Authenticate access to Azure resources by using managed identities in Azure Logic Apps

To easily access other resources that are protected by Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) and authenticate your identity without signing in, your logic app can use a managed identity (formerly Managed Service Identity or MSI), rather than credentials or secrets. Azure manages this identity for you and helps secure your credentials because you don't have to provide or rotate secrets.

Azure Logic Apps supports both system-assigned and user-assigned managed identities. Your logic app can use either the system-assigned identity or a single user-assigned identity, which you can share across a group of logic apps, but not both. Currently, only specific built-in triggers and actions support managed identities, not managed connectors or connections, for example:

  • HTTP
  • Azure Functions
  • Azure API Management
  • Azure App Services

This article shows how to set up both kinds of managed identities for your logic app. For more information, see these topics:

Prerequisites

  • An Azure subscription. If you don't have a subscription, sign up for a free Azure account. Both the managed identity and the target Azure resource where you need access must use the same Azure subscription.

  • To give a managed identity access to an Azure resource, you need to add a role to the target resource for that identity. To add roles, you need Azure AD administrator permissions that can assign roles to identities in the corresponding Azure AD tenant.

  • The target Azure resource that you want to access. On this resource, you'll add a role for the managed identity, which helps the logic app authenticate access to the target resource.

  • The logic app where you want to use the trigger or actions that support managed identities

Enable managed identity

To set up the managed identity that you want to use, follow the link for that identity:

Enable system-assigned identity

Unlike user-assigned identities, you don't have to manually create the system-assigned identity. To set up the system-assigned identity for your logic app, here are the options that you can use:

Enable system-assigned identity in Azure portal

  1. In the Azure portal, open your logic app in Logic App Designer.

  2. On the logic app menu, under Settings, select Identity. Select System assigned > On > Save. When Azure prompts you to confirm, select Yes.

    Enable the system-assigned identity

    Note

    If you get an error that you can have only a single managed identity, your logic app is already associated with the user-assigned identity. Before you can add the system-assigned identity, you must first remove the user-assigned identity from your logic app.

    Your logic app can now use the system-assigned identity, which is registered with Azure Active Directory and is represented by an object ID.

    Object ID for system-assigned identity

    Property Value Description
    Object ID <identity-resource-ID> A Globally Unique Identifier (GUID) that represents the system-assigned identity for your logic app in an Azure AD tenant
  3. Now follow the steps that give that identity access to the resource later in this topic.

Enable system-assigned identity in Azure Resource Manager template

To automate creating and deploying Azure resources such as logic apps, you can use Azure Resource Manager templates. To enable the system-assigned managed identity for your logic app in the template, add the identity object and the type child property to the logic app's resource definition in the template, for example:

{
   "apiVersion": "2016-06-01",
   "type": "Microsoft.logic/workflows",
   "name": "[variables('logicappName')]",
   "location": "[resourceGroup().location]",
   "identity": {
      "type": "SystemAssigned"
   },
   "properties": {
      "definition": {
         "$schema": "https://schema.management.azure.com/providers/Microsoft.Logic/schemas/2016-06-01/workflowdefinition.json#",
         "actions": {},
         "parameters": {},
         "triggers": {},
         "contentVersion": "1.0.0.0",
         "outputs": {}
   },
   "parameters": {},
   "dependsOn": []
}

When Azure creates your logic app resource definition, the identity object gets these additional properties:

"identity": {
   "type": "SystemAssigned",
   "principalId": "<principal-ID>",
   "tenantId": "<Azure-AD-tenant-ID>"
}
Property (JSON) Value Description
principalId <principal-ID> The Globally Unique Identifier (GUID) of the service principal object for the managed identity that represents your logic app in the Azure AD tenant. This GUID sometimes appears as an "object ID" or objectID.
tenantId <Azure-AD-tenant-ID> The Globally Unique Identifier (GUID) that represents the Azure AD tenant where the logic app is now a member. Inside the Azure AD tenant, the service principal has the same name as the logic app instance.

Enable user-assigned identity

To set up a user-assigned managed identity for your logic app, you must first create that identity as a separate standalone Azure resource. Here are the options that you can use:

Create user-assigned identity in the Azure portal

  1. In the Azure portal, in the search box on any page, enter managed identities, and select Managed Identities.

    Find and select "Managed Identities"

  2. Under Managed Identities, select Add.

    Add new managed identity

  3. Provide information about your managed identity, and then select Create, for example:

    Create user-assigned managed identity

    Property Required Value Description
    Resource Name Yes <user-assigned-identity-name> The name to give your user-assigned identity. This example uses "Fabrikam-user-assigned-identity".
    Subscription Yes <Azure-subscription-name> The name for the Azure subscription to use
    Resource group Yes <Azure-resource-group-name> The name for the resource group to use. Create a new group, or select an existing group. This example creates a new group named "fabrikam-managed-identities-RG".
    Location Yes <Azure-region> The Azure region where to store information about your resource. This example uses "West US".

    Now you can add the user-assigned identity to your logic app. You can't add more than one user-assigned identity to your logic app.

  4. In the Azure portal, find and open your logic app in Logic App Designer.

  5. On the logic app menu, under Settings, select Identity, and then select User assigned > Add.

    Add user-assigned managed identity

  6. On the Add user assigned managed identity pane, from the Subscription list, select your Azure subscription if not already selected. From the list that shows all the managed identities in that subscription, find and select the user-assigned identity that you want. To filter the list, in the User assigned managed identities search box, enter the name for the identity or resource group. When you're done, select Add.

    Select the user-assigned identity to use

    Note

    If you get an error that you can have only a single managed identity, your logic app is already associated with the system-assigned identity. Before you can add the user-assigned identity, you must first disable the system-assigned identity on your logic app.

    Your logic app is now associated with the user-assigned managed identity.

    Association with user-assigned identity

  7. Now follow the steps that give that identity access to the resource later in this topic.

Create user-assigned identity in an Azure Resource Manager template

To automate creating and deploying Azure resources such as logic apps, you can use Azure Resource Manager templates, which support user-assigned identities for authentication. In your template's resources section, your logic app's resource definition requires these items:

  • An identity object with the type property set to UserAssigned

  • A child userAssignedIdentities object that specifies the user-assigned resource and name

This example shows a logic app resource definition for an HTTP PUT request and includes a non-parameterized identity object. The response to the PUT request and subsequent GET operation also have this identity object:

{
   "$schema": "https://schema.management.azure.com/schemas/2015-01-01/deploymentTemplate.json#",
   "contentVersion": "1.0.0.0",
   "parameters": {<template-parameters>},
   "resources": [
      {
         "apiVersion": "2016-06-01",
         "type": "Microsoft.logic/workflows",
         "name": "[variables('logicappName')]",
         "location": "[resourceGroup().location]",
         "identity": {
            "type": "UserAssigned",
            "userAssignedIdentities": {
               "/subscriptions/<Azure-subscription-ID>/resourceGroups/<Azure-resource-group-name>/providers/Microsoft.ManagedIdentity/userAssignedIdentities/<user-assigned-identity-name>": {}
            }
         },
         "properties": {
            "definition": {<logic-app-workflow-definition>}
         },
         "parameters": {},
         "dependsOn": []
      },
   ],
   "outputs": {}
}

If your template also includes the managed identity's resource definition, you can parameterize the identity object. This example shows how the child userAssignedIdentities object references a userAssignedIdentity variable that you define in your template's variables section. This variable references the resource ID for your user-assigned identity.

{
   "$schema": "https://schema.management.azure.com/schemas/2015-01-01/deploymentTemplate.json#",
   "contentVersion": "1.0.0.0",
   "parameters": {
      "Template_LogicAppName": {
         "type": "string"
      },
      "Template_UserAssignedIdentityName": {
         "type": "securestring"
      }
   },
   "variables": {
      "logicAppName": "[parameters(`Template_LogicAppName')]",
      "userAssignedIdentityName": "[parameters('Template_UserAssignedIdentityName')]"
   },
   "resources": [
      {
         "apiVersion": "2016-06-01",
         "type": "Microsoft.logic/workflows",
         "name": "[variables('logicAppName')]",
         "location": "[resourceGroup().location]",
         "identity": {
            "type": "UserAssigned",
            "userAssignedIdentities": {
               "[resourceId('Microsoft.ManagedIdentity/userAssignedIdentities/', variables('userAssignedIdentityName'))]": {}
            }
         },
         "properties": {
            "definition": {<logic-app-workflow-definition>}
         },
         "parameters": {},
         "dependsOn": [
            "[resourceId('Microsoft.ManagedIdentity/userAssignedIdentities/', variables('userAssignedIdentityName'))]"
         ]
      },
      {
         "apiVersion": "2018-11-30",
         "type": "Microsoft.ManagedIdentity/userAssignedIdentities",
         "name": "[parameters('Template_UserAssignedIdentityName')]",
         "location": "[resourceGroup().location]",
         "properties": {}
      }
  ]
}

Give identity access to resources

Before you can use your logic app's managed identity for authentication, set up access for that identity on the Azure resource where you plan to use the identity. To complete this task, assign the appropriate role to that identity on the target Azure resource. Here are the options that you can use:

Assign access in the Azure portal

  1. In the Azure portal, go to the Azure resource where you want your managed identity to have access.

  2. From the resource's menu, select Access control (IAM) > Role assignments where you can review the current role assignments for that resource. On the toolbar, select Add > Add role assignment.

    Select "Add" > "Add role assignment"

    Tip

    If the Add role assignment option is disabled, you most likely don't have permissions. For more information about the permissions that let you manage roles for resources, see Administrator role permissions in Azure Active Directory.

  3. Under Add role assignment, select a Role that gives your identity the necessary access to the target resource.

    For this topic's example, your identity needs a role that can access the blob in an Azure Storage container.

    Select "Storage Blob Data Contributor" role

  4. Follow these steps for your managed identity:

    • System-assigned identity

      1. In the Assign access to box, select Logic App. When the Subscription property appears, select the Azure subscription that's associated with your identity.

        Select access for system-assigned identity

      2. Under the Select box, select your logic app from the list. If the list is too long, use the Select box to filter the list.

        Select logic app for system-assigned identity

    • User-assigned identity

      1. In the Assign access to box, select User assigned managed identity. When the Subscription property appears, select the Azure subscription that's associated with your identity.

        Select access for user-assigned identity

      2. Under the Select box, select your identity from the list. If the list is too long, use the Select box to filter the list.

        Select your user-assigned identity

  5. When you're done, select Save.

    The target resource's role assignments list now shows the selected managed identity and role. This example shows how you can use the system-assigned identity for one logic app and a user-assigned identity for a group of other logic apps.

    Added managed identities and roles to target resource

    For more information, Assign a managed identity access to a resource by using the Azure portal.

  6. Now follow the steps to authenticate access with the identity in a trigger or action that supports managed identities.

Authenticate access with managed identity

After you enable the managed identity for your logic app and give that identity access to the target resource or entity, you can use that identity in triggers and actions that support managed identities.

Important

If you have an Azure function where you want to use the system-assigned identity, first enable authentication for Azure functions.

These steps show how to use the managed identity with a trigger or action through the Azure portal. To specify the managed identity in a trigger or action's underlying JSON definition, see Managed identity authentication.

  1. In the Azure portal, open your logic app in the Logic App Designer.

  2. If you haven't done so yet, add the trigger or action that supports managed identities.

    For example, the HTTP trigger or action can use the system-assigned identity that you enabled for your logic app. In general, the HTTP trigger or action uses these properties to specify the resource or entity that you want to access:

    Property Required Description
    Method Yes The HTTP method that's used by the operation that you want to run
    URI Yes The endpoint URL for accessing the target Azure resource or entity. The URI syntax usually includes the resource ID for the Azure resource or service.
    Headers No Any header values that you need or want to include in the outgoing request, such as the content type
    Queries No Any query parameters that you need or want to include in the request, such as the parameter for a specific operation or the API version for the operation that you want to run
    Authentication Yes The authentication type to use for authenticating access to the target resource or entity

    As a specific example, suppose that you want to run the Snapshot Blob operation on a blob in the Azure Storage account where you previously set up access for your identity. However, the Azure Blob Storage connector doesn't currently offer this operation. Instead, you can run this operation by using the HTTP action or another Blob Service REST API operation.

    Important

    To access Azure storage accounts behind firewalls by using HTTP requests and managed identities, make sure that you also set up your storage account with the exception that allows access by trusted Microsoft services.

    To run the Snapshot Blob operation, the HTTP action specifies these properties:

    Property Required Example value Description
    Method Yes PUT The HTTP method that the Snapshot Blob operation uses
    URI Yes https://{storage-account-name}.blob.core.windows.net/{blob-container-name}/{folder-name-if-any}/{blob-file-name-with-extension} The resource ID for an Azure Blob Storage file in the Azure Global (public) environment, which uses this syntax
    Headers Yes, for Azure Storage x-ms-blob-type = BlockBlob

    x-ms-version = 2019-02-02

    The x-ms-blob-type and x-ms-version header values that are required for Azure Storage operations.

    Important: In outgoing HTTP trigger and action requests for Azure Storage, the header requires the x-ms-version property and the API version for the operation that you want to run.

    For more information, see these topics:

    - Request headers - Snapshot Blob
    - Versioning for Azure Storage services

    Queries Yes, for this operation comp = snapshot The query parameter name and value for the Snapshot Blob operation.

    Here is the example HTTP action that shows all these property values:

    Add an HTTP action to access an Azure resource

  3. Now add the Authentication property to the HTTP action. From the Add new parameter list, select Authentication.

    Add "Authentication" property to HTTP action

    Note

    Not all triggers and actions support letting you add an authentication type. For more information, see Add authentication to outbound calls.

  4. From the Authentication type list, select Managed Identity.

    For "Authentication", select "Managed Identity"

  5. From the managed identity list, select from the available options based on your scenario.

    • If you set up the system-assigned identity, select System Assigned Managed Identity if not already selected.

      Select "System Assigned Managed Identity"

    • If you set up a user-assigned identity, select that identity if not already selected.

      Select the user-assigned identity

    This example continues with the System Assigned Managed Identity.

  6. On some triggers and actions, the Audience property also appears for you to set the target resource ID. Set the Audience property to the resource ID for the target resource or service. Otherwise, by default, the Audience property uses the https://management.azure.com/ resource ID, which is the resource ID for Azure Resource Manager.

    Important

    Make sure that the target resource ID exactly matches the value that Azure Active Directory (AD) expects, including any required trailing slashes. For example, the resource ID for all Azure Blob Storage accounts requires a trailing slash. However, the resource ID for a specific storage account doesn't require a trailing slash. Check the resource IDs for the Azure services that support Azure AD.

    This example sets the Audience property to https://storage.azure.com/ so that the access tokens used for authentication are valid for all storage accounts. However, you can also specify the root service URL, https://fabrikamstorageaccount.blob.core.windows.net, for a specific storage account.

    Set "Audience" property to target resource ID

    For more information about authorizing access with Azure AD for Azure Storage, see these topics:

  7. Continue building the logic app the way that you want.

Disable managed identity

To stop using a managed identity for your logic app, you have these options:

If you delete your logic app, Azure automatically removes the managed identity from Azure AD.

Disable managed identity in the Azure portal

In the Azure portal, first remove the identity's access to your target resource. Next, turn off the system-assigned identity or remove the user-assigned identity from your logic app.

Remove identity access from resources

  1. In the Azure portal, go to the target Azure resource where you want to remove access for the managed identity.

  2. From the target resource's menu, select Access control (IAM). Under the toolbar, select Role assignments.

  3. In the roles list, select the managed identities that you want to remove. On the toolbar, select Remove.

    Tip

    If the Remove option is disabled, you most likely don't have permissions. For more information about the permissions that let you manage roles for resources, see Administrator role permissions in Azure Active Directory.

The managed identity is now removed and no longer has access to the target resource.

Disable managed identity on logic app

  1. In the Azure portal, open your logic app in Logic App Designer.

  2. On the logic app menu, under Settings, select Identity, and then follow the steps for your identity:

    • Select System assigned > On > Save. When Azure prompts you to confirm, select Yes.

      Disable the system-assigned identity

    • Select User assigned and the managed identity, and then select Remove. When Azure prompts you to confirm, select Yes.

      Remove the user-assigned identity

The managed identity is now disabled on your logic app.

Disable managed identity in Azure Resource Manager template

If you created the logic app's managed identity by using an Azure Resource Manager template, set the identity object's type child property to None.

"identity": {
   "type": "None"
}

Next steps