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Runbook Customization

Overview

The RealmJoin runbook implementation offers customizing capabilities to a runbook's author or an environments administrator, so that he/she can:
  • host customer/tenant specific parameters and templates
  • offer UI elements like user-pickers or dropdown selections
  • present human readable explanations of parameters
  • hide unneeded UI elements
Example
The customizings can be included in the runbook itself and/or stored in the customers RealmJoin Portal instance. By default, we will try to offer sensible defaults in the runbooks offered on GitHub.
Some runbooks will come with examples of how to configure customer specific templates like specifying office locations for the user on-boarding.

Format

The customizing can be defined (in descending order of priority)
Additionally (with least priority)
  • per parameter in the runbook header
  • per parameter in the runbooks param block (using the RJRb Helper Module)
Some functionality (like templates) is only available in JSON format. Some functionality (like creating a user picker) is only available by specifying a data type in the param block. You can combine multiple types of customizings for best results.

Runbook Param Block

The RealmJoin Portal parses a runbooks PowerShell param block to determine which input fields to render. Where possible, it will also validate the inputs according to the .NET type given for a variable.
The following data types are currently understood:
  • [bool], [boolean] - will present a binary toggle
  • [string - will present a textbox to type any alphanumeric input
  • [int] - will present a textbox, only allowing numeric inputs
  • [DateTime], [DateTimeOffset] - Will present a date/time picker
You can apply standard PowerShell modifiers to parameters. Especially RealmJoin Portal will understand if you specify [Parameter(Mandatory = $true)] to indicate a mandatory parameter and enforce this parameters being filled.
Where possible, RealmJoin Portal will also read and present given default values in the UI.
Be aware, default values from the runbook can be overridden by customizings. Also, parameters can be completely hidden by customizing.

Customizing Parameters

To be able to customize parameters, please make sure to include RealmJoin's Runbook Helper PS Module in your runbook:
#Requires -Modules @{ModuleName = "RealmJoin.RunbookHelper"; ModuleVersion = "0.6.0" }
You can then include [ValidateScript( { Use-RJInterface ... } )] statements in the parameter definitions. For example the following will create a user picker, allowing to choose an AzureAD user and will pass its object id as string the runbook.
param(
[ValidateScript( { Use-RJInterface -DisplayName "Assign device to this user (optional)" -Type Graph -Entity User } )]
[string] $AssignedUserId = ""
)
Let's take this piece by piece. [ValidateScript...] is a modifier to the next parameter defined in the param-block. In this case the variable $AssignedUserId.
Use-RJInterface is part of our RealmJoin Runbook Helper PowerShell Module. It allows you to specify what kind of input you expect using -Type and -Entity, if that is not already fully defined by the type of variable.
-DisplayName allows you to pass a human readable prompt / description for this parameter to RealmJoin Portal.

Graph resources

In the example above, the source of information is MS Graph, as described by -Type Graph. For MS Graph, use -Entity to specify which kind of resource you expect. Available entities are User, Group, Device. This will produce a picker for either users, groups or devices in the given AzureAD.
The picker includes a quick search, to easily pin down the required resource.
Picker Example
Currently, no multiselect is possible using a picker.
By default, a MS Graph picker will return the object's id. If you require e.g. the user principal name instead, make sure the include "name" as suffix in your variables name. So, basically, to get a user's id, name the parameter $userid. If you want a UPN, name it $username.

Graph Filtering

If you are using a MS Graph based picker, you can also specify -Filter and use an ODATA-Filter to limit the objects offered in the picker.
The following example will list only groups from AzureAD starting with "LIC_".
param(
[Parameter(Mandatory = $true)]
[ValidateScript( { Use-RJInterface -Type Graph -Entity Group -Filter "startswith(DisplayName, 'LIC_')" -DisplayName "License group" } )]
[String] $GroupID_License
)
You can prepare filters and reuse them across multiple scripts using the central datastore. In this case just reference the filter by name using -Filter "ref:LicenseGroup", where ref: indicates to look for a stored filter.
param(
[Parameter(Mandatory = $true)]
[ValidateScript( { Use-RJInterface -Type Graph -Entity Group -Filter "ref:LicenseGroup" } )]
[String] $GroupID_License
)
This specific example ref:LicenseGroup is available by default without further configuration.
ODATA filter

Runbook Header

The Portal can parse a runbooks comment based help section, if present.
Here is an example:
<#
.SYNOPSIS
(Un-)Assign a license to a user via group membership.
.DESCRIPTION
(Un-)Assign a license to a user via group membership. More detailed description...
.PARAMETER DefaultGroups
Comma separated list of groups to assign. e.g. "DL Sales,LIC Internal Product"
.NOTES
Permissions:
MS Graph (API):
- User.Read.All
- GroupMember.ReadWrite.All
- Group.ReadWrite.All
.INPUTS
RunbookCustomization: {
"Parameters": {
"UserName": {
"Hide": true
},
"Remove": {
"DisplayName": "Assign or Remove License",
"SelectSimple": {
"Assign License to User": false,
"Remove License from User": true
}
}
}
}
#>
.SYNOPSIS - Give a very brief description of your runbook's function. This will be displayed in the list of available runbooks.
.DESCRIPTION - Give a description of your runbook's function. Can contain slightly more detail, as this will be displayed inside the runbooks execution / parameter dialogue.
.PARAMETER - Needs to be followed by a parameters name. Allows you to give a detailed explanation of the expected input for the parameter in question.
.INPUTS - Can contain a block of JSON-based Runbook Customization.
.NOTES - Is not parsed / rendered. Please use this space to write down which permissions and requirements exist for your runbook.
.EXAMPLE - Is not parsed / rendered. Can contain an example of a JSON-based Customizing to use in the RealmJoin Datastore in your tenant. These can be examples of how to create templates e.g. for different workflows or user classes.

JSON Based Customizing

Central Datastore

Each AzureAD tenant can host a "Runbook Customizations" datastore, found at https://portal.realmjoin.com/settings/runbooks-customizations .
The format is JSON with comments, allowing trailing commas. Currently, there are three relevant sections, Runbooks, Templates, Runbooks.
{
"Settings": {
},
"Templates": {
},
"Runbooks": {
}
}

Runbooks section

Runbooks is parsed by the portal when starting a runbook. If a section named like the current Azure Automation Runbook exists, its contents will be used to customize the frontend displayed to the user.
Assume the following simple demonstration runbook, called rjgit-device_demo-runbook-customizing.
<#
.SYNOPSIS
Demonstrate Runbook Customizing
.DESCRIPTION
Demonstrate Runbook Customizing, like dropdown/select
#>
#Requires -Modules @{ModuleName = "RealmJoin.RunbookHelper"; ModuleVersion = "0.6.0" }
param(
[string] $DeviceId,
[bool] $ExtraWorkflow = $true,
[int] $ExtraWorkflowTime = 15
)
"## Doing stuff to Device '$DeviceID'"
# Highly optional complicated workflow
if ($ExtraWorkflow) {
"## Executing Meditation..."
Start-Sleep -Seconds $ExtraWorkflowTime
}
If not customized, it will be presented like this in the frontend:
Demo - before
Thoughts:
  • As this runbook is started from a device's context in portal, the $DeviceId is redundant information for a user. I already know which device I am working on.
  • What happens if I enable or disable the "Extra Workflow"? Do I need to think about "Extra Workflow Time" if I disable "Extra Workflow"?
Let us improve on that. The following example JSON in the central datastore will modify the UI for the runbook.
{
"Runbooks": {
"rjgit-device_demo-runbook-customizing": {
"ParameterList": [
{
"Name": "DeviceId",
"Hide": true
},
{
"Name": "ExtraWorkflow",
"Hide": true
},
{
"Name": "ExtraWorkflowTime",
"DisplayName": "How long to meditate?",
},
{
"DisplayName": "Execute Extra Workflow",
"DisplayBefore": "ExtraWorkflowTime",
"Select": {
"Options": [
{
"Display": "Execute Meditation (optional)",
"Customization": {
"Default": {
"ExtraWorkflow": true
}
}
},
{
"Display": "Skip Device Mindfulness",
"Customization": {
"Default": {
"ExtraWorkflow": false
},
"Hide": [
"ExtraWorkflowTime"
]
}
}
],
},
"Default": "Skip Device Mindfulness"
}
]
}
}
}
You can use the same notation / features in your runbook header.

ParameterList

Each parameter has its own section in ParameterList. Modifiers allow to change the behaviour of that parameter.
The result will look like this:
Demo - after hidden
Choosing the additional workflow, will present (unhide) more parameters:
Demo - after unhidden
This shows less clutter in comparison to before applying customizing. At the same time more information about the alternatives of "Extra Workflow" is available to the user. Also, a user now will only worry about "Extra Workflow Time" if it is relevant.
Changing the visibility of that field was done using a "Customizing" block inside one of the "Select" options. You can currently have at most one such "Customizing" block active at a time.
As you can see, the parameter $DeviceId is completely hidden. This is done by setting the "Hide": true for this parameter.
Parameters can have a DisplayName. We offered a human friendly DisplayName to replace $ExtraWorkflowTime in the UI. See other modifiers for more.
You can insert "unnamed" parameters (missing the Name statement) like the "Execute Extra Workflow" section, if you want to offer UI elements without directly returning a value. This is normally only used in conjunction with Select.

Select

We used Select, to display a list of Options in a dropdown. Each option can Display text, or trigger a Customization, like setting Hide or a Default value on other parameters. In our example, we used it to (un)hide $ExtraWorkflowTime and override $ExtraWorkflow's value.
$ExtraWorkflowTime is thus only shown when relevant and the binary switch $ExtraWorkflow is now replaced with meaningful alternatives from a user's perspective.
In case of a Select for a named parameter, each option should have a "ParameterValue": "..." to pass to the runbook. You can place a "ShowValue: false" inside the Select block to only show the dropdown and not a field for the resulting parameters value.
Named Paramter example:
{
"Name": "ExtraWorkflow",
"DefaultValue": true,
"DisplayName": "Execute Extra Workflow",
"DisplayBefore": "ExtraWorkflowTime",
"Select": {
"Options": [
{
"Display": "Execute Meditation (optional)",
"ParameterValue": true
},
{
"Display": "Skip Device Mindfulness",
"ParameterValue": false,
"Customization": {
"Hide": [
"ExtraWorkflowTime"
]
}
}
],
"ShowValue": false
}
}
The Default / DefaultValue statement in the parameter also specifies the initial state of the dropdown. In case of an unnamed parameter, use the DisplayName of the desired option, otherwise give a default return value, like "true" or "false" or some string.

Parameters

If you only have named parameters, you can use the slightly shorter Parameters format instead of ParameterList.
For an example see SelectSimple

SelectSimple

If not the full power of a Select is needed and you just want to offer a list of possible values in a dropdown (without applying additional customizing), you can use SelectSimple.
SelectSimple is only usable for named parameters.
Example:
{
"Runbooks": {
"rjgit-device_demo-runbook-customizing": {
"Parameters": {
"DeviceId": {
"Hide": true
},
"ExtraWorkflow": {
"Name": "ExtraWorkflow",
"DisplayName": "Execute Extra Workflow",
"Default": false,
"SelectSimple": {
"Execute Meditation (optional)": true,
"Skip Device Mindfulness": false
}
},
"ExtraWorkflowTime": {
"DisplayName": "How long to meditate?"
}
}
}
}
}
The biggest difference (other than being much shorter) to our example before is that $ExtraWorkflowTime is always visible.

Modifiers

Each parameter can have one or more of the following modifiers:
  • "DisplayName": "text" - Display "text" as name for the parameter in the UI
  • "Hide": true / false - Hide this parameter
  • "Mandatory": true / false - Require this parameter to be filled
  • "ReadOnly": true / false - Protect this parameter from beeing changed from its default value
  • "DefaultValue": "..." - Set a default value for this parameter. (You can also use Default instead.)
  • "GraphFilter": "startswith(DisplayName, 'LIC_')" - see Graph Filtering
  • "AllowEdit": true / false - Protect this parameter from manual editing (combine this with templates)

Settings

Settings allows you to store configuration data like Azure Storage Account names in central place, while still keeping them separate from your runbooks.
You can access individual values from a runbooks param-Block using Use-RJInterface.
Let us take this example param-block of a runbook:
param(
[ValidateScript( { Use-RJInterface -Type Setting -Attribute "CaPoliciesExport.Container" } )]
[string] $ContainerName,
[ValidateScript( { Use-RJInterface -Type Setting -Attribute "CaPoliciesExport.ResourceGroup" } )]
[string] $ResourceGroupName,
[ValidateScript( { Use-RJInterface -Type Setting -Attribute "CaPoliciesExport.StorageAccount.Name" } )]
[string] $StorageAccountName,
[ValidateScript( { Use-RJInterface -Type Setting -Attribute "CaPoliciesExport.StorageAccount.Location" } )]
[string] $StorageAccountLocation,
[ValidateScript( { Use-RJInterface -Type Setting -Attribute "CaPoliciesExport.StorageAccount.Sku" } )]
[string] $StorageAccountSku
)
Portal will try to prefill each parameter with values from the central datastore - if present. This also works if the parameter has been hidden in the UI.
A possible JSON in the datastore for this runbook would be:
{
"Settings": {
"CaPoliciesExport": {
"ResourceGroup": "rj-runbooks-01",
"StorageAccount": {
"Name": "rjrbexports01",
"Location": "West Europe",
"Sku": "Standard_LRS"
}
}
}
}
The missing Container element will simply not be prefilled in the UI.

Templates

Templates use JSON-references to pull in data - for example a lengthy list of office locations - when using a Select statement.
This allows to keep a customizing neutral/reusable/separated from actual data.
Let us take the example of onboarding new users. You might have have multiple given options for departments or office locations, where assigning a office location also mandates a certain street address, country, state etc.
The following example of a runbook customization uses the $ref inside the Runbooks section to reference/import a subtree from the Templates section. Look out for the $id/$values keywords. Be aware that $id/$values have to defined before referencing them using $ref. That is why Templates is defined ahead of Runbooks in this example.
In this example we tell the portal to grab the subtree with the $id called LocationOptions and include its $values, replacing the $ref statement. So, the portal will render a Select as described in the Runbooks section but include the actual options from Templates.
A template can contain any statement that is supported in the referencing location. In this example, we use a Customization statement to modify other parameters like StreetAddress.
So, we can have a runbook specific customziation in Runbooks reusable accross multiple environments, while keeping actual data separate.
{
"Templates": {
"Options": [
{
"$id": "LocationOptions",
"$values": [
{
"Display": "DE-OF",
"Customization": {
"Default": {
"StreetAddress": "Kaiserstraße 39",
"PostalCode": "63065",
"City": "Offenbach",
"Country": "Germany"
}
}
},
{
"Display": "DE-DEG",
"Customization": {
"Default": {
"StreetAddress": "Lateinschulgassse 24-26",
"PostalCode": "94469",
"City": "Deggendorf",
"Country": "Germany"
}
}
},
{
"Display": "DE-HH",
"Customization": {
"Default": {
"StreetAddress": "Hans-Henny-Jahnn-Weg 53",
"PostalCode": "22085",
"City": "Hamburg",
"Country": "Germany"
}
}
},
{
"Display": "FI-HS",
"Customization": {
"Default": {
"StreetAddress": "Somewhere 42",
"PostalCode": "12345",
"City": "Helsinki",
"Country": "Finland"
}
}
}
]
},
{
"$id": "CompanyOptions",
"$values": [
{
"Id": "gkg",
"Display": "glueckkanja-gab",
"Value": "glueckkanja-gab AG"
},
{
"Id": "pp",
"Display": "PRIMEPULSE",
"Value": "PRIMEPULSE SE"
}
]
}
]
},
"Runbooks": {
"rjgit-org_general_add-user": {
"ParameterList": [
{
"DisplayName": "Office Location",
"DisplayAfter": "CompanyName",
"Select": {
"Options": {
"$ref": "LocationOptions"
}
}
},
{
"Name": "CompanyName",
"Select": {
"Options": {
"$ref": "CompanyOptions"
},
"AllowEdit": false
}
}
],
"ReadOnly": [
"StreetAddress",
"PostalCode",
"City",
"Country"
]
}
}
}
This will create the following UI:
Demo - ref-location
Demo - ref-address

Graph Filters

You can prepare ODATA Graph-Filters to be used in multiple runbooks. Store these in a section called GraphFilters.
The following example filters for a certain prefix in the DisplayName of a group, to only show licensing related groups in a group picker.
"GraphFilters": {
"LicenseGroup": "startswith(DisplayName, 'LIC_')" // also contained in RJ code as default
}
See Graph filtering on how to use this from a runbook.
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On this page
Overview
Format
Runbook Param Block
Customizing Parameters
Runbook Header
JSON Based Customizing
Central Datastore
Runbooks section
Settings
Templates
Graph Filters