request to backend APIs; till the time to live is not elapsed. This results in saving of round trip to backend API and hence the response to user is delivered at lightning fast speed. Resulting into overall performance improvement of APIs responses and latency.

Azure API Management Caching Levels

In Azure API Management, when you add an API, you have API at high level and it contains the operations. Then an API can also belong to multiple Products. An individua API operation can never exists in Products independently. The caching in API Management is configured using Policies. So in essence caching can be implemented at below levels in Azure API Management – as per below diagram –

Note – If your API contains an operations of mix Http methods then you will have to configure the Caching policy in Azure API Management “at individual level of operation in APIs”. This can become a bottleneck or hectic work to manage the policy configuration of APIs at every operation level.

Therefore as a best practice you can either have APIs designed to contain only GET methods and for rest of the methods define new APIs. Then add GET methods based APIs in Products and define the caching policy in Azure API Management at product level. This simplifies the design of your APIs in Azure API Management a lot and implementation of caching becomes super easy.

Configuring the Caching policy in API Management

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Azure DevOps – Build and Release pipeline to Azure File Storage


Azure File Storage is an ubiquitous service. It is so useful that I have hardly seen an enterprise not making use of it. Recently Premium tier of File storage is introduced with IOPS as 1,00,000 as opposed to standard File storage which used to offer 1000 IOPS only. This premium tier now even makes Azure File Storage natural choice for high performance demanding applications.

I have been architecting many scenarios and implementations where I used Azure File Storage for running web applications. In such a scenario your application binaries, DLLs, application files [or jar, war files in case Java] are present on Azure File Storage and this Azure File Storage is mapped as a drive to Azure VMs. This Azure VM then runs web servers likes Tomcat, IIS and maps their website path to the drive mapped using Azure File Storage. And this works awesome!

In today’s enterprise world DevOps has become a regular practice. Naturally when you plan to deploy web applications you use pipelines in Azure DevOps. In above scenario you would need to create Build and Release pipeline that will deploy your application to Azure File storage. Unfortunately, there is no default task exist in Azure DevOps that can publish the build output to Azure File Storage. This is what I am going to build in this post.

Let’s go!

Setting up pre-requisites

For this blog post I am going to use .NET Core language web application as my sample. It doesn’t matter if you use any other language-based example. So I already have a DevOps Organization created and in the same I have created one Project named as “MyNETCoreApp” as shown below –

It doesn’t matter which option you select for Agile process while creating project in Azure DevOps. Selection of Agile process while creation of project in Azure DevOps will matter in other important cases of setting up your business process. Not in Build and Release pipeline. But that is another blog on another day. Not today!

Next part is about creating the project n Visual studio [or in your favorite IDE] and pushing the same project in this current Azure DevOps Project Repo. I have it done already because I think this is straight forward and no step by step guide is required. So My project Repo looks as follows –

So we are all set for now to create Build and Release pipelines to release to Azure File Share.

Don’t believe on your eyes - Clearing up the confusion

When I asked my regular blog followers for the current topic most of them responded saying “Azure DevOps already offers a way/task to release the code to Azure Files.”. I said where? How and when did this happen? Then my dearest followers [most of them - not all] sent below screenshot to me [without Red and Green highlights]–

They were not wrong because they had just a given a quick look to the heading. Red highlighted Heading is perfectly fine and it will make you believe that Azure DevOps do offer a task to publish and release pipeline to Azure File Share. However if you focus on description of the task Green highlighted; you will see that Azure DevOps File Copy tasks do not publish to Azure Files but to Azure Blob and Virtual Machine only. Confusion because of names!

I am sure you know the difference between Azure Blob [https] storage and Azure File Share [SMB] storage. So moral of the story – we don’t have any tasks default provided in Azure DevOps to release the code to Azure Files share.

High Level Solution

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Azure API Management Disaster Recovery in Standard – Part 2 – Traffic Manager with custom domain and way forward


In the first part - we have configured below things –

1.      Created required resources in primary and secondary region
2.      Configured the Azure AD application and provided necessary permissions
3.      Configured the backup and restore functionality for Azure API Management and automated the same using Azure Logic Apps. This is crux of our DR solution of API Management in Standard sku.

In this part we will configure below things –

1.      Traffic manager configuration for distributing load to primary always and to secondary in case disaster.
2.      Configure the status page of API Management in traffic manager
3.      Configure custom domain and certificate for API Management and traffic manager
4.      Test the failover by downgrading one of backend APIs and mocking the response
5.      Benefits of approach and conclusion

Traffic Manager configuration

Create traffic manager as per the link described in secondary region resource group .

Provide values as shown below –

Note the URL of API Management standard instances from primary and secondary instances as shown below  and highlighted by green line –

We will use these URLs as an “External endpoint” in traffic manager profile. Configure the traffic manager endpoint as shown below. Secondary API Management as priority 2 and primary API Management as priority 1.

Configure Health Status Page of API Management in Traffic Manager

Azure API Management Disaster Recovery in Standard – Part 1 – Backup and restore configuration


This blog post explains step by step configuration for achieving Azure API Management DR in Standard sku. This bog post is divided in 2 parts series. Links to all parts is as below –

Being intelligent human being you can directly go to any of the part; but I would recommend to go ahead sequentially from Part 1 to Part 2 of the blog post. This will ensure that there are no mistakes. Ask any questions in comments. If I see that question asked is already answered in any of the part of this series; please don’t expect the answer to the question asked.

Till now we have seen two important blog post aboutAzure API Management custom Role Based Access Control and Need of API Gateway in modern architectures as concept.

This blog post takes another deep dive discussion in API Management DR configuration.

Azure API Management Disaster Recovery in Standard – the need?

Azure API Management as of today offered in various pricing sku with various features –1.    Consumption
2.      Developer
3.      Basic
4.      Standard
5.      Premium.

When you onboard API Management as a part of your API story for all of your Enterprise applications; this component becomes mission critical. As a best practice we should also configure Disaster Recovery (DR – multi region deployment) for API Management.
API Management DR is by default provided as a service in Premium sku. However at the same time the capacity or workload support by premium sku is massive. Therefore premium sku also comes with premium price. Sometimes enterprise needs are observed to get satisfied by BASIC or STANDARD pricing tier. As of today as a bench marking of API Management with STANDARD tier support approx. 2500 req/ seconds per unit. STANDARD tier can have up to 4 units. Means total number of requests that can be served by STANDARD API Management can go up to 10000 req/ sec. This is massive scale and may satisfy most of the Enterprise requirements. However STANDARD sku do not provide Disaster Recovery [DR] pre-configured. This may propose bigger challenge for organizations who are betting big on Azure API Management.

This document provides step by step document for configuration of DR for API Management STANDARD sku along with architecture. Hope this document will help to address the concern of API Management DR in Standard/ Basic mode.

List of Azure service used in the API Management DR with Standard

As a part of the solution we will use below services in Azure to implement API Management DR in standard mode.
  1. 2 Logic apps – for automation of backup from primary region and restore in secondary region of API Management
  2. API Management in two regions – Central India(Primary - CI) and South India(Secondary - SI)
  3. Traffic Manager – to distribute the load in case of DR situation
  4. Storage account – for storing backup information of API Management primary
  5. Azure AD application – to allow logic app provide authentication mechanism to make changes in API Management (through ServicePrincipal concept).

High Level Steps

The gist of this article is based on backup and restore feature of “API Management” management REST APIs. The REST API documentation is present below –

These APIs allow backup and restore operation for entire Azure API Management instance and it is crux of our solution. Refer to high level steps for the solution below.

  1. Create two API Management in Standard mode. One in primary [in our case Central India] and other in secondary [in our case South India].
  2.  Configure APIs and related backend in API Management primary. As you API Management standard is not part of VNET, the backend APIs will require public IP to get imported in API Management.
  3. Create Azure AD Application to have necessary permission to make changes in API Management instances in cross region.
  4. Allow rights on resource groups of both API Management in two regions.
  5. Create two logic apps. One to create backup of primary API Management. Second will be used to restore the same backup in secondary region API Management.
  6. Create traffic manager and add API Management IP address/ domains names as endpoint profiles. Configure Traffic manager in Failover/ Priority mode.
  7. Configure status page of API Management in Traffic manager to know health status of API Management for traffic manager so that it can switch to secondary region in case of DR situation.

Architecture for API Management DR in Standard Sku

  1. Logic app uses timer orchestration step to automatically trigger itself. As a next step same logic app sends service principal details to Azure AD and then retrieves the authentication token.
  2. Invoke API Management rest API with operation as backup.
  3. The operation starts copying data to storage account in other region. Depending on the size and number of APIs being used in Azure API Management the backup operation takes approximately 1-2 hours [this may change based on the data present in your API Management instance. Don’t quote me if it takes more/less time than I mentioned].
  4. Post successful copy operation of backup; another logic app is triggered which restores the backup data in another API Management instance created in secondary region.
  5. Post restore operation both API Management instances are now exactly identical. For example, in secondary API Management all policies, subscription key, APIs etc. will be same as primary API Management.
  6. The request from end user/ application is received to traffic manager. Traffic manager is configured in failover mode with primary API Management as active and secondary API Management as passive.
  7. Traffic manager passes on the incoming request to active API Management instance.
  8. The health status page of both API Management instances /status023456789abcdef keeps sending 200 response to traffic manager. In case if primary status page sends non-200 response then Traffic manager will route the traffic to secondary API Management automatically.

Step by step execution

Friday, August 2, 2019

Azure API Management – Restrict users to specific products using Azure custom roles based RBAC


Post you understand the importanceof API Gateway in modern architectures it is time now to go deep dive in Azure API Management.

Few of my customers are already on this journey of using Azure API Management. I have observed a pattern that if you use Azure API Management then in few moths it automatically becomes a central point of all your deployments and API Management will be very mission critical to your entire business. As you grow your footprint on API Management there can be many unforeseen challenges you face and hence it is better to plan in advance.

With one of my customer they are facing lot of challenges now with respect to governance and access control of entire API Management instance in their azure subscription. Let us understand the problem they are facing and how it can be solved as of today.

Let’s go!

Problem Statement

Basically customer is having around 10 applications [with approx. 3-4 folks in a team/ application] whose APIs to be published into Azure API Management. In such cases I always recommend to have following structure as a best practice which can help to better manage your APIs in Azure API Management.
[I am using fictitious application names below – ]

Application Name
Azure API Management - Product recommendation
Create a product named as “HR”
Create a product named as “Finance”
And so on…

So essentially you should have at least one dedicated product in Azure API Management per application. In case of need you can have two or more products per applications, but at least one azure API Management product per application is a must. Do not combine two or more applications into single Azure API Management Product.

So now they have around 10 products and total 50+ people team working on the same instance of Azure API Management. All of the team members wanted to publish APIs in products and this where problem starts.
Human nature is of all about building experiences. And those experience you gain by making mistakes. Making mistakes is not an issue but it is bad that you don’t work for solving those issues.

Team were accidentally modifying/ deleting/ changing/ creating products and APIs which they were not supposed to touch upon. Some even re-generated subscription key for APIs or changed the VNET configuration for API Management without letting others know. Such changes never bring Azure API Management down; but this led to some horrific abrupt downtimes of their APIs accessibility through API Management. This was happening because of lack of governance and access control issues. Let us understand more.

Current available access control RBAC options in Azure API Management and what do we need?

The structure of API Management looks like below –

There are two types of users an API Management has at high level as shown below –

In order to enable for all the team members to publish and import API in Azure API Management they will have to be given access as “Azure API Management Service Contributor”. However providing this access to any team member provides full access over API Management. There are other roles defined however few of them are not yet released and there is no role that can help to restrict access to a particular product in Azure API Management. Refer to current existent roles in Azure API Management -

So in summary we want to achieve below -

  1.             User from HR app should have access to only HR product in Azure API Management for any modifications. The other products like Finance and so on should only be read only.
  2.           User from Finance app should have access to only Finance product in Azure API Management for any modifications. The other products like HR and so on should only be read only.
  3.         Read only access for entire API Management.
  4.        They should not be able to delete any product/ API or anything from Azure API Management.

Define custom role for Azure API Management using JSON and PowerShell

I have created one API Management instance in my subscription. Added few APIs. By default you get 2 products – Starter, Unlimited. These are default and I am not touching them. I create 2 more products namely “HR” and “Finance” as shown below –

The options “Users, Subscriptions and Groups” in your API Management instance are basically for Developers who wants to consume the API. It is no way related to users who want to publish APIs inside a product. So don’t confuse with these options with what we plan to achieve. Refer to below screenshot –

It is always best way to start with existing definition of Azure API Management RBAC role and then modify it to suit to your requirements. Looking at the requirements I have stated above it makes sense to download the existing JSON of “API Management Reader” role and then modify it. To download the Reader role details we use Azure PowerShell. Here I assume that you already have Azure PowerShell installed and you are all set.
First run the login azure account command as shown below –


After successful login now it is time to download the API Management Service Reader Role JSON file. Run below command to download the Azure API Management Reader Role details –

Get-AzRoleDefinition -Name "API Management Service Reader Role" | ConvertTo-Json | Out-File "Your Local machine path\APIMProductAdminCustomRole.json"

In above command make sure that you replace the Path with your choice to create the JSON file. Once you have the JSON file created; open in VSCode or Visual studio or any of your favorite editor. As the new role we are creating is custom so make IsCustom field as true. Similarly the current Id field is from Reader role and for our custom role it has to be newly generated. So simply remove it from JSON. When we create a custom role it will get automatically create.

In Action section we don’t need our role to make any deployments in resource group therefore property 
Microsoft.Resources/deployments/* is unnecessary. So remove it. At the same time we need our custom role based user to create a support case and should be able to read/ view other services/ resources from the resource group. Therefore keep all the options as shown below -








This completes Action part. We need more focus on NoActions part of the JSON and this is crux of our custom role. Therefore add below options and their description is also provided in comments.


"Microsoft.ApiManagement/service/delete", //no delete of API Management instance is allowed

"Microsoft.ApiManagement/service/write", //new API Management can't be created

"Microsoft.ApiManagement/service/products/delete", //product can't be deleted

"Microsoft.Resources/deployments/*" //create and manage resource group deployments

So in summary we are not allowing this custom role to perform –

  1.          Any deployments
  2.          Any type of delete operation on Azure API Management
  3.          Creating new API Management instance
  4.          Delete any Azure API Management products
  5.          Reading of the secret keys is also not allowed.

Now we need to “scope” these permissions at Product level of Azure API Management. We have created 2 products – HR and Finance in API Management. Therefore we want HR team only to update/ read HR product, can view Finance product but should be able to perform any update/ delete operation on Finance product. So we need to Role based access control for Azure APi Management at product level –

  1.    .      Role named as - API Management Service Product Admin - HR
  2.           Role named as - API Management Service Product Admin – Finance

Essentially we need to create RBAC custom role dedicated for each of the Azure API Management product.

So for this JSON add name at the top as shown above for HR. Now we need to assign this custom role to only HR product under Azure API Management. Therefore let us retrieve the id of HR product from Azure API Management.

Run below commands to get the ID of a product under Azure API Management –

#get the id of product in API Management

$apimContext = New-AzApiManagementContext -ResourceGroupName “Resource group underwhich API Management is present” -ServiceName "Your API Management instance name"

Get-AzApiManagementProduct -Context $apimContext -Title YourProductName

The output is shown as below for my HR product –

Add this highlighted ID in AssignableScopes section inside your custom role JSON file as shown below –

This completes building custom role JSON file for Azure API Management to provide specific product level update access; and restrict delete/ update/ write operations on other products inside Azure API Management.
Now we need to execute this JSON using PowerShell further to create the custom role inside Azure subscription.

Create Custom Role using PowerShell

Now our final JSON document can be used to create actual custom role in Azure API Management. Therefore run below commands in PowerShell –

#to create new role for the first time
New-AzRoleDefinition -InputFile  "Your local path of choice \ APIMProductAdminCustomRole.json"

This command will automatically generate Id in the output window. We need to copy and paste this Id inside the JSON. So subsequent upgrades against the same role can be achieved. The Id generated is as below –

Copy paste this id as below in your JSON file -

To verify the role has ben created successfully run below command –

#to retrive role definition ID in powershell object

$role = Get-AzRoleDefinition "This name is of your role as highlighted green in above screenshot"


This completes the custom role creation dedicated for Azure API Management product named as HR. So depending on the other products you can create many roles dedicated for each of the product.

Assign custom role to User

Now that we have custom role already created we need to assign it to a user. The user can be part of your Azure AD in which your subscription is present or it can be a Microsoft account [live id/ Hotmail id etc].
For simplicity I am going to use Microsoft account here. The process for Azure AD based user remains the same. For assigning the Azure custom role to user we need its object ID and SignInName [also known as User Principal Name]. Let us first retrieve the same.

Get-AzADUser -StartsWith "YourUserName"

Below screenshot shows which all records to be captured. Green box is SignInName and Red box is Object Id or the user –

Then retrieve the complete Id of your Azure API Management instance which will be used while assigning the access to user.

$apim = Get-AzApiManagement -ResourceGroupName YourResourceGroupName -Name "Your Azure API Management instance name"


Record the id displayed in above step.

#assign role at resource scope level means at API Management level directly
New-AzRoleAssignment -ObjectId "USerObject Id" -RoleDefinitionName "Reader" -ResourceName "YourAPIManagement Name" -ResourceType Microsoft.ApiManagement/service -ResourceGroupName "YourResourceGroupName"

New-AzRoleAssignment  -SignInName "User SignInName" -RoleDefinitionName "Name of custom role present in your JSON file" -Scope "Id of product retrived in earlier steps."

Now this role assignment is not displayed in “Access Control” option on the portal. As of today I guess custom roles created by you will not be visible if they are next level than actual resource. For example Product is present inside Azure API Management. So custom role created at API Management level may be visible but role created at inner components scope like product is not visible on Azure portal as of today.

So verify if the role assignment is completed or not by running below command –

#to check level of access for a user on API Management use below powershell - custom roles will not be visible on the portal
Get-AzRoleAssignment -ObjectId ObjectId of your user

Verifying the role assignment at product level of Azure API Management

Login to azure portal with the user who has access to HR [or your respective product] product. After login API Management instance should be visible. When we open the products all products should also be visible. However if we try to delete/ update any other products than assigned one then we should get error similar to below –


And that’s it! Hope this article has given you how can you control Role based access control in Azure API Management at deep level.

Download the final PowerShell code and JSON I used in above article from Github here –

Happy RBACing!!

A humble request!

Internet is creating a lot of digital garbage. If you feel this a quality blog and someone will definitely get benefitted, don't hesitate to hit share button present below. Your one share will save many precious hours of a developer. Thank you.