Running Azure Automation runbooks from IFTTT tasks

I recently had an idea (ok lets call it ‘collaboratively came up with while talking to one of the grads in our office) to look at ways that I could trigger runbooks in my Azure Automation account from my phone. The specific issue we were looking to solve in this case was “how can I easily shut down all the VMs in my subscription from my phone if I forget to turn them off”. Now I already have a runbook that was scheduled to shut down the VMs every night at 11pm as a ‘just in case’ but surely there was a better way if I remembered before than to rely on that automation schedule. After a little bit of thought, the idea of create a “do button” from IFTTT (stands for “if this then that”, great little automation site that I recommend you check out if you haven’t used it already) seemed to be the perfect solution for me. So here’s a run through of the solution from start to end. Continue reading “Running Azure Automation runbooks from IFTTT tasks”

xSharePoint is now SharePointDsc – what you need to know!

For just over 12 months now we have been working hard to grow the xSharePoint DSC module to let SharePoint 2013 and 2016 administrators use PowerShell Desired State Configuration to manage their SharePoint deployments. We’ve come a long way in the last year, and now with the help of my core team we are making an important transition – we are renaming from “xSharePoint” to “SharePointDsc”. Continue reading “xSharePoint is now SharePointDsc – what you need to know!”

Consuming preview builds of xSharePoint through PowerShellGet

PowerShellGet is a new module that is installed as part of PowerShell 5 (in Windows Management Framework 5.0) which allows you to easily connect to remote repositories to install PowerShell modules from. When you install WMF5 you’ll get a repository configured to point to the PowerShell Gallery, where you can download the release versions of all of the PowerShell teamsĀ  DSC resources. However if you want to use the preview (in development but not yet released) builds, you have the option to connect to a secondary repository where the dev builds are created and install those directly to your machine. Continue reading “Consuming preview builds of xSharePoint through PowerShellGet”

Configuring SQL Server AlwaysOn Availability Groups in Azure RM Virtual Machines

This week on a project I came up against the need to set up some AlwaysOn Availability Groups (AG’s) for SQL Server 2014 in an Azure IaaS environment, using v2 (or Resource Manager/ARM) based VMs as opposed to the v1 (or Service Manager/ASM) based ones. I came across varying bits of documentation to do with this, but it either didn’t have the ARM PowerShell cmdlets or it was a mix and match of scripts and UI actions which didn’t help me scripting the deployment, so after working through this, there are a few things that I learned. Continue reading “Configuring SQL Server AlwaysOn Availability Groups in Azure RM Virtual Machines”

Retrieving the URL of an app catalog site in SharePoint 2013

In some of my recent work with the xSharePoint resources we came up with a need to retrieve the current URL of an app catalog so that we could determine if the current settings were correct or not. The issue with this is that we found there is no out of the box cmdlet to retrieve the current app catalog URL for a specific web application, only to update the settings with Update-SPAppCatalogConfiguration. To facilitate getting the current URL we had to do a bit of digging to find where it was stored after this point, and as it turned out this was found in the properties of the app feature which is turned on within the web application object. Continue reading “Retrieving the URL of an app catalog site in SharePoint 2013”