Go groups related types in a package. In Go, the package should be named <prefix><service>, where <prefix> is either arm or az, and where <service> is the service name represented as a single word.

DO start the package with arm or az to indicate an Azure client package. Use arm for management-plane packages, and az for all other packages.

DO construct the package name with all lowercase letters (uppercase letters, hyphens and underscores are not allowed). For example, the Azure compute management package would be named armcompute and the Azure blob storage package would be named azblob.

DO register the chosen package name with the Architecture Board. Open an issue to request the package name. See the registered package list for a list of the currently registered packages.

Directory Structure

DO construct a package import path that allows the consumer to tie its packages to the service being used. The package path does NOT change when the branding of the product changes. Avoid the use of marketing names that may change.

DO ensure that the package leaf directory name matches the package name declared in the source code.

DO ensure that each service API version is in its own directory, IFF that service supports multiple API versions.

DO place the management (Azure Resource Manager) API in the arm path. Use the grouping ./sdk/arm/<group>/<api-version>/arm<service> for the package path. Since more services require management APIs than data plane APIs, other paths may be used explicitly for management only. Data plane usage is by exception only. Additional paths that can be used for control plane SDKs include:

Namespace Group Functional Area
appmodel Application models, such as Functions or App Frameworks
compute Virtual machines, containers, and other compute services
integration Integration services (such as Logic Apps)
management Management services (such as Cost Analytics)
networking Services such as VPN, WAN, and Networking

Many management APIs do not have a data plane because they deal with management of the Azure account. Place the management package in the arm path. For example, use sdk/arm/costanalysis/... instead of sdk/arm/management/costanalysis.

Here is a complete example.

Data-plane packages:


Management-plane packages:



DO release each package as a Go module. Legacy dependency management tools such as dep and glide are not supported.

DO release versions of modules in accordance with semver 2.0.

DO clearly version prerelease modules. For new modules, use a v0 major version with no suffix (v0.1.0). For existing modules, use a -beta suffix (v1.1.0-beta, v2.0.0-beta).


Packages should strive to avoid taking dependencies on packages outside of the standard library for the following reasons:

  • Versioning - Exposing types defined outside the standard library (i.e. exchange types) can indroduce versioning complexity. If we have an client package that exposes types from a v3 of package Foo and the consumer wants to use v5 of package Foo, then the consumer cannot use the v5 types to satisfy the v3 requirement.
  • Size - Consumer applications must be able to deploy as fast as possible into the cloud and move in various ways across networks. Removing additional code (like dependencies) improves deployment performance.
  • Licensing - You must be conscious of the licensing restrictions of a dependency and often provide proper attribution and notices when using them.
  • Compatibility - Often times you do not control a dependency and it may choose to evolve in a direction that is incompatible with your original use.
  • Security - If a security vulnerability is discovered in a dependency, it may be difficult or time consuming to get the vulnerability corrected if Microsoft does not control the dependency’s code base.

DO limit exchange types to those provided by the standard library (NO EXCEPTIONS).

DO depend on the azcore package for functionality that is common across all client packages. This package includes APIs for HTTP connectivity, global configuration, logging, and credential handling, and more.

DO depend on the sdk/internal package for functionality that is common across all client packages that should not be publicly exported. This package includes helpers for creating errors with stack frame information, and more.

⛔️ DO NOT be dependent on any other packages within the client package distribution package, with the exception of the following:

Library Version Usage
library version Does something useful

Service-Specific Common Packages

There are occasions when common code needs to be shared between several client packages. For example, a set of cooperating client packages may wish to share a set of exceptions or models.

DO gain Architecture Board approval prior to implementing a common package.

DO minimize the code within a common package. Code within the common package is treated the same as any other client package.

DO store the common package in the same directory as the associated client packages.

A common package will only be approved if:

  • The consumer of the non-shared package will consume the objects within the common package directly, AND
  • The information will be shared between multiple client package.

Let’s take two examples:

  1. Implementing two Cognitive Services client packages, we find a model is required that is produced by one Cognitive Services client package and consumed by another Coginitive Services client package, or the same model is produced by two client packages. The consumer is required to do the passing of the model in their code, or may need to compare the model produced by one client package vs. that produced by another client package. This is a good candidate for choosing a common package.

  2. Two Cognitive Services client packages return a BoundingBox model to indicate where an object was detected in an image. There is no linkage between the BoundingBox model in each client package, and it is not passed into another client package. This is not a good candidate for creation of a common package (although you may wish to place this model in a common package if one exists for the namespace already). Instead, produce two different models - one in each client package.

Service Clients

Your API surface consists of one or more service clients that the consumer instantiates to connect to your service, plus a set of supporting types.

DO name service client types with the Client suffix.

type WidgetClient struct {
	// all fields MUST NOT be exported

DO ensure that all service client types are safe for concurrent use by multiple goroutines. Ideally, all client state is immutable which will satisfy this guideline.

⛔️ DO NOT export any fields on client types. This is to support mocking of clients via interface types.

Service Client Constructors

DO provide two constructors in the following format that return a new instance of a service client type.

// NewWidgetClient creates a new instance of WidgetClient with the specified values.  It uses the default pipeline configuration.
// endpoint - The URI of the Widget.
// cred - The credential used to authenticate with the Widget service.
// options - Optional WidgetClient values.  Pass nil to accept default values.
func NewWidgetClient(endpoint string, cred azcore.Credential, options *WidgetClientOptions) (*WidgetClient, error) {
	// ...

// NewWidgetClientWithPipeline creates a new instance of WidgetClient with the specified values and custom pipeline.
// endpoint - The URI of the Widget.
// p - The pipeline used to process HTTP requests and responses for this WidgetClient.
func NewWidgetClientWithPipeline(endpoint string, p azcore.Pipeline) (*WidgetClient, error) {
	// ...

DO provide a default constructor in the following format for services with a default endpoint (management plane is the most common example).

// NewDefaultClient creates a new instance of WidgetClient with the specified values.  It uses the default endpoint and pipeline configuration.
// cred - The credential used to authenticate with the Widget service.
// options - Optional WidgetClient values.  Pass nil to accept default values.
func NewDefaultClient(cred azcore.Credential, options *WidgetClientOptions) (*WidgetClient, error) {


DO document all constructor parameters as part of the method block comment.

Authentication and Credentials

Azure services use different kinds of authentication schemes to allow clients to access the service. Conceptually, there are two entities responsible in this process: a credential and an authentication policy. Credentials provide confidential authentication data. Authentication policies use the data provided by a credential to modify an HTTP request before it is sent to the service.

DO support all authentication techniques that the service supports.

DO use credential and authentication policy implementations from the azcore or azidentity package where available.

DO provide credential types that can be used to fetch all data needed to authenticate a request to the service. If using a service-specific credential type, the implementation must be safe for concurrent use by multiple goroutines.

⛔️ DO NOT support constructing a service client with a connection string unless such connection string is available within tooling (e.g. Azure portal, for copy/paste operations). A connection string is a combination of an endpoint, credential data, and other options used to simplify service client configuration. Connection strings are easily integrated into an application by copy/paste from the portal. However, credentials within a connection string can’t be rotated within a running process. Their use should be discouraged in production apps. If the client library supports connection strings, the constructor should look like this:

// NewWidgetClientFromConnectionString creates a new instance of WidgetClient with the specified values.  It uses the default pipeline configuration.
func NewWidgetClientFromConnectionString(ctx context.Context, con string, options *WidgetClientOptions) (*WidgetClient, error) {
	// ...

When implementing authentication, don’t open up the consumer to security holes like PII (personally identifiable information) leakage or credential leakage. Credentials are generally issued with a time limit, and must be refreshed periodically to ensure that the service connection continues to function as expected. Ensure your client library follows all current security recommendations and consider an independent security review of the client library to ensure you’re not introducing potential security problems for the consumer.

⛔️ DO NOT persist, cache, or reuse security credentials. Security credentials should be considered short lived to cover both security concerns and credential refresh situations.

DO provide a suitable authentication policy if your service implements a non-standard authentication system (that is, an authentication system that is not supported by Azure Core). You also need to produce an authentication policy for the HTTP pipeline that can add credentials to requests given the alternative authentication mechanism provided by the service. Custom credentials will need to implement the azcore.Credentials interface.

Service Methods

DO prefer the use of the following terms for CRUD operations:

Verb Parameters Comments
Set<noun> key,item Adds new item or updates existing item.
Add<noun> key,item Adds a new item. Fails if item already exists.
Update<noun> key,item Updates an existing item. Fails if item doesn’t exist.
Delete<noun> key Deletes an existing item. Doesn’t fail if item doesn’t exist.
Get<noun> key Will retun an error if item doesn’t exist.
List<noun>   Returns list of items. Returns empty list if no items exist.
<noun>Exists key Returns true if the item exists.

☑️ YOU SHOULD remain flexible and use names best suited for developer experience. Don’t conflict with terminology used by the service team’s documentation, blogs, and presentations.

⛔️ DO NOT provide multiple methods for a single REST endpoint.

Service Method Parameters

DO ensure that all methods on client types pass their receiver by reference.

DO accept a context.Context object as the first parameter to every method that performs any I/O operations.

DO have every I/O method accept all required parameters after the mandatory context.Context object.

DO define a <MethodNameOptions> structure for every method with optional parameters. This structure includes fields for all non-mandatory parameters. The structure can have fields added to it over time to simplify versioning. To disambiguate names, use the client type name for a prefix.

DO allow the user to pass a pointer to the structure as the last parameter. If the user passes nil, then the method should assume appropriate default values for all the structure’s fields. Note that nil and a zero-initialized <MethodNameOptions> structure are NOT required to be semantically equivalent.

DO document all parameters as part of the method block comment.

// GetWidget retrieves the specified Widget.
// ctx - The context used to control the lifetime of the request.
// name - The name of the Widget to retrieve.
func (c *WidgetClient) GetWidget(ctx context.Context, name string) (*WidgetResponse, error) {
	// ...

Parameter Validation

The service client will have several methods that perform requests on the service. Service parameters are directly passed across the wire to an Azure service. Client parameters are not passed directly to the service, but used within the client library to fulfill the request. Examples of client parameters include values that are used to construct a URI, or a file that needs to be uploaded to storage.

DO validate client parameters.

⛔️ DO NOT validate service parameters. This includes null checks, empty strings, and other common validating conditions. Let the service validate any request parameters.

DO validate the developer experience when the service parameters are invalid to ensure appropriate error messages are generated by the service. If the developer experience is compromised due to service-side error messages, work with the service team to correct prior to release.

Service Method Return Types

Requests to the service fall into two basic groups: methods that make a single logical request, and methods that make a deterministic sequence of requests. An example of a single logical request is a request that may be retried inside the operation. An example of a deterministic sequence of requests is a paged operation.

The response envelope is a protocol neutral representation of a response. The response envelope may combine data from headers, body, and the HTTP response. For example, you may expose an ETag header as a property on the response envelope. <Resource>Response is the ‘response envelope’. It contains HTTP headers, the object (a deserialized object created from the response body), and the raw HTTP response.

DO return the response envelope for the normal form of a service method. The response envelope MUST represent the information needed in the 99%+ case.

// WidgetResponse is the response envelope for operations that return a Widget type.
type WidgetResponse struct {
	// ETag contains the value from the ETag header.
	ETag *string

	// LastModified contains the value from the last-modified header.
	LastModified *time.Time

	// Widget contains the unmarshalled response body in Widget format.
	Widget *Widget

	// RawResponse contains the underlying HTTP response.
	RawResponse *http.Response

type Widget struct {
	Name string
	Color WidgetColor

func (c *WidgetClient) GetWidget(ctx context.Context, name string) (*WidgetResponse, error) {
	// ...

DO provide examples on how to access the streamed response for a request, where exposed by the client library. We don’t expect all methods to expose a streamed response.

func (c *WidgetClient) GetBinaryResponse(ctx context.Context, name string) (*http.Response, error) {
	// ...

// callers read from the io.ReadCloser Body field on the HTTP response.

DO provide an idiomatic way to enumerate all logical entities for a paged operation, automatically fetching new pages as needed. For more information on what to return for List operations, refer to Pagination.

For methods that combine multiple requests into a single call:

⛔️ DO NOT return headers and other per-request metadata unless it’s obvious as to which specific HTTP request the method’s return value corresponds to.

DO provide enough information in failure cases for an application to take appropriate corrective action.

Model structures are types that consumers use to provide required information into client library methods. They can also be returned from client methods. These structures typically represent the domain model, or option structures that must be configured before the request can be made.

DO export all fields on model types to allow for mocking.

DO document all read-only fields and exclude their values when marshalling the structure to be sent over the wire.

Pagination Methods

DO return a value that implements the Pager interface for operations that return pages. The Pager interface allows consumers to iterate over all pages as defined by the service.

DO create Pager interface types with the name <Resource>Pager that are to be returned from their respective operations.

DO expose methods NextPage(), Page(), and Err() on the <Resource>Pager type.

type WidgetPager interface {
	// NextPage returns true if the pager advanced to the next page.
	// Returns false if there are no more pages or an error occurred.
	NextPage(context.Context) bool

	// Page returns the current WidgetsPage.
	PageResponse() *ListWidgetsResponse

	// Err returns the last error encountered while paging.
	Err() error

type ListWidgetsResponse struct {
	RawResponse *http.Response
	Widgets *[]Widget

DO use the prefix List in the method name for methods that return a Pager. The List method creates the Pager but does NOT perform an IO operation.

func (c *WidgetClient) ListWidgets(options *ListWidgetOptions) *WidgetPager {
	// ...

pager := client.ListWidgets(options)
for pager.NextPage(ctx) {
	for _, w := range pager.PageResponse().Widgets {
if pager.Err() != nil {
	// handle error...

DO provide means to serialize and deserialize a Pager so that paging can pause and continue, potentially on another machine.

Long Running Operations

DO return a value that implements the Poller interface for long-running operation methods. The Poller interface encapsulates the polling and status of the long-running operation.

DO create Poller interface types with the name <Resource>Poller that are to be returned from their respective operations.

DO provide the following methods on a <Resource>Poller type: Done(), ResumeToken(), Poll(), and FinalResponse().

type WidgetPoller interface {
	// Done returns true if the LRO has completed.
	Done() bool

	// ResumeToken returns a value representing the poller that can be used to
	// resume the LRO. ResumeTokens are unique for the operation.
	ResumeToken() string

	// Poll fetches the latest state of the LRO.
	// If Poll fails, the WidgetPoller is unmodified and the error is returned.
	// If Poll succeeds and the operation has completed with failure, the WidgetPoller
	// is updated and the error is returned.
	// If Poll succeeds and the operation has completed successfully, the WidgetPoller
	// is updated and the Widget is returned.
	// If Poll succeeds and the operation has not completed, the WidgetPoller is
	// updated and returns the latest HTTP response.
	Poll(context.Context) (*http.Response, error)

	// FinalResponse performs a final GET to the service and returns the final response
	// for the polling operation. If there is an error performing the final GET then an error is returned.
	// If the final GET succeeded then the final WidgetResponse will be returned.
	FinalResponse(context.Context) (*WidgetResponse, error)

DO accept a pollingInterval argument in the PollUntilDone() method to be used in the absence of relevant retry-after headers from the service.

DO prefix methods which return a <Resource>Poller with Begin.

// WidgetPollerResponse is the response envelope for operations that asynchronously return a Widget type.
type WidgetPollerResponse struct {
	// PollUntilDone will poll the service endpoint until a terminal state is reached or an error is received.
	PollUntilDone func(context.Context, time.Duration) (*WidgetResponse, error)

	// Poller contains an initialized WidgetPoller.
	Poller WidgetPoller

	// RawResponse contains the underlying HTTP response.
	RawResponse *http.Response

// BeginCreate creates a new widget with the specified name.
func (c *WidgetClient) BeginCreate(ctx context.Context, name string, options *BeginCreateOptions) (*WidgetPollerResponse, error) {
	// ...

DO provide a method with the prefix Resume to instantiate a <Resource>Poller type with the ResumeToken from a previous call to Poller.ResumeToken().

// ResumeWidgetPoller creates a new WidgetPoller from the specified ResumtToken.
// resumeToken - The value must come from a previous call to WidgetPoller.ResumeToken().
func (c *WidgetClient) ResumeWidgetPoller(resumeToken string) WidgetPoller {
	// ...

⛔️ DO NOT cancel the LRO when cancellation is requested via a context. The context is cancelling the polling operation and should not have any effect on the service.

DO follow the operation pattern for all LROs.

// example #1, blocking call to PollUntilDone()
resp, err := client.BeginCreate(context.Background(), "blue_widget", nil)
if err != nil {
	// handle error...
w, err = resp.PollUntilDone(context.Background(), 5*time.Second)
if err != nil {
	// handle error...

// example #2, customized poll loop
resp, err := client.BeginCreate(context.Background(), "green_widget")
if err != nil {
	// handle error...
poller := resp.Poller
for {
	resp, err := poller.Poll(context.Background())
	if err != nil {
		// handle error ...
	if poller.Done() {
	if delay := azcore.RetryAfter(resp); delay > 0 {
	} else {
w, err := poller.FinalResponse(ctx)
if err != nil {
	// handle error ...

// example #3, resuming from a previous operation
// getting the resume token from a previous poller instance
poller := resp.Poller
tk, err := poller.ResumeToken()
if err != nil {
	// handle error ...
// resuming from the resume token that was previously saved
poller, err := client.ResumeWidgetPoller(tk)
if err != nil {
	// handle error ...
for {
	resp, err := poller.Poll(context.Background())
	if err != nil {
		// handle error ...
	if poller.Done() {
	if delay := azcore.RetryAfter(resp); delay > 0 {
	} else {
w, err := poller.FinalResponse(ctx)
if err != nil {
	// handle error ...


One of the key things we want to support is to allow consumers of the package to easily write repeatable unit-tests for their applications without activating a service. This allows them to reliably and quickly test their code without worrying about the vagaries of the underlying service implementation (including, for example, network conditions or service outages). Mocking is also helpful to simulate failures, edge cases, and hard to reproduce situations (for example: does code work on February 29th).

DO generate one interface type per operation group that contains all of the client type’s exported methods. The interface type name will be <op_group_name>Operations.

DO generate interface types for LRO and pageable response types that contain all of the methods for their respective types. The interface type name will be the same as the LRO/pageable response type name.

DO generate code to ensure that the interface definitions and their respective types have identical method declarations. This is usually performed by assigning a nil pointer-to-type to a variable of the interface type.

// WidgetOperations contains the methods for the Widget group.
type WidgetOperations interface {
	BeginCreate(ctx context.Context, options *BeginCreateOptions) (*WidgetPollerResponse, error)
	GetWidget(ctx context.Context, name string) (*WidgetResponse, error)
	ListWidgets(options *ListWidgetsOptions) (ListWidgetsPager, error)
	// other methods...

// ensure client and interface definitions are in sync
var _ WidgetOperations = (*WidgetClient)(nil)

DO support HTTP request and response recording/playback via the pipeline.

Enumerated Types

DO define the enumeration’s type to match the type sent/received over-the-wire (string is the most common example).

DO name all values with a prefix of the type’s name.

DO place all values for an enumerated type within their own const block, which is to immediately follow the type’s declaration.

DO define a function named <EnumTypeName>Values() that returns a slice containing all possible values for the enumeration.

DO define a method named ToPtr() on the enumerated type that returns a pointer to the enum value.

// WidgetColor specifies a Widget's color from the list of possible values.
type WidgetColor string

const (
	WidgetColorBlue  WidgetColor = "blue"
	WidgetColorGreen WidgetColor = "green"
	WidgetColorRed   WidgetColor = "red"

// WidgetColorValues returns a slice of possible values for WidgetColor.
func WidgetColorValues() []WidgetColor {
	// ...

func (c WidgetColor) ToPtr() *WidgetColor {
	return &c

Service Client Configuration

DO use relevant global configuration settings either by default or when explicitly requested to by the user, for example by passing in a configuration object to a client constructor.

DO allow different clients of the same type to use different configurations.

DO allow consumers of your service clients to opt out of all global configuration settings at once.

DO allow all global configuration settings to be overridden by client-provided options. The names of these options should align with any user-facing global configuration keys.

⛔️ DO NOT change behavior based on configuration changes that occur after the client is constructed. Hierarchies of clients inherit parent client configuration unless explicitly changed or overridden. Exceptions to this requirement are as follows:

  1. Log level, which must take effect immediately across the Azure SDK.
  2. Tracing on/off, which must take effect immediately across the Azure SDK.

Error Handling and Diagnostics

DO return an error if a method fails to perform its intended functionality. For methods that return multiple items, the error object is always the last item in the return signature.

☑️ YOU SHOULD wrap an error with another error if it would help in the diagnosis of the underlying failure. Expect consumers to use error helper functions like errors.As() and errors.Is().

err := xml.Unmarshal(resp.Payload, v)
if err != nil {
	return fmt.Errorf("unmarshalling type %s: %w", reflect.TypeOf(v).Elem().Name(), err)

DO return the service/operation specific error type when an HTTP request fails with an unsuccessful HTTP status code as defined by the service. For operations that do not define an error type, return the HTTP response body in string format if available, else return the Status string on the HTTP response.

DO include the HTTP response and originating request in the returned error. Use runtime.NewResponseError() from the sdk/internal module to provide this information.

In the case of a method that makes multiple HTTP requests, the first error encountered should stop the remainder of the operation and this error (or another error wrapping it) should be returned.

DO return distinct error types so that consumers can distinguish between a client error (incomplete/incorrect API parameter values) and other SDK failures (failure to send the request, marshalling/unmarshalling, parsing errors).

DO document the error types that are returned by each method. Don’t document commonly returned error types, for example context.DeadlineExceeded when an HTTP request times out.

⛔️ DO NOT create arbitrary error types. Use error types provided by the service, standard library, or azcore.


Client libraries must support robust logging mechanisms so that the consumer can adequately diagnose issues with the method calls and quickly determine whether the issue is in the consumer code, client library code, or service.

DO use the Logger API provided within azcore as the sole logging API throughout all client libraries.

DO define constant classification strings using the azcore.LogClassification type, then log using these values.

DO log HTTP request line, response line, and all header/query parameter names.

⛔️ DO NOT log payloads or HTTP header/query parameter values that aren’t on the allow list. For header/query parameters not on the allow list use the value <REDACTED> in place of the real value.

Distributed Tracing

DO abstract the underlying tracing facility, allowing consumers to use the tracing implementation of their choice.

DO create a new trace span for each API call. New spans must be children of the context that was passed in.

DO use <package name>.<type name>.<method name> as the name of the span.

DO propagate tracing context on each outgoing service request through the appropriate headers to support a tracing service like Azure Monitor or ZipKin. This is generally done with the HTTP pipeline.

HTTP Pipeline and Policies

Each supported language has an Azure Core library that contains common mechanisms for cross cutting concerns such as configuration and doing HTTP requests.

DO use the HTTP pipeline component within azcore library for communicating to service REST endpoints.

The HTTP pipeline consists of a HTTP transport that is wrapped by multiple policies. Each policy is a control point during which the pipeline can modify either the request and/or response. We prescribe a default set of policies to standardize how client libraries interact with Azure services. The order in the list is the most sensible order for implementation.

DO implement the following policies in the HTTP pipeline:

  • Telemetry
  • Unique Request ID
  • Retry
  • Authentication
  • Response downloader
  • Distributed tracing
  • Logging
  • The HTTP transport itself

☑️ YOU SHOULD use the policy implementations in Azure Core whenever possible. Do not try to “write your own” policy unless it is doing something unique to your service. If you need another option to an existing policy, engage with the Architecture Board to add the option.

Configuration via Environment Variables

DO prefix Azure-specific environment variables with AZURE_.

✔️ YOU MAY use client library-specific environment variables for portal-configured settings which are provided as parameters to your client library. This generally includes credentials and connection details. For example, Service Bus could support the following environment variables:


Storage could support:


DO get approval from the Architecture Board for every new environment variable.

DO use this syntax for environment variables specific to a particular Azure service:

  • AZURE_<ServiceName>_<ConfigurationKey>

where ServiceName is the canonical shortname without spaces, and ConfigurationKey refers to an unnested configuration key for that client library.

⛔️ DO NOT use non-alpha-numeric characters in your environment variable names with the exception of underscore. This ensures broad interoperability.