Create an IoT Central application

You have several ways to create an IoT Central application. You can use one of the GUI-based methods if you prefer a manual approach, or one of the CLI or programmatic methods if you want to automate the process.

Whichever approach you choose, the configuration options are the same, and the process typically takes less than a minute to complete.


You'll need Contributor access to your Azure Subscription to create an IoT Central app. While there may be alternative access levels to create an app, having Contributor level access to the Subscription is the recommended path.


This section describes the available options when you create an IoT Central application. Depending on the method you choose, you might need to supply the options on a form or as command-line parameters:

Pricing plans

The free plan lets you create an IoT Central application to try for seven days. The free plan:

  • Doesn't require an Azure subscription.
  • Can only be created and managed on the Azure IoT Central site.
  • Lets you connect up to five devices.
  • Can be upgraded to a standard plan if you want to keep your application.

The standard plans:

  • Do require an Azure subscription. You should have at least Contributor access in your Azure subscription. If you created the subscription yourself, you're automatically an administrator with sufficient access. To learn more, see What is Azure role-based access control?.
  • Let you create and manage IoT Central applications using any of the available methods.
  • Let you connect as many devices as you need. You're billed by device. To learn more, see Azure IoT Central pricing.
  • Cannot be downgraded to a free plan, but can be upgraded or downgraded to other standard plans.

The following table summarizes the differences between the three standard plans:

Plan name Free devices Messages/month Use case
S0 2 400 A few messages per day
S1 2 5,000 A few messages per hour
S2 2 30,000 Messages every few minutes

Application name

The application name you choose appears in the title bar on every page in your IoT Central application. It also appears on your application's tile on the My apps page on the Azure IoT Central site.

The subdomain you choose uniquely identifies your application. The subdomain is part of the URL you use to access the application. The URL for an IoT Central application looks like

Application template ID

The application template you choose determines the initial contents of your application, such as dashboards and device templates. The template ID For a custom application, use iotc-pnp-preview as the template ID.

To learn more about custom and industry-focused application templates, see What are application templates?.

Billing information

If you choose one of the standard plans, you need to provide billing information:

  • The Azure subscription you're using.
  • The directory that contains the subscription you're using.
  • The location to host your application. IoT Central uses Azure regions as locations: Australia East, Central US, East US, East US 2, Japan East, North Europe, Southeast Asia, UK South, West Europe, West US.

Azure IoT Central site

The easiest way to get started creating IoT Central applications is on the Azure IoT Central site.

The Build lets you select the application template you want to use:

Screenshot of build page that lets you choose an application template.

If you select Create app, you can provide the necessary information to create an application from the template:

Screenshot showing create application page for IoT Central.

The My apps page lists all the IoT Central applications you have access to. The list includes applications you created and applications that you've been granted access to.


All the applications you create using a standard pricing plan on the Azure IoT Central site use the IOTC resource group in your subscription. The approaches described in the following section let you choose a resource group to use.

Copy an application

You can create a copy of any application, minus any device instances, device data history, and user data. The copy uses a standard pricing plan that you'll be billed for. You can't create an application that uses the free pricing plan by copying an application.

Select Copy. In the dialog box, enter the details for the new application. Then select Copy to confirm that you want to continue. To learn more about the fields in the form, see Create an application.

Screenshot of that shows application settings page.

Screenshot that shows the Copy Application settings page.

After the app copy operation succeeds, you can navigate to the new application using the link.

Copying an application also copies the definition of rules and email action. Some actions, such as Flow and Logic Apps, are tied to specific rules via the Rule ID. When a rule is copied to a different application, it gets its own Rule ID. In this case, users will have to create a new action and then associate the new rule with it. In general, it's a good idea to check the rules and actions to make sure they're up-to-date in the new app.


If a dashboard includes tiles that display information about specific devices, then those tiles show The requested resource was not found in the new application. You must reconfigure these tiles to display information about devices in your new application.

Create and use a custom application template

When you create an Azure IoT Central application, you have a choice of built-in sample templates. You can also create your own application templates from existing IoT Central applications. You can then use your own application templates when you create new applications.

When you create an application template, it includes the following items from your existing application:

  • The default application dashboard, including the dashboard layout and all the tiles you've defined.
  • Device templates, including measurements, settings, properties, commands, and dashboard.
  • Rules. All rule definitions are included. However actions, except for email actions, aren't included.
  • Device groups, including their queries.


If a dashboard includes tiles that display information about specific devices, then those tiles show The requested resource was not found in the new application. You must reconfigure these tiles to display information about devices in your new application.

When you create an application template, it doesn't include the following items:

  • Devices
  • Users
  • Continuous data export definitions

Add these items manually to any applications created from an application template.

To create an application template from an existing IoT Central application:

  1. Go to the Administration section in your application.
  2. Select Application Template Export.
  3. On the Application Template Export page, enter a name and description for your template.
  4. Select the Export button to create the application template. You can now copy the Shareable Link that enables someone to create a new application from the template:

Screenshot that shows create an application template.

Screenshot that shows export an application template.

Use an application template

To use an application template to create a new IoT Central application, you need a previously created Shareable Link. Paste the Shareable Link into your browser's address bar. The Create an application page displays with your custom application template selected:

Screenshot that shows create an application from a template.

Select your pricing plan and fill out the other fields on the form. Then select Create to create a new IoT Central application from the application template.

Manage application templates

On the Application Template Export page, you can delete or update the application template.

If you delete an application template, you can no longer use the previously generated shareable link to create new applications.

To update your application template, change the template name or description on the Application Template Export page. Then select the Export button again. This action generates a new Shareable link and invalidates any previous Shareable link URL.

Other approaches

You can also use the following approaches to create an IoT Central application:

Next steps

Now that you've learned how to manage Azure IoT Central applications from Azure CLI, here's the suggested next step: