Azure Pack

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How can we improve Azure Pack?

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  1. Build a graphical runbook design console for SMA with drag and drop items

    (like Orchestrator) and also provide prebuild powershell workflows as integration packs

    268 votes
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      0 comments  ·  Service Management Automation  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
      under review  ·  Beth Cooper responded

      Thanks for the feedback! We will investigate including graphical authoring in SMA.

    • Runbook as a service

      Allow a tenant to run and author ans schedule runbooks from the Tenant Site.

      158 votes
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        10 comments  ·  Service Management Automation  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
        under review  ·  Beth Cooper responded

        Just to confirm the request, this is around having the complete SMA experience for tenants, correct? Should tenants be allowed to author their own runbooks? Or are you looking to have the admin provide runbook content for the tenants so that they can run and schedule approved runbooks?

      • SMA Runbook concurrency

        The ability to set concurrency limits for individual runbooks would very useful (like Orchestrator).

        Example use/case: Querying AD for the next free SamAccountName and creating an AD user. If two runbooks which would result in the same SamAccountName being provided are started at the same time one of them will fail. A maximum concurrency of 1 would solve this.

        I've tried solving this with code in various ways, but have found no reliable way.

        41 votes
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          3 comments  ·  Service Management Automation  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
          under review  ·  Beth Cooper responded

          Thanks for the feedback on this. We can investigate adding this functionality.

        • Maintenance Mode for SMA workers

          Allow me to put a worker into 'maintenance mode’
          Drain off all running jobs. If job type is workflow stop at the next checkpoint instead of running until drain time is reached and ‘hard’ stopping
          Update the load balancing algorithm to incorporate a heartbeat idea. If a worker is not online don't put new jobs into its partition of the jobs table

          35 votes
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            0 comments  ·  Service Management Automation  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
            under review  ·  Beth Cooper responded

            Thanks for the feedback! Having this functionality would definitely help in the case a worker goes down or needs to be restarted. We will take this into consideration.

          • 34 votes
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              under review  ·  0 comments  ·  Service Management Automation  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
            • WAP/SMA - Scheduled Task Frequency - Add Hours and Minutes options

              At present it only seems possible to schedule 'one time' or 'daily' for the frequency for runbooks.

              Proposal : Add options for hours and minutes
              Justifcation : (1) Many of our scripts need to run on a more frequent basis, such as scanning ftp file drop locations for new files and processing them accordingly. The limitation of this at the moment restricts our ability to use these.
              (2) Dependancy on Orchestrator restricts full migration to SMA, adds additional development time and testing.

              Current workaround : Make an Orchestrator runbook with a timer which calls the SMA runbook(s).

              34 votes
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                5 comments  ·  Service Management Automation  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                under review  ·  Beth Cooper responded

                Just to confirm, you are looking for two additional frequencies: hour and minute. Our team can look into this.

                Yes – you can have a monitor/long running runbook that triggers other runbooks on a timer as a workaround for the moment.

              • Versioning and approval of SMA runbooks

                When an SMA runbook is edited there is no inbox possibility to revert to the previous version or select an older version. Combining this with approval will also prevent unwanted changes. This also fits in with RBAC.

                26 votes
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                  0 comments  ·  Service Management Automation  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                • Build better local testing/debugging tools for SMA Workflows

                  It's very difficult to get a local machine set up so that Workflows destined for SMA can be tested and debugged on a local machine as though they were in the SMA environment. A lot of times you have to write a workflow on your local machine, put it in SMA, watch it break (often without much debugging output unless you used write-verbose), and then you have to try to fix it on your local machine. And your local machine doesn't match SMA, so you have to upload it to SMA again to test, watch if fail, and cycle repeats.…

                  25 votes
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                    3 comments  ·  Service Management Automation  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                    started  ·  SMAUserVoice responded

                    SMA ISE Add-on which allows you to test and debug runbooks from ISE has been released.

                    powershellgallery.com/packages/SMAAuthoring..

                    Check this blog post for more details – blogs.technet.microsoft.com/orchestrator/20..

                  • Improve speed DiscoverAllLocalModules for SMA

                    It would be good if DiscoverAllLocalModules would keep hash information about modules so when it goes through the discovery it would not need to process all the modules, that would increase speed exponentially, if the hash of the module has change then the DiscoverAllLocalModules would know that the module has been updated.

                    24 votes
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                      0 comments  ·  Service Management Automation  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                    • Trigger SMA scripts to run synchronously (before action)

                      Today SMA runbooks can be triggered when an "action" is taken. However there is no (synchronous) way to prevent the action to take place or to "modify" the parameters for the action. Examples where this would be helpful: Runbook that puts VM in maintenance mode for SCOM when tenant does shutdown from portal. Runbook that fetches a new computer name from custom database an injects into create VM action. Today these actions need to be done "after the fact" as a cleanup task (e.g. rename the server)

                      16 votes
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                        0 comments  ·  Service Management Automation  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                        under review  ·  Beth Cooper responded

                        Thanks for the feedback! This is something that we have thought about and need to do some further investigating to figure out how it can be done.

                      • Add SMA to RBAC of Azure Stack

                        Hi
                        Please add SMA also to the new RBAC of Azure Stack. We need Access Control for the Runbooks, credentials and connections in our SMA environment

                        12 votes
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                          0 comments  ·  Service Management Automation  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                        • Allow customers to create Runbook (Hosters)

                          Allow customers create their own Runbook in WAP

                          7 votes
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                            1 comment  ·  Service Management Automation  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                          • Allow hierarchical structure of folders for holding runbooks

                            Make it possible to create folders and nested folders within the automation section of the admin portal. Allow runbooks to be created and moved to folders that the admin has created.

                            e.g. a 'samples' folder for all the pre-installed sample runbooks...... ;-)

                            7 votes
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                              0 comments  ·  Service Management Automation  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                              under review  ·  Beth Cooper responded

                              Thanks for the feedback. We will look into this. In the meantime, you can use tags to help organize your runbooks.

                            • Load Balance runbook job.

                              We currently manage 1000's of servers with SMA and runbooks. Unfortunately, once a runbook starts on a runbook worker, it is run from that single worker until completion. If I want it to run on multiple workers, I have to make two separate runbooks each calling a different list then link the runbook to the runbook worker to ensure it is run on two different servers. If there was a way to load balance this job so that 2 (or more) runbook workers completed the job together, this would greatly increase efficiency.

                              7 votes
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                                0 comments  ·  Service Management Automation  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                              • Add JSON as SMA asset variable

                                Could it be possible to add JSON as possible asset for SMA variables. At the moment we can use string on single line which is limited to 512 characters.

                                In my case I have large configuration definition which I want to parse, took some parameters and make modifications.

                                6 votes
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                                  0 comments  ·  Service Management Automation  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                  under review  ·  Beth Cooper responded

                                  Thanks for the feedback! We can look into adding json variable support (may be a generic object variable). How many characters are you looking to support in your json variable?

                                  Also, you can use the Set-AutomationVariable activity from within your runbook to create variables larger than 512 characters. The database actually doesn’t limit this, but the API does. Using the “set” activity in the runbook gets around this limit.

                                • Runbook publish order should be independent of parent/child order

                                  In a situation where there's a parent and child runbook, and the parent runbook is uploaded first using Either the WAP gui or PowerShell (Import-SmaRunbook/Publish-SmaRunbook), the parent runbook is unable to "see" the child runbook even after the child runbooks is uploaded/published.

                                  The required workaround is to republish the parent runbook, which performs some kind of "rescanning" of the available runbooks. In complex environments with lots of runbooks depending on others, this can be very time-consuming to do.

                                  6 votes
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                                    under review  ·  0 comments  ·  Service Management Automation  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                  • CSV support in SMA

                                    SMA runbooks need proper support for versioning (git or similar) so that they can be properly handled as source code.

                                    5 votes
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                                      under review  ·  0 comments  ·  Service Management Automation  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                    • Index JobStreams Table

                                      Out of the box the JobStreams table does not have an index for JobID and TenantID. The result is that Get-SMAJobOutput and the web portal can get quite easily bogged down. Even with job history set to the standard 30 days and process/debug logging off, this table can get quite large on a busy environment. Simply indexing this table drastically improves the overall performance of SMA. I had a few runbooks with process monitoring turned on and the table reached over 17 million rows (at which point I couldn't get any output from SMA)

                                      In my environment, I created the…

                                      3 votes
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                                        0 comments  ·  Service Management Automation  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                      • Intergration with Orchestrator

                                        Have direct access to Orchestrator runbooks from WAP SMA

                                        3 votes
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                                          0 comments  ·  Service Management Automation  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                        • Provide guidance on which direction SMA & Orchestrator are going

                                          Enterprise solutions are looking for a 'Complete Package' and we are not being given proper guidance on the future of Workflow Automation within Microsoft. SMA with Workflows is literally, not figuratively, 10x slower than PowerShell executed with a C# engine. For a real life example, review the Accenture/Avanade implementation of their workflow engine. Orchestrator provides the GUI interface that allows for ease of management. PowerShell Workflow does not allow enough flexibility for Master Variable sets when working with multiple client or domains and SMA has scalability issues. So what should we be using to ensure our customers will have dependable,…

                                          3 votes
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                                            0 comments  ·  Service Management Automation  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                                            Beth Cooper responded

                                            I want to make sure that I’m answering all of your questions here so let me know if I’ve missed anything. It sounds like your customers are having performance issues and miss the GUI offered by SCO. It also sounds like you are looking for guidance on where you should tell customers to look for the future. Any other questions?

                                            SMA just released PowerShell script support in TP5: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/orchestrator/2016/04/28/powershell-script-runbook-support-in-system-center-service-management-automation-2016-sma-part-1/. Since scripts are not compiled like workflows, the perf issues that you were seeing will go away if you convert your workflows to scripts. This also reduces the learning curve since PowerShell scripts are more well-known than Workflow.

                                            Automation’s new features will show up first in Azure Automation and then we bring functionality to SMA. This means that if customers want the most up to date capabilities or want to see their feedback more rapidly integrated to the…

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