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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.

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  1. 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…

    62 votes
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    2 comments  ·  User Experience  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  2. 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 →
  3. 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.

    46 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.

  4. 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?

  5. 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 →
  6. Connection fields for modules are not updated

    I have a module that has a connection. That connection has 3 fields in it. Import the module in SMA. I can see the connection imported by that module and I can create connections. I update my module and in the definition for the connection I add 2 more fields. I logon to the Azure Portal. Remove my old module and import the new one with the updated connection that has 5 fields in total. When I try to create a new connection of the type in my module I can see only the 3 fields that were in my…

    19 votes
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    1 comment  ·  User Experience  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    under review  ·  Beth Cooper responded

    Thanks for this suggestion. Yes, as you mentioned & Joe explained this is a known issue in SMA and Azure Automation, but there are workarounds now.
    We can use this request to track making connection types mutable.

  7. Test Pane should show what's actually happening

    Currently the test pane only shows the output that specific commands write, but if a command isn't writing anything, there's no way to know where in the script the problem is occurring. Similarly with issues, if something is endlessly looping, there's no way to know what or if it's just very slow.
    The test pane should either be a proper step through of the script (highlighting the running command along with the output) or show it like the commands were typed into the PowerShell window itself.

    17 votes
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    1 comment  ·  User Experience  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    under review  ·  Beth Cooper responded

    Thanks for posting this suggestion!

    There are a couple of existing features that may get you most of what you are looking for.

    1. While we do not have a debug mode where you can step through your runbook and see output, we do have an Add-On for the ISE and you can debug your runbooks in the ISE. http://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/AzureAutomationAuthoringToolkit/0.2.3.1

    2. If you are using graphical runbooks, there are settings that you can turn on to show exactly what is happening and what command ran with it by turning on additional logging. Select your graphical runbook > Settings > Logging and Tracing > turn on Verbose and change Trace Level to detailed to get the level of detail you are looking for.

    3. For scripts, you can set your verbose preference to continue (instead of silentlycontinue) in your runbook to debug and write to the verbose stream. $VerbosePreference =…

  8. Assign DCS Multiple Node Configurations to a DCS Node

    Would be nice to be able to assign multiple DCS node configurations to a DCS node, i.e. the same way we can have multiple GPO assigned to an OU.

    12 votes
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    0 comments  ·  User Experience  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  9. Allow to enter an AAD user account when manually start a runbook, or allow to use the credentials of the signed-in user (AAD token)

    Allow to enter an AAD user account when manually start a runbook (instead of store it as Asset), or allow to use the credentials of the signed-in user (reuse the AAD issued access token)

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

    Thanks for the feedback! We will look into making authentication to Azure easier and will take this suggestion into consideration.

  10. Sort and search assets

    Provide the ability to search and sort for all of the different asset types

    8 votes
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    1 comment  ·  User Experience  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    under review  ·  Beth Cooper responded

    We just added search for runbooks, and assets are in our backlog, but not planned yet. This vote helps us prioritize so thank you for posting!

  11. Runbook-Editor: Add #region-#endregion

    Runbook-Editor: Please add #region-#endregion support to the runbook-editor. This would improve working with large runbooks a lot.

    6 votes
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    1 comment  ·  User Experience  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  12. Offer Validated Testing Parameter Values From Assets

    In the dialog to enter parameter values when starting a runbook, it would be convenient to offer validated values where those can be inferred by type or otherwise. For example, if the parameter type is "System.Management.Automation.PSCredential", give me an intellisense-like dropdown of the credential assets I've defined in the automation account to choose from. I think this would help make testing faster and easier to avoid trial and error when possible.

    4 votes
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    1 comment  ·  User Experience  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    under review  ·  Beth Cooper responded

    Thanks Noah! We can investigate selecting assets as input parameters to runbooks.

  13. 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?

  14. Make "Operation status" pane togglable

    In general the "Operation status" pane is a good idea, but it gets really tiresome that you have to close and close and re-close succeeded operations etc.
    It should definately be togglable weather you want to see running/completed operations or not.

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

    Hi Anders,

    You are talking about the notifications that show up as you create/delete runbooks, start jobs, etc.? Let me know if I’m misunderstanding the request.

    This is really how the framework works, but I could definitely see adding a configuration step to turn off notifications, especially when you are editing and testing runbooks.

    Thanks,
    Beth

  15. Format document in portal PowerShell editor

    It would be convenient to have a Visual Studio style "Format document" button, which automatically fixes indentation and other formatting issues with a runbook in the portal editor.

    See also:
    https://visualstudio.uservoice.com/forums/121579-visual-studio-ide/suggestions/19002523-add-format-document-for-powershell-code

    2 votes
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    0 comments  ·  User Experience  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  16. Add Filter Search to Insert Dialogs

    When using "Insert" to insert a setting or activity, it would be nice to have a full-text search filter to quickly narrow down results. Given that the Azure module has hundreds of activities already, will become increasingly tedious to locate what you want. This also fits with requests for intellisense and authoring tooling in VS or ISE.

    1 vote
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    1 comment  ·  User Experience  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  17. Show duration in job summary

    In the portal runbook job summary it is difficult to tell how long a runbook needed to finish. Please provide a minutes:seconds duration for a quick glance understanding of execution performance.

    1 vote
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    1 comment  ·  User Experience  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    under review  ·  Beth Cooper responded

    Thanks for this suggestion. Right now, you can see the start and end times but need to compute the duration yourself.

  18. I would like to see a circle graph demonstrating the degree of compliance.

    Just like the Automation resource page, a circle graph that demonstrates degree of compliance.

    1 vote
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    0 comments  ·  User Experience  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    Thanks for the feedback. This is something we’ve been planning to add to the service. Monitoring\compliance for Automation. Please share if you have any specifc area you’d want to have captured that will impact your overall Automation Compliance.

  19. Azure portal blades are impossible to navigate. Please add sizing controls to better navigate.

    The blades on the portal are very poor in performance and navigation controls. Please improve the blade navigation by adding sizing controls. The technologies and solutions are great, but the portal experience leaves the users abandoning the idea.

    1 vote
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    0 comments  ·  User Experience  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
  20. Support Variable strings longer than 512 characters in the UX

    the UX should not limit what is possible to from Set-AutomationVariable

    currently the UI limits a string variable to 512 characters but you set a longer string via the Set-AutomationVariable

    1 vote
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    1 comment  ·  User Experience  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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