Azure identity - managed identities and roles

by DotNetNerd 23. June 2023 07:41

secret identity

For a while I have actually not had to do much configuration of app registrations, managed identities and so on, simply because I often join teams who have other people doing that part. So it has been fun and at time challenging to get back into it, as I have had to lately. So to help others, and maybe a future me I just want to write down a few notes, that will help me remember a few key details.

First of all when we are talking about a setup with a frontend application and backend api app registration, the app roles and claim mapping should be done in the backend api, with roles being defined as part of the app registration, and the mapping from e.g. groups being done in enterprise application. The roles and claims will then become available in the access token, once a user logs in using the clientid for the frontend application, that uses the backend API.

In most we cases we will then also need to have services that should be able to call our API. Authenticating using managed identity makes this quite simple, with the caviat being that roles can only be assigned using a script.

To run e.g. a Functions app that should be allowed access you need to configure a managed identity and add the role to it using a powershell script like below. User assigned managed identity can be used if you wish to use it for multiple services, however things like access to key vault using keyvault references require a system managed identity - so you will likely need to either use a system managed identity and configure it for each service, or have both kinds of managed identity configured.


$objectIdForManagedIdentity = "insert object (principal) id from managed identity"
$enterpriseApplicationObjectId = "insert enterprise applications object id"
$roleIdGuid = "insert role id"

$uri = "$objectIdForManagedIdentity/appRoleAssignments"
$body = @{
    principalId = $objectIdForManagedIdentity
    resourceId = $enterpriseApplicationObjectId
    appRoleId = $roleIdGuid
} | ConvertTo-Json
az rest --method POST --url $uri --body $body


After that when fetching a token using DefaultAzureCredentials the .default scope should be used and the ManagedIdentityClientId should be set to ensure it uses the user assigned identity.

Who am I?

My name is Christian Holm Diget, and I work as an independent consultant, in Denmark, where I write code, give advice on architecture and help with training. On the side I get to do a bit of speaking and help with miscellaneous community events.

Some of my primary focus areas are code quality, programming languages and using new technologies to provide value.

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