User-defined functions in Azure Resource Manager template

Within your template, you can create your own functions. These functions are available for use in your template. User-defined functions are separate from the standard template functions that are automatically available within your template. Create your own functions when you have complicated expressions that are used repeatedly in your template.

This article describes how to add user-defined functions in your Azure Resource Manager template.

Define the function

Your functions require a namespace value to avoid naming conflicts with template functions. The following example shows a function that returns a storage account name:

"functions": [
    "namespace": "contoso",
    "members": {
      "uniqueName": {
        "parameters": [
            "name": "namePrefix",
            "type": "string"
        "output": {
          "type": "string",
          "value": "[concat(toLower(parameters('namePrefix')), uniqueString(resourceGroup().id))]"

Use the function

The following example shows how to call your function.

"resources": [
    "name": "[contoso.uniqueName(parameters('storageNamePrefix'))]",
    "type": "Microsoft.Storage/storageAccounts",
    "apiVersion": "2016-01-01",
    "sku": {
      "name": "Standard_LRS"
    "kind": "Storage",
    "location": "South Central US",
    "tags": {},
    "properties": {}


When defining a user function, there are some restrictions:

  • The function can't access variables.
  • The function can only use parameters that are defined in the function. When you use the parameters function within a user-defined function, you're restricted to the parameters for that function.
  • The function can't call other user-defined functions.
  • The function can't use the reference function or any of the list functions.
  • Parameters for the function can't have default values.

Next steps