Error & Fix: Linked Template ‘Invalid Template … The language expression property templateLink doesn’t exist’

I will explain an ARM template deployment error “The language expression property ‘templateLink’ doesn’t exist” and how I resolved it. My ARM template is using a linked template to call out to provision an Azure Key vault.

The following is the ARM template snippet from my main template calling out to the linked template:

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{
      "apiVersion": "2018-05-01",
      "name": "linkedTemplate",
      "type": "Microsoft.Resources/deployments",
      "properties": {
          "mode": "Incremental",
          "templateLink": {
              "uri": "[uri(deployment().properties.templateLink.uri, 'azuredeploy-rkazurekeyvault.json')]",
              "contentVersion": "1.0.0.0"
          },
          "parameters": {
	    

I deploy with the following PowerShell:

1 2$resourceGroupDeployment = New-AzureRmResourceGroupDeployment -Name $resourceGroupName’Deployment’ -ResourceGroupName $resourceGroupName ` -TemplateFile .\\arm-functionapp-sql-main.json -TemplateParameterFile .\armdeploy-functionappsql.paramaters.json -DeploymentDebugLogLevel All -Mode Complete -Force

Error:

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New-AzureRmResourceGroupDeployment : 10:43:11 PM - Resource Microsoft.Resources/deployments 'linkedTemplate' failed with message '{
  "error": {
    "code": "InvalidTemplate",
    "message": "Unable to process template language expressions for resource 
'/subscriptions/2dac1c43-b88c-412f-8b6c-xxxxxxxxxxx/resourceGroups/rkfunctionapp-sql/providers/Microsoft.Resources/deployments/linkedTemplate' at line '338' and column 
'9'. 'The language expression property 'templateLink' doesn't exist, available properties are 'template, parameters, mode, debugSetting, provisioningState'.'"
  }
}'

Resolution:

The problem is that I am referring to my linkedTemplate in a local file folder in my computer (e.g. c:\…). It is really looking for it in a URI (or URL), that is why the template link does not exist.

This linkedTemplate Json file needs to be in an internet accessible URL such as in a github repo or in an Azure storage account. So for development purposes I find it more convenient to work with my github repos and get the URL of the RAW arm template json files

For example I would change my powershell deployment parameters with the -TemplateUri and -TemplateParamaterUri:

$resourceGroupDeployment = New-AzResourceGroupDeployment -Name $resourceGroupName’Deployment’ -ResourceGroupName $resourceGroupName `-TemplateUri ‘https://raw.githubusercontent.com/RoyKimYYZ/azuredeploy-functionapp-sql-keyvault/master/azuredeploy-functionapp-sql-main.json’ `-TemplateParameterUri https://raw.githubusercontent.com/RoyKimYYZ/azuredeploy-functionapp-sql-keyvault/master/azuredeploy-functionappsql.paramaters.json `-DeploymentDebugLogLevel All -Mode Complete -Force

Comparing between many linked template examples in the azure documentation and github samples, one can get a bit confused on connecting the dots with

  • ARM template syntax “uri”: “[uri(deployment().properties.templateLink.uri
  • what that URI would look like
  • file location (e.g. github repo, azure storage account; not local file)
  • PoweShell deployment parameters

So I hope I have cleared things up for anyone else starting out with ARM templates with linked templates that may have encountered this issue.

For background resources on Linked Templates visit

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