Different Azure PowerShell modules for managing single resources or groups

While creating the PowerShell scripts for automatic deployment of the project’s Azure environment I discovered there are multiple Azure PowerShell modules.

When you want to manage a single resource, such as storage accounts, websites, databases, virtual machines, and media services, you need the (default) Azure module. However, when you need to manage resource groups, you will need the AzureResourceManager module.

This is useful information if you want to deploy new Azure websites with a specific hosting plan, like Basic or Standard. To create such websites the command Get-AzureResourceGroup is necessary. If you use PowerShell ISE you will notice this command isn’t available. In order to make this command available, run the following:

Switch-AzureMode AzureResourceManager

Doing so will activate the AzureResourceManager module and you will have a couple of different commands available.

If you want to see which commands are available within this module, run this command:

Get-Command -Module AzureResourceManager | Get-Help | Format-Table Name, Synopsis

Switching back to the ‘normal’ Azure module is also very easy. You just need to switch back to the different AzureMode again.

Switch-AzureMode -Name AzureServiceManagement

After switching back, all your normal commands are back again.

Keep in mind, if you need both modules, you need to switch between the AzureModes in your script also!


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