Azure Functions Demo: Voting App

Back in April this year, Pete Zerger (@pzerger) and I delivered two sessions in Experts Live Australia. One of which is titled “Cloud Automation Overview”. During this session, we have showed off a pretty cool voting demo app that is made up with Azure Functions, Key Vault, Azure SQL DB and Power BI. As shown above, this demo app allows attendees in our session to vote on a topic that we have chosen by scanning QR codes using mobile devices. In this case, since we were delivering the session in Melbourne Australia, we have decided to let people to vote

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Feeding Your Power BI Reports from Azure Functions

Background Few days ago my good friend and fellow CDM MVP Alex Verkinderen (@AlexVerkinderen) had a requirement to produce a Power BI dashboard for Azure AD users. so Alex and I started discussing a way to produce such report in Power BI. After exploring various potential possibilities, we have decided to leverage Azure Functions to feed data into Power BI. You can check out the Power BI solution Alex has built on his blog here: http://www.mscloud.be/retrieve-azure-aad-user-information-with-azure-functions-and-publish-it-into-powerbi In this blog post, I’m not going to the details of how the AAD Users Power BI report was built. Instead, I will focus

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Making PowerShell Based Azure Functions to Produce HTML Outputs

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been working with my MVP buddy Alex Verkinderen (@AlexVerkinderen) on some Azure Function related stuff. We have both written few PowerShell based functions that output a HTML page. These functions use the ConvertTo-HTML cmdlet to produce the HTML output. For example, here’s a simple one that  list 2 cars in a HTML table:

Today we ran into an issue while preparing for our next blog posts, after some diagnostics, we realised the issue was caused by the HTML output returned from the PowerShell based functions. If I use Invoke-WebRequest cmdlet in Powershell to

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Securing Passwords in Azure Functions

09/10/2016 – Note: This post has been updated as per David O’Brien’s suggestion . As I mentioned in my last post, I have started playing with Azure Functions few weeks ago and I’ve already built few pretty cool solutions. One thing that I’ve spent a lot of time doing research on is how to secure credentials in Azure Functions. Obviously, Azure Key Vault would be an ideal candidate for storing credentials for Azure services. If I’m using another automation product that I’m quite familiar with – Azure Automation, I’d certainly go down the Key Vault path because Since Azure Automation

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Using Custom PowerShell Modules in Azure Functions

Like many other fellow MVPs, I have started playing with Azure Functions over the last few weeks. Although Azure Functions are primarily designed for developers and supports languages such as C#, Node.JS, PHP, etc. PowerShell support is currently in preview. This opens a lot of opportunities for IT Pros. My friend and fellow CDM MVP David O’Brien has written some really good posts on PowerShell in Azure Functions (https://david-obrien.net/). Although the PowerShell runtime in Azure Functions comes with a lot of Azure PowerShell modules by default (refer to David’s post here for details), these modules are out-dated, and some times,

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PowerShell Function to Get Azure AD Token

When making Azure Resource Manager REST API calls, you will firstly need to obtain an Azure AD authorization token and use it to construct the authorization header for your HTTP requests. My good friend Stanislav Zhelyazkov (@StanZhelyazkov) has written a PowerShell function call Get-AADToken as part of the OMSSearch PowerShell module for this purpose. You can find it in the OMSSearch project’s GitHub repo: https://github.com/slavizh/OMSSearch/blob/master/OMSSearch.psm1 I have been using this functions in many projects in the past and it served me well. However, the limitation for Stan’s function is that it only works with user principals – you can only generate

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Using ARM Templates to Deploying Azure Policy Definitions That Requires Input Parameters

Recently, Kristian Nese from Microsoft published a sample subscription level ARM template that deploys Azure Policy definition and assignment on his GitHub repo. For me, this is good timing since I was just about to start a piece of work designing a collection of custom policy definitions. My end goal is deploying the custom definitions and assignments to multiple environment using VSTS CI/CD pipelines. After spending few days on this task, I finally got it working. During this process, I faced several challenges: At the time of writing, AzureRM PowerShell module and VSTS ARM deployment task has not been updated

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Generating Azure AD oAuth Token in PowerShell

Recently in a project that I’m currently working on, myself and other colleagues have been spending a lot of time dealing with Azure AD oAuth tokens when developing code for Azure. There are so many scenarios and variations when trying to generate the token, and you have probably seen a lot of samples on the Internet already. I have spent a lot of time trying to develop a common method that the project team can use in all the scenarios. To summarise, you can generate oAuth tokens for the following security principals (and different configurations): Azure AD Application Service Principals

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Generating Unique GUIDs in Azure Resource Manager Templates

If you have worked on ARM templates, you have probably already faced challenges when you need to use GUIDs within the templates. Currently there are several ways to generate GUID that  I can find on the Internet: Generating GUIDs in PowerShell and then pass them into the ARM templates Using a nested template to generate GUID – https://github.com/davidjrh/azurerm-newguid Using an Azure Function app – https://geeks.ms/davidjrh/2017/08/01/providing-a-guid-function-in-azure-resource-manager-templates-with-azure-functions/ Few weeks ago, I was working on an ARM template, where I need to generate 100+ Azure Automation runbook job schedules. For each job schedule, the ‘name’ property is a GUID, which needed to be

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Getting Azure AD Tenant Common Configuration Such as Tenant ID Using PowerShell

It has been a long time since my last post. I was very busy right until the Christmas eve, and it my to-be-blogged list is getting longer and longer. I had a very good break during the holiday period. My partner and I took our daughter to Sydney on the Christmas day and spent 5 days up there. When we were in Sydney, I visited Hard Rock Cafe for the first time in my life, and also spent 2 days with my buddy and MVP colleague Alex Verkinderen. Now that I’m somewhat recharged, I will start working on the backlog

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