Tutorial: Create production ML pipelines with Python SDK v2 in a Jupyter notebook

APPLIES TO: Python SDK azure-ai-ml v2 (current)


For a tutorial that uses SDK v1 to build a pipeline, see Tutorial: Build an Azure Machine Learning pipeline for image classification

In this tutorial, you'll use Azure Machine Learning (Azure ML) to create a production ready machine learning (ML) project, using AzureML Python SDK v2.

You'll learn how to use the AzureML Python SDK v2 to:

  • Connect to your Azure ML workspace
  • Create Azure ML data assets
  • Create reusable Azure ML components
  • Create, validate and run Azure ML pipelines
  • Deploy the newly-trained model as an endpoint
  • Call the Azure ML endpoint for inferencing


Open the notebook

  1. Open the tutorials folder that was cloned into your Files section from the Quickstart: Run Jupyter notebooks in studio.

  2. Select the e2e-ml-workflow.ipynb file from your tutorials/azureml-examples/tutorials/e2e-ds-experience/ folder.

    Screenshot shows the open tutorials folder.

  3. On the top bar, select the compute instance you created during the Quickstart: Get started with Azure Machine Learning to use for running the notebook.


The rest of this article contains the same content as you see in the notebook.

Switch to the Jupyter Notebook now if you want to run the code while you read along. To run a single code cell in a notebook, click the code cell and hit Shift+Enter. Or, run the entire notebook by choosing Run all from the top toolbar


In this tutorial, you'll create an Azure ML pipeline to train a model for credit default prediction. The pipeline handles the data preparation, training and registering the trained model. You'll then run the pipeline, deploy the model and use it.

The image below shows the pipeline as you'll see it in the AzureML portal once submitted. It's a rather simple pipeline we'll use to walk you through the AzureML SDK v2.

The two steps are first data preparation and second training.

Diagram shows overview of the pipeline.

Set up the pipeline resources

The Azure ML framework can be used from CLI, Python SDK, or studio interface. In this example, you'll use the AzureML Python SDK v2 to create a pipeline.

Before creating the pipeline, you'll set up the resources the pipeline will use:

  • The data asset for training
  • The software environment to run the pipeline
  • A compute resource to where the job will run

Connect to the workspace

Before we dive in the code, you'll need to connect to your Azure ML workspace. The workspace is the top-level resource for Azure Machine Learning, providing a centralized place to work with all the artifacts you create when you use Azure Machine Learning.

# Handle to the workspace
from azure.ai.ml import MLClient

# Authentication package
from azure.identity import DefaultAzureCredential, InteractiveBrowserCredential

    credential = DefaultAzureCredential()
    # Check if given credential can get token successfully.
except Exception as ex:
    # Fall back to InteractiveBrowserCredential in case DefaultAzureCredential not work
    credential = InteractiveBrowserCredential()

In the next cell, enter your Subscription ID, Resource Group name and Workspace name. To find your Subscription ID:

  1. In the upper right Azure Machine Learning studio toolbar, select your workspace name.
  2. You'll see the values you need for <SUBSCRIPTION_ID>, <RESOURCE_GROUP>, and <AML_WORKSPACE_NAME>.
  3. Copy a value, then close the window and paste that into your code. Open the tool again to get the next value.

Screenshot shows how to find values needed for your code.

# Get a handle to the workspace
ml_client = MLClient(

The result is a handler to the workspace that you'll use to manage other resources and jobs.


Creating MLClient will not connect to the workspace. The client initialization is lazy, it will wait for the first time it needs to make a call (in the notebook below, that will happen during dataset registration).

Register data from an external url

The data you use for training is usually in one of the locations below:

  • Local machine
  • Web
  • Big Data Storage services (for example, Azure Blob, Azure Data Lake Storage, SQL)

Azure ML uses a Data object to register a reusable definition of data, and consume data within a pipeline. In the section below, you'll consume some data from web url as one example. Data from other sources can be created as well. Data assets from other sources can be created as well.

from azure.ai.ml.entities import Data
from azure.ai.ml.constants import AssetTypes

web_path = "https://archive.ics.uci.edu/ml/machine-learning-databases/00350/default%20of%20credit%20card%20clients.xls"

credit_data = Data(
    description="Dataset for credit card defaults",
    tags={"source_type": "web", "source": "UCI ML Repo"},

This code just created a Data asset, ready to be consumed as an input by the pipeline that you'll define in the next sections. In addition, you can register the data to your workspace so it becomes reusable across pipelines.

Registering the data asset will enable you to:

  • Reuse and share the data asset in future pipelines
  • Use versions to track the modification to the data asset
  • Use the data asset from Azure ML designer, which is Azure ML's GUI for pipeline authoring

Since this is the first time that you're making a call to the workspace, you may be asked to authenticate. Once the authentication is complete, you'll then see the dataset registration completion message.

credit_data = ml_client.data.create_or_update(credit_data)
    f"Dataset with name {credit_data.name} was registered to workspace, the dataset version is {credit_data.version}"

In the future, you can fetch the same dataset from the workspace using credit_dataset = ml_client.data.get("<DATA ASSET NAME>", version='<VERSION>').

Create a compute resource to run your pipeline

Each step of an Azure ML pipeline can use a different compute resource for running the specific job of that step. It can be single or multi-node machines with Linux or Windows OS, or a specific compute fabric like Spark.

In this section, you'll provision a Linux compute cluster. See the full list on VM sizes and prices .

For this tutorial you only need a basic cluster, so we'll use a Standard_DS3_v2 model with 2 vCPU cores, 7 GB RAM and create an Azure ML Compute.


If you already have a compute cluster, replace "cpu-cluster" in the code below with the name of your cluster. This will keep you from creating another one.

from azure.ai.ml.entities import AmlCompute

cpu_compute_target = "cpu-cluster"

    # let's see if the compute target already exists
    cpu_cluster = ml_client.compute.get(cpu_compute_target)
        f"You already have a cluster named {cpu_compute_target}, we'll reuse it as is."

except Exception:
    print("Creating a new cpu compute target...")

    # Let's create the Azure ML compute object with the intended parameters
    cpu_cluster = AmlCompute(
        # Name assigned to the compute cluster
        # Azure ML Compute is the on-demand VM service
        # VM Family
        # Minimum running nodes when there is no job running
        # Nodes in cluster
        # How many seconds will the node running after the job termination
        # Dedicated or LowPriority. The latter is cheaper but there is a chance of job termination

    # Now, we pass the object to MLClient's create_or_update method
    cpu_cluster = ml_client.begin_create_or_update(cpu_cluster)

    f"AMLCompute with name {cpu_cluster.name} is created, the compute size is {cpu_cluster.size}"

Create a job environment for pipeline steps

So far, you've created a development environment on the compute instance, your development machine. You'll also need an environment to use for each step of the pipeline. Each step can have its own environment, or you can use some common environments for multiple steps.

In this example, you'll create a conda environment for your jobs, using a conda yaml file. First, create a directory to store the file in.

import os

dependencies_dir = "./dependencies"
os.makedirs(dependencies_dir, exist_ok=True)

Now, create the file in the dependencies directory.

%%writefile {dependencies_dir}/conda.yml
name: model-env
  - conda-forge
  - python=3.8
  - numpy=1.21.2
  - pip=21.2.4
  - scikit-learn=0.24.2
  - scipy=1.7.1
  - pandas>=1.1,<1.2
  - pip:
    - inference-schema[numpy-support]==1.3.0
    - xlrd==2.0.1
    - mlflow== 1.26.1
    - azureml-mlflow==1.42.0

The specification contains some usual packages, that you'll use in your pipeline (numpy, pip), together with some Azure ML specific packages (azureml-defaults, azureml-mlflow).

The Azure ML packages aren't mandatory to run Azure ML jobs. However, adding these packages will let you interact with Azure ML for logging metrics and registering models, all inside the Azure ML job. You'll use them in the training script later in this tutorial.

Use the yaml file to create and register this custom environment in your workspace:

from azure.ai.ml.entities import Environment

custom_env_name = "aml-scikit-learn"

pipeline_job_env = Environment(
    description="Custom environment for Credit Card Defaults pipeline",
    tags={"scikit-learn": "0.24.2"},
    conda_file=os.path.join(dependencies_dir, "conda.yml"),
pipeline_job_env = ml_client.environments.create_or_update(pipeline_job_env)

    f"Environment with name {pipeline_job_env.name} is registered to workspace, the environment version is {pipeline_job_env.version}"

Build the training pipeline

Now that you have all assets required to run your pipeline, it's time to build the pipeline itself, using the Azure ML Python SDK v2.

Azure ML pipelines are reusable ML workflows that usually consist of several components. The typical life of a component is:

  • Write the yaml specification of the component, or create it programmatically using ComponentMethod.
  • Optionally, register the component with a name and version in your workspace, to make it reusable and shareable.
  • Load that component from the pipeline code.
  • Implement the pipeline using the component's inputs, outputs and parameters
  • Submit the pipeline.

Create component 1: data prep (using programmatic definition)

Let's start by creating the first component. This component handles the preprocessing of the data. The preprocessing task is performed in the data_prep.py python file.

First create a source folder for the data_prep component:

import os

data_prep_src_dir = "./components/data_prep"
os.makedirs(data_prep_src_dir, exist_ok=True)

This script performs the simple task of splitting the data into train and test datasets. Azure ML mounts datasets as folders to the computes, therefore, we created an auxiliary select_first_file function to access the data file inside the mounted input folder.

MLFlow will be used to log the parameters and metrics during our pipeline run.

%%writefile {data_prep_src_dir}/data_prep.py
import os
import argparse
import pandas as pd
from sklearn.model_selection import train_test_split
import logging
import mlflow

def main():
    """Main function of the script."""

    # input and output arguments
    parser = argparse.ArgumentParser()
    parser.add_argument("--data", type=str, help="path to input data")
    parser.add_argument("--test_train_ratio", type=float, required=False, default=0.25)
    parser.add_argument("--train_data", type=str, help="path to train data")
    parser.add_argument("--test_data", type=str, help="path to test data")
    args = parser.parse_args()

    # Start Logging

    print(" ".join(f"{k}={v}" for k, v in vars(args).items()))

    print("input data:", args.data)

    credit_df = pd.read_excel(args.data, header=1, index_col=0)

    mlflow.log_metric("num_samples", credit_df.shape[0])
    mlflow.log_metric("num_features", credit_df.shape[1] - 1)

    credit_train_df, credit_test_df = train_test_split(

    # output paths are mounted as folder, therefore, we are adding a filename to the path
    credit_train_df.to_csv(os.path.join(args.train_data, "data.csv"), index=False)

    credit_test_df.to_csv(os.path.join(args.test_data, "data.csv"), index=False)

    # Stop Logging

if __name__ == "__main__":

Now that you have a script that can perform the desired task, create an Azure ML Component from it.

You'll use the general purpose CommandComponent that can run command line actions. This command line action can directly call system commands or run a script. The inputs/outputs are specified on the command line via the ${{ ... }} notation.

from azure.ai.ml import command
from azure.ai.ml import Input, Output

data_prep_component = command(
    display_name="Data preparation for training",
    description="reads a .xl input, split the input to train and test",
        "data": Input(type="uri_folder"),
        "test_train_ratio": Input(type="number"),
        train_data=Output(type="uri_folder", mode="rw_mount"),
        test_data=Output(type="uri_folder", mode="rw_mount"),
    # The source folder of the component
    command="""python data_prep.py \
            --data ${{inputs.data}} --test_train_ratio ${{inputs.test_train_ratio}} \
            --train_data ${{outputs.train_data}} --test_data ${{outputs.test_data}} \

Optionally, register the component in the workspace for future re-use.

Create component 2: training (using yaml definition)

The second component that you'll create will consume the training and test data, train a tree based model and return the output model. You'll use Azure ML logging capabilities to record and visualize the learning progress.

You used the CommandComponent class to create your first component. This time you'll use the yaml definition to define the second component. Each method has its own advantages. A yaml definition can actually be checked-in along the code, and would provide a readable history tracking. The programmatic method using CommandComponent can be easier with built-in class documentation and code completion.

Create the directory for this component:

import os

train_src_dir = "./components/train"
os.makedirs(train_src_dir, exist_ok=True)

As you can see in this training script, once the model is trained, the model file is saved and registered to the workspace. Now you can use the registered model in inferencing endpoints.

For the environment of this step, you'll use one of the built-in (curated) Azure ML environments. The tag azureml, tells the system to use look for the name in curated environments.

First, create the yaml file describing the component:

%%writefile {train_src_dir}/train.yml
# <component>
name: train_credit_defaults_model
display_name: Train Credit Defaults Model
# version: 1 # Not specifying a version will automatically update the version
type: command
    type: uri_folder
    type: uri_folder
    type: number     
    type: string
    type: uri_folder
code: .
  # for this step, we'll use an AzureML curate environment
command: >-
  python train.py 
  --train_data ${{inputs.train_data}} 
  --test_data ${{inputs.test_data}} 
  --learning_rate ${{inputs.learning_rate}}
  --registered_model_name ${{inputs.registered_model_name}} 
  --model ${{outputs.model}}
# </component>

Now create and register the component:

# importing the Component Package
from azure.ai.ml import load_component

# Loading the component from the yml file
train_component = load_component(source=os.path.join(train_src_dir, "train.yml"))
# Now we register the component to the workspace
train_component = ml_client.create_or_update(train_component)

# Create (register) the component in your workspace
    f"Component {train_component.name} with Version {train_component.version} is registered"

Create the pipeline from components

Now that both your components are defined and registered, you can start implementing the pipeline.

Here, you'll use input data, split ratio and registered model name as input variables. Then call the components and connect them via their inputs/outputs identifiers. The outputs of each step can be accessed via the .outputs property.

The python functions returned by load_component() work as any regular python function that we'll use within a pipeline to call each step.

To code the pipeline, you use a specific @dsl.pipeline decorator that identifies the Azure ML pipelines. In the decorator, we can specify the pipeline description and default resources like compute and storage. Like a python function, pipelines can have inputs. You can then create multiple instances of a single pipeline with different inputs.

Here, we used input data, split ratio and registered model name as input variables. We then call the components and connect them via their inputs/outputs identifiers. The outputs of each step can be accessed via the .outputs property.

# the dsl decorator tells the sdk that we are defining an Azure ML pipeline
from azure.ai.ml import dsl, Input, Output

    description="E2E data_perp-train pipeline",
def credit_defaults_pipeline(
    # using data_prep_function like a python call with its own inputs
    data_prep_job = data_prep_component(

    # using train_func like a python call with its own inputs
    train_job = train_component(
        train_data=data_prep_job.outputs.train_data,  # note: using outputs from previous step
        test_data=data_prep_job.outputs.test_data,  # note: using outputs from previous step
        learning_rate=pipeline_job_learning_rate,  # note: using a pipeline input as parameter

    # a pipeline returns a dictionary of outputs
    # keys will code for the pipeline output identifier
    return {
        "pipeline_job_train_data": data_prep_job.outputs.train_data,
        "pipeline_job_test_data": data_prep_job.outputs.test_data,

Now use your pipeline definition to instantiate a pipeline with your dataset, split rate of choice and the name you picked for your model.

registered_model_name = "credit_defaults_model"

# Let's instantiate the pipeline with the parameters of our choice
pipeline = credit_defaults_pipeline(
    pipeline_job_data_input=Input(type="uri_file", path=credit_data.path),

Submit the job

It's now time to submit the job to run in Azure ML. This time you'll use create_or_update on ml_client.jobs.

Here you'll also pass an experiment name. An experiment is a container for all the iterations one does on a certain project. All the jobs submitted under the same experiment name would be listed next to each other in Azure ML studio.

Once completed, the pipeline will register a model in your workspace as a result of training.

import webbrowser

# submit the pipeline job
pipeline_job = ml_client.jobs.create_or_update(
    # Project's name
# open the pipeline in web browser

An output of "False" is expected from the above cell. You can track the progress of your pipeline, by using the link generated in the cell above.

When you select on each component, you'll see more information about the results of that component. There are two important parts to look for at this stage:

  • Outputs+logs > user_logs > std_log.txt This section shows the script run sdtout.

    Screenshot of std_log.txt.

  • Outputs+logs > Metric This section shows different logged metrics. In this example. mlflow autologging, has automatically logged the training metrics.

    Screenshot shows logged metrics.txt.

Deploy the model as an online endpoint

Now deploy your machine learning model as a web service in the Azure cloud, an online endpoint. To deploy a machine learning service, you usually need:

  • The model assets (filed, metadata) that you want to deploy. You've already registered these assets in your training component.
  • Some code to run as a service. The code executes the model on a given input request. This entry script receives data submitted to a deployed web service and passes it to the model, then returns the model's response to the client. The script is specific to your model. The entry script must understand the data that the model expects and returns. When using a MLFlow model, as in this tutorial, this script is automatically created for you

Create a new online endpoint

Now that you have a registered model and an inference script, it's time to create your online endpoint. The endpoint name needs to be unique in the entire Azure region. For this tutorial, you'll create a unique name using UUID.

import uuid

# Creating a unique name for the endpoint
online_endpoint_name = "credit-endpoint-" + str(uuid.uuid4())[:8]
from azure.ai.ml.entities import (

# create an online endpoint
endpoint = ManagedOnlineEndpoint(
    description="this is an online endpoint",
        "training_dataset": "credit_defaults",
        "model_type": "sklearn.GradientBoostingClassifier",

endpoint_result = ml_client.begin_create_or_update(endpoint).result()

    f"Endpint {endpoint_result.name} provisioning state: {endpoint_result.provisioning_state}"

Once you've created an endpoint, you can retrieve it as below:

endpoint = ml_client.online_endpoints.get(name=online_endpoint_name)

    f'Endpint "{endpoint.name}" with provisioning state "{endpoint.provisioning_state}" is retrieved'

Deploy the model to the endpoint

Once the endpoint is created, deploy the model with the entry script. Each endpoint can have multiple deployments and direct traffic to these deployments can be specified using rules. Here you'll create a single deployment that handles 100% of the incoming traffic. We have chosen a color name for the deployment, for example, blue, green, red deployments, which is arbitrary.

You can check the Models page on the Azure ML studio, to identify the latest version of your registered model. Alternatively, the code below will retrieve the latest version number for you to use.

# Let's pick the latest version of the model
latest_model_version = max(
    [int(m.version) for m in ml_client.models.list(name=registered_model_name)]

Deploy the latest version of the model.


Expect this deployment to take approximately 6 to 8 minutes.

# picking the model to deploy. Here we use the latest version of our registered model
model = ml_client.models.get(name=registered_model_name, version=latest_model_version)

# create an online deployment.
blue_deployment = ManagedOnlineDeployment(

blue_deployment_results = ml_client.online_deployments.begin_create_or_update(

    f"Deployment {blue_deployment_results.name} provisioning state: {blue_deployment_results.provisioning_state}"

Test with a sample query

Now that the model is deployed to the endpoint, you can run inference with it.

Create a sample request file following the design expected in the run method in the score script.

deploy_dir = "./deploy"
os.makedirs(deploy_dir, exist_ok=True)
%%writefile {deploy_dir}/sample-request.json
  "input_data": {
    "columns": [0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22],
    "index": [0, 1],
    "data": [
            [10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 10, 9, 8]
# test the blue deployment with some sample data

Clean up resources

If you're not going to use the endpoint, delete it to stop using the resource. Make sure no other deployments are using an endpoint before you delete it.


Expect this step to take approximately 6 to 8 minutes.


Next steps

Learn more about Azure ML logging.