Configure your local JavaScript dev environment for Azure

When creating cloud applications, developers typically prefer to test code on their local workstations before deploying that code to a cloud environment like Azure. Local development gives you the advantage of a wider variety of tools along with a familiar environment.

This article provides setup instructions to create and validate a local development environment that's suitable for JavaScript with Azure.

One-time subscription creation

Azure resources are created within a subscription and resource group.

Type Description
Trial subscription Create a free trial subscription.
Existing subscription If you already have a subscription, access your existing subscription in the Azure portal, the Azure CLI, or Azure SDKs for JavaScript.
Across multiple subscriptions If you need to manage multiple subscriptions, learn how to create a management group with JavaScript.

One-time software installation

Azure development with JavaScript on your local workstation, we suggest you install the following:

Name/Installer Description
Node.js LTS Install latest long-term support (LTS) runtime environment for local workstation development.
Visual Studio Code Visual Studio Code will give you a great JavaScript integration and coding experience but it is not required. You can use any code editor.

Azure hosting runtime

If you plan to use an Azure resource as the hosting environment for your application, such as an Azure web app or Azure Functions, you should verify your local Node.js development environment runtime version of Node.js matches the Azure resource runtime you plan to use.

The following common local workstation installations are recommended to help with your local development tasks.

Name Description
Azure CLI Local or cloud-based CLI to create and use Azure resources.
Azure Developer CLI Developer-centric command-line tool for building cloud apps in developer workflow.
Visual Studio Code extensions for Azure VS Code extensions to the IDE.
Git or Git for Windows Command-line tools for source control. You can use a different source control tool if you prefer.

One-time configuration for authentication

To use the same authentication code in local development and the remote Azure hosting environment, use the DefaultAzureCredential.

Create a resource group for your project

  1. Open the Azure portal in a web browser.

  2. In the search bar, enter resource groups and select it.

  3. Select + Create.

  4. Enter your resource group settings:

    Property Value
    Subscription Select your subscription.
    Resource group Enter your resource group name. This resource group name is used as part of a resources URI when you access the Resource Manager (management plane). The name isn't used for control (such as creating a database) or data plane (inserting data into a table).
    Region Select a geographical region for the resource group.
  5. Select Review + create to begin validation.

  6. When validation successes, select Create.

Working with Azure and the Azure SDK client libraries

The Azure SDK libraries are provided individually for each service. You install each library based on the Azure service you need to use.

Each new project using Azure should:

  • Create Azure resources and save associated keys or configuration to a secure location.
  • Install Azure SDK libraries from NPM or Yarn.
  • Use your local Service Principal credential to authenticate to the Azure SDK, then use configuration information to access specific services.

Securing configuration information

You have several options to store configuration information:

  • Azure Key Vault to create and maintain keys that access and encrypt your cloud resources, apps, and solutions.
  • Dotenv is a popular npm package to read environment variables from a .env file. Make sure to add the .env file to the .gitignore file so the .env file is not checked into to source control. Learn more about environment variables in web apps for Azure.

Create environment variables for the Azure libraries

To use the Azure settings needed by the Azure SDK libraries to access the Azure cloud, set the most common values to environment variables. The following commands set the environment variables for the local workstation.

In the following examples, the client ID is the service principal ID and service principal secret.


Replace the values shown in these commands with those of your specific service principal.

Create .env file

Another common mechanism is to use the DOTENV NPM package to create a .env file for these settings. If you plan to use a .env, make sure to not check in the file to source control. Add the .env file to git's .ignore file is the standard way to ensure those settings are checked into source control.

Install npm packages

For every project, we recommend that you always create a separate folder, and its own package.json file using the following steps:

  1. Open a terminal, command prompt, or bash shell and create a new folder to the project. Then move into that new folder.

  2. Initialize the package file:

    npm init -y

    This creates the package.json file and initializes the minimum properties.

  3. Install the Azure SDK libraries you need, such as this example:

    npm install @azure/ai-text-analytics@5.0.0

Use source control with Visual Studio Code

We recommend that you get into the habit of creating a source control repository whenever you start a project. You can do this from Visual Studio Code.

  1. In Visual Studio Code, select the source control icon to open the Source Control explorer, then select Initialize Repository to initialize a local Git repository:

    Initialize git repository

  2. After the repository is initialized, and you have files to store in source control, enter the message Initial commit and select the checkmark to create the initial commit of your source files.

    Complete an initial commit to the repository

  3. Create a new repository on GitHub or Azure DevOps and copy the repository URL for the next few step.

  4. In the Visual Studio integrated terminal, use the following git command to add your remote repository to your local repository. Replace YOUR-ALIAS and YOUR-REPOSITORY with your own values.

    git remote add origin

Visual Studio Code includes many built-in git features. For more information, see Using Version Control in VS Code.

Next steps