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Azure Automation Release Notes RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Update 10/27/2015: We will no longer be using this forum thread for disclosure of updates of the Azure Automation service. Azure Automation will be aligning to the common Azure model for notification of updates, via Azure Service Updates. Please use Azure Service Updates - Automation from now on.

    This thread covers the important updates made to Azure Automation each release. Each time new updates are released, our product team will respond to this post with the latest features. 

    To subscribe for email updates, click on the “Alert Me” link for this post.  Make sure that “Automatically show new threads as they arrive” is checked and enter your email address.  


    Beth Cooper



    • Edited by Joe Levy_ Tuesday, October 27, 2015 11:57 PM deprecated
    Wednesday, June 11, 2014 4:54 PM

All replies

  • June 2014 Release Features 

    1. Certificate assets are automatically loaded into the worker sandboxes that run runbook jobs.
    2. Azure module shipped as part of the service upgraded from v 0.7.2 to v 0.8.0
    3. Remove from the runbook configuration UX the ability to log Debug records, to avoid a possible exception in PowerShell Workflow.
    4. Schedules can now be enabled / disabled.  If a schedule is in disabled mode, any runbooks associated with it will not run at that schedule’s scheduled times.
    5. Issue causing job failure for some scheduled runbooks has been corrected (see post for the original error)
    6. General improvements to runbook authoring and testing experience.
    7. Improved notifications throughout the Automation experience including notifications around job status, importing modules and managing schedules.
    8. Modified several instances of UX behavior to improve user experience including improved loading notifications and loading time. 

    How Release Features Affect You

    The numbers in this section correspond to the numbers in the release features. Only those which actively change how you use Automation are listed below. 

    1.  Before the auto-install certificates feature, you needed to install your certificates onto the host in your runbook:
    InlineScript {         
           # Import the certificate into the LocalMachine
            $MgmtCertThumbprint = ($Using:Certificate.Thumbprint).ToString()    
    		         
            if ((Test-Path Cert:\LocalMachine\Root\$MgmtCertThumbprint) -eq $false)
            {
                Write-Progress "Certificate is not in the local machine certificate store - adding it"     
    
                $store = new-object System.Security.Cryptography.X509Certificates.X509Store("Root", "LocalMachine") 
                $store.Open([System.Security.Cryptography.X509Certificates.OpenFlags]::ReadWrite)
                $store.Add($Using:Certificate) 
                $store.Close() 
            }
    } 

    Now, you can delete this snippet from your code and no longer need to include it going forward. If you used the Install-Certificate runbook (which contains this code) to handle cert installation, you can remove that inline runbook call as well.  Keeping this code / inline runbook in your runbook will not cause failures, you just do not need it any longer.  

    3.  You cannot use Write-Debug in your runbooks and should use Write-Verbose instead.  Write-Debug is meant to be used only in interactive PowerShell sessions, and this change ensures that you don’t accidently use interactive features in your runbooks (which are non-interactive).  

     




    Beth Cooper


    Wednesday, June 11, 2014 5:02 PM
  • July 2014 Release Features 

    1. Azure module shipped as part of the service upgraded from v 0.8.0 to v 0.8.2
    2. Sandboxes are now pooled to improve job start time. Jobs should now start faster.

    • Edited by Joe Levy_ Friday, July 11, 2014 5:24 PM
    Friday, July 11, 2014 5:36 AM
  • Great news!

    Peter Selch Dahl - www.peterdahl.net - Blog: http://blog.peterdahl.net - Twitter @PeterSelchDahl

    Tuesday, July 22, 2014 9:13 AM
  • Aug 2014 Release Features 

    1. Azure module shipped as part of the service upgraded from v 0.8.2 to v 0.8.6, adding support for Azure Active Directory credential-based authentication to Azure.
    2. Purging implemented for old and deleted Azure Automation resources.

     

    How Release Features Affect You

    The numbers in this section correspond to the numbers in the release features. Only those which actively change how you use Automation are listed below. 

    1. Certificate-based authentication to Azure in Azure Automation using Connect-Azure is now deprecated. Runbooks that talk to Azure should now use Azure Active Directory OrgID credential-based authentication instead. You can learn more about authenticating to Azure from Azure Automation using Azure Active Directory here.

    2. Jobs older than 90 days will be purged from the Azure Automation system, as will 90 day-old deleted Azure Automation resources. For more info view the Azure Automation Data Retention Policy.

    • Edited by Joe Levy_ Friday, August 29, 2014 9:01 PM
    Friday, August 29, 2014 8:56 PM
  • September 2014 Release Features 

    1. New type of schedule asset - hourly. In addition to the daily and onetime schedule types, hourly schedules let you schedule runbooks to run on an hourly basis.
    Friday, September 12, 2014 7:08 PM
  • October 2014 Release Features 

    1. Runbook Gallery - When creating a new runbook, you can now search for and import runbooks from our gallery of Microsoft-contributed and community-contributed content from within the Azure portal. You no longer need to go to ScriptCenter, search, download, and then import the runbook into Azure Automation.


    2. PowerShell Script conversion - When you go to import a runbook, you can now import a plain old PowerShell script, rather than a runbook written in PowerShell Workflow, instead. If we detect you are importing a PowerShell script rather than a PowerShell Workflow, we will attempt to automatically convert the script to PowerShell Workflow so it can be run as a runbook.


    3. Trusted root certificate authority support- Previously the sandboxes running Azure Automation runbooks were very limited in the number of root certificate authorities they trusted, limiting the ability to make SSL/TLS (such as HTTPS) connections via runbooks. This has now been fixed so that the Azure Automation sandboxes that run runbooks support all the same root certificate authorities as a typical Windows host.

    How Release Features Affect You

    The numbers in this section correspond to the numbers in the release features. Only those which actively change how you use Automation are listed below. 

    3. You no longer need to manually import the .CER certificates of trusted root certificate authorities as Automation certificate assets in order to make SSL/TLS connections leveraging certificates signed by these authorities. These certificate are now trusted automatically.




    • Edited by Joe Levy_ Saturday, October 4, 2014 12:11 AM
    Saturday, October 4, 2014 12:04 AM
  • 3. You no longer need to manually import the .CER certificates of trusted root certificate

    When creating a 'Connection Asset' the only textbox offered is for Cert. Is there a way to create a Connection asset without having first uploaded a cert?

    thx

    Wednesday, November 19, 2014 10:08 PM
  • Hi Steve,

    That quote is related to having to import the .CER certs of trusted root certificates, such as Verisign, in order for HTTPS connections, signed by these trusted root certs, to succeed. That is no longer required.

    Authenticating to Azure still requires importing a management certificate as an Azure Automation asset, if you are choosing to authenticate to Azure using certificate-based authentication. However, we now recommend using OrgID credential-based authentication to talk to Azure, which does not require this certificate.

    Thursday, November 20, 2014 12:50 AM
  • Thanks much for the reply. much preferring the Credential method, but my question drills to; When I attempt to add an asset of type 'Connection', then to 'Configure connection properties' - I'm offered only 'AutomationCertificateName'.

    Is there a CLI way to the same place?

    Thursday, November 20, 2014 1:18 AM
  • I wonder if i've gained some clarity re: the role of the AzureConnection. It appears the sole purpose of setting up the AzureConnect (as relates to Connect-Azure script) is to create the authenticated Subscription - However, this is not needed by credentials that are created via the AzureAD method - hence AzureConnection is superfluous to the script that replaces Connect-Azure.

    Even so, the question remains, does credentialing via the now-recommended pattern obviate the need for the AzureConnection asset?


    Thursday, November 20, 2014 6:25 PM
  • Yes, the Azure connection type is related to the Connect-Azure method of authenticating. You wouldn't use an Azure connection asset with the OrgID credential authentication method. Instead you'd use a credential asset containing the OrgID credentials.

    In the future, we will update the Azure connection type to use the same fields as the upcoming AzureProfile object, so the connection asset can be used to create an AzureProfile, which can be passed directly into each Azure cmdlet.

    Friday, November 21, 2014 12:02 AM
  • December 2014 Release Features 

    1. Azure module shipped as part of the service upgraded from v 0.8.9 to v 0.8.11
    2. Exportable certs - When you import a PFX certificate into Azure Automation as a certificate asset, you can choose to set the certificate as exportable. This will cause the certificate to, when added by Azure Automation to the Automation sandboxs’ cert store, be marked as exportable. Already imported certificates before this feature was added are not set to exportable.
    Tuesday, January 13, 2015 1:32 AM
  • January 2015 Release Features 

    1. New region available for Azure Automation: Japan East.

    Wednesday, February 4, 2015 7:54 PM
  • April 2015 Release Features 

    1. Azure module shipped as part of the service upgraded from v 0.8.11 to v 0.8.16
    2. Fairshare limit increased from 30 minutes to 3 hours

    • Edited by Joe Levy_ Wednesday, April 29, 2015 12:12 AM
    Saturday, April 18, 2015 6:38 AM
  • May 2015 Release Features 

    1. Automation is now shipping as a part of the new Operations Management Suite
    2. Azure China region support
    3. UI experience in the new Azure preview portal
    4. Graphical runbook authoring support
    5. Hybrid runbook worker support, for orchestration of on-premises systems
    6. Webhook support, for easily starting runbooks in response to events from external systems
    7. PowerShell Desired State Configuration support, for using the Automation service as a PS DSC pull / reporting server
    8. Migration tools for System Center Orchestrator
    9. REST API documentation for calling all of Automation’s functionality via HTTP
    10. New / updated functionality in the Azure PowerShell cmdlets (Azure and AzureResourceManager modules)
    11. Support for creating Automation resources from Azure Resource Manager templates
    Tuesday, May 5, 2015 4:29 PM
  • Update 10/27/2015: We will no longer be using this forum thread for disclosure of updates of the Azure Automation service. Azure Automation will be aligning to the common Azure model for notification of updates, via Azure Service Updates. Please use Azure Service Updates - Automation from now on.

    Tuesday, October 27, 2015 11:58 PM