Connect with Managed Identity to Azure Database for MySQL

This article shows you how to use a user-assigned identity for an Azure Virtual Machine (VM) to access an Azure Database for MySQL server. Managed Service Identities are automatically managed by Azure and enable you to authenticate to services that support Azure AD authentication, without needing to insert credentials into your code.

You learn how to:

  • Grant your VM access to an Azure Database for MySQL server
  • Create a user in the database that represents the VM's user-assigned identity
  • Get an access token using the VM identity and use it to query an Azure Database for MySQL server
  • Implement the token retrieval in a C# example application


Connecting with Managed Identity is only available for MySQL 5.7 and newer.


Creating a user-assigned managed identity for your VM

Create an identity in your subscription using the az identity create command. You can use the same resource group that your virtual machine runs in, or a different one.

az identity create --resource-group myResourceGroup --name myManagedIdentity

To configure the identity in the following steps, use the az identity show command to store the identity's resource ID and client ID in variables.

# Get resource ID of the user-assigned identity
resourceID=$(az identity show --resource-group myResourceGroup --name myManagedIdentity --query id --output tsv)

# Get client ID of the user-assigned identity
clientID=$(az identity show --resource-group myResourceGroup --name myManagedIdentity --query clientId --output tsv)

We can now assign the user-assigned identity to the VM with the az vm identity assign command:

az vm identity assign --resource-group myResourceGroup --name myVM --identities $resourceID

To finish setup, show the value of the Client ID, which you'll need in the next few steps:

echo $clientID

Creating a MySQL user for your Managed Identity

Now, connect as the Azure AD administrator user to your MySQL database, and run the following SQL statements:

SET aad_auth_validate_oids_in_tenant = OFF;

The managed identity now has access when authenticating with the username myuser (replace with a name of your choice).

Retrieving the access token from Azure Instance Metadata service

Your application can now retrieve an access token from the Azure Instance Metadata service and use it for authenticating with the database.

This token retrieval is done by making an HTTP request to and passing the following parameters:

  • api-version = 2018-02-01
  • resource =
  • client_id = CLIENT_ID (that you retrieved earlier)

You'll get back a JSON result that contains an access_token field - this long text value is the Managed Identity access token, that you should use as the password when connecting to the database.

For testing purposes, you can run the following commands in your shell. Note you need curl, jq, and the mysql client installed.

# Retrieve the access token
accessToken=$(curl -s '' -H Metadata:true | jq -r .access_token)

# Connect to the database
mysql -h SERVER --user USER@SERVER --enable-cleartext-plugin --password=$accessToken

You are now connected to the database you've configured earlier.

Connecting using Managed Identity in C#

This section shows how to get an access token using the VM's user-assigned managed identity and use it to call Azure Database for MySQL. Azure Database for MySQL natively supports Azure AD authentication, so it can directly accept access tokens obtained using managed identities for Azure resources. When creating a connection to MySQL, you pass the access token in the password field.

Here's a .NET code example of opening a connection to MySQL using an access token. This code must run on the VM to access the VM's user-assigned managed identity's endpoint. .NET Framework 4.6 or higher or .NET Core 2.2 or higher is required to use the access token method. Replace the values of HOST, USER, DATABASE, and CLIENT_ID.

using System;
using System.Net;
using System.IO;
using System.Collections;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Text.Json;
using System.Text.Json.Serialization;
using System.Threading.Tasks;
using MySql.Data.MySqlClient;

namespace Driver
    class Script
        // Obtain connection string information from the portal
        private static string Host = "HOST";
        private static string User = "USER";
        private static string Database = "DATABASE";
        private static string ClientId = "CLIENT_ID";

        static async Task Main(string[] args)
            // Get an access token for MySQL.
            Console.Out.WriteLine("Getting access token from Azure Instance Metadata service...");

            // Azure AD resource ID for Azure Database for MySQL is
            HttpWebRequest request = (HttpWebRequest)WebRequest.Create("" + ClientId);
            request.Headers["Metadata"] = "true";
            request.Method = "GET";
            string accessToken = null;

                // Call managed identities for Azure resources endpoint.
                HttpWebResponse response = (HttpWebResponse)request.GetResponse();

                // Pipe response Stream to a StreamReader and extract access token.
                StreamReader streamResponse = new StreamReader(response.GetResponseStream());
                string stringResponse = streamResponse.ReadToEnd();
                var list = JsonSerializer.Deserialize<Dictionary<string, string>>(stringResponse);
                accessToken = list["access_token"];
            catch (Exception e)
                Console.Out.WriteLine("{0} \n\n{1}", e.Message, e.InnerException != null ? e.InnerException.Message : "Acquire token failed");

            // Open a connection to the MySQL server using the access token.
            var builder = new MySqlConnectionStringBuilder
                Server = Host,
                Database = Database,
                UserID = User,
                Password = accessToken,
                SslMode = MySqlSslMode.Required,

            using (var conn = new MySqlConnection(builder.ConnectionString))
                Console.Out.WriteLine("Opening connection using access token...");
                await conn.OpenAsync();

                using (var command = conn.CreateCommand())
                    command.CommandText = "SELECT VERSION()";

                    using (var reader = await command.ExecuteReaderAsync())
                        while (await reader.ReadAsync())
                            Console.WriteLine("\nConnected!\n\nMySQL version: {0}", reader.GetString(0));

When run, this command will give an output like this:

Getting access token from Azure Instance Metadata service...
Opening connection using access token...


MySQL version: 5.7.27

Next steps