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image I'm really pleased to announce that my latest Pluralsight course, Azure CLI: Getting Started, is now live. The subject will be no surprise to regular followers of my blog as I’ve been publishing a series of Azure CLI tutorials for the last two months.

For those who’ve not tried it yet, the Azure CLI is a powerful, cross-platform, command line utility for managing your Azure resources. You can use it to create Virtual Machines, deploy ARM templates, set up your web apps to synchronize from GitHub, open firewall ports on your SQL Server, create Active Directory applications and service principals and much more. And I show how to do all that in the course.

Because it’s open source, it’s moving fast and picking up lots of new features. There are still a few gaps (like ServiceBus at the time of writing), but what’s impressive is the fact that all new Azure services are launching with CLI support from day one. So if you want to try out the brand new Event Grid or managed Kubernetes service, the CLI commands are already available to get you up and running really quickly.

Perhaps you’re wondering, “why would I bother with the Azure CLI if I’m on Windows?” Well, in one sense, pretty much everything it can do can also be accomplished with PowerShell, so if you’re a big PowerShell fan, there’s nothing forcing you to use the CLI. But one thing I really love about the CLI is its ease of use and discoverability.

With the -h flag, I can drill down into commands and discover all the capabilities. az -h tells me the major subgroups. az webapp -h will show me the subcommands and subgroups for webapps. az webapp create -h will help me understand what arguments and options I need to specify to create a new webapp. So I find quite often I will use the Azure CLI in preference to the Azure PowerShell commandlets even when I’m working inside PowerShell (which is actually my preferred shell).

The Azure CLI obviously also has the advantage of being able to run in your shell on MacOS or Linux, and you should also make sure you take a bit of time to explore the power of it’s --query argument – a really cool feature.

So, if you’re a Pluralsight subscriber, why not bookmark my new Azure CLI: Getting Started course and learn how to streamline and automate the management of your own Azure resources. And if you’re not, why not get yourself signed up for a free trial?