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Policy as rules#

PSRule for Azure allows you to export your current Azure Policy assignments out as rules to enforce controls during development. This allows you to:

  • Reuse controls — that have already deployed with implementation of guardrails in your environment. For example: Azure Cloud Adoption Framework or regulatory compliance standards.
  • Reduce deployment issues — by identifying Azure Policy controls that could prevent a deployment from succeeding.


This topic covers using policy as rules which allows you to use Azure Policy as rules to test Infrastructure as Code.

Experimental - Learn more

Policy as rules are a work in progress. As always if you find bugs/ errors or if something just doesn't work as your expect it to, please let us know. You can log a bug on GitHub or provide feedback here.


This feature does not support:

  • Resource provider modes — evaluate data plane information exposed at runtime. Policies that target resource provider modes are automatically ignored.
  • Disabled policies — Policy definitions with the effect Disabled are ignored.
  • Unassigned policies — Only policy definitions assigned to a scope are exported.
  • Policies that check for assessment status — Some policies use additional detection tools to check for compliance. Policies that check for assessment status are ignored.
  • Importing rules — Rules generated from policy assignments cannot be imported back into Azure Policy.

Using policy as rules#

Using policy as rules is a two step process:

  1. Export assignment data from Azure.
  2. Convert assignments to rules.

Export assignment data#

Run Export-AzPolicyAssignmentData to export assignments from Azure to an *.assignment.json file.

Key points:

  • Before running this command, connect to an Azure subscription by installing the Az PowerShell module and using Connect-AzAccount.
  • This command has no required parameters, and by default will export all assignments from you current Azure subscription. You can change the current Azure subscription by using Set-AzContext.

Convert assignments to rules#

Run Export-AzPolicyAssignmentRuleData to convert assignments to rules. To run this command an -AssignmentFile parameter with the path to the assignment JSON file generated in the previous step.

After the command completes a new file *.Rule.jsonc should be generated containing generated rules.

Customizing the generated rules#

PSRule for Azure allows you to:

  • Set a name prefix — to help identify generated rules. By default, generated rules and baselines are prefixed with Azure. To change the prefix:
    • Use the -RulePrefix parameter when running Export-AzPolicyAssignmentRuleData. OR
    • Set the AZURE_POLICY_RULE_PREFIX configuration option in ps-rule.yaml.
  • Exclude specific policies — by setting the AZURE_POLICY_IGNORE_LIST configuration option in ps-rule.yaml. This option allows you to prevent specific policies from being exported as rules.

For example:

  - /providers/Microsoft.Authorization/policyDefinitions/1f314764-cb73-4fc9-b863-8eca98ac36e9
  - /providers/Microsoft.Authorization/policyDefinitions/b54ed75b-3e1a-44ac-a333-05ba39b99ff0

Generated baseline#


When exporting policies, PSRule for Azure will automatically generate a baseline including any generated rules. By default, this baseline is called Azure.PolicyBaseline.All. If you change the prefix of generated rules the baseline will be named <Prefix>.PolicyBaseline.All.

See Using baselines for examples on how to use a baseline in a run.

Duplicate policies#


When exporting policies, you may encounter definitions that are duplicates of existing rules shipped with PSRule for Azure. By default, built-in Azure policies that are duplicates of existing rules are ignored. Additionally, PSRule for Azure will automatically switch in existing rules into the generated baseline.


This only applies to built-in Azure policies that are duplicates of existing rules. Custom policies are not effected.

The list of built-in policies that are duplicates can be viewed here. If you believe a policy is missing from this list, please open an issue.

This allows you to:

  • Focus on policies that are unique to your environment and not already covered by PSRule for Azure.
  • Benefit from the additional references and examples provided by PSRule for Azure.
  • Reduce noise reporting the same issue multiple times.

To override this behavior use the -KeepDuplicates parameter switch when running Export-AzPolicyAssignmentRuleData.