A credential allows CDP to authenticate with your cloud provider account and obtain authorization to provision cloud provider resources on your behalf.
The authentication and authorization process varies depending on the cloud provider, but is typically done by assigning a specific role (with a specific set of permissions) that can be assumed by CDP, allowing it to perform certain actions within your cloud provider account.
A cloud credential is a core component of an environment, providing access to the region and virtual network that make up the environment and allowing CDP to provision resources within that environment. In CDP, credentials are managed separately from environments, because you can reuse the same credentials across multiple environments if needed.
For more information about credentials, refer to cloud provider specific documentation linked below.