Example: Access Azure Storage using the Azure libraries for Python

This example demonstrated how to use the Azure client libraries in Python application code to upload a file to that Blob storage container. The example assumes you've created the resources shown in Example: Create Azure Storage.

All the commands in this article work the same in Linux/macOS bash and Windows command shells unless noted.

1: Set up your local development environment

If you haven't already, set up an environment where you can run this code. Here are some options:

2: Install library packages

In your requirements.txt file, add lines for the client library package you'll use and save the file.


Then, in your terminal or command prompt, install the requirements.

pip install -r requirements.txt

3: Create a file to upload

Create a source file named sample-source.txt. This file name is what the code expects.

Hello there, Azure Storage. I'm a friendly file ready to be stored in a blob.

4: Use blob storage from app code

The following two sections demonstrate two ways to access the blob container created through Example: Create Azure Storage.

The first method (with authentication) authenticates the app with DefaultAzureCredential as described in Authenticate Azure hosted applications with DefaultAzureCredential. With this method, you must first assign the appropriate permissions to the app identity, which is the recommended practice.

The second method (with connection string) uses a connection string to access the storage account directly. Although this method seems simpler, it has two significant drawbacks:

  • A connection string inherently authenticates the connecting agent with the Storage account rather than with individual resources within that account. As a result, a connection string provides grants broader authorization than may be required.

  • A connection string contains an access info in plain text and therefore presents potential vulnerabilities if it's improperly constructed or improperly secured. If such a connection string is exposed, it can be used to access a wide range of resources within the Storage account.

For these reasons, we recommend using the authentication method in production code.

4a: Use blob storage with authentication

  1. Create an environment variable named AZURE_STORAGE_BLOB_URL:

    set AZURE_STORAGE_BLOB_URL=https://pythonazurestorage12345.blob.core.windows.net

    Replace "pythonazurestorage12345" with the name of your specific storage account.

    This AZURE_STORAGE_BLOB_URL environment variable is used only by this example and it not used by the Azure libraries.

  2. Create a file named use_blob_auth.py with the following code. The comments explain the steps.

    import os
    import uuid
    from azure.identity import DefaultAzureCredential
    # Import the client object from the SDK library
    from azure.storage.blob import BlobClient
    credential = DefaultAzureCredential()
    # Retrieve the storage blob service URL, which is of the form
    # https://<your-storage-account-name>.blob.core.windows.net/
    storage_url = os.environ["AZURE_STORAGE_BLOB_URL"]
    # Create the client object using the storage URL and the credential
    blob_client = BlobClient(
    # Open a local file and upload its contents to Blob Storage
    with open("./sample-source.txt", "rb") as data:
        print(f"Uploaded sample-source.txt to {blob_client.url}")

    Reference links:

  3. Attempt to run the code (which fails intentionally):

    python use_blob_auth.py
  4. Observe the error "This request is not authorized to perform this operation using this permission." The error is expected because the local service principal that you're using doesn't yet have permission to access the blob container.

  5. Grant container permissions to the service principal using the Azure CLI command az role assignment create (it's a long one!):

    az role assignment create --assignee <AZURE_CLIENT_ID> ^
        --role "Storage Blob Data Contributor" ^
        --scope "/subscriptions/<AZURE_SUBSCRIPTION_ID>/resourceGroups/PythonAzureExample-Storage-rg/providers/Microsoft.Storage/storageAccounts/pythonazurestorage12345/blobServices/default/containers/blob-container-01"

    The --scope argument identifies where this role assignment applies. In this example, you grant the "Storage Blob Data Contributor" role to the specific container named "blob-container-01".

    Replace PythonAzureExample-Storage-rg and pythonazurestorage12345 with the resource group that contains your storage account and the exact name of your storage account. Also, adjust the name of the resource group and blob container, if necessary. If you use the wrong name, you see the error, "Can not perform requested operation on nested resource. Parent resource 'pythonazurestorage12345' not found."

    The --scope argument in this command also uses the <AZURE_CLIENT_ID> and <AZURE_SUBSCRIPTION_ID> variables. You can specify them in the command directly or with environment variables. If you use environmental variables, you may see a warning later about incomplete environment configuration when you run the code again.


    If the role assignment command returns an error "No connection adapters wer found" when using bash shell, try setting export MSYS_NO_PATHCONV=1 to avoid path translation. For more information, see this issue.

  6. Wait a minute or two for the permissions to propagate, then run the code again to verify that it now works. If you see the permissions error again, wait a little longer, then try the code again.

For more information on role assignments, see How to assign role permissions using the Azure CLI.

4b: Use blob storage with a connection string

  1. Create an environment variable named AZURE_STORAGE_CONNECTION_STRING, the value of which is the full connection string for the storage account. (This environment variable is also used by various Azure CLI comments.)

  2. Create a Python file named use_blob_conn_string.py with the following code. The comments explain the steps.

    import os
    import uuid
    # Import the client object from the SDK library
    from azure.storage.blob import BlobClient
    # Retrieve the connection string from an environment variable. Note that a
    # connection string grants all permissions to the caller, making it less
    # secure than obtaining a BlobClient object using credentials.
    conn_string = os.environ["AZURE_STORAGE_CONNECTION_STRING"]
    # Create the client object for the resource identified by the connection
    # string, indicating also the blob container and the name of the specific
    # blob we want.
    blob_client = BlobClient.from_connection_string(
    # Open a local file and upload its contents to Blob Storage
    with open("./sample-source.txt", "rb") as data:
        print(f"Uploaded sample-source.txt to {blob_client.url}")
  3. Run the code:

    python use_blob_conn_string.py

Again, although this method is simple, a connection string authorizes all operations in a storage account. With production code, it's better to use specific permissions as described in the previous section.

5. Verify blob creation

After running the code of either method, go to the Azure portal, navigate into the blob container to verify that a new blob exists named sample-blob-{random}.txt with the same contents as the sample-source.txt file:

Azure portal page for the blob container, showing the uploaded file

If you created an environment variable named AZURE_STORAGE_CONNECTION_STRING, you can also use the Azure CLI to verify that the blob exists using the az storage blob list command:

az storage blob list --container-name blob-container-01

6: Clean up resources

az group delete -n PythonAzureExample-Storage-rg  --no-wait

Run the az group delete command if you don't need to keep the resource group created in this example. Resource groups don't incur any ongoing charges in your subscription, but it's a good practice to clean up any group that you aren't actively using. The --no-wait argument allows the command to return immediately instead of waiting for the operation to finish.

You can also use the ResourceManagementClient.resource_groups.begin_delete method to delete a resource group from code. The code in Example: Create a resource group demonstrates usage.

See also