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Azure OpenAI Codex: Pathway to Automated Code Generation

In software development, efficiency is key. Imagine if you had a smart assistant that could help you write code faster. That's what Azure OpenAI Codex does. It's like having a coding superpower.

In this article, we'll explore what Codex is all about and how it can make coding easier for everyone, whether you're an experienced developer or just getting started.

Let's dive in and see how Azure OpenAI Codex can be your new best friend in code generation.

Codex Model in Azure OpenAI Service

Azure OpenAI Codex is a language model that can generate code from natural language prompts. It is a descendant of the GPT-3 series, but has been trained on both natural language and billions of lines of code. This makes it particularly well-suited for code-related tasks.

Codex can be used for a variety of tasks, including:

  • Turning comments into code: Codex can take a comment and generate the corresponding code. This can be useful for quickly prototyping new ideas or for generating code from existing documentation.

  • Completing your next line or function in context: Codex can complete code snippets, even if they are incomplete or contain errors. This can help developers to write code more quickly and accurately.

  • Bringing knowledge to you: Codex can be used to find useful libraries and APIs, or to learn more about specific programming concepts.

  • Adding comments: Codex can add comments to existing code, which can help to improve readability and maintainability.

  • Rewriting code for efficiency: Codex can rewrite existing code to make it more efficient. This can be useful for improving the performance of applications or for reducing the size of codebases.

Codex uses a technique called "in-context learning" to generate code. This means that it takes into account the natural language instructions and examples in the prompt when predicting the most probable next text. This makes Codex very flexible and allows it to be used for a wide variety of tasks.

Azure OpenAI also performs content moderation on the prompt inputs and generated outputs. This means that the prompts or responses may be filtered if harmful content is detected. This helps to ensure that Codex is used in a safe and responsible manner.

Azure OpenAI Codex: Pathway to Automated Code Generation

Below is the step-by-step guide on how to use the Codex Model in Azure OpenAI Service to generate the code:

STEP 1: Create a resource

In this initial step, you’ll need to create a resource.

Visit the Azure portal ( and select "Azure OpenAI".

In the Azure OpenAI dashboard, click on "+ Create" to create a new resource for Azure OpenAI Service.

Create a resource to use Azure OpenAI Codex

Provide the necessary information and then click "Create".

STEP 2: Deploy the model

Once your resource is set up, you can deploy the Codex model. This involves selecting the model from the available options in Azure OpenAI Studio and adjusting any advanced options for your deployment such as content filter and tokens per minute rate limit.

STEP 3: Azure OpenAI Studio

On the Azure OpenAI home page or dashboard, you will see a list of your resources. Look for the resource that you have just created. It should be listed there with the name and details you provided during the resource creation process.

Azure OpenAI Codex - Navigate to Azure OpenAI Studio

Click on the name of the resource you want to access.

Navigate to Azure OpenAI Studio.

Azure OpenAI Codex - Navigate to Azure OpenAI Studio 2

To access Azure OpenAI Studio, you can either click on "Explore" or navigate to the "Azure OpenAI Studio" section, depending on the layout and options available in the Azure portal.

STEP 4: Enter your Prompt

In the Azure OpenAI Studio’s playground, you can submit a prompt to generate a completion.

Go to "Completion Playground".

Azure OpenAI Codex - Completion Playground

Now, write the desired prompt and get the output:

Here are some examples:

Example 1: Asking for a user's name:

If you want to generate a Python function that asks for the user’s name and then prints a greeting, you could enter the following prompt:

\"\"\" Ask the user for their name and say \"Hello\" \"\"\"
Azure OpenAI Codex - example 1

Example 2: Creating random names:

If you want to generate a Python function that creates a list of 100 random full names, you could enter the following prompt:

1. Create a list of first names 
2. Create a list of last names 
3. Combine them randomly into a list of 100 full names 
Azure OpenAI Codex - example 2

Example 3: Create a function that calculates the factorial of a number.

Azure OpenAI Codex - example 3

Example 3: Creating a MySQL query:

If you want to generate a MySQL query that selects all customers in Texas named Jane from a specific table, you could enter the following prompt:

Table customers, columns = [CustomerId, FirstName, LastName, Company, Address, City, State, Country, PostalCode, Phone, Fax, Email, SupportRepId] 
Create a MySQL query for all customers in Texas named Jane 
query =

STEP 5: Adjust Configuration Settings

On the right side of the page, you will see a list of configuration parameters. You can adjust these parameters to get the desired output from your model.

Azure OpenAI Codex - Configuration settings

Parameters are:

  1. Temperature: This parameter controls the randomness of the model’s output. A higher temperature value will result in more random outputs, while a lower value will make the output more deterministic.

  2. Max length (tokens): This parameter sets the maximum length of the generated text. It’s measured in tokens, which can be as short as one character or as long as one word.

  3. Stop sequences: This parameter allows you to specify sequences at which the model should stop generating further tokens.

  4. Top probabilities: This parameter allows you to limit the token selection to a subset of the top tokens considered by the model.

  5. Frequency penalty: This parameter allows you to penalize new tokens based on their frequency so far, discouraging repetition.

  6. Presence penalty: This parameter allows you to penalize new tokens based on their presence so far, discouraging new topics.

  7. Pre-response text: This parameter allows you to specify text that should be prepended to every response.

  8. Post-response text: This parameter allows you to specify text that should be appended to every response.

Let's consider an example where you want to generate a Python function that adds two numbers.

\"\"\" Write a Python function that adds two numbers \"\"\" 

Now, let’s say you want the output to be more deterministic and less random. You could adjust the Temperature setting to a lower value, like 0.2.

If you want the output to be of a specific length, you can adjust the Max length (tokens) setting. For example, if you only want a short function, you might set this to 20.

If you want the model to stop generating further tokens after it completes the function, you could add a Stop sequence like "\"\"\"" which often denotes the end of a function’s docstring in Python.

The Frequency penalty and Presence penalty settings can be used to discourage repetition and the introduction of new topics, respectively. For this example, you might leave these at 0.

Finally, you can enter your prompt in the Enter text box and hit the Generate button. The model will then generate a completion based on your prompt and settings.

STEP 6: Generate

After clicking “Generate” in the Codex model within Azure OpenAI Studio’s playground, the model will process your prompt and configuration settings and generate a completion. This completion will be displayed in the text box.

Azure OpenAI Codex - Generate button

You can then review the generated completion. If it meets your needs, you can use it as is. If not, you can adjust your prompt or configuration settings and click “Regenerate” again to get a new completion.


Remember, it’s always a good idea to experiment with different prompts and settings to see what works best for your specific use case. I hope this helps! If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.


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