Access Compliance Data and Manage Compliance for Azure Resources

In our previous blog post, we discussed how we can write custom Azure Policies in accordance with Organization’s Strategic and Compliance Requirements. We also learned how to apply policies at different scope levels in Azure. While planning, writing and applying compliance requirements in the form of Azure Policies is important, it is equally important to audit existing resources for appropriate configurations and settings, evaluate the results and take certain actions. One needs to be evaluate how many resources are compliant with the defined requirements, what resources are non-compliant, what corrective actions can be taken to bring them in compliance and also remove any false positives.
Read More »

Create and Assign Custom Azure Policies for Azure Governance

In our previous blog post, we discussed on using Azure Policies for Azure Governance and staying compliant with the same. We also discussed how we can use built-in Azure Policies to meet the governance criteria and start easily. However, the relationship between business and IT varies a lot from Organization to Organization. So from time to time, you’ll need to create your own Azure Policies and applying them to a scope. Custom Azure policies allows you to be lot more compliant and a lot more flexible. In this blog post, we are going to discuss the same. Read More »

Write Verbose Output in PowerShell using Write-Verbose

It is good practice to use the various -Verbose, -Debug and other about_CommonParameters when writing functions because it helps one to write the clean code in a very integrated way with the PowerShell. This blog post focuses on the usage of Verbose command to provide detailed tracking information and status. One of the main benefits about using Write-Verbose command is that you can control, if you need extra detailed information. By default, the verbose message stream is not displayed, but you can display it by changing the value of the $VerbosePreference variable or using the Verbose common parameter in any command. Also, Write-Verbose writes to the verbose output stream and you can capture it separately.
Read More »

Return Multiple Values from PowerShell Function

In PowerShell functions, by default, you can return only one object at a time. Since PowerShell does not apply any restriction on data type returned, it created a lot of possibilities on what can be returned as an output of the function. So if one needs to return multiple values or objects, it is generally suggested to create an array of the objects and then return the array. If the underlying values are simple strings, some would create a custom PSObject and then return the PSObject. In this blog post, we will discuss the other methods to return the multiple values from PowerShell functions.
Read More »

Implement Pipeline Support by making proper use of ValueFromPipeline and ValueFromPipelineByPropertyName in PowerShell functions

In our previous post, we learned how to make use of Begin, Process and End blocks to implement proper pipeline support. Building on to that, in this blog post, we’ll learn further about when to make use of ValueFromPipeline property and when to make use of ValueFromPipelineByPropertyName and what happens behind the scenes.

Multiple parameters that accept Pipeline Input

What if there are multiple parameters that can accept pipeline input and we need to run the Process block for them. Let’s consider below code:Read More »

Implement Pipeline Support by making proper use of begin, process and end blocks in PowerShell functions

Of many things that make PowerShell stand apart in the world of scripting languages, perhaps two are most fundamental to it: first, its treats everything as Objects and second, the ability to pipe objects from one cmdlet to another. Using this capability, we can effortlessly link multiple cmdlets together. Doing this will also throttle the amount of memory that is being allocated (in most cases) that the current session is using for the commands. So, its very natural that you would want to implement pipeline support for your own function, that you just wrote.
Read More »

Write Advanced functions in PowerShell using various Write Cmdlets

PowerShell has become de-facto tool of choice for automation in Microsoft world from long time and slowly it is winning over hearts of the Linux administrators as well. Just like with other programming languages, there are many ways to do the same thing in PowerShell. However they differ in little subtle ways. You may or may not notice them in your day to day usage, but if you learn those subtleties, you can quickly improve the performance and results of your automation. This blog post is about one of the such cases only.
Read More »

Store the app secrets in Azure Key Vault and use during Azure Pipelines

You can easily store your environment related secrets in the Azure Pipelines releases as variables and mark them as secrets which will encrypt and hide them. So anyone having access to the release definition would be not able to view them. Most of the times, it suffices as once set, they become encrypted and can not be viewed in text form.

However, sometimes it may happen that the person who keeps the secret would not be the same person as who is creating the release definition. Think of that as a way of segregating the responsibilities between the two. Also, it may be possible that the person who has provisioned the environment is not comfortable to share the secrets with anyone in plain text. After all, the best way to keep a secret is not to tell anyone about it. This is where the Azure Key Vault fits in very nicely. It can be used to store and transfer the secrets/certificates needed for your environment in a secure way.
Read More »