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Microsoft Azure Automation: Runbooks

By July 14, 2016Azure

This is part of a continuing series on Azure. For part 1, go here: http://www.windowsmanagementexperts.com/microsoft-azure-introduction-2/microsoft-azure-introduction-2.htm.

This article will focus on Azure Automation. This takes the form of Runbooks, which are very similar conceptually to System Center Orchestrator. There isn’t quite as much customization available, but the concepts are similar. This post will serve to educate you a little on the user interface. We will not be actually building a Runbook here.


Before beginning, you will need to create an Azure run as account. This account will execute the runbook. This step also requires a resource group. You can create one specifically for runbooks, or use one that you already have.


There are two types of Azure Automation runbooks – graphical and PowerShell. With graphical, you get a nice pretty GUI to work from. With PowerShell, you are basically typing a PowerShell script. Here is what the PowerShell version looks like:


With this setup, you can automate about anything that you can write a script for. You can even use the left column to search for cmdlets.

Graphical Runbooks

Create a graphical runbook by giving it a name and selecting “Graphical Runbook”.


After creation, it automatically opens to the “Edit” screen. From here, you can select what to add. You can insert cmdlets, other runbooks, assets, or different functions of runbook control. I’m going to add the add-azureaccount cmdlet:


Once added, you get a new pane on the right:


This pane is where you define the parameters for this cmdlet. You must configure the parameters in the first box:


Once I select User for the right pane, I get the parameters in the middle. Once I select credential, I get the available data sources to choose from. This will be different depending on the cmdlet and parameter that you choose.


After filling in your parameters, you will have a runbook that will automate your processes. You can now publish it.


If we go all the way back to the beginning, there’s another option called Schedules. This will be greyed out until you publish your runbook.


If click all the way the panes that show up, you can create a new schedule:


Now you have created a runbook that will execute on your schedule.


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