Azure Databricks and Terraform: Create a Cluster and PAT Token

[Update Feb 2021] There is now a Terraform Provider for Databricks, it’s a better route – https://registry.terraform.io/providers/databrickslabs/databricks/latest/docs

My starting point for a recent bit of work was to try and reliably and simply deploy and manage Databricks clusters in Azure. Terraform was already in use so I set about trying to see how I could use that to also manage Databricks.

I had a look around and after trying the Terraform REST provider and a third party Datbricks provider (didn’t have much luck with either) found a Terraform Shell provider. This turned out to be exactly what I needed.

If you haven’t written a Terraform provider here’s a crash course. You basically just define a method for create, read, update and delete and the parameters they take. Then Terraform does the rest.

The Shell provider (https://github.com/scottwinkler/terraform-provider-shell) lets you do this by passing in scripts (bash, powershell, any executable that can take stdin and output stdout). In this case I wrote some powershell to wrap the databricks-cli.

It’s better (or different) to localexec with nullresources as you can store information in the Terraform State and detect drift. If a read returns different information than the current information in the state then update will be called, for example.

So I took the work of Alexandre and wrapped it into this provider and using the Shell provider have a simple, no frills Databricks provider for Terraform which makes calls to Databricks via the databricks-cli.

This is currently a simple hack and hasn’t undergone any significant testing: https://github.com/lawrencegripper/hack-databricksterraform. The flow is as follows:

Hopefully this might be useful to others as a starting point for others.