Understanding role-based access to your Azure Quantum workspace

Learn about the different security principals and roles you can use to manage access to your Azure Quantum workspace.

Azure role-based access control

Azure role-based access control (Azure RBAC) is the authorization system you use to manage access to Azure resources, such as a workspace. To grant access, you assign roles to a security principal.

Security principal

A security principal is an object that represents a user, group, service principal, or managed identity.

Security principal Definition
User A user account that signs in to Azure to create, manage, and use resources.
Group A group of users. Used to manage users that need the same access and permissions to resources.
Service principal A user identity for an application, service, or platform that needs to access resources.
Managed identity An automatically managed identity in Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) for applications to use when connecting to resources that support Azure AD authentication.


When you grant access to a security principal, you assign a built-in role or create a custom role. The most commonly used built-in roles are Owner, Contributor, and Reader.

Role Access level
Owner Grants full access to manage all resources, including the ability to assign roles in Azure RBAC.
Contributor Grants full access to manage all resources, but doesn't allow you to assign roles in Azure RBAC.
Reader View all resources, but doesn't allow you to make any changes.


Roles are assigned at a particular scope. Scope is the set of resources that the access applies to. Scopes are structured in a parent-child relationship. Each level of hierarchy makes the scope more specific. The level you select determines how widely the role is applied. Lower levels inherit role permissions from higher levels. You can assign roles at four levels of scope: management group, subscription, resource group, or resource.

Diagram showing the four levels of scope.

Scope Description
Management group Helps you manage access, policy, and compliance for multiple subscriptions. All subscriptions in a management group automatically inherit the conditions that are applied to the management group. You may need a management group if your organization has multiple subscriptions.
Subscription Logically associates user accounts with the resources that they create. A user account is a user identity and one or more subscriptions. A subscription represents a grouping of Azure resources. An invoice is generated at the subscription scope. You must have an account with an active subscription to create Azure resources. For subscription options, see Create an Azure Quantum workspace.
Resource group A container that holds related resources for an Azure solution. The resource group includes those resources that you want to manage as a group. For example, the following resources are required to run applications in Azure Quantum:
These resources live in a single resource group.
Resource An instance of a service that you can create, such as a workspace or storage account.


Because access can be scoped to multiple levels in Azure, a user may have different roles at each level. For example, someone with owner access to a workspace may not have owner access to the resource group that contains the workspace.

Role requirements for creating a workspace

When you create a new workspace, you first select a subscription, resource group, and storage account to associate with the workspace. Your ability to create a workspace depends on the levels of access you have, starting at the subscription scope. To view your authorization for various resources, see Check your role assignments.

Subscription Owner

Subscription owners can create workspaces using either the Quick create or Advanced create options. You can either choose a resource group and storage account that already exist under the subscription or create new ones. You also have the ability to assign roles to other users.

Subscription Contributor

Subscription contributors can create workspaces using the Advanced create option.

  • To create a new storage account, you must select an existing resource group that you're an owner of.

  • To select an existing storage account, you must be an owner of the storage account. You must also select the existing resource group that the storage account belongs to.

Subscription contributors can't assign roles to others.

Subscription Reader

Subscription readers can't create workspaces. You can view all resources created under the subscription, but can't make any changes or assign roles.

Check your role assignments

Check your subscriptions

To see a list of your subscriptions and associated roles:

  1. Sign in to the Azure portal.
  2. Under the Azure services heading, select Subscriptions. If you don't see Subscriptions here, use the search box to find it.
  3. The Subscriptions filter beside the search box may default to Subscriptions == global filter. To see a list of all your subscriptions, select the Subscriptions filter and deselect the "Select only subscriptions selected in the..." box. Then select Apply. The filter should then show Subscriptions == all. Screenshot of the Azure portal that shows how to change the subscriptions filter in order to list all of your subscriptions.

Check your resources

To check the role assignment you or another user has for a particular resource, see Check access for a user to Azure resources.

Assign roles

To add new users to a workspace, you must be an owner of the workspace. To grant access to 10 or less users to your workspace, see Share access to your Azure Quantum workspace. To grant access to more than 10 users, see Add a group to your Azure Quantum workspace.

To assign roles for any resource at any scope, including the subscription level, see Assign Azure roles using the Azure portal.


  • When you create a resource in Azure, such as a workspace, you're not directly the owner of the resource. Your role is inherited from the highest scope role that you're authorized against in that subscription.

  • It can sometimes take up to one hour for new role assignments to take effect over cached permissions across the stack.

  • For solutions to common issues, see Troubleshoot Azure Quantum: Creating an Azure Quantum workspace.