Create Resource Manager parameter file

Rather than passing parameters as inline values in your script, you can use a JSON file that contains the parameter values. This article shows how to create a parameter file that you use with a JSON template.

Parameter file

A parameter file uses the following format:

{
  "$schema": "https://schema.management.azure.com/schemas/2019-04-01/deploymentParameters.json#",
  "contentVersion": "1.0.0.0",
  "parameters": {
    "<first-parameter-name>": {
      "value": "<first-value>"
    },
    "<second-parameter-name>": {
      "value": "<second-value>"
    }
  }
}

Notice that the parameter file stores parameter values as plain text. This approach works for values that aren't sensitive, such as a resource SKU. Plain text doesn't work for sensitive values, such as passwords. If you need to pass a parameter that contains a sensitive value, store the value in a key vault. Then reference the key vault in your parameter file. The sensitive value is securely retrieved during deployment.

The following parameter file includes a plain text value and a sensitive value that's stored in a key vault.

{
  "$schema": "https://schema.management.azure.com/schemas/2019-04-01/deploymentParameters.json#",
  "contentVersion": "1.0.0.0",
  "parameters": {
    "<first-parameter-name>": {
      "value": "<first-value>"
    },
    "<second-parameter-name>": {
      "reference": {
        "keyVault": {
          "id": "<resource-id-key-vault>"
        },
        "secretName": "<secret-name>"
      }
    }
  }
}

For more information about using values from a key vault, see Use Azure Key Vault to pass secure parameter value during deployment.

Define parameter values

To determine how to define the parameter names and values, open your JSON template and review the parameters section. The following example shows the JSON template's parameters.

"parameters": {
  "storagePrefix": {
    "type": "string",
    "maxLength": 11
  },
  "storageAccountType": {
    "type": "string",
    "defaultValue": "Standard_LRS",
    "allowedValues": [
    "Standard_LRS",
    "Standard_GRS",
    "Standard_ZRS",
    "Premium_LRS"
    ]
  }
}

In the parameter file, the first detail to notice is the name of each parameter. The parameter names in your parameter file must match the parameter names in your template.

{
  "$schema": "https://schema.management.azure.com/schemas/2019-04-01/deploymentParameters.json#",
  "contentVersion": "1.0.0.0",
  "parameters": {
    "storagePrefix": {
    },
    "storageAccountType": {
    }
  }
}

Notice the parameter type. The parameter types in your parameter file must use the same types as your template. In this example, both parameter types are strings.

{
  "$schema": "https://schema.management.azure.com/schemas/2019-04-01/deploymentParameters.json#",
  "contentVersion": "1.0.0.0",
  "parameters": {
    "storagePrefix": {
      "value": ""
    },
    "storageAccountType": {
      "value": ""
    }
  }
}

Check the template for parameters with a default value. If a parameter has a default value, you can provide a value in the parameter file but it's not required. The parameter file value overrides the template's default value.

{
  "$schema": "https://schema.management.azure.com/schemas/2019-04-01/deploymentParameters.json#",
  "contentVersion": "1.0.0.0",
  "parameters": {
    "storagePrefix": {
      "value": "" // This value must be provided.
    },
    "storageAccountType": {
      "value": "" // This value is optional. Template will use default value if not provided.
    }
  }
}

Check the template's allowed values and any restrictions such as maximum length. Those values specify the range of values you can provide for a parameter. In this example, storagePrefix can have a maximum of 11 characters and storageAccountType must specify an allowed value.

{
  "$schema": "https://schema.management.azure.com/schemas/2019-04-01/deploymentParameters.json#",
  "contentVersion": "1.0.0.0",
  "parameters": {
    "storagePrefix": {
      "value": "storage"
    },
    "storageAccountType": {
      "value": "Standard_ZRS"
    }
  }
}

Note

Your parameter file can only contain values for parameters that are defined in the template. If your parameter file contains extra parameters that don't match the template's parameters, you receive an error.

Parameter type formats

The following example shows the formats of different parameter types: string, integer, boolean, array, and object.

{
  "$schema": "https://schema.management.azure.com/schemas/2019-04-01/deploymentParameters.json#",
  "contentVersion": "1.0.0.0",
  "parameters": {
    "exampleString": {
      "value": "test string"
    },
    "exampleInt": {
      "value": 4
    },
    "exampleBool": {
      "value": true
    },
    "exampleArray": {
      "value": [
        "value 1",
        "value 2"
      ]
    },
    "exampleObject": {
      "value": {
        "property1": "value1",
        "property2": "value2"
      }
    }
  }
}

Deploy template with parameter file

From Azure CLI you pass a local parameter file using @ and the parameter file name. For example, @storage.parameters.json.

az deployment group create \
  --name ExampleDeployment \
  --resource-group ExampleGroup \
  --template-file storage.json \
  --parameters @storage.parameters.json

For more information, see Deploy resources with ARM templates and Azure CLI.

From Azure PowerShell you pass a local parameter file using the TemplateParameterFile parameter.

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

For more information, see Deploy resources with ARM templates and Azure PowerShell.

Note

It's not possible to use a parameter file with the custom template blade in the portal.

Tip

If you're using the Azure Resource Group project in Visual Studio, make sure the parameter file has its Build Action set to Content.

File name

The general naming convention for the parameter file is to include parameters in the template name. For example, if your template is named azuredeploy.json, your parameter file is named azuredeploy.parameters.json. This naming convention helps you see the connection between the template and the parameters.

To deploy to different environments, you create more than one parameter file. When you name the parameter files, identify their use such as development and production. For example, use azuredeploy.parameters-dev.json and azuredeploy.parameters-prod.json to deploy resources.

Parameter precedence

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.

It's possible to use an external parameter file, by providing the URI to the file. When you use an external parameter file, you can't pass other values either inline or from a local file. All inline parameters are ignored. Provide all parameter values in the external file.

Parameter name conflicts

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-AzResourceGroupDeployment cmdlet. You're prompted to provide a value for ResourceGroupNameFromTemplate. To avoid this confusion, use parameter names that aren't used for deployment commands.

Next steps