Category Archives: Azure

Correct SessionDesktop friendlyname using AVD Rest API

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:

    - task: AzureCLI@2
      displayName: Correct app name
        azureSubscription: ${{ parameters.serviceConnection }}
        scriptType: ps
        scriptLocation: inlineScript
        inlineScript: |
          az rest --method PATCH --uri '${{ parameters.subscriptionId }}/resourceGroups/${{ parameters.resourceGroupName }}/providers/Microsoft.DesktopVirtualization/applicationGroups/ag-myappgroupname-01/desktops/SessionDesktop?api-version=2021-01-14-preview' --body '{""properties"":{""description"": ""Descriptive Tekst"",""friendlyName"": ""DevOps desktop""}}'

The API used is documented here:

WVD Hostpool ExpirationTime

Spent some time troubleshooting an issue deploying new VM’s to our Windows Virtual Desktop hostpool today, and since the DSC extension that adds the WVD host to the hostpool completed successfully but the VM’s didn’t join the hostpool, here’s the error for those googling it in the future:

No match for RegistrationKey found in the meta mof file

The reason the RegistrationKey never made it to the extension ended up being an expirationTime set “only” 6 hours in the future. Apparently, one of the steps isn’t actually executed in our target zone (West Europe). Setting the host pool token expiration time to 20 hours resolved above error.

The full DSC extension log in Azure:

        "code": "ComponentStatus/DscConfigurationLog/succeeded",
        "level": "Info",
        "displayStatus": "Provisioning succeeded",
        "message": "[2021-06-03 10:37:48Z] [VERBOSE] [REDACTED]: LCM:  [ Start  Set      ]  [[Script]ExecuteRdAgentInstallClient]\r\n[2021-06-03 10:37:48Z] [VERBOSE] [REDACTED]:                            [[Script]ExecuteRdAgentInstallClient] Performing the operation \"Set-TargetResource\" on target \"Executing the SetScript with the user supplied credential\".\r\n[2021-06-03 10:38:05Z] [VERBOSE] [REDACTED]: LCM:  [ End    Set      ]  [[Script]ExecuteRdAgentInstallClient]  in 16.5940 seconds.\r\n[2021-06-03 10:38:05Z] [VERBOSE] [REDACTED]: LCM:  [ End    Resource ]  [[Script]ExecuteRdAgentInstallClient]\r\n[2021-06-03 10:38:05Z] [VERBOSE] [REDACTED]: LCM:  [ End    Set      ]\r\n[2021-06-03 10:38:05Z] [VERBOSE] [REDACTED]: LCM:  [ End    Set      ]    in  17.3440 seconds.\r\n[2021-06-03 10:38:05Z] [VERBOSE] Operation 'Invoke CimMethod' complete.\r\n[2021-06-03 10:38:05Z] [VERBOSE] Time taken for configuration job to complete is 17.478 seconds\r\n[2021-06-03 10:38:08Z] [VERBOSE] Performing the operation \"Start-DscConfiguration: SendMetaConfigurationApply\" on target \"MSFT_DSCLocalConfigurationManager\".\r\n[2021-06-03 10:38:08Z] [VERBOSE] Perform operation 'Invoke CimMethod' with following parameters, ''methodName' = SendMetaConfigurationApply,'className' = MSFT_DSCLocalConfigurationManager,'namespaceName' = root/Microsoft/Windows/DesiredStateConfiguration'.\r\n[2021-06-03 10:38:08Z] [VERBOSE] An LCM method call arrived from computer REDACTED with user sid S-1-5-18.\r\n[2021-06-03 10:38:08Z] [VERBOSE] [REDACTED]: LCM:  [ Start  Set      ]\r\n[2021-06-03 10:38:08Z] [VERBOSE] [REDACTED]: LCM:  [ Start  Resource ]  [MSFT_DSCMetaConfiguration]\r\n[2021-06-03 10:38:08Z] [VERBOSE] [REDACTED]: LCM:  [ Start  Set      ]  [MSFT_DSCMetaConfiguration]\r\n[2021-06-03 10:38:08Z] [VERBOSE] [REDACTED]: LCM:  [ End    Set      ]  [MSFT_DSCMetaConfiguration]  in 0.0160 seconds.\r\n[2021-06-03 10:38:08Z] [VERBOSE] [REDACTED]: LCM:  [ End    Resource ]  [MSFT_DSCMetaConfiguration]\r\n[2021-06-03 10:38:08Z] [VERBOSE] [REDACTED]: LCM:  [ End    Set      ]\r\n[2021-06-03 10:38:08Z] [VERBOSE] [REDACTED]: LCM:  [ End    Set      ]    in  0.0790 seconds.\r\n[2021-06-03 10:38:08Z] [VERBOSE] Operation 'Invoke CimMethod' complete.\r\n[2021-06-03 10:38:08Z] [VERBOSE] Set-DscLocalConfigurationManager finished in 0.194 seconds."
        "code": "ComponentStatus/DscExtensionLog/succeeded",
        "level": "Info",
        "displayStatus": "Provisioning succeeded",
        "message": "[2021-06-03 10:37:23Z] Creating Working directory: C:\\Packages\\Plugins\\Microsoft.Powershell.DSC\\\\bin\\..\\DSCWork\\Configuration.0\r\n[2021-06-03 10:37:23Z] Downloading configuration package\r\n[2021-06-03 10:37:24Z] Downloading to C:\\Packages\\Plugins\\Microsoft.Powershell.DSC\\\\bin\\..\\DSCWork\\Configuration.0\\\r\n[2021-06-03 10:37:41Z] Extracting\r\n[2021-06-03 10:37:41Z] Looking for the definition of the configuration function.\r\n[2021-06-03 10:37:41Z] Executing C:\\Packages\\Plugins\\Microsoft.Powershell.DSC\\\\bin\\..\\DSCWork\\Configuration.0\\Configuration.ps1\r\n[2021-06-03 10:37:41Z] Preparing configuration arguments and configuration data.\r\n[2021-06-03 10:37:41Z] Creating MOF files.\r\n[2021-06-03 10:37:41Z] Executing the configuration function to generate the MOF files.\r\n[2021-06-03 10:37:42Z] Verifying metaconfiguration for reboot information...\r\n[2021-06-03 10:37:42Z] Backing up C:\\Packages\\Plugins\\Microsoft.Powershell.DSC\\\\DSCWork\\Configuration.0\\AddSessionHost\\localhost.meta.mof\r\n[2021-06-03 10:37:42Z] No match for RegistrationKey found in the meta mof file\r\n[2021-06-03 10:37:42Z] WMF 5 or newer, Injecting RebootNodeIfNeeded = False and ActionAfterReboot = \"StopConfiguration\"\r\n[2021-06-03 10:37:42Z] Executing Set-DscLocalConfigurationManager...\r\n[2021-06-03 10:37:44Z] Settings handler status to 'transitioning' (C:\\Packages\\Plugins\\Microsoft.Powershell.DSC\\\\Status\\0.status)\r\n[2021-06-03 10:37:47Z] Settings handler status to 'transitioning' (C:\\Packages\\Plugins\\Microsoft.Powershell.DSC\\\\Status\\0.status)\r\n[2021-06-03 10:37:47Z] Get-DscLocalConfigurationManager: \r\n\r\nActionAfterReboot              : StopConfiguration\r\nAgentId                        : ADF6E52A-C457-11EB-9BDA-000D3A2633E7\r\nAllowModuleOverWrite           : False\r\nCertificateID                  : \r\nConfigurationDownloadManagers  : {}\r\nConfigurationID                : \r\nConfigurationMode              : ApplyOnly\r\nConfigurationModeFrequencyMins : 15\r\nCredential                     : \r\nDebugMode                      : {NONE}\r\nDownloadManagerCustomData      : \r\nDownloadManagerName            : \r\nLCMCompatibleVersions          : {1.0, 2.0}\r\nLCMState                       : Idle\r\nLCMStateDetail                 : \r\nLCMVersion                     : 2.0\r\nStatusRetentionTimeInDays      : 10\r\nSignatureValidationPolicy      : NONE\r\nSignatureValidations           : {}\r\nMaximumDownloadSizeMB          : 500\r\nPartialConfigurations          : \r\nRebootNodeIfNeeded             : False\r\nRefreshFrequencyMins           : 30\r\nRefreshMode                    : PUSH\r\nReportManagers                 : {}\r\nResourceModuleManagers         : {}\r\nPSComputerName                 : \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n[2021-06-03 10:37:47Z] Executing Start-DscConfiguration...\r\n[2021-06-03 10:37:47Z] Settings handler status to 'transitioning' (C:\\Packages\\Plugins\\Microsoft.Powershell.DSC\\\\Status\\0.status)\r\n[2021-06-03 10:38:07Z] Settings handler status to 'transitioning' (C:\\Packages\\Plugins\\Microsoft.Powershell.DSC\\\\Status\\0.status)\r\n[2021-06-03 10:38:07Z] Updating execution status (HKLM:\\SOFTWARE\\Microsoft\\Azure\\DSC\\\\Status)\r\n[2021-06-03 10:38:07Z] LCM state is Idle\r\n[2021-06-03 10:38:07Z] DSC configuration completed.\r\n[2021-06-03 10:38:07Z] Resetting metaconfiguration...\r\n[2021-06-03 10:38:07Z] Restoring C:\\Packages\\Plugins\\Microsoft.Powershell.DSC\\\\DSCWork\\Configuration.0\\AddSessionHost\\localhost.meta.mof.bk...\r\n[2021-06-03 10:38:07Z] Executing Set-DscLocalConfigurationManager...\r\n[2021-06-03 10:38:07Z] Settings handler status to 'transitioning' (C:\\Packages\\Plugins\\Microsoft.Powershell.DSC\\\\Status\\0.status)\r\n[2021-06-03 10:38:10Z] Settings handler status to 'transitioning' (C:\\Packages\\Plugins\\Microsoft.Powershell.DSC\\\\Status\\0.status)\r\n[2021-06-03 10:38:10Z] Get-DscLocalConfigurationManager: \r\n\r\nActionAfterReboot              : ContinueConfiguration\r\nAgentId                        : ADF6E52A-C457-11EB-9BDA-000D3A2633E7\r\nAllowModuleOverWrite           : False\r\nCertificateID                  : \r\nConfigurationDownloadManagers  : {}\r\nConfigurationID                : \r\nConfigurationMode              : ApplyOnly\r\nConfigurationModeFrequencyMins : 15\r\nCredential                     : \r\nDebugMode                      : {NONE}\r\nDownloadManagerCustomData      : \r\nDownloadManagerName            : \r\nLCMCompatibleVersions          : {1.0, 2.0}\r\nLCMState                       : Idle\r\nLCMStateDetail                 : \r\nLCMVersion                     : 2.0\r\nStatusRetentionTimeInDays      : 10\r\nSignatureValidationPolicy      : NONE\r\nSignatureValidations           : {}\r\nMaximumDownloadSizeMB          : 500\r\nPartialConfigurations          : \r\nRebootNodeIfNeeded             : True\r\nRefreshFrequencyMins           : 30\r\nRefreshMode                    : PUSH\r\nReportManagers                 : {}\r\nResourceModuleManagers         : {}\r\nPSComputerName                 : \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n[2021-06-03 10:38:10Z] Settings handler status to 'success' (C:\\Packages\\Plugins\\Microsoft.Powershell.DSC\\\\Status\\0.status)"
        "code": "ComponentStatus/Metadata/succeeded",
        "level": "Info",
        "displayStatus": "Provisioning succeeded",
        "message": "VMUUId=6DFC142E-0A63-41D1-BE3E-31F5D0D9D8A3;AgentId=BDF6E52A-C427-12EB-9BDA-001D3A2633E7;"

Distributing Teams Backgrounds to all users using MEM

I’ve seen a few examples of distributing a set of teams backgrounds to users in MEM, mostly they seemed a little overly complex, especially in targetting all local users and/or packaging the script into an application. I wanted to:

  • Deploy using MEM PS script in user context
  • Avoid access controls on the storage location of the backgrounds
  • Simplify the creation of required Azure resources
  • Have a simple update procedure

Here’s my take, first autocreate a blob storage location using my template:

Note down the name you used for the storage account (which was the only parameter to the template), and use it to configure this PowerShell script:

Finally, deploy the script to a group of your users in MEM, in their own context:

Upserting Data to Azure SQL DB using PowerShell

For a project involving Azure Security I needed to store fairly large amounts of data in an Azure PaaS database using PowerShell.

If a row already exists, I want to do an UPDATE command, otherwise an INSERT command, also known as an UPSERT in SQL.

It should also use parameters to avoid issues with quotes in fields, and should convert PowerShell null’s/empty objects to the SQL equivalent.

The following function is what resulted, it only supports a single WHERE clause, but should be easy to enhance for those looking to improve 🙂

function invoke-sqlUpsert{
        [Array]$values, # example: @(@{"column"="deviceId";"value"="123415";"dataType"=[Data.SQLDBType]::NVarChar})
        [PSObject]$primaryKey, # example: @{"column"="deviceId";"value"="123415";"dataType"=[Data.SQLDBType]::NVarChar}

    $sqlQuery = "BEGIN TRANSACTION;
    UPDATE $tableName
        SET "
    for($i = 0;$i -lt $values.Count;$i++){
        $sqlQuery = "$sqlQuery$($values[$i].column)=@$($values[$i].column)"
        if($i -lt $values.Count-1){
            $sqlQuery = "$sqlQuery,"
    $sqlQuery = "$($sqlQuery)
        WHERE $($primaryKey.column) = @$($primaryKey.column);
    IF @@ROWCOUNT = 0
            INSERT INTO $tableName ($($primaryKey.column),"
    for($i = 0;$i -lt $values.Count;$i++){
        $sqlQuery = "$sqlQuery$($values[$i].column)"
        if($i -lt $values.Count-1){
            $sqlQuery = "$sqlQuery,"
    $sqlQuery = "$($sqlQuery)
            VALUES (@$($primaryKey.column),"
    for($i = 0;$i -lt $values.Count;$i++){
        $sqlQuery = "$($sqlQuery)@$($values[$i].column)"
        if($i -lt $values.Count-1){
            $sqlQuery = "$sqlQuery,"
    $sqlQuery = "$($sqlQuery));

    $sqlCmd=new-object system.Data.SqlClient.SqlCommand($sqlQuery, $sqlConn)
    $sqlCmd.Parameters.Add((New-OBJECT DATA.SQLClient.SQLParameter("@$($primaryKey.column)",$primaryKey.dataType))) | OUT-NULL
    $sqlCmd.Parameters[0].Value = $primaryKey.value
    for($i = 0;$i -lt $values.Count;$i++){
        $sqlCmd.Parameters.Add((New-OBJECT DATA.SQLClient.SQLParameter("@$($values[$i].column)",$values[$i].dataType))) | OUT-NULL
        $sqlCmd.Parameters[$i+1].Value = $values[$i].value

    for($i=0;$i -lt $sqlCmd.Parameters.count;$i++){
        if($sqlCmd.Parameters[$i].Value -eq $null){
            $sqlCmd.Parameters[$i].Value = [System.DBNull]::Value
    if($sqlCmd.ExecuteNonQuery() -ne 1){
        Throw $_

An example of how to connect from an Azure Function before using this command:

using namespace System.Data.SqlClient
using namespace System.Net
$msi_authenticationResult = Invoke-RestMethod -Method Get -Headers @{'Secret' = $env:MSI_SECRET} -Uri ($env:MSI_ENDPOINT +'?resource=')
$sqlConn = New-Object System.Data.SqlClient.SqlConnection
$sqlConn.ConnectionString = "Data Source =; Initial Catalog = yourdatabase"
$sqlConn.AccessToken = $msi_authenticationResult.access_token

Add remoteapp to WVD hostpool using an ARM template

As I couldn’t find anyone who had written about adding a RemoteApp to a Windows Virtual Desktop hostpool (existing) in an existing Workspace, I figured I’d share my template.

  • It automatically creates an application group if it doesn’t exist yet
  • It takes into account existing applications if the application group already exists
  • The group has to be a remoteapp group, not a desktop group
  • This template is idempotent
  • This template can authorize any existing principal you specify
  • It creates 1 or more remoteapps in the group specified
  • It automatically manages the link to an existing hostpool/workspace