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New Azure role - Azure Billing Reader

There is a small new feature on Azure Billing that made my day great. Small things matters and in this case is 100% applicable.

Until now there was no mechanism to share ONLY billing information with users. You could forward billing information to specific users. This was useful for last month consumptions, but nothing that you could do directly for the current month.

Current solution
Some shortcuts could be done to make available this information.
The most simple way is  to give to the user the Co-Administrator rights. This will work great, but that user will have access to other resources also, not only to the billing data. Having access to all resources can be a downside, especially if you need to give access to a non-technical person that might click the wrong button (smile). You might reduce the access by using RBAC (Role-Based Access Control), but you would need some extra configuration steps.
Another approach is by exporting billing and cost information using Azure REST API to PowerBI, where we already have support for different dashboards related to costs. This solution is simple and straightforward, but requires to use and add extra services like PowerBI.

The new way
Starting from now, there is a new role available by default in Azure - Billing Reader Role. This new role allows us to give permissions to an entity to see billing information without being able to see or access other resources that are under that subscription.
This means that we can have Product Managers Accounts Managers that can have access to billing information without being able to view or modify services that are deployed.

The way how this role was implemented is smart. A billing Reader role is without rights to see Resource Groups or anything else that is under them. The same thing is when you want to create a new resource as Billing Reader. You can navigate to the New screen, but you will not be able to specify an existing Resource Group or create a new one. This will limits the actions that a user in this role can do.

Another feature that is nice related to this topic is the ability to let other users to download the invoice. Meaning that we don't need anymore to forward the invoice to others.

Even if this are small things added to Azure, from the usability perspective makes our life much easier and simple.
You can find more about this on Azure blog post.


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