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.

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  1. 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.

    41 votes
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    1 comment  ·  Debugging and troubleshooting  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  2. 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…

    21 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.

  3. Interactive Console

    It would be great if the test pane offered a true interactive REPL. This would allow better testing and debugging of code before publishing. Right now there always seems to be a bit of guesswork involved in getting a script runbook working correctly and being able to debug the script would be really beneficial. I am a big fan of the ISE add-on for Azure Automation, but this doesn't really offer true debugging features.

    I know this is a tall order and may not be possible, but it's definitely on my wish list!

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

    Thanks for posting this suggestion! You are right that this is a larger work item, but something that could really help with debugging. Having your & the community vote for it helps our team prioritize the work though, so even if its a tall order its great for us to get the feedback.

  4. Pause a published runbook to prevent it accepting new jobs

    Today once you publish a runbook there is no way to put it in maintenance mode and prevent new jobs from being accepted. You only choices seem to be to delete the runbook so it is not shown as published (which loses all job history), or comment out the runbook code and publish that version so it basically does nothing. Would like to see a new menu option to Pause or Disable/Enable a published runbook.

    19 votes
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    1 comment  ·  Debugging and troubleshooting  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  5. Ability to Stop Test While Queued

    When using the test panel for a runbook, would like to be able to stop the test when in the queuing stage. We have a runbook that was executed from the test panel that's been queued for over 90m and we have no way to stop it.

    14 votes
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    under review  ·  0 comments  ·  Debugging and troubleshooting  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  6. Save output streams to OMS

    Save all streams to a connected OMS work space, this would allow the use of the OMS search to view/search logs and the ability to create OMS alerts when errors or warnings occur in a runbook instance.

    11 votes
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    0 comments  ·  Debugging and troubleshooting  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    planned  ·  Beth Cooper responded

    Automation is now looking at sending job streams to Log Analytics.

  7. Tester: Verbose/Progress stream should be available

    would be great if there was buttons in the tester to enable the progress/Verbose streams.
    Both in Text tester and graphical.

    6 votes
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    planned  ·  4 comments  ·  Debugging and troubleshooting  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  8. Ability to filter Jobs based on JobId

    While executing jobs using Powershell, we log the JobId. At times, it is convenient to see in the portal the status of the job and its logs. At the moment there is no way to filter by JobId. It is tedious effort to locate the required job. It will be a time saver to have an ability to filter by the JobId

    6 votes
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    0 comments  ·  Debugging and troubleshooting  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  9. 'load more' in All Logs is frustrating when there is a lot of output

    We have several automation jobs that generate a LOT of output. We have a bug somewhere in there and trying to look at 'All Logs' is super frustrating because we just keep clicking 'load more, load more, load more'. Load all or download all or something other than clicking load more 300 times would be really nice!

    3 votes
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    0 comments  ·  Debugging and troubleshooting  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  10. 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.

    2 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.

  11. Runbook-Editor: "Test-pane": Add Possibility to enable Verbose-switch

    The runbook-editor provides a "Test-pane" where i can start my saved (but not yet published) script to test and debug it.

    Right now it is not possible to enable the Verbosity-switch in the Test-pane in the Parameter-mask. I have to hard-code verbosity in the script and then remove that before publishing.

    If you could add the posibility to enable the "Verbose"switch in the "test-pane" this would be great.

    1 vote
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    0 comments  ·  Debugging and troubleshooting  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  12. Logging is not much helpful

    In Graphical Runbook. I am not able to see logs from previous activity. I am able to see logs only from last activity although all the previous activity also succeeded, but no logs.

    How to manage the sequence of the activities in Graphical Runbook. Which activity will perform first and which will execute last is not clear from what i have used till date.

    1 vote
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    0 comments  ·  Debugging and troubleshooting  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  13. Runbook all logs timestamp

    While investigating a failed runbook - I find that the 'All Logs' output has a simple time display - and of some 25 events, I cannot tell which came first as they have the exact time stamp.

    Can the service expand on the timestamp to include seconds or possibly milliseconds?

    Or even add clarity by stating if the top record or bottom record is first - even that is not clear.

    1 vote
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    0 comments  ·  Debugging and troubleshooting  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  14. Improve error message when uploading configuration

    Error message when uploading an invalid configuration file resulted in "Gateway timeout" error message via the portal and via powershell upload. Actual resolution to the issue was to modify the configuration file Import-DscResource statements to use -ModuleName instead of -Name parameters.

    1 vote
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    0 comments  ·  Debugging and troubleshooting  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  15. View "Last test output" in a panel next to the code editor

    After running a test on an Azure PowerShell Runbook, and returning to the code editor, it would be very helpful to be able to keep the last test output open (read-only) in a split-view or popup, while the code editor is active.

    1 vote
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    0 comments  ·  Debugging and troubleshooting  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  16. If you link to a page, make sure the page is actually relevant

    Case in point: This error:

    Unexpected exception: Authentication failed for credential

    Provides a link for this page:

    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/automation/automation-troubleshooting-automation-errors#troubleshoot-common-errors-when-working-with-runbooks

    Which does not, in fact, provide any help in troubleshooting that particular issue.

    1 vote
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    0 comments  ·  Debugging and troubleshooting  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  17. 1 vote
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    0 comments  ·  Debugging and troubleshooting  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  18. Enable tracing to more easily troubleshoot graphical runbooks

    In the runbook test experience and production jobs for graphical runbooks enable tracing of the input objects, output objects, streams, exceptions, start and end times for each activity. This will enable much more efficient troubleshooting.

    1 vote
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    0 comments  ·  Debugging and troubleshooting  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    under review  ·  Beth Cooper responded

    Azure Automation / UserVoice users – we would appreciate your feedback on this suggestion!

  19. Forward job status and job streams from Automation to Log Analytics (OMS) - troubleshooting

    I`ve followed these instructions in 3 different subscriptions/Automation Accounts to enable log analytics in OMS: https://docs.microsoft.com/nb-no/azure/automation/automation-manage-send-joblogs-log-analytics
    The Enable-AzureDiagnostics.ps1 script ran without issues, and I see two Blob containers created - insights-logs-joblogs and insights-logs-jobstreams.
    Also, the Get-AzureRmOperationalInsightsStorageInsight returns the information desribed in the section "Verify configuration" in the article.
    However, none of the following queries returns any entries in OMS:
    Category=JobStreams
    Category=JobLogs
    I thought it could take some time before it started working, but now 1 week have passed since I enabled job forwarding.
    Any hints on how to troubleshoot?

    1 vote
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