What is the Azure Developer CLI (preview)?

Azure Developer CLI (azd) is an open-source tool that accelerates the process of building cloud apps on Azure. The CLI provides best practice, developer-friendly commands that map to key stages in your workflow, whether you’re working in the terminal, your editor or integrated development environment (IDE), or DevOps.

You can use the azd with extensible azd templates that include everything you need to get an application up and running in Azure. These templates include application code, and reusable infrastructure as code assets.

The new azd builds upon the experience and foundations of the Azure CLI. You can use both tools together, as needed, to support your Azure workflow.

Typical azd workflow

Once you've installed Azure Developer CLI, the following steps are the typical workflow to using azd:

Diagram of the Azure Developer CLI workflow.

  1. Select an Azure Developer CLI template.
  2. Get the code and deploy the template by running azd up.
  3. Customize the app to meet your needs.

Introductory video

Azure Developer CLI templates

The Azure Developer CLI works alongside idiomatic application templates that include the scaffolding for monitoring and CI/CD for your application. We provide azd templates in four supported languages. Each template uses best practices and includes:

  • Application code
  • Infra-as-code files (Bicep or Terraform) needed to provision the Azure resources
  • An azure.yaml file that describes your application.

Learn more about the azd templates we provide and which template you should select.

Azure Developer CLI vs Azure CLI

Azure Developer CLI (azd) and Azure CLI are both command-line tools.

However, they help you do different tasks.

The azd focuses on the developer workflow. Apart from provisioning/managing Azure resources, the CLI helps to stitch cloud components, local development configuration, and pipeline automation together into a complete solution.

Azure CLI is a control plane tool for creating and administering Azure infrastructure such as virtual machines, virtual networks, and storage.

Supported development environments

You can run any azd template, in one of the following supported development environments:

Environment Description Pros Cons Supported?
Bare Metal Not in a container, dependencies are manually installed by you, and the project is run on your local machine. You control all dependencies. You may already have some of the dependencies installed. You don't need Docker installed. You have to manually install all dependencies. Yes
DevContainer / VS Code Remote - Containers Container with all dependencies installed and run on your local machine. Other than VS Code, Docker, and the Remote Containers VS Code extension, all dependencies are installed for you in the DevContainer. You need to clone the repository. The container initialization can take a long time. Yes
GitHub Codespaces Container with all dependencies installed and run on GitHub.com in the browser. All dependencies installed and you don't need to clone the code locally. Some features and functionality may not be supported. The container initialization can take a long time. Coming soon

Supported Azure compute services (host)

Currently supported/planned hosting platform for the app:

Azure compute service Supported?
Azure App Service Yes
Function Yes
Azure Container Apps Yes
Azure Static Web Apps Yes
Azure Kubernetes Service Coming soon

Supported programming languages

Currently supported/planned languages:

Language Supported?
Node.js Yes
Python Yes
.NET Yes
Java Yes

Next steps