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Automation

Azure Automation allows you to automate the creation, monitoring, deployment, and maintenance of resources in your Azure environment using a highly-available workflow execution engine. Orchestrate time-consuming, error-prone, and frequently repeated tasks against Azure and third party systems to decrease time to value for your cloud operations.

Visit the Automation page to learn more about Automation and how to get started.

  • Hot ideas
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  • My feedback
  1. Open up for HelpMessage and Validation to be supported in Automation runbooks input parameters.

    Ability to describe and validate required parameters in more detail, in the Test Pane. Instead of starting a runbook that will fail due to wrong inputs, users will have to correct these wrong typings before initiation of the runbook.

    26 votes
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    2 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  2. Outgoing WebHooks

    It would be nice if it was possible to register callbacks for events like "Runbook Status Changed".
    This would allow people to execute runbooks using your existing WebHooks concept (HTTP POST), store the jobid and consume the result of the runbook through the callback once completed.

    46 votes
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    1 comment  ·  Webhooks  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  3. Move "Run on" to runbook settings

    It doesn't make sense to have "Run on" dynamically selecteable. Please move it to "Runbook settings" so that we can do a one-time configuration of whether a runbook should run using hybrid workers or cloud-based workers.

    31 votes
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    1 comment  ·  Hybrid  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  4. Status on Module Import

    I would really like to be able to get a status for when a module has been fully uploaded and all cmdlets have been extracted.
    Currently I have to make my script sleep for a random time and not be able to extract information whether it has been fully uploaded or not.

    Either build a -wait property on the new-azurermautomationModule or some other thing.

    10 votes
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    3 comments  ·  PowerShell cmdlets  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    under review  ·  Beth Cooper responded

    Why can’t you use the ProvisioningState property from the Get-AzureRmAutomationModule cmdlet? ProvisioningState should show as “Creating” until all the cmdlets are extracted.

    As a side note since it is somewhat related. We are currently working on providing more detailed feedback in the UX on module import status so it is more apparent that the module is still extracting activities. We are also working on bubbling up underlying errors that caused activities to fail to extract.

  5. Git (Stash) Source Control Support or TFS On-Prem

    Would be good if we could connect to our Stash server rather than having to use GitHub. Alternatively we have an on-prem TFS setup that we could also use. Data sovereignty issues prevent the use of GitHub/VSO at this time.

    28 votes
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    0 comments  ·  Source control integration  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    under review  ·  Beth Cooper responded

    Thanks for your feedback on this! We are definitively interested in private/on-prem scenarios for source control.
    As we start to do more development in this area, our team will follow up to get more details about your specific needs.

  6. Refresh of Portal Automation Views

    With the ability to author via the ISE add-on, it is easy for the portal to get out of sync quickly with the actual data. Would like to see refresh buttons on all relevant blades or a triggered server-side refresh to keep the portal in sync as changes to underlying runbooks are made externally.

    3 votes
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    3 comments  ·  User Experience  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    under review  ·  Beth Cooper responded

    Thanks for this feedback. What are the most important blades or resources to add a refresh button to?

  7. The ability to disable rerunning of failed job.

    I have a powershell script that send out email notifications and if something unexpected fails the script will send email to the same user mulltiple times. Looking into converting to a runbook that checkpoints after each email sent or setting a parameter that will exit the job if attempting to run a second time.

    The job action 'Activate' cannot be run, because the process stopped unexpectedly. The job action was attempted 3 times.

    5 votes
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    0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    under review  ·  Beth Cooper responded

    To confirm I understand the request, you are looking for:
    1. The ability to monitor runbooks for failures or suspensions
    2. The ability to send an email only once if you hit one of those states.

    As you mention, you can write this into your code by writing try/catch statements or by writing additional logic that checks that you only send an email for a specific instance.

    If we did create a built in way to do this, do you have any time requirements on how quickly you need this email sent? Would 5-10 minutes be acceptable?

    That last error you have there means that there was something in your script that caused the powershell engine to be able to start your runbook 3 times in a row. This could either be an issue with the way that your script is authored or sometimes due to an issue with hybrid…

  8. Ability to resize left pane of Edit blade

    The left pane of the Edit blade with the CMDLETS/RUNBOOKS/ASSETS dropdowns wastes a lot of horizontal real estate when all the dropdowns are collapsed. It would be nice if this was resizable and/or collapsible.

    11 votes
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    0 comments  ·  PowerShell authoring  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  9. View or export Modules

    The use of modules is very important in PowerShell authoring. Currently in Azure Automation, once you import a module, there is no way to view the current code that is implemented. This is challenging when you want to update a module or are troubleshooting an existing one. You can refer to source control but there is no guarantee that is what's implemented in Prod. Being able to see what is contained in a module or at least export out the zip would be helpful.

    Thanks!

    Christopher

    16 votes
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    3 comments  ·  PowerShell cmdlets  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    under review  ·  Beth Cooper responded

    Thanks for the feedback Christopher! Are you interesting in the global modules or modules that you have imported yourself to Automation?

  10. Show the line number when an exception is raised

    I tend to use ErrorActionPreference = 'STOP' in my Runbooks (and my Powershell scripts) because if I haven't handled an exception, I want to know. While in Powershell this gives me a useful trace to go back and figure out what went wrong, in Azure Automation I am presented with only the exception name, ie "An error occurred while sending the request.". This makes it really hard to find out what happened.

    As a work around, I can put a whole bunch of Write-Verbose statements in my Runbook, but this is tedious. It would be great if Azure Automation could…

    24 votes
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    2 comments  ·  Debugging and troubleshooting  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    under review  ·  Beth Cooper responded

    Can you provide more detail on what you mean by useful? Do you want to know where in the code the error occurred? Can you provide an example of what you find useful for debugging PS in the ISE?

    You may want to try using ErrorRecord.InvocationInfo for non-terminating errors since on non-terminating errors, we currently save this data in the Error stream.

    On terminating errors (exceptions), this data is currently lost. But we can investigate storing this information to present it for debugging. I would like to make sure that this is the info that you are looking for though, so please confirm.

    As a workaround for now, you could write a global try/catch block in the runbook (which will also catch exceptions thrown because of $ErrorActionPreference = ‘Stop’) and write $_.ErrorRecord.InvocationInfo to a stream.

  11. Improve Tab Completion/Intellisense in the Runbook Editor

    Intellisense does not seem to work correctly for me in the editor. I either get "No suggestion" in the intellisense window, or I get a cmdlet name suggestion when I should get a parameter name.

    Thanks!

    4 votes
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    0 comments  ·  Graphical authoring  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  12. Deploy to Azure Automation: Automation Account Name parameter

    When we click on "Deploy to Azure Automation" button on PowerShellGallery.com and choose "Existing" as the value for first parameter, Automation Account Name should be change to a dropdown box prepopulated with the names of existing accounts.

    4 votes
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    0 comments  ·  Gallery  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    under review  ·  Beth Cooper responded

    Thanks for this suggestion! Our team will investigate adding our own blade for deploying from the PowerShell Gallery.

  13. Fixed IP for Automation PowerShell sandbox in order to fit ACL requirements for public endpoints

    If VM has external endpoints (WinRM, SSH) protected by ACL, the Azure Automation doesn't able to connect for such VMs.

    54 votes
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    4 comments  ·  Hybrid  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  14. Display Parameter Help Messages in UI

    When using [Cmdletbinding()] along with parameter property Helpmessage and [ValidatePattern()] it would be nice if these messages were fed back to the user interface. Right now the users have to guess what the parameter allows them to input through trial and error.

    For example:

    [code]

    [Cmdletbinding()]

    param (

    [Parameter(Mandatory=$true),HelpMessage='Enter 1 computername']
    [ValidateNotNullOrEmpty()]
    [string] $Computer

    )

    In the console, when referencing a workflow with this parameter set you could enter !? to get the help message.

    49 votes
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    5 comments  ·  User Experience  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    under review  ·  Beth Cooper responded

    Thanks for the feedback! We will look at making these modifications to starting a runbook job.

  15. Creating a Business process platform provisioning IAAS

    The Idea is to define a workflow or process platform which will help in defining an organization workflow in a form of template(Business process platform for IAAS definitions ). This will help in creating self service very easy.

    2 votes
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    0 comments  ·  Graphical authoring  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    under review  ·  Beth Cooper responded

    Thanks for the feedback! Can you provide a bit more detail here? Are you looking to visualize the process or just to have a template runbook example for IaaS provisioning?

  16. Improve error message upon failed compilation

    I just attempted to run a runbook and was presented with this error in the Azure portal:
    Compilation error while building dependent workflows. For details see C:\Users\Client\Temp\PSWorkflowCompilation\Workflow_83e005c5eb8144cb8dbc7eb0b9055ffa\Project\Build.Log.

    Not very helpful given that I cannot access that build log. please could you just give me the error log instead.

    5 votes
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    3 comments  ·  Debugging and troubleshooting  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    under review  ·  Beth Cooper responded

    Thanks for the feedback. Would you be able to provide the repro steps for this/explain the root cause? We can look into improving this behavior.

  17. Support populating and displaying arrays for account-level Variables

    While it's possible to set arrays with Set-AutomationVariable, they cannot be displayed or edited from UI.
    It makes them a bit inconvenient - if I have a job that I need to execute against a set of something, I need to have separate jobs to validate and change that set.

    53 votes
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    1 comment  ·  User Experience  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  18. Option to remove onetime schedule when completed

    I have a runbook that schedules itself to run again one hour after it completes. It does this by creating a onetime schedule. The reason for doing this rather than using a regular (i.e. not a onetime) schedule is to prevent the runbook from starting while the previous job is still running (I discussed this approach with Joe Levy here: http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/06f1b011-1fe2-4a3a-a0a3-88256f83a3ea/can-i-prevent-multiple-instances-of-the-same-runbook-from-running-concurrently?forum=azureautomation)

    Unfortunately this means that my Assets screen becomes littered with expired onetime schedules (22 or 23 every day) and there's no simple way to go and clean them all up.

    Hence this request is for an option on…

    6 votes
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    1 comment  ·  Scheduling  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    under review  ·  Beth Cooper responded

    That’s an interesting idea – thanks for the feedback. We can look into it.

    In the meantime, you could probably work around this. I’m not exactly sure what your runbook looks like, but it might make sense to create the schedule with the same name each time, then when the runbook starts again to delete that schedule, then to create it again at the end.

  19. Edit the name of assets and runbooks

    To be able to edit name/description or asset/runbook

    30 votes
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    5 comments  ·  User Experience  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    under review  ·  Beth Cooper responded

    You can currently edit the description on runbooks and assets. To do this for runbooks, go to the Configuration page.

    On the names, would the ability to add a friendly name (that you can edit at any time) be sufficient or are you hoping to change the workflow name as well?

  20. Surface runbook errors in the Automation account overview page like runbook exceptions are surfaced

    Currently if my runbook is having issues and I look at the overview page, I can only see exceptions of the runbook. The runbook may hit errors during execution, which do not show up on this page.

    24 votes
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    under review  ·  1 comment  ·  User Experience  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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