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.

How can we improve Azure Automation service?

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  1. Creation of Run As accounts using ARM Template

    Creation of Run As accounts using ARM Template

    265 votes
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    under review  ·  18 comments  ·  Integration with other products  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  2. Create an IP to report on DSC drifts / compliance

    PowerShell DSC is currently poor in reporting on configuration drifts and compliance levels. Collect this data in Ops Insight to answer questions like:
    - which systems are experiencing a configuration drifts and for which DSC policies?
    - which is the compliance level for this specific DSC policy / setting?

    66 votes
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    under review  ·  8 comments  ·  Desired State Configuration  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  3. WebHook Job Monitoring

    Allow people to use the same WebHook Url used for triggering a runbook for querying job status.
    Instead of doing a HTTP POST (used for triggering) you could allow a HTTP GET with the JobId as parameter. This would be a lightweight alternative for consuming runbook results no matter client and platform.
    Note: Using the same url means same access token which leads to monitoring being possible for the lifetime of the access token.

    58 votes
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    2 comments  ·  Webhooks  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  4. Add native support for job concurrency control

    Certain runbooks must not have more than one concurrent job instance running at any time. Although we have some workarounds using helper runbooks / job queue tables, including this natively as we had it in SCORCH would really help, as the workarounds do not guarantee the behavior 100%

    46 votes
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    1 comment  ·  Other  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  5. 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.

    45 votes
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    1 comment  ·  User Experience  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  6. 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.

    42 votes
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    1 comment  ·  Webhooks  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  7. CORS support for Azure Automation Webhooks

    It would be great to have the ability to enable CORS on Azure Automation Webhooks to enable quick testing from client-side javascript code. At present, client-side javascript will not be able to make a valid POST call to an Azure Automation Webhook due to the call being across origins. This would also allow lightweight apps to be developed without server-side code, for non-technical interfaces that could front-end complex Azure Automation workflows.

    40 votes
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    3 comments  ·  Webhooks  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  8. Ability to remove jobs from the Jobs history

    The list of jobs quickly gets long and if you play around with some configurations etc and the job fails it will mess up the statistics (and potentially scare some people). So I suggest an option to remove jobs from that list.

    38 votes
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    3 comments  ·  Other  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  9. Provide better exception messages in Azure Automation

    Exceptions are currently only surfaced by the exception message string. Please give us richer exception messages for Powershell-based runbooks, such as file name, line number, etc. Ideally I'd like to get a "regular" exception object back using Azure Powershell.

    37 votes
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    1 comment  ·  Debugging and troubleshooting  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    under review  ·  Beth Cooper responded

    Thanks for this suggestion! Providing the full exception would definitely simplify debugging failures and we will take this into consideration.

  10. Continuous Deployment of runbooks

    I have runbooks that are stored in source control which then get deployed to Azure Automation. The process of deploying them is rather cumbersome (basically a bunch of hand crafted Powershell scripts that call the Azure Automation cmdlets). It seems to me that there are going to be lots of people crafting the same kind of scripts - that's a lot of wheel-reinvention going on.
    I'd like to see some features introduced that support quick and easy Continuous Deployment of runbooks (i.e. I check them into source control and they automatically get deployed to Azure Automation).

    Some ideas:
    -Support Continuous…

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

    Thanks for sharing these ideas with us! These are great ideas for us to look into.

    As you mentioned we currently don’t integrate directly with Git or VSO, but you can get around this by creating your own custom scripts.

    For others with similar questions who have not yet created custom PowerShell scripts:
    1. Deployment from Visual Studio in SMA: http://blogs.technet.com/b/privatecloud/archive/2014/05/08/automation-mvp-spotlight-series-tfs-and-service-management-automation-better-together.aspx
    2. Deployment from Visual Studio Git: http://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Sync-runbooks-from-Visual-b1186286

  11. Ability to rerun a job with same parameters of the last job

    The feature I propose is a 'Rerun Command’. I have a ‘crude’ mockup attached. Clicking on Rerun would bring up the Start Runbook blade; but with the parameter values prepopulated with the same values from the previous execution. I can now modify any value, if necessary, or just click OK, to start the job quickly.

    I see myself rerunning my runbook with mostly the same values. When I have many input parameters, I have to be very careful not to mess up any values, and what I do now is open two browser windows. Open the previous job’s Input blade…

    35 votes
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    0 comments  ·  User Experience  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  12. Change behavior when sandbox runs out of memory (1MB max to one stream limit)

    There is currently a maximum limit of 1MB when outputting values to the any stream (Serialized size per object in pipeline).
    I understand why this limit is there, but I don't think the current behavior is the right way to go.

    Current behavior is that the runbook restarts, and runs 3 times until it is stopped with the following error:

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

    If we run it on look at the eventlog on a hybrid worker (this error also happens in Azure workers),…

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

    Thanks for posting this feedback! I’m checking with our team to see if there is anything that we can do about this in the short term. We’ll definitely take this into consideration in our longer term plans.

  13. 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.

    34 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.

  14. Schedule exclusions

    It would be nice to be able to exclude specific dates from schedules. For instance one might want to schedule a runbook every Friday of the month except on Friday 13th or if the Monday of the month is the 1st of that month. (like we could do in Orchestrator)

    31 votes
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    2 comments  ·  Scheduling  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  15. Allow description/instructions of parameters to be seen by person starting a runbook

    I have a PowerShell runbook that requires input for several parameters. I'd like to customize the text here when someone starts the runbook. For example, to let the automation operator know that this input is required to be less than 10 characters, or must have numbers, etc. This looks similar to these:
    1) https://feedback.azure.com/forums/246290-automation/suggestions/6560476-display-parameter-help-messages-in-ui
    2) https://feedback.azure.com/forums/246290-automation/suggestions/10921377-open-up-for-helpmessage-and-validation-to-be-suppo

    30 votes
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    2 comments  ·  PowerShell authoring  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  16. Make securestring a supported input type for runbooks

    As of right now you can´t secure the runbook input. Using a string works fine but it leaves the password for example in the input as plain text. If we could write the password as a secure string instead, that would be great and solutions to reset passwords etc. would be safe to implement in production.

    28 votes
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    3 comments  ·  PowerShell authoring  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  17. 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.

  18. Desired State Configuration Source Control

    Provide the ability to sync DSC Configurations with remote GitHub Repo's. Similar to how the Runbook integration works. When a push to a Git Repo is made, synchronise it with the Azure Automation Account.

    27 votes
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    4 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  19. 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.

    23 votes
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    2 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  20. Adding a "Create New" button in Graphical Runbook configuration when adding input parameters

    when configuring input parameters for a cmdlet in the graphical runbook canvas, if there are no inputs configured, you'll get an "No item to display" message and you have to go back and add input parameters. However, you will lose unsaved changes if you go back. To make it more user friendly, would it be better if there's a "Create New" button next to the "No item to display" message so users can create input parameters without having to go back and lose unsaved changes.

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

    Thanks for voting for this suggestion. We will look into adding functionality that makes adding input parameters from cmdlet configuration easier.

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