Monday, September 14, 2020

Credentials renew for "automated" ARM connection in Azure DevOps

When you setup Azure Resource Manager connection in Azure DevOps using "Service principal (automatic)" authentication, Azure DevOps will create new service principal (app registration) in Azure Active Directory and grant this principal desired access to Azure resources. Have a look at the documentation here.

When the system setups the service principal in Azure AD, it will generate a client secret with 2 year expiration. Azure DevOps will store it in service connection (without exposing to the end-user) and will use it for Service Principal Authentication. This is where "automatic" part ends currently as Azure DevOps doesn't rollover client server after two years.

If you are not aware of this 2 years expiration period for the client secret, you will find yourself (like I found myself) in the situation where your Azure related tasks will start to fail with ExpiredServicePrincipal errors. The fix is obvious - go to Azure AD and create new client secret. It is not obvious thou how to configure service connection in Azure DevOps as there is no UI to provide new client secret (as it is "automatic" connection):

After some experimentation, I found that you just have to click "Save" button (see the picture above) to force Azure DevOps to create new client secret in Azure AD and update its service connection configuration. After this, do not forget to add a reminder to your calendar to repeat this process a week before the next 2 years expiration.

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