Tutorial: Utilize the ARM template reference

Learn how to find the template schema information, and use the information to create Azure Resource Manager templates (ARM templates).

In this tutorial, you use a base template from Azure Quickstart Templates. Using template reference documentation, you customize the template.

Resource Manager template reference deploy storage account

This tutorial covers the following tasks:

  • Open a Quickstart template
  • Understand the template
  • Find the template reference
  • Edit the template
  • Deploy the template

If you don't have an Azure subscription, create a free account before you begin.


To complete this article, you need:

Open a Quickstart template

Azure Quickstart Templates is a repository for ARM templates. Instead of creating a template from scratch, you can find a sample template and customize it. The template used in this quickstart is called Create a standard storage account. The template defines an Azure Storage account resource.

  1. From Visual Studio Code, select File > Open File.

  2. In File name, paste the following URL:

  3. Select Open to open the file.

  4. Select File > Save As to save the file as azuredeploy.json to your local computer.

Understand the schema

  1. From Visual Studio Code, collapse the template to the root level. You have the simplest structure with the following elements:

    Resource Manager template simplest structure

    • $schema: specify the location of the JSON schema file that describes the version of the template language.
    • contentVersion: specify any value for this element to document significant changes in your template.
    • parameters: specify the values that are provided when deployment is executed to customize resource deployment.
    • variables: specify the values that are used as JSON fragments in the template to simplify template language expressions.
    • resources: specify the resource types that are deployed or updated in a resource group.
    • outputs: specify the values that are returned after deployment.
  2. Expand resources. There's a Microsoft.Storage/storageAccounts resource defined. The SKU name uses a parameter value. The parameter is called storageAccountType.

    Resource Manager template storage account definition

  3. Expand parameters to see how storageAccountType is defined. The parameter has four allowed values. You will find the other allowed values, and then revise the parameter definition.

    Resource Manager template storage account resources skus

Find the template reference

  1. Browse to Azure Template reference.

  2. In the Filter by title box, enter storage accounts, and select the first Storage Accounts under Reference > Storage.

    Resource Manager template reference storage account

    A resource provider usually has several API versions:

    Resource Manager template reference storage account versions

  3. Select All resources under Storage from the left pane. This page lists the resource types and versions of the storage resource provider. It's recommended to use the latest API versions for the resource types defined in your template.

    Resource Manager template reference storage account types versions

  4. Select the latest version of the storageAccount resource type. The latest version is 2019-06-01 when this article is written. Make sure this version matches the version used for the storage account resource in your template. If you update the API version, verify the resource definition matches the template reference.

  5. This page lists the details of the storageAccount resource type. For example, it lists the allowed values for the Sku object. There are more SKUs than what is listed in the quickstart template that you opened earlier. You can customize the quickstart template to include all the available storage types.

    Resource Manager template reference storage account skus

Edit the template

From Visual Studio Code, add the additional storage account types as shown in the following screenshot:

Resource Manager template storage account resources

Deploy the template

  1. Sign in to the Azure Cloud Shell

  2. Choose your preferred environment by selecting either PowerShell or Bash (for CLI) on the upper left corner. Restarting the shell is required when you switch.

    Azure portal Cloud Shell upload file

  3. Select Upload/download files, and then select Upload. See the previous screenshot. Select the file you saved in the previous section. After uploading the file, you can use the ls command and the cat command to verify the file was uploaded successfully.

  4. From the Cloud Shell, run the following commands. Select the tab to show the PowerShell code or the CLI code.

    When you deploy the template, specify the storageAccountType parameter with a newly added value, for example, Standard_RAGRS. The deploy would fail if you used the original quickstart template because Standard_RAGRS wasn't an allowed value.

    echo "Enter a project name that is used to generate resource group name:" &&
    read projectName &&
    echo "Enter the location (i.e. centralus):" &&
    read location &&
    resourceGroupName="${projectName}rg" &&
    az group create --name $resourceGroupName --location "$location" &&
    az deployment group create --resource-group $resourceGroupName --template-file "$HOME/azuredeploy.json" --parameters storageAccountType='Standard_RAGRS'

Clean up resources

When the Azure resources are no longer needed, clean up the resources you deployed by deleting the resource group.

  1. From the Azure portal, select Resource group from the left menu.
  2. Enter the resource group name in the Filter by name field.
  3. Select the resource group name. You shall see a total of six resources in the resource group.
  4. Select Delete resource group from the top menu.

Next steps

In this tutorial, you learned how to use template reference to customize an existing template. To learn how to create multiple storage account instances, see: