New PowerShell Module For Azure Automation: AzureServicePrincipalAccount

I’m currently working on a project where there has been a lot of discussion on how to use Azure AD Service Principals in Azure Automation and other solutions that involves any automated processes (i.e. VSTS pipelines). When signing in to Azure using a Service Principal, you can use either a key (password) or a certificate associated to the Service Principal. When using the Add-AzureRMAccount cmdlet, you can use one of the following parameter set: Key (password) based: Azure AD Tenant ID Azure Subscription Name or ID PS Credential object User name: Azure AD Application ID Password: Service Principal key Certificate

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AzureTableEntity PowerShell Module Updated

I have updated the AzureTableEntity PowerShell module few days ago. The latest version is 1.0.3.0 and it is published at: PowerShell Gallery: https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/AzureTableEntity/1.0.3.0 GitHub: https://github.com/tyconsulting/AzureTableEntity-PowerShell-Module/releases What’s changed? New function Merge-AzureTableEntity Merge one or more entities in a Azure table. Please make sure you understand the difference between Azure table merge and update operations: Update: replace entity fields with the the fields specified in the update operation Merge: update the value of existing fields specified in the merge operation If you want to update the value of an existing field and having the rest of the fields unchanged, make sure you

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Programmatically Creating Azure Automation Runbook Webhooks Targeting Hybrid Worker Groups

In Azure Automation, you can create a webhook for a runbook and target it to a Hybrid Worker group (as opposed to run on Azure). In the Azure portal, it is pretty easy to configure this ‘RunOn’ property when you are creating the webhook. However, at the time of writing this blog post, it is STILL not possible to specify where the webhook should target when creating it using the Azure Automation PowerShell module AzureRM.Automation (version 3.1.0 at the time of writing). The cmdlet New-AzureRMAutomationWebhook does not provide a parameter where you can specify the webhook “RunOn” target: there are

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Be Cautious When Designing Your Automation Solution that Involves Azure Automation Azure Runbook Workers

Over the last few weeks, it occurred to me twice that I had to change my original design of the automation solutions I was working on because of the limitations of Azure Automation Azure Runbook Workers. Last month, my fellow CDM MVP Michael Rueefli has published an article and explained Why deploying Hybrid Runbook Workers on Azure makes sense. In Michael’s article, he listed some infrastructural differences between Azure runbook workers and the Hybrid runbook workers. However, the issues that I faced that made me to change my design were caused by the functional limitations in Azure runbook workers. Therefore

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PowerShell Module for Managing Azure Table Storage Entities

Introduction Firstly, apologies for not being able to blog for 6 weeks. I have been really busy lately.  As part of a project that I’m working on, I have been dealing with Azure Table storage and its REST API over the last couple of weeks. I have written few Azure Function app in C# as well as some Azure Automation runbooks in PowerShell that involves inserting, querying and updating records (entities) in Azure tables. I was struggling a little bit during development of these function apps and runbooks because I couldn’t find too many good code examples and I personally

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Calculating SQL Database DTU for Azure SQL DB Using PowerShell

over the last few weeks, I have been working on a project related to Azure SQL Database. One of the requirements was to be able to programmatically calculate the SQL Database DTU (Database Throughput Unit). Since the DTU concept is Microsoft’s proprietary IP, the actual formula for the DTU calculation has not been released to the public. Luckily, Microsoft’s Justin Henriksen has developed an online Azure SQL DB DTU Calculator, you can also Justin’s blog here. I was able to use the web service Justin has developed for the online DTU Calculator, and I developed 2 PowerShell functions to perform

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Start A Child Runbook From Azure Automation Hybrid Worker on the Same Hybrid Worker Group

Today I was writing a PowerShell runbook (let’s call it Runbook A) that’s designed to run on on-prem hybrid workers. At the end of Runbook A, I needed to kick off another runbook (let’s call it Runbook B) that must run on the same Hybrid Worker group. Because I don’t want to hardcode the Hybrid Worker group name in the script (or using an Automation variable), I wrote a very simple function that returns the Hybrid Worker configuration (including the Hybrid Worker group name) from registry if runs on a Hybrid Worker. To use it, simply place the function shown

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Using Azure Automation to Build Your Own Microsoft OpsMgr MP Catalog on SharePoint Online

Background Previously, I have posted how to build your own Microsoft OpsMgr MP Catalog on SharePoint 2013 using SMA. It is a solution that you can implement on-prem in your own environment if you have existing SharePoint 2013 and SMA infrastructure in place. As I mentioned at the end of the previous post, I have also developed a solution to populate this MP catalog on a Office 365 SharePoint Online site using Azure Automation – a 100% cloud based solution. Because of the differences in APIs between on-prem SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint online, one of the runbooks is completely different

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Deploying ARM Templates with Artifacts Located in a Private GitHub Repository

Background I have spent the last few days authoring an Azure Resource Manager (ARM) template. The template is stored in a private GitHub repository. It contains several nested templates, one of which deploys an Azure Automation account with several runbooks. For the nested templates and automation runbooks, the location must be a URI. Therefore the nested templates and the Azure Automation runbooks that I wish to deploy in the ARM templates must be located in location that is accessible by Azure Resource Manager. There are many good examples in the Azure Quickstart Template GitHub repository, for example, in the oms-all-deploy

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PowerShell Script to Deploy Subscription Level ARM Templates

Introduction In my previous post, I demonstrated how to deploy Azure Policy definitions that require input parameters via ARM templates. as I mentioned in that post, at the time of writing, the tooling has not been updated to allow subscription level ARM template deployments. The only possible way to deploy such template right now is via the ARM REST API. I have a requirement to deploy subscription level templates in VSTS pipelines. since I can’t use the native AzureRM PowerShell module or the Azure Resource Group Deployment VSTS task, I had to create a PowerShell script that can be used

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