Another week, another use case for Managed Identities in Automation Accounts!
The scenario today concerns a PowerApp and connected resources that should be shared with external identities, automatically of course. For each user this requires a guest account in the host / resource tenant, and a license. The license can be applied in the home tenant of the guest, or in your tenant.
Runbook that invites a user and adds the resulting guest account to a security group
Security group gives access to the PowerApp and underlying (SpO) resources, and uses Group Based Licensing to license the guest for PowerApps and Sharepoint Online
Logic App that is triggered by the PowerApp (trigger on create item in a sharepoint list), and starts the runbook
When the invited user (guest) redeems the invitation, they are directed to a Sharepoint page first so Sharepoint syncs their profile. Otherwise, the PowerApp will not have access to any lists in Sharepoint Online as Guests are not synced to SpO until they access SpO directly.
I may demo the PowerApp, Logic App and Sharepoint lists at some point, but the main thing I wanted to share today is the Azure Runbook that creates the Guest invitation and adds the Guest to a security group using the Managed Identity of the Automation account, instead of service accounts or other pre-2021 solutions:
Capitalizing on the huge advantages that managed identities in Azure offer, here’s another use case similar to the scheduled migration script that also uses it’s managed identity (and graph permissions) to autonomously run as an Azure Runbook without any credentials stored.
In many situations, this solution is a little overkill though, so I’ve also created a second version which simply allows you to redirect any local folder (including variable paths!) to any location in a user’s Onedrive folder.
Usually, I want to roll out new features gradually to my users.
I used to do this by creating a security group, assigning new policies/software/patches etc to it, and then telling the IT staff to add users to it in groups and check with them if things went well.
But why? Why is that manual step needed?
Exactly, it is not!
So attached script can be scheduled in an Azure Automation Account (with Managed Identity enabled!) to add an X amount of users from Group A to Group B. This script can be scheduled to e.g. run daily until all users have been moved. Multiple scheduled would also work in case you’re deploying multiple features.
When certain users need to be excluded, simply create an exclusion security group and exclude that from your policies. Exclusions take precedence in most systems.
You can group deployment by supplying the groupByProperty, e.g. by Country
You’ll probably want to communicate to your users in advance, it’d be fairly easy to generate a report in advance or to add email notifications to the script but that will require additional graph permissions.
When you deploy an Azure Virtual Desktop application group with the default desktop through ARM, the FriendlyName attribute is not respected, and remains at the default value of SessionDesktop.
This is easy to correct manually in the portal, but as I don’t want my admins having modify rights there, I introduced an extra pipeline step (YAML/Azure DevOps) to uses the Az module’s REST command to correctly set the FriendlyName of the SessionDesktop: