Author Archives: Johan Dahlbom

Recursively enumerate Azure AD Group members with PowerShell

Many of the scripts used to assign licenses for Azure AD / Office 365 users are utilizing groups to assign the licenses. On the topic I have received quite a lot requests on nested group support, which is not possible with Get-MsolGroupMember as of now.

To solve this problem, I have built a simple function canned Get-JDMSOLGroupMember. It checks if a group consists of other groups, and loops through them until all group members of all groups have been enumerated. In the end it will sort the members so that no duplicate member records are returned. It will only return users, not groups.

See the screenshot below on how it works:


function Get-JDMsolGroupMember { 
    The function enumerates Azure AD Group members with the support for nested groups.
    Get-JDMsolGroupMember 6d34ab03-301c-4f3a-8436-98f873ec121a
    Get-JDMsolGroupMember -ObjectId  6d34ab03-301c-4f3a-8436-98f873ec121a -Recursive
    Get-MsolGroup -SearchString "Office 365 E5" | Get-JDMsolGroupMember -Recursive
    Author   : Johan Dahlbom, johan[at]
    Blog     : 
    The script are provided “AS IS” with no guarantees, no warranties, and it confer no rights.

        [Parameter(Mandatory=$true, ValueFromPipeline=$true,ValueFromPipelineByPropertyName=$true,Position=0)]
        [ValidateScript({Get-MsolGroup -ObjectId $_})]
    begin {
        $MSOLAccountSku = Get-MsolAccountSku -ErrorAction Ignore -WarningAction Ignore
        if (-not($MSOLAccountSku)) {
            throw "Not connected to Azure AD, run Connect-MsolService"
    process {
        Write-Verbose -Message "Enumerating group members in group $ObjectId"
        $UserMembers = Get-MsolGroupMember -GroupObjectId $ObjectId -MemberObjectTypes User -All
        if ($PSBoundParameters['Recursive']) {
            $GroupsMembers = Get-MsolGroupMember -GroupObjectId $ObjectId -MemberObjectTypes Group -All
            if ($GroupsMembers) {
                Write-Verbose -Message "$ObjectId have $($GroupsMembers.count) group(s) as members, enumerating..."
                $GroupsMembers | ForEach-Object -Process {
                    Write-Verbose "Enumerating nested group $($_.Displayname) ($($_.ObjectId))"
                    $UserMembers += Get-JDMsolGroupMember -Recursive -ObjectId $_.ObjectId 
        Write-Output ($UserMembers | Sort-Object -Property EmailAddress -Unique) 
    end {

As usual, let me know if you find issues or have any other suggestions.




License your Office 365/Azure AD users with Azure Automation

A while ago I wrote a post regarding schedule your Office 365 automation jobs in Azure Automation. At that time, the Azure AD PowerShell module did not support Azure Automation due to the Online Services Sign in Assistant dependency.

The preview Azure AD PowerShell module released in september do however use ADAL for authentication which solves this problem.
This is great news for all currently running licensing scripts in regular servers as scheduled tasks!

Since many probably will move from their scheduled tasks to Automation for their licensing scripts, I thought it was a good idea sharing on how to make the switch. I will use the “new” Azure portal and assume that you already have an Automation account.

1. Since the MSOnline module is not included by default in Azure Automation you need to download and install the module on your computer. When that is done you need to add the module folders (MSOnline and MSOnlineExtended) to a zip file each. The easiest way to do that is of course with PowerShell 🙂
The following code assumes that you have installed the modules in the default location and the zip files will be put on your desktop.

Add-Type -AssemblyName ''

Get-ChildItem -Path $PSHOME\Modules\MSonline* | ForEach-Object -Process {
    $Source = $_.FullName
    $Destination = '{0}\Desktop\{1}.zip' -f $env:USERPROFILE,$_.Name  
    [Io.compression.zipfile]::CreateFromDirectory($Source, $Destination) 

2. Upload the zipped modules files as assets to your automation account.
3. Now add your license service account as an asset to your automation account.
If you haven’t created one you can use the below PowerShell lines to do it. Note that the account only needs to have the “User management administrator” role.

#Create the service account
New-MsolUser -UserPrincipalName `
             -DisplayName "LicenseRobot" `
             -FirstName "License" `
             -LastName "Robot" `
             -Password 'password' `
             -ForceChangePassword $false `
             -PasswordNeverExpires $true 
#Add the user as an "User Account Administrator"
Add-MsolRoleMember -RoleName "User Account Administrator" `
                   -RoleMemberEmailAddress ""

4. Create your runbook and import the script. In this case I am using a slight modified version of this script, which you will find if you expand the script below below. This version are using the GroupObjectGuid to identify the groups instead of the DisplayName. Since the script is using Write-Output and Write-Warning for logging, Azure Automation will automatically handle basic logging.


#Connect to Azure AD
$Credentials = Get-AutomationPSCredential -Name 'LicenseRobot'
Connect-MsolService -Credential $Credentials

$Licenses = @{
                 'E1' = @{ 
                          LicenseSKU = 'tenant:STANDARDPACK'
                          Group = 'cb41a390-4312-4ecf-896e-086f64652690'
                          DisabledPlans = "SHAREPOINTSTANDARD"
                 'E3' = @{ 
                          LicenseSKU = 'tenant:ENTERPRISEPACK'
                          Group = '4549bd70-232a-4b71-8afe-4d431e5464ae'
                          DisabledPlans = "SHAREPOINTENTERPRISE","SHAREPOINTWAC"
                 'EMS' = @{
                         LicenseSKU = 'tenant:EMS'
                         Group = '9abc1736-049b-4c97-9fb6-8b6b02f9e7d5'
$UsageLocation = 'SE'
#Get all currently licensed users and put them in a custom object
$LicensedUserDetails = Get-MsolUser -All -Synchronized | Where-Object {$_.IsLicensed -eq 'True'} | ForEach-Object {
                UserPrincipalName = $_.UserPrincipalName
                License = $_.Licenses.AccountSkuId
                DisabledPlans = $_.Licenses.Servicestatus | Where-Object {$_.Provisioningstatus -contains "Disabled"}
#Create array for users to change or delete
$UsersToChangeOrDelete = @()
foreach ($license in $Licenses.Keys) {
    #Get current group name and ObjectID from Hashtable
    $GroupID = $Licenses[$license].Group
    $AccountSKU = Get-MsolAccountSku | Where-Object {$_.AccountSKUID -eq $Licenses[$license].LicenseSKU}
    $DisabledPlans =  $licenses[$license].DisabledPlans
    Write-Output "Checking for unlicensed $license users in group $GroupID..."
    #Get all members of the group in current scope
    $GroupMembers = ''
    $GroupMembers = (Get-MsolGroupMember -GroupObjectId $GroupID -All).EmailAddress
    #Get all already licensed users in current scope
    $ActiveUsers = ($LicensedUserDetails | Where-Object {$_.License -eq $licenses[$license].LicenseSKU}).UserPrincipalName 
    $UsersToHandle = ''
    $UsersToAdd = ''

    if ($GroupMembers) {  
        if ($ActiveUsers) {  
            #Compare $Groupmembers and $Activeusers
            #Users which are in the group but not licensed, will be added
            #Users licensed, but not, will be evaluated for deletion or change of license 
            $UsersToHandle = Compare-Object -ReferenceObject $GroupMembers -DifferenceObject $ActiveUsers -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue -WarningAction SilentlyContinue
            $UsersToAdd = ($UsersToHandle | Where-Object {$_.SideIndicator -eq '<='}).InputObject
            $UsersToChangeOrDelete += ($UsersToHandle | Where-Object {$_.SideIndicator -eq '=>'}).InputObject  
        } else {  
            #No licenses currently assigned for the license in scope, assign licenses to all group members.
            $UsersToAdd = $GroupMembers
    } else {  
        Write-Warning  "Group $GroupID is empty - will process removal or move of all users with license $($AccountSKU.AccountSkuId)"
        #If no users are a member in the group, add them for deletion or change of license.
        $UsersToChangeOrDelete += $ActiveUsers
    if ($UsersToAdd -match "[.]") {
        foreach ($User in $UsersToAdd){
            #Process all users for license assignment, if not already licensed with the SKU in order.  
            $MsolUser = Get-MsolUser -UserPrincipalName $User
            #Assign licenses for users
            if ($MsolUser.Licenses.AccountSkuId -notcontains $AccountSku.AccountSkuId) {
                try {  
                    #Assign UsageLocation and License.
                    $LicenseAssignmentHt = @{
                        UserPrincipalname = $User
                        AddLicenses = $AccountSKU.AccountSkuId
                    #Set custom license options to not enable SharePoint / OneDrive by Default
                    if ($DisabledPlans) {
                        $LicenseOptions = New-MsolLicenseOptions -AccountSkuId $AccountSKU.AccountSkuId -DisabledPlans $DisabledPlans
                        $LicenseAssignmentHt["LicenseOptions"] = $LicenseOptions
                    Set-MsolUser -UserPrincipalName $user -UsageLocation $UsageLocation -ErrorAction Stop -WarningAction Stop
                    Set-MsolUserLicense @LicenseAssignmentHt -ErrorAction Stop -WarningAction Stop
                    Write-Output "SUCCESS: Licensed $User with $license"
                } catch {  
                    Write-Warning "Error when licensing $User$_"
#Process users for change or deletion
if ($UsersToChangeOrDelete -ne $null) {
        foreach ($User in $UsersToChangeOrDelete) {
          if ($user -ne $null) {
            #Fetch users old license for later usage
            $OldLicense = ($LicensedUserDetails | Where-Object {$_.UserPrincipalName -eq $User}).License
             #Loop through to check if the user group assignment has been changed, and put the old and the new license in a custom object.
             #Only one license group per user is currently supported.
             $ChangeLicense = $Licenses.Keys | ForEach-Object {
                  $GroupID = $Licenses[$_].Group
                  if (Get-MsolGroupMember -All -GroupObjectId $GroupID | Where-Object {$_.EmailAddress -eq $User}) {
                        OldLicense = $OldLicense
                        NewLicense = $Licenses[$_].LicenseSKU
              if ($ChangeLicense) {
                    #The user were assigned to another group, switch license to the new one.
                    try {  
                          Set-MsolUserLicense -UserPrincipalName $User -RemoveLicenses $ChangeLicense.OldLicense -AddLicenses $ChangeLicense.NewLicense -ErrorAction Stop -WarningAction Stop
                          Write-Output "SUCCESS: Changed license for user $User from $($ChangeLicense.OldLicense) to $($ChangeLicense.NewLicense)"
                    } catch {  
                          Write-Warning "Error when changing license on $User`r`n$_"
              } else {  
                    #The user is no longer a member of any license group, remove license
                    Write-Warning "$User is not a member of any group, license will be removed... "
                    try {  
                          Set-MsolUserLicense -UserPrincipalName $User -RemoveLicenses $OldLicense -ErrorAction Stop -WarningAction Stop
                          Write-Output "SUCCESS: Removed $OldLicense for $User"
                    } catch {  
                          Write-Warning "Error when removing license on user`r`n$_"

5. Verify that the runbook is working as intended by starting it in the test pane. 2016-01-03_14-54-40
Make sure to solve eventual errors before you publish and schedule the runbook. The most common error is login errors for the automation service account.
6. Publish and schedule the runbook. In my case I will run it one time every hour.

You are now all set and can hopefully disable a scheduled task in your on premises environment. If thinking about running this in production, keep in mind that the PowerShell module is still in preview (I haven’t experienced any problems, but…).

Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions, and happy automation!


From Password Sync to ADFS – Reset the state of Azure AD Connect

Setting up your identity bridge using Azure AD Connect requires you to choose authentication/user sign in methods for your users as in the screenshot below.
(A detailed guide on the entire installation can be found here.)

If you for example have chosen to use Password Synchronization and later want to reconfigure your solution to get SSO with ADFS, you don’t have the possibility to change authentication mode in the AAD Connect wizard after having it configured once.

In this case, we could of course just configure our ADFS servers from outside AAD Connect to achieve our goal with SSO.

If we really want to use AAD Connect, we have to “reset the state” of AAD Connect. How this is done is described in KB3008643. The KB do however refer to an xml file which should be present in %LocalAppData%. Trying to do a “state reset” a while ago, I didn’t manage to find the file there.
I did however find a file named PersistedState.xml in C:\ProgramData\AADConnect. 2015-09-27_18-51-51
Hopefully the KB article will be updated to reflect the reality soon.

Renaming the PersistedState.xml file will make the wizard run as it did in the initial state, where you have the possibility to change the authentication settings. Keep in mind that you will need to reconfigure all other settings again. If you are unsure about the settings, make sure to make a proper backup of your synchronization settings prior to doing any changes.

Hope this helps if running in to this issue and let me know if you have any questions!


Exchange Online (Archive) offboarding – “Multiple objects with Guid were found”

Quite a few customers that are using Exchange Online Archiving in an Exchange Hybrid environment, where they have their primary mailboxes on-premises and the archive mailboxes in Exchange Online. This makes a very flexible solution and a perfect start to utilize but not go all in to the cloud.

Just as in a “regular” hybrid environment, you have the possibility to on and offboard the archive mailboxes from and to the on-premises Exchange server. While testing offboarding of an archive mailbox a while ago, I ran in to an interesting error related to the ExchangeGuid attribute.

The exact error message trying to start the moverequest was as follows:
“Multiple objects with Guid 1b2eaa95-0d64-4469-9fb2-d8f9be3e28ce were found”

Multiple objects with the same Guid, could that really be true? Investigating further confirmed the error message. All users in Exchange Online/Office365 had the same value in the ExchangeGuid attribute, even if they didn’t have an archive mailbox.

The following kb describes a similiar problem in a hybrid environment, but the exact solution could not be applied in my scenario since the RemoteMailbox-cmdlets isn’t working in EOA scenarios. It do however state that in order for a successful move, the ExchangeGuid should be the same on-premises as in the cloud.

After doing the change on one user as below the move started and completed successfully.

#Connect to Exchange Online and Exchange On Premises with prefixes
$cred = Get-Credential
$OnPremSess = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange `
                            -Authentication Kerberos `
                            -ConnectionUri http://exchangeserver/powershell
$O365Sess = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange `
                          -Authentication Basic `
                          -ConnectionUri `
                          -AllowRedirection:$true `
                          -Credential $cred
Import-PSSession $O365Sess -Prefix Cloud -AllowClobber
Import-PSSession $OnPremSess -Prefix OnPrem -AllowClobber

#Get the On-Premises mailbox
$Mailbox = Get-OnPremMailbox -Identity
#Get the Exchange Online MailUser
$MailUser = Get-CloudMailUser -Identity
#Change the ExchangeGuid to match the on-premises Guid
$MailUser | Set-CloudMailUser -ExchangeGuid $Mailbox.ExchangeGuid

Since it worked on one user, I then decided to to the change on all users that had EOA activated, as below:

#Get all Mailboxes with EOA Activated
$Mailboxes = Get-OnPremMailbox -Filter {(Archivestate -eq "HostedProvisioned")}
foreach ($Mailbox in $Mailboxes) {
    $CloudUser = Get-CloudMailUser -Identity $mailbox.userprincipalname
    if ($CloudUser.ExchangeGuid -ne $mailbox.ExchangeGuid) {
        $clouduser | Set-CloudMailUser -ExchangeGuid $mailbox.ExchangeGuid

I still have a MS support case open regarding how the attribute ended up the same on all users and will update the post when we have identified the root cause.

Let me know if you have questions!


Creating AD users with help from SharePoint Online and PowerShell

Creating users in different systems is a common task that in many cases can be quite challenging. It gets even more challenging having migrated email to Office 365, decommisioned the Exchange Servers, still keeping the local Active Directory. Using Directory Synchronization/Password sync, as of today, creating users in the correct way in your local Active Directory is not optional. By the correct way, I mean a user with proper UserPrincipalName, proxyAddresses, mail etc, which usually is where we get problems.

We do of course have lots of tools, like FIM/MIM and others to help us do this in an automated and predictable way. But if we don’t have that, what are the options?

In this post, I will give you an example on how to create a “poor mans solution” on this topic, using tools that you already have if using Office 365. SharePoint Online and PowerShell. If you have System Center Orchestrator in your environment, the integration with SharePoint Online can be handled by an integration pack instead.

Overview on that the post will cover:

  • Read list items from an already existing list in SharePoint Online.
  • Create an AD user in a predictable way based on input from SharePoint Online.
  • Send an email to the new users manager with the account information.
  • Report back status to SharePoint  with status and username/email address to the SharePoint list item.

First of all, you need to create a SharePoint list with the columns that you want to use as input for your new users. In my example I have called the list “OnBoarding” and created  the columns as below. The status column will in my case be extra important since I will use that to determine if the user has been created or not. (there are other ways to do that of course).

2015-05-14_13-33-52 2015-05-14_15-07-11

Next up is preparing our “automation server” with the right tools. We will use the Client Side Object Model (CSOM) in SharePoint to integrate with SharePoint Online. For that we need the SharePoint Server 2013 Client Components SDK, which can be downloaded from here.  You also need to have the ActiveDirectory PowerShell module on the machine running the script.

First of all, we need input data in the SharePoint list for the user to create. 


Then configure the script to fit your AD Settings, SPO credentials, addresses and the column name mappings in the $SPListItemColumns hashtable. Note that spaces will be replaced by ‘_x0020_’, so for example ‘Last Name’ will be ‘Last_x0020_Name’.

Apart from the above, the example script consists of the simple functions described below:

  • Convert-ToLatinCharacters – will get rid of all the non-unicode characters and some more creating the username. (Thanks to Johan Akerstrom)
  • Get-JDDNFromUPN – returns distinguishedname of a userprincipalname, to support adding a manager to the AD User.
  • New-JDSamAccountName – Generates a samaccountname for the user, based on firstname + lastname (default 3+3 characters). Will handle duplicates.
  • New-JDUPNAndMail – Generates a userprincipalname and emailaddress based on firstname.lastname. Will also handle duplicates but assumes that UPN and Email are the same in your environment.
  • New-JDADUser  Creates the AD user and returns sAMAccountName, UserPrincipalName and the Password. Password generated by the System.Web GeneratePassword method (there are of course other and better methods)
  • Send-JDWelcomeEmail – Basic function to send a “Welcome Email” to the manager with the account information. Lots of room for design improvement in the email sent out, but it works. The email will contain the users password in clear text, so be careful with the recipient.


    The scripts creates and active directory users based on input from a SharePoint list in SharePoint Online.
    For more details, read at
   .\CreateADUsersFromSPO.ps1 -Verbose
    File Name: CreateADUsersFromSPO.ps1
    Author   : Johan Dahlbom, johan[at]
    Blog     : 
    The script are provided “AS IS” with no guarantees, no warranties, and they confer no rights.
    Requires PowerShell Version 3.0!
    $UPNSuffix = "",
    $OrganizationalUnit = "OU=Users,OU=365lab Inc.,DC=ad,DC=365lab,DC=net",
    $PasswordLength = 12
#Import the Required Assemblys from the Client components SDK (
[System.Reflection.Assembly]::LoadWithPartialName("Microsoft.SharePoint.Client") | Out-Null
[System.Reflection.Assembly]::LoadWithPartialName("Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Runtime") | Out-Null
[System.Reflection.Assembly]::LoadWithPartialName(“System.Web”) | Out-Null
#Import Active Directory Module
Import-Module ActiveDirectory -Verbose:$false
#Define SharePoint Online Credentials with proper permissions
$User = ''
$Pass = ConvertTo-SecureString 'password' -AsPlainText -Force
#SharePoint online address and list name
$SPOUrl = ""
$SPOList = "UserOnboarding"
#Column Name mapping in SharePoint 
$SPListItemColumns = @{
        FirstName = "First_x0020_Name"
        LastName = "Last_x0020_Name"
        Title = "Title"
        Manager = "Manager"
        Status = "Status"
        Mail = "EmailAddress"

#region functions
function Convert-ToLatinCharacters {
function Get-JDDNFromUPN {
    param (
        [ValidateScript({Get-ADUser -Filter {UserprincipalName -eq $_}})] 
        $ADUser = Get-ADUser -Filter {UserprincipalName -eq $UserPrincipalName} -ErrorAction stop
        return $ADUser.distinguishedname
function New-JDSamAccountName {
    param (
        [parameter(Mandatory=$false)][int]$FirstNameCharCount = 3,
        [parameter(Mandatory=$false)][int]$LastNameCharCount = 3
    #Construct the base sAMAccountName
    $BaseSam = "{0}{1}" -f (Convert-ToLatinCharacters $FirstName).Substring(0,$FirstNameCharCount),(Convert-ToLatinCharacters $LastName).Substring(0,$LastNameCharCount)
    #Add a number until you find a free sAMAccountName
    if (Get-ADUser -Filter {samaccountname -eq $BaseSam} -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue) {
        $index = 0
        do {
            $sAMAccountName = "{0}{1}" -f $BaseSam.ToLower(),$index
        } until (-not(Get-ADUser -Filter {samaccountname -eq $sAMAccountName } -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue))
    } else {
        $sAMAccountName = $BaseSam.tolower()
    return $sAMAccountName
function New-JDUPNAndMail {
    param (
    #Construct the base userPrincipalName
    $BaseUPN = "{0}.{1}@{2}" -f (Convert-ToLatinCharacters $FirstName).replace(' ','.').tolower(),(Convert-ToLatinCharacters $LastName).replace(' ','.').tolower(),$UPNSuffix
    if (Get-ADUser -Filter {userprincipalname -eq $BaseUPN} -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue) {
        $index = 0
        do {
            $UserPrincipalName = "{0}{1}@{2}" -f $BaseUPN.Split("@")[0],$index,$UPNSuffix
        } until (-not(Get-ADUser -Filter {userprincipalname -eq $UserPrincipalName} -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue))
    } else {
        $UserPrincipalName = $BaseUPN
    return $UserPrincipalName
function New-JDADUser {
    param (
        [Parameter(Mandatory=$true)][int]$PasswordLength = 12
     #Generate a password
     $Password = [System.Web.Security.Membership]::GeneratePassword($PasswordLength,2)
     #Construct the user HT
     $ADUserHt = @{
        GivenName = $FirstName
        SurName = $LastName
        ChangePasswordAtLogon = $true
        EmailAddress = $UserPrincipalName
        UserPrincipalName = $UserPrincipalName
        sAMAccountName = $sAMAccountName
        Title = $Title
        Name = "$FirstName $LastName ($sAMAccountName)"
        Displayname = "$FirstName $LastName"
        Manager = $Manager
        Path = $OU
        AccountPassword = (ConvertTo-SecureString -String $Password -AsPlainText -Force)
        Enabled = $true
        OtherAttribute = @{proxyAddresses = "SMTP:$UserPrincipalName"}
     try {
        #Create the user and return a custom object
        New-ADUser @ADUserHt -ErrorAction Stop 
        Write-Verbose "Successfully created the user $($ADUserHt.Name)"
        [pscustomobject] @{
            sAMAccountName = $ADUserHt.sAMAccountName 
            UserPrincipalName = $ADUserHt.UserPrincipalName 
            Password = $Password
     } catch {
        Write-Warning "Error creating the user $($ADUserHt.Name) `r`n$_"
function Send-JDWelcomeEmail {
    param (
        [Parameter(Mandatory=$false)][string]$Sender = "",
    $message = @"
    A user with the following account details was created in Active Directory:
    Username: $usAMAccountName
    EmailAddress: $uUserPrincipalName
    Password: $uPassword (needs to be changed at first logon)
    Best Regards
    365lab IT department
    $MailMessageHt = @{
        From = $Sender
        To = $Recipient
        Body = $message
        SmtpServer = ""
        Subject = "User $uUserPrincipalName was created"
    Send-MailMessage @MailMessageHt
#endregion functions
#Connect to SharePoint Online
$Context = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ClientContext($SPOUrl)
$Context.Credentials = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.SharePointOnlineCredentials($User, $Pass)
#Get the list
$List = $Context.Web.Lists.GetByTitle($SPOList)
$Query = [Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.CamlQuery]::CreateAllItemsQuery(100) 
$Items = $List.GetItems($Query)
#Loop through list items
foreach($item in $Items) {
    #Get list item for later reference
    $ListItem = [Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ListItem]$listItem = $List.GetItemById($Item.FieldValues["ID"])
    if ($item.FieldValues[$SPListItemColumns.Status] -eq "New") {
        Write-Verbose "Processing list item $Firstname $LastName with ID=$($item.FieldValues["ID"])"
        #Put the fieldvalues in variables.
        $FirstName = $item.FieldValues[$SPListItemColumns.FirstName]
        $LastName = $item.FieldValues[$SPListItemColumns.LastName]
        $Title = $item.FieldValues[$SPListItemColumns.Title]
        $Manager = $item.FieldValues[$SPListItemColumns.Manager].LookupValue
        #Generate Sam, UserPrincipalName/Email and the managers DN
        try {
            $sAMAccountName = New-JDSamAccountName -FirstName $Firstname -LastName $LastName
            $UPNandMail = New-JDUPNAndMail -FirstName $Firstname -LastName $LastName -UPNSuffix $UPNSuffix
            $ManagerDN = Get-JDDNFromUPN -UserPrincipalName $Manager
            #Create the user in Active Directory
            $NewAdUserHt = @{
                FirstName = $Firstname
                LastName = $LastName
                Manager = $ManagerDN
                sAMAccountName = $sAMAccountName
                UserPrincipalName = $UPNandMail
                Title = $Title
                OU = $OrganizationalUnit
                PasswordLength = $PasswordLength
            $ADUser = New-JDADUser @NewAdUserHt -ErrorAction Stop
            Write-Verbose "Created the AD user $sAMAccountName with UPN $UPNandMail"
            #Update EmailAddress in the SharePoint List
            $ListItem[$SPListItemColumns.Mail] = $ADUser.UserPrincipalName
            $ListItem[$SPListItemColumns.Status] = "Completed"
            Write-Verbose "Updated the SharePoint list item with status=Completed"
            #Send information to manager
            Send-JDWelcomeEmail -Recipient $Manager -uUserPrincipalName $UPNandMail -usAMAccountName $sAMAccountName -uPassword $ADUser.Password
            Write-Verbose "Sent account information to $Manager"
        } catch {
            Write-Warning $_
        #Execute the changes

Having understood all the functions and settings, we are now ready to run the script!
The script executed successfully, which means we should now be able to add the script as a scheduled task to automate the task even further.

We now have a properly created AD user according to my organizations needs, and the manager has got an email with the account information needed. The only thing left now is waiting for the directory synchronization and licensing scripts to kick in, and the user will be all set.

Created AD user

Updated SharePoint list item

Information email sent to manager

Hopefully this has given you some useful information regarding how you can create your simple self service tool with some help from things you already have. Let me know if you have any feedback!


Get in control of your Office 365 usage with PowerShell reporting!

Having deployed different Office 365 workloads often makes you want to get some statistics on how the services are used.
You can find quite a few reports for most of the services in the reporting part of the admin UI. 2015-04-18_20-57-28
The most common ones used are the inactive users and mailboxes reports, but there are also reports on how users are utilizing Lync Online, OneDrive for Business etc.

What not so many people know about is that all these reports and some more are available through Exchange Online PowerShell as well.
As seen above, we have 61 cmdlets related to reporting in EXO PowerShell, some of them quite interesting. For example, Get-LicenseVsUsageSummaryReport, that will give you a brief overview of how many active users you have compared to the amount of assigned licenses. Detailed information about the cmdlets can be found here.

Active users per workload in comparison to the amount of licenses assigned to the tenant.

Except the report above, two reports that many of my customers schedule and send out as an email to to admins, are Get-StaleMailboxReport and Get-StaleMailboxDetailReport. Those reports can in many cases help us avoid having to use Get-MailboxStatistics that has been the only option earlier.

Happy reporting!


Switch usage model in Azure Multi-Factor Authentication Server

Azure Multi-Factor Authentication is a really great service that helps you secure both cloud apps and on premise apps with easy means. Setting it up on premise requires you to create a multi-factor authentication provider in the Azure portal.

The first thing you need to choose creating a provider is the usage model (Per user/Per authentication) and as seen in the screenshot below, you cannot change the usage model after creating the provider.

So what to do if having deployed the MFA server with a per user usage model and later the conditions are changing and the per auth usage model would be a better fit?
Since it is not possible to change the usage model of an existing provider as it is right now, you have to create a new one and reactivate your existing server with activation credentials from the new provider.

This is a pretty simple task to do still keeping all users and settings that have been done on the server, but unfortunately it comes with a pretty big caveat if you’ve enrolled a lot of users with the MFA Mobile App. That means your users will have to re-enroll the mobile app in the user portal after you have done the usage model change. As a workaround to avoid interruption doing the change, you can of course change the mobile app users to Text or Phone verification instead.

1. Identify users that have the mobile app activated and inform them about the change.
2. Make a backup copy of the data folder in the Azure MFA installation path. (in most cases, C:\Program Files\Multi-Factor Authentication Server\Data)
3. Generate activation credentials for your new auth provider with the target usage model. (You have 10 minutes before you need to generate a new set of credentials)
4. If you have the Azure MFA Server UI running, exit that and then rename the licenseKey file in the installation folder.
5. Starting the MFA Server UI again, you will now get the first run wizard where you can activate the server again. Since you won’t make any configuration changes, you can check the “Skip the Authentication Configuration Wizard” and just activate the server instead.
6. The server has now been activated against your new provider and all settings have been preserved. Do however make sure to verify all services that depend on the MFA server after the change has been done.
Also remember that the Mobile App-enabled users will get the following error when authenticating until they have re-enrolled their account with the app or changed the verification model.

As you’ve seen in the post, it is not very hard to switch the usage model, even though it can be a bit painful if you have a lot of users utilizing the mobile app. Let me know if you have questions!


Get rid of your Office 365 Scheduled tasks with Azure Automation!

Implementing Office 365 in a production environment you most often end up with quite a few scheduled scripts for licensing, shared mailbox maintenance and other similiar tasks. When moving more and more services to the cloud, moving from infrastructure services to platform services is the way of nature.

One service that can help you to get more efficient when it comes to scheduling scripts is Azure Automation. Instead of having a server where you schedule your scripts, you simply schedule them within the automation service that takes care of the rest. As of now, Azure Automation does not support use of the Azure Active Directory Powershell module, which means we cannot use the service for our licensing scripts. Make sure to vote for the suggestion to fix that here.

Exchange Online, Lync Online and SharePoint Online do however work well, so that’s what my example is going to be about. To make it easy for me I’m using a script from one of my older posts about Dynamically adding mailbox permissions through groups, with some adjustments to fit Azure Automation.

1. First of all, if you don’t already have one, you need an Azure Automation account. I’m choosing to create mine in the West Europe region. By default, it will use a free automation plan that gives you 500 minutes of job runtime per month.
2. Now create an asset/setting that will store your Exchange Online admin credentials in a secure way. We will call the asset ‘EXOCreds’ so we easliy can pick them up later in the script.2015-04-05_17-03-15
3. Create a runbook in the automation account you created earlier, in my case I called it ‘Sync-EXOSharedMailboxPermissions’.
4. Now it’s time to author the runbook, in my example I’ve just changed some minor things with parameters and credentials. If you’re a PowerShell WF Pro, there might be a lot of things you can do to improve the script.
Below you’ll find the code I’ve used:


workflow Sync-EXOSharedMailboxPermissions {
    The script will automatically assign mailbox and recipient permissions on shared mailboxes based on groups.
    Modified 2015-04-05 to support Azure automation and PowerShell workflows
    File Name: SharedMailboxViaGroups.ps1
    Author   : Johan Dahlbom, johan[at]
    Blog     :
    The script are provided “AS IS” with no guarantees, no warranties, and they confer no rights.
    Requires PowerShell Version 3.0!
    #Credentials to connect to Exchange Online
    $Credentials = Get-AutomationPSCredential -Name 'EXOCreds'
    #Prefix to search for
    $Prefix = 'SM-'
    function Connect-ExchangeOnline {
    param (
        #Clean up existing PowerShell Sessions
        Get-PSSession | Remove-PSSession
        #Connect to Exchange Online
        $Session = New-PSSession –ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri -Credential $Creds -Authentication Basic -AllowRedirection
        $Commands = @("Add-MailboxPermission","Add-RecipientPermission","Remove-RecipientPermission","Remove-MailboxPermission","Get-MailboxPermission","Get-User","Get-DistributionGroupMember","Get-DistributionGroup","Get-Mailbox")
        Import-PSSession -Session $Session -Prefix "Cloud" -DisableNameChecking:$true -AllowClobber:$true -CommandName $Commands | Out-Null
    Connect-ExchangeOnline -Creds $Credentials
    inlineScript {
        function Add-JDMailboxPermission {
            try {
                Add-CloudMailboxPermission -Identity $SharedMailboxName -User $Identity -AccessRights FullAccess -ErrorAction stop | Out-Null
                Add-CloudRecipientPermission -Identity $SharedMailboxName -Trustee $Identity -AccessRights SendAs -Confirm:$False -ErrorAction stop | Out-Null
                Write-Output "INFO: Successfully added $Identity to $SharedMailboxName"
            } catch {
                Write-Warning "Cannot add $Identity to $SharedMailboxName`r`n$_"
        function Remove-JDMailboxPermission {
            try {
                Remove-CloudMailboxPermission -Identity $SharedMailboxName -User $Identity -AccessRights FullAccess -Confirm:$False -ErrorAction stop -WarningAction ignore | Out-Null
                Remove-CloudRecipientPermission -Identity $SharedMailboxName -Trustee $Identity -AccessRights SendAs -Confirm:$False -ErrorAction stop -WarningAction ignore  | Out-Null
                Write-Output "INFO: Successfully removed $Identity from $SharedMailboxName"
            } catch {
                Write-Warning "Cannot remove $Identity from $SharedMailboxName`r`n$_"
        function Sync-EXOResourceGroup {
                [string]$Prefix = 'SM-'
            #Get All groups to process mailboxes for
            $MasterGroups = Get-CloudDistributionGroup -ResultSize Unlimited -Identity "$Prefix*"
            foreach ($Group in $MasterGroups) {
                #Remove prefix to get the mailbox name
                $MbxName = $Group.Name.Replace("$Prefix",'')
                $SharedMailboxName =  (Get-CloudMailbox -Identity $MbxName -ErrorAction ignore -WarningAction ignore).WindowsLiveID
                if ($SharedMailboxName) {
                    Write-Verbose -Message "Processing group $($Group.Name) and mailbox $SharedMailboxName"
                    #Get all users with explicit permissions on the mailbox
                    $SharedMailboxDelegates = Get-CloudMailboxPermission -Identity $SharedMailboxName -ErrorAction Stop -ResultSize Unlimited | Where-Object {$_.IsInherited -eq $false -and $_.User -ne "NT AUTHORITY\SELF" -and $_.User -notmatch 'S-\d-\d-\d+-\d+-\d+-\d+-\w+' -and $_.User -notlike "$Prefix*"} |  Select-Object @{Name="User";Expression={(Get-CloudUser -identity $_.User).WindowsLiveID }}
                    #Get all group members
                    $SharedMailboxMembers = Get-CloudDistributionGroupMember -Identity $Group.Identity -ResultSize Unlimited
                    #Remove users if group is empty
                    if (-not($SharedMailboxMembers) -and $SharedMailboxDelegates) {
                        Write-Warning "The group $Group is empty, will remove explicit permissions from $SharedMailboxName"
                        foreach ($user in $SharedMailboxDelegates.User) {
                            Remove-JDMailboxPermission -Identity $user -SharedMailboxName $SharedMailboxName
                        #Add users if no permissions are present
                    } elseif (-not($SharedMailboxDelegates)) {
                        foreach ($user in $SharedMailboxMembers.WindowsLiveID) {
                            Add-JDMailboxPermission -Identity $user -SharedMailboxName $SharedMailboxName
                        #Process removals and adds
                    } else {
                        #Compare the group with the users that have actual access
                        $Users = Compare-Object -ReferenceObject $SharedMailboxDelegates.User -DifferenceObject $SharedMailboxMembers.WindowsLiveID 

                        #Add users that are members of the group but do not have access to the shared mailbox
                        foreach ($user in ($users | Where-Object {$_.SideIndicator -eq "=>"})) {
                            Add-JDMailboxPermission -Identity $user.InputObject -SharedMailboxName $SharedMailboxName
                        #Remove users that have access to the shared mailbox but are not members of the group
                        foreach ($user in ($users | Where-Object {$_.SideIndicator -eq "<="})) {
                            Remove-JDMailboxPermission -Identity $user.InputObject -SharedMailboxName $SharedMailboxName
                } else {
                    Write-Warning "Could not find the mailbox $MbxName"
        #Start Processing groups and mailboxes
        Sync-EXOResourceGroup -Prefix $Using:Prefix -Verbose

5. Test the runbook by clicking the test button. You will be asked to save the runbook before you test. Hopefully your output will be as nice looking as mine. 🙂
6. If all went good, you’re now ready to publish and schedule the runbook. I’m choosing to schedule mine to run every three hours. Depending on your script runtime, you might want to change this due to cost or other factors. (Remember your free 500 minutes!)

My runbook is now published and scheduled, now it’s just to wait for the magic to happen. Hope this gives you an idea what Azure Automation can do for you!

Additional resources to get started can be found below:
Get Started with Azure Automation
Automating the Cloud with Azure Automation (MVA)

Until next time! 🙂


Real world example on Network Security Groups in Azure

I have got many follow up questions regarding my post series on building your SSO infrastructure in Azure. One of the most common questions asked, have the one regarding how to configure the internal firewalls (Network Security Groups) between the perimeter subnet and the internal subnet in the Azure Vnet.

To make it as simple as possible, I am reusing the Vnet configuration from the first post in the ADFS series, as below.
2014-11-22 13-42-09
The example below assumes that your WAP servers is not joined to the domain. Please note that after you attach an NSG to a subnet, you will have to create specific rules for each endpoint that you have created (example RDP, WinRM etc.).

See the high level sketch below with the subnets including firewall rules.
To make the configuration as easy as possible, I’m using the NSG on a subnet level.

Note: As of today, you need to create and configure your Network Security Groups using Azure PowerShell. Prior doing any of the configuration below, you do need to connect to your Azure subscription with PowerShell.

1. Create a new NSG with the command below. They are created on a location basis, which in my case will be North Europe.

New-AzureNetworkSecurityGroup -Name "North Europe Perimeter" -Location "North Europe"

After the NSG has been created, a good way to check out the rule set in detail is by running the following command and redirecting the output to GridView.

(Get-AzureNetworkSecurityGroup -Name "North Europe Perimeter" -Detailed).Rules |
    Select-Object * | Out-GridView


2. Attach the NSG to the subnet with the below command. Note that all inbound endpoints will stop working if you haven’t created a proper rule set at this point.

Set-AzureNetworkSecurityGroupToSubnet -Name "North Europe Perimeter" `
                                      -VirtualNetworkName "365lab-Azure" `
                                      -SubnetName "Azure-Perimeter"

3. Now it is time to configure the rule set. To make it a bit easier to get an overview of the rules, I am using a CSV file as input. Remember that the priority of the rules are very important. You can download an example of the csv file here.

#Get the created NSG
$NSG = Get-AzureNetworkSecurityGroup -Name "North Europe Perimeter"
#Import the csv with the rules
$Rules = Import-Csv .\NSG-Ruleset.csv 

foreach ($Rule in $Rules) {
    try {
        Set-AzureNetworkSecurityRule -Name $Rule.Name `
                                     -Type $Rule.Type `
                                     -Priority $Rule.Priority `
                                     -Action $Rule.Action `
                                     -SourceAddressPrefix $Rule.SourceAddressPrefix `
                                     -SourcePortRange $Rule.SourcePortRange `
                                     -DestinationAddressPrefix $Rule.DestinationAddressPrefix `
                                     -DestinationPortRange $Rule.DestinationPortRange `
                                     -Protocol $Rule.Protocol `
                                     -NetworkSecurityGroup $NSG -ErrorAction Stop | Out-Null
        Write-Output "Created rule $($Rule.Name) successfully"
    } catch {
        Write-Warning "Error creating rule $($Rule.Name)`r`n$_"

After a little while, you should have simliar output as below in your PowerShell console.

You have now configured a DMZ/Perimeter network subnet in Azure to support your ADFS/WAP setup. The above method can of course be used creating all kinds of rules in NSG’s. Let me know if you have any questions!