This week at Microsoft Ignite the Azure Automation team provided a lot of guidance on what next version of Desired State Configuration will look like. They also announced that the Preview can be used now, you have to enable it via PowerShell. I would recommend watching the Heterogeneous Configuration Management Using Microsoft Azure Automation session for all the details straight from Microsoft.

Here are a few notable highlights:

· Currently management of Azure Automation DSC is 100% PowerShell based, within the next few months the UI should be added to your Azure portal.

· Pricing will be announced later this year.

· Don’t use this in production, it is a preview.

Now let’s get Azure Automation setup in your environment so you can start testing it.

You will need the Azure PowerShell Module version 0.9.1

You can also download the script on TechNet Gallery

First I would like to mention that if you don’t need connectivity to On Premise data you can sign up for a free Power BI account read more about it here.

Before you can jump into building these reports you will need to configure the Service Level Target (SLT) and Service Level Objectives (SLO) in SCOM here is a good walk through by Kevin Green of how to configure the SLT and SLO.

Part 1 – Setting up the data for our dashboard

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Last month I published a new version of Enum Builder to the TechNet Gallery. The latest version only addressed a few bugs, the main bug was the accessibility property was being set to Private, this has been corrected and now sets the property to Public. In the previous release I added 2 new features:

1. Command line executable, here is an example of how to use the switches

EnumBuilderCLI.exe –MPID TestMP –MPVersion 1.0.0.0 –MPName TestMP –RootEnumMPID System.WorkItem.Incident.Library –RootEnumMPVersion 7.0.5244.0 –RootEnumKey 31bf3856ad364e35 –CSVFile “C:_ITNew folderIR_Classifications – Copy.csv” –NewMPFile “C:_ITNew folderIR.xml”

2. The gui version now has an option to create negative ordinals

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You can download the Data Management Gateway here or when you create your gateway in the Power BI admin center. Version 1.2.5303.1 was release in July 2014 added support for:

· scheduled data refresh for Power Query data connections with the following data sources: File (Excel, CSV, XML, Text and Access), Folder, IBM DB2, My SQL, Sybase, SQL Azure, PostgreSQL, Teradata, Sharepoint List, OData Feed, Azure Market Place, Azure HDInsight, Azure Blob Storage and Azure Table StorageContinue reading

While troubleshooting a runbook in SMA, I found a reserved word that to my knowledge is not documented anywhere currently.

You cannot use $class as a variable in PowerShell workflow or SMA unless in an inlinescript block

This was the error I ran into:

The following errors were encountered while processing the workflow tree: ‘DynamicActivity’: The private implementation of activity ‘1: DynamicActivity’ has the following validation error: Compiler error(s) encountered processing expression “class”. Expression expected.
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The installer for the Orchestrator Integration Toolkit R2 checks the registry for the version of WiX while checking for prerequisites,  It is expecting to find the exact version of 3.5. WiX has recently been updated to support Visual Studio 2013 and other fixes you can find the details here.

This is the error you will get if you don’t have WiX installed or if you have any other version than version 3.5

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