Deploy resources with Resource Manager templates and Azure PowerShell

This article explains how to use Azure PowerShell with Resource Manager templates to deploy your resources to Azure. If you are not familiar with the concepts of deploying and managing your Azure solutions, see Azure Resource Manager overview.

The Resource Manager template you deploy can either be a local file on your machine, or an external file that is located in a repository like GitHub. The template you deploy in this article is available in the Sample template section, or as storage account template in GitHub.

If needed, install the Azure PowerShell module using the instructions found in the Azure PowerShell guide, and then run Connect-AzureRmAccount to create a connection with Azure.

Deploy a template from your local machine

When deploying resources to Azure, you:

  1. Log in to your Azure account
  2. Create a resource group that serves as the container for the deployed resources. The name of the resource group can only include alphanumeric characters, periods, underscores, hyphens, and parenthesis. It can be up to 90 characters. It cannot end in a period.
  3. Deploy to the resource group the template that defines the resources to create

A template can include parameters that enable you to customize the deployment. For example, you can provide values that are tailored for a particular environment (such as dev, test, and production). The sample template defines a parameter for the storage account SKU.

The following example creates a resource group, and deploys a template from your local machine:


Select-AzureRmSubscription -SubscriptionName <yourSubscriptionName>

New-AzureRmResourceGroup -Name ExampleResourceGroup -Location "South Central US"
New-AzureRmResourceGroupDeployment -Name ExampleDeployment -ResourceGroupName ExampleResourceGroup `
  -TemplateFile c:\MyTemplates\storage.json -storageAccountType Standard_GRS

The deployment can take a few minutes to complete. When it finishes, you see a message that includes the result:

ProvisioningState       : Succeeded

Deploy a template from an external source

Instead of storing Resource Manager templates on your local machine, you may prefer to store them in an external location. You can store templates in a source control repository (such as GitHub). Or, you can store them in an Azure storage account for shared access in your organization.

To deploy an external template, use the TemplateUri parameter. Use the URI in the example to deploy the sample template from GitHub.

New-AzureRmResourceGroupDeployment -Name ExampleDeployment -ResourceGroupName ExampleResourceGroup `
  -TemplateUri `
  -storageAccountType Standard_GRS

The preceding example requires a publicly accessible URI for the template, which works for most scenarios because your template should not include sensitive data. If you need to specify sensitive data (like an admin password), pass that value as a secure parameter. However, if you do not want your template to be publicly accessible, you can protect it by storing it in a private storage container. For information about deploying a template that requires a shared access signature (SAS) token, see Deploy private template with SAS token.

Deploy template from Cloud Shell

You can use Cloud Shell to deploy your template. However, you must first load your template into the storage account for your Cloud Shell. If you have not used Cloud Shell, see Overview of Azure Cloud Shell for information about setting it up.

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal.

  2. Select your Cloud Shell resource group. The name pattern is cloud-shell-storage-<region>.

    Select resource group

  3. Select the storage account for your Cloud Shell.

    Select storage account

  4. Select Blobs.

    Select blobs

  5. Select + Container.

    Add container

  6. Give your container a name and an access level. The sample template in this article contains no sensitive information, so allow anonymous read access. Select OK.

    Provide container values

  7. Select the container you created.

    Select new container

  8. Select Upload.

    Upload blob

  9. Find and upload your template.

    Upload file

  10. After it has uploaded, select the template.

    Select new template

  11. Copy the URL.

    Copy URL

  12. Open the prompt.

    Open Cloud Shell

In the Cloud Shell, use the following commands:

New-AzureRmResourceGroup -Name ExampleResourceGroup -Location "South Central US"
New-AzureRmResourceGroupDeployment -ResourceGroupName ExampleResourceGroup `
  -TemplateUri <copied URL> `
  -storageAccountType Standard_GRS

Deploy to more than one resource group or subscription

Typically, you deploy all the resources in your template to a single resource group. However, there are scenarios where you want to deploy a set of resources together but place them in different resource groups or subscriptions. You can deploy to only five resource groups in a single deployment. For more information, see Deploy Azure resources to more than one subscription or resource group.

Parameter files

Rather than passing parameters as inline values in your script, you may find it easier to use a JSON file that contains the parameter values. The parameter file must be in the following format:

  "$schema": "",
  "contentVersion": "",
  "parameters": {
     "storageAccountType": {
         "value": "Standard_GRS"

Notice that the parameters section includes a parameter name that matches the parameter defined in your template (storageAccountType). The parameter file contains a value for the parameter. This value is automatically passed to the template during deployment. You can create multiple parameter files for different deployment scenarios, and then pass in the appropriate parameter file.

Copy the preceding example and save it as a file named storage.parameters.json.

To pass a local parameter file, use the TemplateParameterFile parameter:

New-AzureRmResourceGroupDeployment -Name ExampleDeployment -ResourceGroupName ExampleResourceGroup `
  -TemplateFile c:\MyTemplates\storage.json `
  -TemplateParameterFile c:\MyTemplates\storage.parameters.json

To pass an external parameter file, use the TemplateParameterUri parameter:

New-AzureRmResourceGroupDeployment -Name ExampleDeployment -ResourceGroupName ExampleResourceGroup `
  -TemplateUri `

You can use inline parameters and a local parameter file in the same deployment operation. For example, you can specify some values in the local parameter file and add other values inline during deployment. If you provide values for a parameter in both the local parameter file and inline, the inline value takes precedence.

However, when you use an external parameter file, you cannot pass other values either inline or from a local file. When you specify a parameter file in the TemplateParameterUri parameter, all inline parameters are ignored. Provide all parameter values in the external file. If your template includes a sensitive value that you cannot include in the parameter file, either add that value to a key vault, or dynamically provide all parameter values inline.

If your template includes a parameter with the same name as one of the parameters in the PowerShell command, PowerShell presents the parameter from your template with the postfix FromTemplate. For example, a parameter named ResourceGroupName in your template conflicts with the ResourceGroupName parameter in the New-AzureRmResourceGroupDeployment cmdlet. You are prompted to provide a value for ResourceGroupNameFromTemplate. In general, you should avoid this confusion by not naming parameters with the same name as parameters used for deployment operations.

Test a template deployment

To test your template and parameter values without actually deploying any resources, use Test-​Azure​Rm​Resource​Group​Deployment.

Test-AzureRmResourceGroupDeployment -ResourceGroupName ExampleResourceGroup `
  -TemplateFile c:\MyTemplates\storage.json -storageAccountType Standard_GRS

If no errors are detected, the command finishes without a response. If an error is detected, the command returns an error message. For example, attempting to pass an incorrect value for the storage account SKU, returns the following error:

Test-AzureRmResourceGroupDeployment -ResourceGroupName testgroup `
  -TemplateFile c:\MyTemplates\storage.json -storageAccountType badSku

Code    : InvalidTemplate
Message : Deployment template validation failed: 'The provided value 'badSku' for the template parameter 'storageAccountType'
          at line '15' and column '24' is not valid. The parameter value is not part of the allowed value(s):
Details :

If your template has a syntax error, the command returns an error indicating it could not parse the template. The message indicates the line number and position of the parsing error.

Test-AzureRmResourceGroupDeployment : After parsing a value an unexpected character was encountered: 
  ". Path 'variables', line 31, position 3.

Sample template

The following template is used for the examples in this article. Copy and save it as a file named storage.json. To understand how to create this template, see Create your first Azure Resource Manager template.

  "$schema": "",
  "contentVersion": "",
  "parameters": {
    "storageAccountType": {
      "type": "string",
      "defaultValue": "Standard_LRS",
      "allowedValues": [
      "metadata": {
        "description": "Storage Account type"
  "variables": {
    "storageAccountName": "[concat(uniquestring(resourceGroup().id), 'standardsa')]"
  "resources": [
      "type": "Microsoft.Storage/storageAccounts",
      "name": "[variables('storageAccountName')]",
      "apiVersion": "2016-01-01",
      "location": "[resourceGroup().location]",
      "sku": {
          "name": "[parameters('storageAccountType')]"
      "kind": "Storage", 
      "properties": {
  "outputs": {
      "storageAccountName": {
          "type": "string",
          "value": "[variables('storageAccountName')]"

Next steps